3 Industries With a Promising Future in Idaho
Anyone looking to launch a career should take a closer look at Idaho. The Gem State's economy is on an upswing, with employment across the state expected to increase over 14 percent between 2016 and 2026, according to the Idaho Department of Labor. Combine that with an affordable cost of living and one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation, and you get an ideal place for career builders to flourish. According to a report from the Governor's Workforce Development Task Force, the state will have a critical shortage of skilled workers by 2024, particularly in rural areas. That means that those with the right skills should find plenty of opportunities.
Here are three career sectors in Idaho that are poised for strong growth:
Technology is a key industry in Idaho. A CompTIA report says the sector employs about 54,000 people and contributes almost $7 billion to the state economy. Memory-chip producer Micron Technology is headquartered in Boise and is one of the state's biggest employers; companies like HP and ON Semiconductor also have a major presence here.
The CompTIA report found that 2,180 jobs were added to the state's tech industry in 2019, which represents a 4.2-percent increase over the previous year.
A wide variety of technology-related careers in Idaho are set to expand in the coming years. Check out the projected rates of job growth for each of the following occupations between 2016 and 2026, along with their average salaries as of May 2018 (all data from the Idaho Department of Labor):
- Information security analysts—30.3 percent / $86,590
- Web developers—21.3 percent / $54,720
- Computer user support specialists—15.1 percent / $48,990
- Database administrators—14.8 percent / $69,280
- Computer systems analysts—7.9 percent / $78,550
- Applications software developers—2.7 percent / $86,680
2. Health Care
With more than 45 hospitals and medical centers across Idaho (including the only Mayo Clinic Care Network member in the northwest), there are abundant opportunities to make your mark in the health care sector. The St. Luke's and Saint Adolphus health systems alone employ over 10,000 people in a wide range of specialties, from cancer care to pediatrics.
And the opportunities should continue to multiply. Idaho's population is expanding rapidly, with much of the growth due to the high number of retirees moving to the state. The Workforce Development Task Force report estimates that by 2025, more than 330,000 Idaho residents will be over age 65, and many of those people will need the services of qualified health care professionals. It's therefore not surprising that the state labor department expects hospitals, nursing homes, and residential care facilities across the state to see double-digit employment growth in the years ahead.
Have a look at the projected rate of growth and median salary for each of these health careers:
- Respiratory therapists—51.2 percent / $57,000
- Massage therapists—31.5 percent / $50,560
- Physical therapist assistants—28.8 percent / $49,410
- Medical records and health information technicians—24.3 percent / $39,400
- Medical assistants—24.1 percent / $33,540
- Pharmacy technicians—22.8 percent / $35,920
- Phlebotomists—21.8 percent / $31,920
3. Business Services
Professional services like accounting, marketing, sales, customer support, and human resources are a big part of Idaho's economy. Idaho Commerce notes that companies like Allstate, T-Mobile, DIRECTV, CenturyLink, and Wells Fargo have major customer service centers across the state that employ thousands of people in these types of occupations.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, financial activities alone grew by almost seven percent in Idaho between July 2018 and July 2019. And the growth should continue: The state labor department says that the professional and business services sector in the state is expected to expand by over 10 percent between 2016 and 2026. Here are just a few of the business-related occupations that should see significant expansion over that time period:
- Marketing specialists—27.7 percent / $53,500
- Financial analysts—18.8 percent / $75,280
- Event planners—16.9 percent / $37,280
- Accountants and auditors—14.5 percent / $66,110
- HR specialists—11.6 percent / $62,240
- Tax preparers—9.9 percent / $33,220
- Claims adjusters, examiners, and investigators—2.6 percent / $63,020
Take Aim at Your Goals
Are you ready to begin turning your ambitions into reality? Idaho trade schools and vocational colleges can help you gain the knowledge and abilities you need in order to achieve success. Find convenient programs near you by putting your zip code into the school finder below!