6 Major Vocational Sectors That Show Arizona's High Job Growth
As far as career-friendly states go, Arizona is hard to beat. The region isn't just an easy place to live thanks to its warmth and abundance of sunshine; it also has the distinction of being one of America's fastest-growing states. In fact, the state's population could total more than nine million people by 2040—an increase of over 31 percent from 2016.* And that expansion is likely to create a lot of extra advantages for both aspiring and experienced professionals.
For example, personal income in Arizona is projected to grow by about 18.5 percent from 2016 to 2019. And between 2016 and 2040, it could rise by over 186 percent.* In addition, quite a few industries are poised to keep adding jobs throughout the state. Between 2012 and 2022, at least 559,000 job openings could become available.** From Flagstaff in the north to Greater Phoenix and Tucson in the south, many of Arizona's cities are set to contribute to the expansion.
That's why it can pay to explore much more than the state's breathtaking deserts, mountains, and canyons. As someone who wants to build a better future, you might want to explore some of the state's most thriving career sectors. Start by checking out the following:
1. Health Care and Biomedical Technology
The need for additional health and medical professionals is rising in almost every state, and Arizona is no exception. With its rapidly growing population, this region continues to generate more demand for health care. The Phoenix area alone is ranked within the top 15 U.S. markets for jobs in the sector.***
But the state is also a major player in the bioscience and medical equipment industries. As a matter of fact, more than 260 medical device and equipment companies operate within Arizona while supporting over 6,000 jobs.**** And biomedical employment within the state is rising three times quicker than the U.S. average.***
All of the above facts are why Arizona career-seekers are likely to see opportunities grow across a wide range of vocations in these sectors. For example, take a look at how much employment could expand in the following occupations between 2012 and 2022:**
- Occupational therapy assistants—44.4 percent
- Dental hygienists—44 percent
- Medical secretaries—42.3 percent
- Physical therapist assistants—39.7 percent
- Medical lab technicians—38.9 percent
- Surgical technologists—36.8 percent
- Medical assistants—36.7 percent
- Dental assistants—34 percent
- Phlebotomists—34 percent
- Licensed practical nurses—30.1 percent
- Health information technicians—28.2 percent
- Veterinary techs—25.3 percent
- Massage therapists—25.2 percent
- Pharmacy technicians—22 percent
2. Skilled Trades
As Arizona grows, so does the demand for new buildings and infrastructure. In fact, between 2016 and 2019, the number of residential building permits issued within the state is expected to increase by about 40.6 percent.*
In addition, more people results in more cars, more recreational vehicles, more demand for electricity, and more air conditioning and refrigeration. Thankfully, Arizona has a budding renewable energy sector, which will continue to generate a larger and larger portion of the state's energy needs. Already, Arizona is home to over eight percent of America's jobs in the solar industry, and the region continues to be a top-ranking place for the generation of photovoltaic energy.****
All of those things require the services of skilled tradespeople for construction, installation, maintenance, or repair. And that's why many of the trades in Arizona are projected to experience a lot of job growth from 2012 to 2022. For instance, consider how much the employment in these trades could grow over that decade:**
- Electricians' helpers—61.6 percent
- Electricians—45.2 percent
- HVAC technicians—43.1 percent
- Welders—29 percent
- Diesel engine specialists—20.5 percent
- Motorcycle mechanics—17.7 percent
- Automotive service technicians—14 percent
3. Information and Manufacturing Technologies
Arizona benefits greatly from its large and diverse information technology and high-tech manufacturing sectors. These industries provide services or make products related to everything from software and data management to aerospace systems, semiconductors, optics, photonics, and other electronics. They are made up of several thousand different companies that collectively employ hundreds of thousands of Arizonans.****
Plus, job growth within these sectors of Arizona's economy could, in many cases, occur more rapidly than the nationwide average for years to come. Just look at the expected employment growth between 2012 and 2022 for the following high-tech vocations:**
- Information security analysts—36.8 percent
- Web developers—23.9 percent
- Electrical and electronics drafters—21.6 percent
- Application software developers—20.3 percent
- Network and computer systems administrators—17.6 percent
4. Design and Media Arts
This state has become a great place for entrepreneurs and innovative start-ups. Along with established businesses and those that are expanding and adding new operations within the region, they generate a lot of demand for the services of creative pros. After all, marketing, advertising, interior design, and other business needs often require people with special talents.
That's one reason why the number of job openings for art and design workers in Arizona could increase by almost 20 percent from 2012 to 2022. And check out the projected employment growth for these specific examples:**
- Fashion designers—27.4 percent
- Interior designers—22.9 percent
- Graphic designers—19 percent
- Film and video editors—17.7 percent
- Multimedia artists and animators—11 percent
5. Business and Finance
Since Arizona is known as a very business-friendly region, new opportunities continue to arise for people who have the right training and educational backgrounds. The Greater Phoenix area, especially, is often regarded as one of America's best places for business. It's a large and thriving metropolitan area that includes cities in Maricopa County such as Glendale, Tempe, Scottsdale, and Mesa, along with several other vibrant cities.
Statewide, over 45,000 different establishments related to professional, financial, and business services directly supported close to 525,000 jobs in 2012 alone.**** And from 2012 to 2022, that number is projected to increase. For example, consider these job growth projections for that period:**
- Professional and business services occupations—33.4 percent
- Paralegals and legal assistants—28.4 percent
- Financial activities occupations—28.1 percent
- Administrative services managers—23.4 percent
- Accountants and auditors—23 percent
- Human resources managers—22.6 percent
- Sales managers—21.6 percent
- Office and administrative support occupations—19 percent
6. Leisure, Hospitality, and Tourism
To say that Arizona is full of spectacular scenery would be an understatement. Major tourist attractions like the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Meteor Crater, and Antelope Canyon represent only a fraction of the state's diverse beauty. It's a big reason why, in 2014 alone, about 40.7 million people visited the state, which helped support jobs for about 171,500 Arizonans.†
Of course, visitors to Arizona also come for the warm and sunny weather. And many of them dine out at restaurants, visit museums, get spa and beauty treatments, and play multiple rounds of golf. (Did you know that the Greater Phoenix region has over 300 golf courses?***) As a result, employment is expected to rise for many kinds of leisure- and tourism-related vocations between 2012 and 2022. Look at the following examples:**
- Skincare specialists—45 percent
- Meeting, convention, and event planners—40.8 percent
- Leisure and hospitality occupations—26.5 percent
- Chefs and head cooks—21.2 percent
- Bakers—15.6 percent
- Cosmetologists—12.6 percent
Grab the Opportunity
Today is a great time to start discovering where your own interests might take you. Begin right now with a quick search for nearby colleges and trade schools in Arizona. Simply put your zip code into the program finder below to see good options in your area!
* Arizona's Economy, Economic and Business Research Center, University of Arizona, website last visited on February 1, 2016.
** Arizona Labor Statistics, website last visited on February 1, 2016.
*** Greater Phoenix Economic Council, website last visited on February 1, 2016.
**** Arizona Commerce Authority, website last visited on February 1, 2016.
† Arizona Office of Tourism, website last visited on February 1, 2016.