10 In-Demand Vocational Fields in Indianapolis
This Midwest city is often underestimated, but Hoosiers are fiercely proud of Indianapolis. And for good reason. The city's Cultural Trail has recently caught the attention of major metro centers across the U.S. It is a $63-million innovative urban trail that spans eight miles and connects six major cultural districts. And it is only one of the city's many revered trail systems. It is also easy to break away from the city and travel to one of the amazing nearby state parks to get a healthy dose of nature.
But Indianapolis doesn't just offer a great quality of life. In 2017, Forbes named Indianapolis as the 21st best place in the country for business and careers.1 This is partially due to its diversified economy, which includes the healthcare, finance, and technology sectors. Overall, it is an affordable place to live and offers a relatively low unemployment rate. Residents are continually finding it easier to achieve in-demand careers here.
In the decade from 2012 to 2022, it is projected that there will be over 35,000 job openings every year across all sectors in economic growth region five (EGR 5). (EGR 5 includes the counties of Boone, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Johnson, Madison, Marion, Morgan, and Shelby.)2 Those jobs fall into many different occupational categories too, so there is a little something for everyone.
Take a moment to check out ten in-demand sectors in the Indianapolis region. (The job openings that are noted represent the average annual openings expected during the 2014-2024 period.)2 You are steps away from discovering the career path that can change your life for the better!
1. Office and Administrative Support
It is estimated that there will be more than 3,800 office and administrative support jobs coming available every year until at least 2024. That is higher than any other vocational category. And the best part is that office and administration support professionals work in almost every industry, so the jobs have the potential to meet the needs of people from all kinds of backgrounds. Whether you desire a job in anything from construction to finance, the opportunities could be there for you to achieve. Here are some of the most in-demand positions:
- Information and record clerks—1,308
- Material recording, scheduling, dispatching, and distribution workers—933
- Customer service representatives—731
- Financial clerks—453
- Administrative assistants, general office clerks, and secretaries—378
- Supervisors of office and administrative support workers—234
- Medical secretaries—123
- Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks—114
2. Food Preparation and Serving
Food is big business in Indiana. Statewide, there were about 11,790 eating establishments in 2016. The industry employs 10 percent of the state's workforce. And in 2017 alone, Indiana's restaurants generated about $11.6 billion in sales.4 The culinary scene in Indianapolis and the surrounding region is strong and has many recognized restaurants. In fact, five Indianapolis chefs were semifinalists for the highly acclaimed 2016 James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards.5 So the city is definitely recognized around the culinary world.
The culinary industry is projecting that there will be an average of 4,221 job openings annually. Although many of those openings are related to serving and bartending, the massive amount of growth can provide opportunities for those who are interested in becoming chefs or bakers and supervisors or managers. You could even decide to pursue your dreams of opening up your own food business.
- Chefs, head cooks, cooks, and food preparation workers—861
- Supervisors of food preparation and serving workers—310
3. Transportation and Material Moving
Indianapolis is known as the Crossroads of America for a reason. The state of Indiana is located in a fairly central part of the country, and Indianapolis is located in the center of the state where eight major interstate highways meet. Approximately 75 percent of the American and Canadian populations can drive to Indianapolis within a day, making it a great hub for transportation companies. And FedEx would agree. Indianapolis International Airport is home to the second-largest FedEx hub in the country. In addition to excellent air and highway systems, Indiana also ranks as third in the country for the total amount of freight railroads.3
It is estimated that an average of 3,425 jobs will be available in the transportation and material-moving sector every year. Check out a few of the most in-demand positions:
- Material moving workers—1,988
- Tractor-trailer truck drivers—501
- Delivery truck drivers—207
- Supervisors of transportation and material-moving workers—166
- Air transportation workers—84
4. Healthcare Practitioners, Technicians, and Support Workers
Of Indiana's top 20 largest employers, five of them are healthcare organizations operating within the city. IU Health University Hospital employs over 13,000 Indianapolis and area residents alone.6 It is projected that there will be an average of 3,829 openings every year in the health industry across the region. And that is a good thing because Hoosiers require a substantial amount of medical services. Just consider these stats:7
- Data from 2016 indicates that more than 33 percent of Indiana children, aged 10 to 17 years, are overweight or obese. And data from 2016 shows that over 67 percent of adults are overweight or obese.
- As of 2014, the rate of invasive cancer is over 880 cases per 100,000 people.
- A 2016 survey found that almost 19 percent of adults reported having fair or poor health.
- As of 2016, over seven percent of adults had cardiovascular disease, and over 11 percent had diabetes. And almost 14 percent of the state's population was living with a disability.
