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 almost 20 percent between 2014 and 2024.1 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. The Idaho Department of Labor estimates that the state will have a critical shortage of skilled workers by 2024, particularly in rural areas.2 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, employing almost 52,000 people and contributing more than $6 billion to the state economy.3 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.
One report found that more than 1,100 jobs were added to the state's tech industry just between 2016 and 2017. In fact, technology employment in Idaho grew by 2.8 percent in 2017, the fifth-highest growth rate of any state in the country.3
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 2014 and 2024, along with their median salaries as of May 2016:1
- Web developers—52.1 percent / $38,580
- Computer systems analysts—38.9 percent / $77,810
- Information security analysts—30.8 percent / $87,260
- Systems software developers—29.6 percent / $98,540
- Computer user support specialists—29.1 percent / $39,360
- Database administrators—25 percent / $59,030
- Network and computer systems administrators—24.3 percent / $63,440
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. 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.2 It's therefore not surprising that hospitals, nursing homes, and residential care facilities across the state are projected to see double-digit employment growth in the years ahead.1
Have a look at the expected rate of growth and median salary for each of these health careers:1
- Massage therapists—47.2 percent / $38,450
- Physical therapist assistants—40.7 percent / $43,830
- Phlebotomists—22.7 percent / $29,740
- Pharmacy technicians—22 percent / $33,590
- Medical assistants—18.2 percent / $30,480
- Medical records and health information technicians—16.6 percent / $34,870
- Respiratory therapists—15.2 percent / $55,070
3. Business Services
Professional services like accounting, marketing, sales, customer support, and human resources are a big part of Idaho's economy. Companies like Allstate, T-Mobile, DirectTV, CenturyLink, and Wells Fargo have major customer service centers across the state that employ thousands of people in these types of occupations.4
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, financial activities alone grew by more than five percent in Idaho between February 2017 and February 2018.5 And the growth should continue: The professional and business services sector in the state is expected to expand by almost 20 percent between 2014 and 2024.1 Here are just a few of the business-related occupations that should see significant expansion over that time period:1
- Event planners—40 percent / $32,680
- Marketing specialists—38.2 percent / $50,400
- Accountants and auditors—27.5 percent / $61,450
- Financial analysts—26.4 percent / $71,230
- Tax preparers—24.6 percent / $30,030
- Claims adjusters, examiners, and investigators—23.1 percent / $61,230
- HR specialists—15.4 percent / $52,900
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!
1 Idaho Department of Labor, Occupational and Industry Projections, website last visited on April 10, 2018.
2 Idaho Department of Labor, Governor's Workforce Development Task Force: June 2017 Final Report, website last visited on April 10, 2018.
3 CompTIA, Cyberstates 2018: The definitive national, state, and city analysis of the U.S. tech industry and tech workforce, website last visited on May 22, 2018.
4 Idaho Commerce, website last visited on April 10, 2018.
5 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Economy at a Glance: Idaho, website last visited on April 10, 2018.