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
Statisticians 4.00% $104,670 Master's degree
Data Scientists 3.87% $103,810 Bachelor's degree
Logisticians 3.51% $63,640 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:

  1. Star Jobs - try the helpful Star Jobs tool from NC Commerce to sort and filter hundreds of NC occupations.
  2. NC Tower - look at employment outcomes for degrees from public two-year and four-year NC colleges.
  3. College Scorecard - find information about the cost of higher education, including average overall loan debt incurred.
  4. 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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