6 Big Job Sectors in Texas to Consider Training For
Texas isn't just big geographically. It also has one of America's largest and best performing economies. In fact, in 2013, this state ranked number one in job growth with more than 252,000 new openings across an impressive variety of industries. And that's just a fraction of the 1.62 million jobs created in the prior ten years.*
With so many new opportunities being generated for Texans, it's not surprising that a lot of Americans are choosing to move to this region. From 2010 to 2011 alone, Texas gained about 421,000 new residents—more than any other state.** And in the decade leading up to that, the state's population expanded by more than 20 percent (compared to just under 10 percent for the whole nation).***
But something else that makes Texas so attractive to career-minded people is that it has no personal state income tax. Workers get to keep more of their paychecks, especially in cities like Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, and El Paso, which all have a cost of living that is below the nationwide average. It's just one of many reasons why the state ranks number two in America for the size of its workforce and number one for the volume of its exports.*
So, will you become a successful contributor in a state that has more than 25 million residents and continues to grow rapidly?**** Here are six of the best sectors to explore while planning for your future in Texas:
One of the side effects of Texas' fast-growing population is that it increases the demand for healthcare services. But that is good news for anyone who aspires to have a meaningful, stable, and good-paying career. Across almost the whole state—but especially in the Alamo, Gulf Coast, and Central and South Texas regions—the health sector is increasing in size.** Take a look at a few facts that stand out:
- In 2008, only about 10 percent of Texans were at the age of 65 or above. However, by 2040, nearly 18 percent of the state's residents could be in that age group.†
- Registered nurses (RNs) are especially essential to the healthcare system. In 2000, just over 15 percent of Texas RNs were aged 55 or older. But by 2009, that number had risen to 26.4 percent.† Due to coming retirements and population increases, more than 50,000 new RN jobs are projected to be created within the state between 2010 and 2020.‡
- As a result of these various trends, a shortage of healthcare professionals is expected in Texas—but not just within the nursing field. All kinds of medical technologists and health support specialists will be needed to fill the rising demand. As just one example of this situation being played out in recent years, the state's home healthcare sector grew by about 21,700 job openings in 2011 alone.‡
- America's largest medical center is located in Houston. The Texas Medical Center is home to 54 health institutions, including 14 hospitals. In total, about 106,000 people are employed in the center, making it one of the world's biggest concentrations of medical pros and health experts.*
2. Energy Production and the Skilled Trades
Texas is one of America's biggest energy-producing states. In fact, it's the leader in crude oil production and refining as well as installed wind power capacity.* It even has its own energy grid. Plus, natural gas extraction is on the rise, which is expected to support almost 68,000 full-time workers by 2020.**
It all equates to a lot of opportunities for people with qualifications in trades like welding, electrical technology, and diesel and industrial repair. Yet many other skilled tradespeople in Texas—such as HVAC technicians and machinists—also benefit from the state's active construction and manufacturing sectors. Check out these facts:
- In 2011 alone, employment in the state's construction industry grew by more than 27,000 workers. And about 20,700 jobs were added in manufacturing.‡
- Texas' manufacturing industries employ more than 874,000 people who enjoy average yearly pay of $71,500.*
3. Recreation, Tourism, and Culinary Services
With over 600 miles of coastline, close to 1,000 museums, and countless ways to enjoy nature or cultural entertainment, Texas has become the third-most popular state to visit in America.* In fact, the region's tourism industry supports more than 600,000 jobs, including in fields as diverse as golf course management and culinary management.†† Here are some other interesting facts:
- More than 41,000 new jobs were created in Texas' leisure and hospitality sector during 2011.‡
- As of 2014, the Texas restaurant industry employs more than 1.1 million people at over 40,000 establishments.††
- Between 2014 and 2024, employment of restaurant workers in Texas is projected to rise by more than 15 percent.††
4. Technology and Digital Media
Creative and information-based technologies provide the basis for a lot of design and computer-related employment in Texas. The numbers are impressive:
- About 196,000 Texans are employed in the state's technology sector, which is made up of more than 15,000 companies.*
- The average yearly salary for technology workers in Texas is over $96,700.*
- Consisting of more than 13,600 skilled professionals, this state's video and computer game design workforce is the second-largest in the country. They're employed by almost 160 digital gaming companies.*
- From about 2003 to 2013, employment in Texas' computer systems design industry increased by 60 percent.*
- About 17 percent of the state's information technology workers are employed by the data hosting and processing industry.*
5. Business, Finance, and Legal Services
The State of Texas is known throughout the U.S. for maintaining a strong legal and criminal justice system. So professionals with training in that field can discover plenty of solid opportunities. But Texas also places a big emphasis on supporting the business and financial sector.
In fact, the state has no corporate income tax. That means many top companies are drawn to the state, and they create new jobs. Already, more than 50 Fortune 500 companies do business in Texas.* And in 2011 alone, more than 53,000 new jobs were generated for people in the business and professional services category. In the financial sector, more than 631,000 jobs were created.‡
NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston consistently ranks as one of this state's top attractions. But many people don't realize that several other areas of Texas also have well-developed aerospace and aviation industries. About 153,000 Texans are employed in this sector, and their average annual pay is close to $81,000.*
* Texas Economic Development Corporation, website last visited on October 22, 2014.
** Texas Workforce Commission, website last visited on October 22, 2014.
*** SABER Research Institute, Texas Population Growth, Projections, and Implications, document accessed online on October 22, 2014.
**** U.S. Census Bureau, website last visited on October 22, 2014.
† Texas Statewide Health Coordinating Council, website last visited on October 22, 2014.
‡ The Texas Economy, Texas Comptroller's Office, website last visited on October 22, 2014.
†† Texas Tourism, website last visited on October 22, 2014.