Look to NCcareers.org to Find What NC Careers Have the Best Prospects!
Finding a career that matches your interests and skills is important, but you also want to know which occupations have the best prospects. That typically means you want to consider occupations that are growing and have good salary potential. That's where NCcareers.org comes in.
NCcareers.org provides an abundance of detailed information on careers in North Carolina. The employment and wage data NCcareers.org provides comes from the NC Department of Commerce's Labor and Economic Analysis Division (LEAD) in partnership with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupation data comes from O*Net Online sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. This data is updated annually so you can be sure you're seeing the most up-to-date information available.
Take a look at the two tables below which illustrate two approaches for considering occupations - one considers growth rate and salary, and the other just considers growth.
Know Before You Go – NC Jobs
The NC Department of Commerce has a Star Jobs system which assigns 1-5 stars based on wages, projected growth rate, and projected job openings. These are the top 30 occupations five-star occupations, ranked by the rate of annual growth between 2021 and 2030.
|Occupation Title||Annual % Growth||Median Annual Salary||Education Level|
|Nurse Practitioners||4.31%||$102,370||Master's degree|
|Data Scientists||3.87%||$103,810||Bachelor's degree|
|Information Security Analysts||3.48%||$119,980||Bachelor's degree|
|Web Developers||3.46%||$78,740||Bachelor's degree|
|Medical and Health Services Managers||3.11%||$99,630||Bachelor's degree|
|Software Developers||3.01%||$119,090||Bachelor's degree|
|Flight Attendants||2.86%||$63,540||High school diploma or equivalent|
|Medical Scientists, Except Epidemiologists||2.86%||$101,900||Doctoral or professional degree|
|Occupational Therapy Assistants||2.86%||$63,810||Associate's degree|
|Physical Therapist Assistants||2.85%||$60,720||Associate's degree|
|Physician Assistants||2.83%||$107,330||Master's degree|
|Operations Research Analysts||2.68%||$95,910||Bachelor's degree|
|Software Quality Assurance Analysts and Testers||2.62%||$99,340||Bachelor's degree|
|Health Specialties Teachers, Postsecondary||2.55%||$105,250||Doctoral or professional degree|
|Veterinarians||2.55%||$100,730||Doctoral or professional degree|
|Financial Examiners||2.49%||$100,390||Bachelor's degree|
|Speech-Language Pathologists||2.45%||$73,890||Master's degree|
|Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists||2.43%||$62,100||Bachelor's degree|
|Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors||2.39%||$48,640||Bachelor's degree|
|Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners||2.34%||$48,040||Bachelor's degree|
|Industrial Machinery Mechanics||2.29%||$56,380||High school diploma or equivalent|
|Chefs and Head Cooks||2.26%||$49,700||High school diploma or equivalent|
|Exercise Trainers and Group Fitness Instructors||2.24%||$40,850||High school diploma or equivalent|
|Web and Digital Interface Designers||2.22%||$61,380||Bachelor's degree|
|Computer and Information Systems Managers||2.19%||$143,150||Bachelor's degree|
|Financial Managers||2.15%||$151,440||Bachelor's degree|
|Physical Therapists||1.91%||$79,240||Doctoral or professional degree|
|Personal Financial Advisors||1.89%||$85,800||Bachelor's degree|
Source: NC Dept. of Commerce - Labor & Economic Analysis
This approach to considering occupations simply looks at which are projected to have the highest number of openings. Here are the top 30 NC occupations with the highest projected number of openings in the next few years. This table does not take growth rate or salary potential into account.
|Occupation Title||Change (2021-2030)||Median Annual Salary||Education Level|
|Cooks, Restaurant||20,395||$28,660||No formal educational credential|
|Software Developers, Applications||16,190||$119,090||Bachelor's degree|
|Home Health and Personal Care Aides||13,691||$23,150||High school diploma or equivalent|
|Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Handler||13,216||$30,220||No formal educational credential|
|Waiters and Waitresses||10,974||$18,480||No formal educational credential|
|Stockers and Order Fillers||10,498||$29,170||High school diploma or equivalent|
|Registered Nurses||10,405||$72,220||Bachelor's degree|
|General and Operations Managers||9,806||$99,040||Bachelor's degree|
|Fast Food and Counter Workers||8,986||$22,140||No formal educational credential|
|First-Line Supervisors of Food Preparation and Serving Workers||8,280||$34,810||High school diploma or equivalent|
|Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers||8,255||$47,020||Postsecondary nondegree award|
|Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists||6,046||$62,100||Bachelor's degree|
|Nursing Assistants||5,692||$29,230||Postsecondary nondegree award|
|Accountants and Auditors||5,125||$77,030||Bachelor's degree|
|Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators||4,801||$37,620||No formal educational credential|
|Light Truck Drivers||4,438||$34,430||High school diploma or equivalent|
|Management Analysts||4,305||$96,770||Bachelor's degree|
|Retail Salespersons||4,261||$26,670||No formal educational credential|
|Medical and Health Services Managers||4,141||$99,630||Bachelor's degree|
|Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Except Technical and Scientific Products||3,974||$60,720||High school diploma or equivalent|
|Construction Laborers||3,955||$35,530||No formal educational credential|
|Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners||3,843||$23,770||No formal educational credential|
|Janitors and Cleaners, Except Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners||3,831||$27,410||No formal educational credential|
|Animal Caretakers||3,757||$23,520||High school diploma or equivalent|
|Sales Representatives of Services, Except Advertising, Insurance, Financial Services, and Travel||3,738||$59,560||High school diploma or equivalent|
|Maintenance and Repair Workers, General||3,737||$38,200||High school diploma or equivalent|
|Landscaping and Groundskeeping Workers||3,584||$30,100||No formal educational credential|
|Computer and Information Systems Managers||3,559||$143,150||Bachelor's degree|
|Medical Assistants||3,551||$36,790||Postsecondary nondegree award|
|Managers, All Other||3,402||$120,240||Bachelor's degree|
Source: NC Dept. of Commerce - Labor & Economic Analysis
Here are four other resources to continue your exploration:
- Star Jobs - try the helpful Star Jobs tool from NC Commerce to sort and filter hundreds of NC occupations.
- NC Tower - look at employment outcomes for degrees from public two-year and four-year NC colleges.
- College Scorecard - find information about the cost of higher education, including average overall loan debt incurred.
- College Navigator - learn about college cost of attendance, program completion rates, transfer rates to other institutions, and percentage of students receiving financial aid by type of aid.
Try these fun, interactive quizzes to see which careers match your skills and interests.Learn about yourself