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Occupations in demand in north-central Minnesota

Labor Day's focus on the American worker creates an opportunity to look at jobs in current demand and those expected to grow in the next decade. Occupations with a high current demand in the five-county lakes region include machinists, industrial...

Jobs in demand run the gamut in the north central region. Photo illustration
Jobs in demand run the gamut in the north central region. Photo illustration

Labor Day's focus on the American worker creates an opportunity to look at jobs in current demand and those expected to grow in the next decade.

Occupations with a high current demand in the five-county lakes region include machinists, industrial machinery mechanics, auto service technicians and mechanics, electricians and dental assistants.

Those occupations may include long-term training on the job and education past high school but without the time and debt that can come with a two- or even four-year college degree.

In the information provided for each occupation, the median wage means half of all workers in this occupation earn more and half earn less annually. The 25th percentile wage means 75 percent of the workers earn more and 25 percent earn less. The growth rate and job openings both look at how fast the occupation is expected to create jobs over 10 years. And the educational requirements are ones that best represent the typical level required to enter an occupation. All data is from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development for the north-central region of the state.

• Machinists, median wage of $44,748, or 25th percentile of $36,051, with a 16 percent growth rate or 600 job openings.

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• Industrial machinery mechanics, $38,825 median wage or 25th percentile of $32,454, for a 17.6 percent growth rate or 210 job openings.

• Auto service tech and mechanics, $37,515 median wager or 25th percentile or $32,945 with a 3.6 percent growth rate or 490 job openings.

• Electricians, with a median wage of $53,398 or 25th percentile of $43,778, with a 7.7 percent growth rate and 230 job openings.

• Dental assistants, median wage of $47,886 or 25th percentile of $42,206, with a 9.8 percent growth rate and 140 projected job openings.

In addition, there are numerous jobs with high annual median wages and growth from speech-language pathologists ($652,806) to family and general practitioners ($190,791), industrial engineers ($64,398), financial managers ($97,424), sales managers ($75,122), construction managers ($75,294) and management analysts ($62,050).

Education fields, with the exception of special education and career fields, are expected to contract, as are administrators. Other professions with negative growth rates are farmers and agricultural managers, loan officers and credit analysts, compliance officers, pharmacists, and industrial production managers, tool and die makers, first line supervisors of non-retail sales workers, aircraft mechanics and service technicians, postmasters and mail superintendents. All these professions are projected for contraction, but that doesn't mean there won't be job openings-just fewer of them over a wider area. For example, editors are expected to decrease by 3.9 percent, but there are still expected to be 110 job openings.

Orthotists and prosthetists, with a median wage of $73,902, are expected to have the largest growth rate at 25.6 percent, but still a modest number of positions open at 10.

The number of positions with the most job openings include registered nurses. There were also 200 job openings expected for electrical power line installers and repairers but the job has a current low demand indicator ($81,590). The education requirement is a high school diploma or equivalent and long-term training on the job. Computer hardware engineers ($104,413) are expected to grow 33.3 percent but there was no indication how many jobs that actually represents.

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Jobs making more than $50,000 in the north-central region, including Cass, Crow Wing, Morrison and Todd counties, and with a growth rate of 10 percent or higher and predicted to include at least 20 job openings, include:

• Physicians' assistants, with a median wage of $105,888, a 25th percentile wage of $95,213, come in with the highest growth rate-at 19.1 percent for jobs in this income category. Thirty openings are expected. Education requirements: master's degree.

• Physical therapists, median wage of $77,386 and a 25th percentile wage of $67,266, has a growth rate of 16.9 percent with a doctoral or professional degree required.

• Registered nurses, with a high demand ranking, have a median wage of $66,586 per year or a 25th percentile of $57,822. The projected growth rate is 10.5 percent with 1,440 openings projected. Education required is an associate's degree.

• Nurse practitioners, annual median wage of $99,087, or 25th percentile of $91,135,, have a projected growth rate of 17.8 percent, or 30 openings in the area. Education requirement is a master's degree.

• Medical and health services managers, annual median wage of $81,821 or 25th percentile of $67,858, should also be in demand with a growth rate of 10.5 percent or 170 projected openings. Bachelor's degree required.

• Mental health and substance abuse social workers, median wage of $61,595 or 25th percentile of $55,057, for a 10.9 percent growth rate or 60 openings. Master's degree required.

• Marketing research analysts and marketing specialists, median wage of $58,846, 25th percentile of $44,588, with a 16.6 percent growth rate of 120 job openings. Bachelor's degree.

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• Nurse anesthetists, with a median wage of $181,637 or 25th percentile of $164,159, with a projected growth rate of 20.8 percent or 30 positions. Master's degree required.

• Social and community service managers, with a median wage of $71,913, 25th percentile of $53,321, with a growth rate of 10.7 percent or 110 job openings. Bachelor's degree required.

• Personal and financial advisers, annual median wage of $75,636 or 25th percentile of $47,911, growth rate of 15.7 percent or 80 job openings. Bachelor's degree required as is long-term, on-the-job training.

• Optometrists, with a median wage of $108,692 or 25th percentile of $75,204, with a growth rate of 18.3 percent or 50 job openings. Doctoral or professional degree required.

Go to bit.ly/2guylp4 for more about occupations in demand by state and by region on the DEED website.

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