Find a Job in a Fast Growing Field Using Labor Market Information For Your State
by: Chuck Huckaby
The question confronting most people who want to find a job is "what's a good paying job with growth potential?"
At one time, the Conestoga wagon building trade boomed as people joined the wagon trains heading west.
Today, the boom is long gone and those wanting to find a job with a future will most likely wish to stay away from such a field.
So how can you find a job that will reasonably be expected to thrive in the future either in your home state or the state in which you choose to reside?
One key is through using Labor Market Information to research potential jobs as you create a long term plan to find the job you feel is ideal for your skills and interests.
Your first step to find a job with potential is to use the free service available at "America's Career InfoNet" a website sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor.
To find a job with growth potential in your state, visit this state by state database. (This opens in a new window so you will not lose the instructions on how to find a job with potential on this page when you click the link!)
After you've searched for a particular state - we'll use Alabama as an example - here's what you'll find...
1) Basic demographic information under these headings:
(Again, these are for Alabama.) Demographic Information:
2001 Population 4,468,900
2002 Labor Force 2,102,800
2002 Unemployment Rate 5.9%
2002 Median Household Income $37,600
2001 Per Capita Income $24,500
You'll be able to see how the state ranks nationally and you'll be able to check unemployment rates by county just to know what you're up against in your job search for a particular county!
2) The next step to find a job in a growing occupation is to choose the kind of growth occupation you have in mind.
Your options will be...
Fastest growing occupations
Occupations with the most openings
Occupations with the largest employment
Occupations with declining employment
Highest paying occupations
At this point in your career search you'll also be asked to choose the level of education you're willing to achieve to enhance your income. The options listed are... Overall
Requiring only work experience or on-the-job training
Requiring post-secondary training or an associate's degree
Requiring a bachelor's degree or higher
Click the appropriate button to make your selections and then you can hit "search" to find a job with growth potential.
In this case we'll select "Fastest growth" and "overall" educational requirements.
When you search to find a job with these criteria, you'll receive results based on the fastest growth in sheer number of jobs and you'll receive listings that may require no education beyond high school up to jobs requiring a two year community college or vocational school training program or 4 year bachelor's degree.
What do you see when you do the job information search?
You see the first 25 of (for Alabama) 513 fastest growing jobs as determined by the number of jobs that will be available between 2000 and 2010.
As might be expected the job with the highest growth prospects for Alabama is computer software engineering and applications.
By clicking on the job itself you find the "Occupation Report" for that state.
You'll learn a wealth of information about this particular job and be able to watch an online job video showing you just what a particular job involves.
Since you want to find a job with good income potential, you'll see - on average - the kind of money people in this job make in the particular state and nationwide based on government labor market information.
Now let's try to find a job that's in the "Highest Paying" category but only requiring a 2 year training program at the most.
What job's come up? Hint: They'll be listed by the highest pay expressed (when possible) as an HOURLY wage and then an ANNUAL WAGE for the job you find in Hourly/Annual format.
For Alabama (the answer may vary for your state) the Top 10 are:
1 Commercial Pilots N/A /$59,100
2 Computer Specialists, All Other $24.52/$51,000
3 Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Powerhouse, Substation, and Relay $23.59/$49,100
4 Radiation Therapists $22.67/$47,200
5 Electrical and Electronics Drafters $22.02/$45,800
6 Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technicians $21.98/$45,700
7 Electrical and Electronic Engineering Technicians $21.71/$45,200
8 Appraisers and Assessors of Real Estate $21.16/$44,000
9 Ship Engineers $21.13/$44,000
10 Telecommunications Equipment Installers and Repairers, Except Line Installers $20.79/$43,200
Again, you can click on the job titles you find and go directly to an occupational report.
By using Labor Market Information, you can find a job with high growth potential, high wages, and usually a training requirement that involves only 2 years of training or less beyond high school.
Remember, you do not necessarily need a traditional 4 year degree to find a job with high growth potential. You DO need specific skills however not more "underwater basket weaving courses" at college that are unrelated to a specific field.
4 year degrees are nice and even graduate degrees are important to find a job in some fields. But increasingly, 2 year specialized programs are dominating the field as far as improving wages.