3 Career Sectors in Louisiana With Great Opportunities
Louisiana is famous for its unique music, food, and celebrations. But the state also receives accolades for its economic development. In fact, Louisiana has been recognized for having:
- The top state workforce-training program in the U.S.1
- The nation's second-best infrastructure investment for supporting economic growth2
- The lowest cost of any state for doing business3
Combine these factors with a low overall cost of living and it's easy to see why Louisiana may be a great place to start building your future. For example, consider the housing costs: The median property value in the U.S is $205,000. In Louisiana, it's only $158,000.4
Louisiana's central location also creates job opportunities. After all, the state has many major transportation routes, including:5
- Six ports
- Six interstate highways
- Six railroads
- Seven airports
As a result, the state is well-situated for transportation and warehousing employers. In fact , projections indicate that from 2016 to 2026, employment in this sector could increase 9.24 percent, adding over 6,800 jobs.6
But the growing transportation industry is just one indicator of Louisiana's potential. The state offers many other promising job sectors. Here are three additional industries in which the number of job opportunities is expected to rise:
Helping Louisiana residents maintain their health and well-being is a growth industry. And that growth should continue, with overall employment in the health and social assistance sector predicted to increase by nearly 12 percent from 2016 to 2026.6
One factor behind these expected job opportunities is the aging population: By 2030, 25 percent of Louisianans will be over the age of 60, an increase of 25 percent since 2012.7 (As we get older, we tend to need more services from healthcare professionals.) Plus, several high-profile facilities, such as the $1.1-billion University Medical Center in New Orleans, have created new job openings.
So how can you benefit from the demand for healthcare workers? Consider this: Within the expanding Louisiana healthcare industry, many occupations offer the potential for good salaries after a relatively short training period. Surgical technologists, for example, earn an average salary of $39,990 in Louisiana.8 And surgical technology programs can often be completed in two years or less. Another example is laboratory technologists and technicians, who earn an average salary of $47,930. It's possible to become a medical lab technician with a two-year associate degree.8
2. Advanced Manufacturing
Advanced manufacturing uses the latest technologies, resulting in more efficient and precise processes than traditional methods. In Louisiana, many advanced manufacturing workers, such as process technicians and mechanical engineers, are employed in petrochemical production plants. This is largely due to the state's abundant crude oil and natural gas resources. Take a look at these numbers:
- Petrochemical manufacturers in Louisiana—over 1509
- Chemical plant and system operators working in Louisiana in 2018—4,7608
- Average salary of a Louisiana chemical plant and system operator—$68,1508
- Number of jobs expected to be added to the Louisiana manufacturing sector from 2016 to 2026—over 7,500, an increase of 5.53 percent6
In addition to workers who are directly involved in manufacturing, this sector employs many business and information technology professionals. Employment in the broad category of professional, technical, and scientific workers is expected to increase over 16 percent from 2016 to 2026.6 That number includes professionals such as network administrators, who earn an average salary of $65,090 in Louisiana.8 It's possible to enter the field of network administration with a two-year associate degree.
Louisiana can add "Hollywood South" to its long list of nicknames, thanks to the growing number of movies and television series filmed in the state. Innovative tax credits for film and music projects help bolster a vibrant entertainment industry, which employs a wide range of creative professionals. And for the entire arts, entertainment, and recreation sector, employment is expected to increase 8.22 percent between 2016 and 2026, an increase totaling over 2,400 jobs.6
So it's no wonder that the state's most populous city, New Orleans, has been ranked the top city in the U.S. for creative people. The state also has the highest ratio of creative workers in the U.S., with 109 creative professionals per 100,000 people.10
But you don't have to be a performer to benefit from this thriving entertainment industry. If you're more interested in working behind the scenes, check out these careers and their average salaries in Louisiana:8
- Sound engineering technician—$88,610
- Public relations specialist—$53,390
- Camera operator—$47,800
- Set designer—$40,990
Seize the Opportunity
It's time to find out where your ambitions can take you. Take the next step by exploring career colleges and trade schools in Louisiana near you. To see training options in your area, just enter your zip code into school finder below!
1 Louisiana Economic Development, "LED FastStart Ranks As No. 1 State Workforce Training Program For Ninth Year In A Row," website last visited on September 25, 2018.
2 Office of the Governor, "Louisiana No. 2 for Infrastructure Investment That Supports Economic Development," website last visited on September 26, 2018.
3 KPMG, Competitive Alternatives: KPMG's guide to international business locations costs 2016 edition, website last visited on September 25, 2018.
4 Data USA, website last visited on September 25, 2018.
5 Louisiana Economic Development, "Advanced Manufacturing," website last visited on September 25, 2018.
6 Louisiana Workforce Commission, website last visited on September 25, 2018.
7 Administration for Community Living, "Louisiana Police Academy State Profile," website last visited on September 26, 2018.
8 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, website last visited on June 20, 2019.
9 Louisiana Economic Development, "Process Industries," website last visited on September 25, 2018.
10 SmartAsset, "The Top Ten Cities for Creatives in 2016," website last visited on September 25, 2018.