It is clear that Indianapolis and area healthcare organizations are going to require medical professionals at all levels. Whether you want to work in a medical office or directly with patients, the opportunities are likely going to be available. Take a look at some of the possibilities:
- Registered nurses—917
- Nursing, psychiatric, and home health aides—636
- Licensed practical nurses—231
- Medical assistants—180
- Medical and clinical laboratory technologists and technicians—157
- Occupational and physical therapy assistants and aides—79
- Pharmacy technicians—66
- Dental assistants—65
- Dental hygienists—49
- Veterinary technologists, technicians, and assistants—23
There are more than 4,600 manufacturing and production companies operating across the state. The products that they produce include the following:
- Aerospace components
- Automobiles and auto parts and components
- Fabricated metal and machinery
- Food and beverage products
- Medical devices and pharmaceuticals
- Power-generating equipment
Some of the largest manufacturers operating in Marion County include Eli Lilly and Company (pharmaceuticals), Rolls-Royce, Roche Diagnostic (medical equipment), Allison Transmission, and United Technologies Carrier Corp. (heating and air conditioning equipment). Projections show that there will be an average of 2,243 job openings every year related to production and manufacturing. And that is great news for those who are interested in working in positions related to assembling, designing, and fabricating. Here are some of the top opportunities:
- Assemblers and fabricators—711
- Supervisors of production workers—112
- Metal and plastic workers—472
- Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers—71
- Plant and system operators—55
When a diverse economy is growing strong, it often creates a number of exciting opportunities for managers and leaders across all sectors. And that is definitely the case in Indianapolis. The management field could have an average of over 2,000 job openings every year in everything ranging from construction to healthcare to technology. Just take a look at the possibilities:
- Medical and health services managers—134
- Financial managers—120
- Sales managers—102
- Computer and information systems managers—85
- Food service managers—72
- Construction managers—70
- Architectural and engineering managers—57
- Marketing managers—54
- Transportation, storage, and distribution managers—43
7. Business and Financial Operations
As organizations grow and expand, it often results in a greater demand for business and finance professionals. And that is why projections show that there could be an average of 1,792 business and financial operations jobs coming available every year. Almost every organization, across all industries, requires the services of accountants, human resources specialists, marketing specialists, and other business professionals. Take a moment to look at some of the career opportunities that you could pursue:
- Accountants and auditors—380
- Management analysts—208
- Marketing specialists—165
- Human resource specialists—159
- Personal financial advisors—91
- Purchasing agents and buyers—65
- Training and development specialists—84
8. Installation, Maintenance, and Repair
Strong growth in other sectors can lead to increased demand for professionals who provide installation, maintenance, and repair services. For example, as production and manufacturing companies ramp up, it is likely that they will need more industrial machine maintenance. And as construction development companies build and update buildings, they will need the services of HVAC mechanics. These are a couple of the reasons why it is expected that 1,304 installation, maintenance, and repair jobs will become available every year, on average. Here are some of the top positions that you could consider:
- Automotive service technicians and mechanics—179
- Industrial machinery mechanics—120
- Electrical and electronic equipment mechanics, installers, and repairers—112
- Supervisors of installation, maintenance, and repair workers—87
- Diesel engine mechanics—75
- HVAC mechanics—49
9. Construction and Extraction
Some of the largest construction projects in the Indianapolis area that are scheduled to be completed by 2020 or later have an estimated total value of almost half a billion dollars.8 So it is no wonder that estimates show an average of almost 1,200 construction-related jobs coming available every year. That is great news if you want to pursue one of the following positions that are in high demand or a similar career field:
- Construction laborers—205
- Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters—101
- Supervisors of construction and extraction workers—84
- Operating engineers—70
In 2015, cloud-marketing company Emarsys decided to set up its North American headquarters in Indianapolis. The company is spending over three million dollars on expanding its existing downtown office and estimates that it will add almost 170 new jobs from 2015 to 2020.10 And that is just one company.
Indianapolis is a part of the Silicon Valley of the Midwest, which is nicknamed that way due to the tech boom that is happening in the Midwestern states. A talented work pool, the central location, and an affordable cost of living is drawing many IT companies to the area. So, although the tech sector is not one of the larger industries, it is one of the fastest-growing. An average of 948 technology-related job openings could become available every year, and that number could grow as the industry takes hold. It could be said that there is no time like right now to attend colleges or trade schools in Indianapolis in order to prepare for the following positions:
- Software developers (applications)—242
- Computer systems analysts—153
- Computer support specialists—113
- Network and computer systems administrators—80
- Graphic designers—53
- Media and communication equipment workers—53
Prepare to Achieve Your True Potential
If a better career is what you are after, then why not transform that thought into reality? Indianapolis trade schools and colleges can help you do just that. So what are you waiting for? Finding programs that are being offered near you is as quick and simple as entering your zip code below. The career that you are dreaming of is within your reach!
1 Forbes, "The Best Places for Business and Careers," Indianapolis, IN, website last visited on April 18, 2018.
2 Indiana Department of Workforce Development, Hoosiers by the Numbers, Future Demand, website last visited on April 18, 2018.
3 Indiana Economic Development Corporation, website last visited on April 18, 2018.
4 National Restaurant Association (NRA), Indiana Restaurant Industry at a Glance, website last visited on April 16, 2018.
5 EatDrinkIndy, "Five James Beard Award Semifinalists for Indy," website last visited in April 18, 2018.
6 CareerOneStop, State Profile: Largest Employers—Indiana, website last visited on April 13, 2018.
7 The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, Indiana: Health Status, website last visited on April 18, 2018.
8 Flaherty & Collins Properties, Largest Indianapolis-Area Ongoing Construction Projects, website last visited on April 13, 2018.
9 IndyStar, "5 Downtown Indianapolis Projects That Will Be Finished in 2016," website last visited on April 18, 2018.
10 Inside INdiana Business, "Silicon Valley of the Midwest Wins," website last visited on April 18, 2018.