Hot Jobs for the Valley’s Future
Looking for work? Here are the region’s high-paying, high-growth occupations.
Summer is a time for hot temperatures, hot blockbuster flicks, and hot summer jams. But what are the hot jobs you should be getting your résumé ready for? Economists from the state Department of Workforce Development have looked into their crystal balls (or, more accurately, their spreadsheets and data sets) and compiled a list of the 25 occupations they believe will be the hottest in west-central Wisconsin over the coming decade.
WHAT ARE THE FACTORS?
How are these hot jobs identified? The DWD creates the list of occupations based on three factors: a high number of anticipated openings over a 10-year period, a percentage change in employment that is above the state average, and a median salary that’s above the statewide median. Opening in these occupations come from a combination of growth in particular industries, workers moving to other jobs (think of this as “churn”), and people exiting the workforce entirely (think of the increasing wave of retiring baby boomers).
WHERE ARE THE JOBS?
Hot jobs are calculated by region, and the state’s west-central region includes the core Chippewa Valley counties of Eau Claire, Chippewa, and Dunn, as well as Barron, Clark, Pepin, Pierce, Polk, and St. Croix counties.
HOW MANY JOBS ARE THERE?
According to the DWD estimates, the 25 occupations on the hot jobs list will create a total of 3,810 job openings each year between 2016 and 2026. (Overall there will be an estimated 26,400 openings across all job fields annually.) Most of these openings will be created by people changing professions or leaving the workforce, but a small percentage will be created by economic growth.
WHAT DO THEY PAY?
The median yearly wage for all job openings in the region will be an estimated $33,830. By contrast, salaries for occupations on the hot jobs list range from $34,500 for billing and posting clerks to $73,670 for general and operations managers. Most of the hot jobs pay more than $40,000 per year.
HOW MUCH SCHOOL DO YOU NEED?
With some notable exceptions, the hottest jobs in the region tend to be blue-collar occupations that require little education beyond high school. Only seven of the top 25 “hot jobs” in the region entail post-high school education. Of these, five require bachelor’s degrees (registered nurse, general and operations manager, accountants and auditors, human resources specialists, and market research analysts and marketing specialists) and two require post-secondary certification but not a degree (heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers and medical assistants).