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 2017 and 2026.
|Occupation Title||Annual % Growth||Median Annual Salary||Education Level|
|Software Developers, Applications||3.1%||$100,560||Bachelor's degree|
|Nurse Practitioners||2.9%||$101,540||Master's degree|
|Information Security Analysts||2.8%||$103,470||Bachelor's degree|
|Physician Assistants||2.8%||$102,180||Master's degree|
|Operations Research Analysts||2.7%||$81,130||Bachelor's degree|
|Respiratory Therapists||2.7%||$56,410||Associate's degree|
|Health Specialties Teachers, Postsecondary||2.4%||$105,520||Doctoral or professional degree|
|Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists||2.4%||$62,370||Bachelor's degree|
|Diagnostic Medical Sonographers||2.3%||$66,930||Associate's degree|
|Physical Therapist Assistants||2.3%||$60,100||Associate's degree|
|Physical Therapists||2.2%||$86,600||Doctoral or professional degree|
|Financial Managers||2.1%||$131,610||Bachelor's degree|
|Nursing Instructors and Teachers, Postsecondary||2.0%||$64,520||Doctoral or professional degree|
|Occupational Therapy Assistants||2.0%||$64,890||Associate's degree|
|Personal Financial Advisors||2.0%||$97,960||Bachelor's degree|
|Social and Community Service Managers||2.0%||$64,360||Bachelor's degree|
|Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors||2.0%||$46,870||Bachelor's degree|
|Medical and Health Services Managers||1.9%||$101,020||Bachelor's degree|
|Occupational Therapist||1.9%||$84,700||Master's degree|
|Veterinarians||1.9%||$91,550||Doctoral or professional degree|
|Healthcare Social Workers||1.8%||$53,600||Master's degree|
|Management Analysts||1.7%||$83,700||Bachelor's degree|
|Paralegals and Legal Assistants||1.7%||$43,530||Associate's degree|
|Registered Nurses||1.7%||$62,940||Bachelor's degree|
|Computer and Information Systems Managers||1.6%||$135,740||Bachelor's degree|
|Medical Scientists, Except Epidemiologists||1.6%||$88,690||Doctoral or professional degree|
|Speech-Language Pathologists||1.6%||$73,250||Master's degree|
|Technical Writers||1.6%||$73,740||Bachelor's degree|
|Web Developers||1.6%||$68,520||Associate'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 (2017-2026)||Median Annual Salary||Education Level|
|Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, Including Fast Food||25,962||$18,890||No formal educational credential|
|Registered Nurses||16,618||$62,940||Bachelor's degree|
|Home Health Aides||11,885||$20,390||High school diploma or equivalent|
|Personal Care Aides||8,867||$21,010||High school diploma or equivalent|
|Software Developers, Applications||8,782||$100,560||Bachelor's degree|
|Retail Salespersons||8,184||$22,440||No formal educational credential|
|Customer Service Representatives||8,007||$32,910||High school diploma or equivalent|
|Nursing Assistants||7,721||$25,260||Postsecondary nondegree award|
|Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Handler||7,118||$25,880||No formal educational credential|
|Janitors and Cleaners, Except Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners||6,965||$23,030||No formal educational credential|
|Waiters and Waitresses||6,540||$19,140||No formal educational credential|
|Cooks, Restaurant||5,752||$23,630||No formal educational credential|
|Landscaping and Groundskeeping Workers||5,709||$27,410||No formal educational credential|
|General and Operations Managers||5,700||$108,750||Bachelor's degree|
|Stock Clerks and Order Fillers||4,935||$24,750||High school diploma or equivalent|
|Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists||4,277||$62,370||Bachelor's degree|
|Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Except Technical and Scientific Products||4,096||$59,920||High school diploma or equivalent|
|Accountants and Auditors||4,079||$69,840||Bachelor's degree|
|Business Operations Specialists, All Other||3,988||$67,660||Bachelor's degree|
|First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers||3,775||$40,050||High school diploma or equivalent|
|Maintenance and Repair Workers, General||3,772||$37,890||High school diploma or equivalent|
|Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners||3,770||$20,740||No formal educational credential|
|Medical Assistants||3,681||$32,710||Postsecondary nondegree award|
|First-Line Supervisors of Food Preparation and Serving Workers||3,627||$31,850||High school diploma or equivalent|
|Financial Managers||3,389||$131,610||Bachelor's degree|
|Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers||3,388||$42,140||Postsecondary nondegree award|
|First-Line Supervisors of Construction Trades and Extraction Workers||3,258||$59,040||High school diploma or equivalent|
|Childcare Workers||3,196||$21,540||High school diploma or equivalent|
|Computer User Support Specialists||3,192||$49,290||Some college, no degree|
|Management Analysts||3,148||$83,700||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.
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