8 Key Industries to Consider While Exploring Maryland Trade Schools & Colleges
Maryland's employment sector is as diverse as its geography, which extends from beautiful Atlantic Ocean beaches all the way to the tops of the majestic Appalachian Mountains. Whether you reside in a larger city like Baltimore, Columbia, or Glen Burnie or one of the smaller towns like Beltsville, Hanover, or Woodlawn, there are many career possibilities to consider.
And it is no wonder that so many people are proud to call Maryland home. The state is a wonderful place to live and learn. Most Marylanders know that even though the state is small, its accomplishments are big. Just consider some of the achievements that make Maryland so great:
- In 2016, Columbia was ranked as the number one place to live in the U.S.2
- As of 2018, almost 40 percent of the adult population of Maryland held a bachelor's degree.1
- As of 2017, Maryland had the highest median household income of any state. In fact, it was 32 percent higher than the national median.1
- In 2017, the state had the second-lowest poverty rate in the nation.1
- Maryland has the highest concentration of employed doctoral engineers and scientists in the country as well as the second-highest percentage of technical and professional workers of all U.S. states.3
- From 2016 to 2026, it is estimated that there will be more than three million job openings to fill across all occupational fields.4
Maryland offers something for everyone. The state has a deep history that is reflected in the arts, culture, and music scenes. Foodies are impressed with the culinary experiences—from the ocean to the mountains—that include several microbreweries and wineries. There are outdoor adventures almost everywhere you turn whether you love kayaking, hiking, skiing, or anything in between. And sports enthusiasts are rarely bored with events that include professional baseball, football, basketball, hockey, soccer, tennis, golf, and even sailing regattas.
You can benefit from the state's diverse economic landscape that can provide opportunities in everything from health care and social assistance to scientific and technical services to leisure and hospitality to professional and business services. You have many options to consider.
So we know why you love it here. And we know why you are looking at Maryland colleges and trade schools. But you may be trying to decide on a focus for your studies. How can you possibly choose which occupational field to join? Well, we are here to help you with that decision. Below you can discover eight key industries that you may want to consider preparing for while attending a Maryland trade school or college.
1. Health Care and Social Assistance
Thanks to factors such as an aging population, health care professionals in Maryland should see a growing demand for their services. Between 2016 and 2026, employment in health care and social assistance is expected to grow by 17 percent, which amounts to more than 63,000 new jobs.4
So if you are thinking of joining Maryland's health care workforce, it could easily be argued that now is the time to do it. Just take a look at some of these projected job-opening totals for the 10-year period from 2016 to 2026:4
- Nursing, psychiatric, and home health aides and assistants—57,015
- Registered nurses—33,351
- Counselors, social workers, and other community and social service specialists—44,307
- Medical assistants—16,168
- Licensed practical nurses—10,860
- Medical and health services managers—8,656
- Medical and clinical lab technologists and technicians—7,116
- Pharmacy technicians—6,249
2. Business and Professional Services
With its proximity to the Eastern seaboard, access to major ports, rail lines, and highways, and ideal location next door to hubs like Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia, it's clear that Maryland is open for business. In fact, the U.S. Department of Commerce Foundation ranked Maryland the top state in the country for entrepreneurship and innovation three years in a row.5 And all of the major industries throughout the state—some of which are mentioned here—require business professionals.
It is projected that, from 2016 to 2026, a huge number of business professionals will be needed in all sectors. Just take a look at the occupations below and their estimated number of job openings during that time frame:4
- Business operations specialists—105,149
- Administrative assistants (excludes executive, legal, and medical)—69,745
- Financial clerks—62,420
- Customer service representatives—61,833
- General and operations managers—43,129
- Office and administrative support supervisors—38,136
- Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks—30,232
- Retail supervisors—29,767
- Accountants and auditors—26,927
- Operations specialties managers—26,796
- Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives—23,366
- Management analysts—17,206
- Human resources specialists—11,319
- Advertising, marketing, promotions, public relations, and sales managers—9,397
- Financial managers—8,607
3. Information Technology
Maryland consistently ranks among the leaders in the State Technology and Science Index produced by the Milken Institute. The index examines every U.S. state's technology and science capabilities and their effect on economic development. Considerations include research and development, entrepreneurial infrastructure, and the technology and science workforce. One key highlight from the index is that Maryland has the highest concentration of information science experts in the country.6
Along with the promising results that came from the State Technology and Science Index, Maryland is also proud to have more than 30 new-business incubators that focus on technology companies. And in 2015, the state ranked first in academic research and development intensity, high-tech share of all businesses, and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) job concentration. Additionally, Baltimore ranked second for hot tech startup cities in the U.S.2
It's easy to see that Maryland is a great place to begin a technology career. There are more than 11,800 IT businesses employing 117,000 workers in areas like electronics, engineering, information security analysis, and software development. And the annual average salary in the IT industry is $108,960.3 Many of the best positions can be found in areas related to computer systems design and related services, research and development, and telecommunications.
Check out some of the leading IT positions and the number of job openings that are estimated to become available between 2016 and 2026:4
- Software developers—17,573
- Computer systems analysts—10,670
- Network and computer systems administrators—9,305
- Computer user support specialists—8,761
- Computer and information systems managers—7,185
- Computer network architects—3,942
- Database administrators—2,570
In Maryland, you can find a wide array of military installations and major commands that cover everything from training and cybersecurity to soldier rehabilitation and research and development. Maryland has the country's largest military medical center and is home to Air Force One. It also features around 9,500 aerospace and defense businesses as well as 74 federal laboratories.3
Many diverse positions are available that intersect with other industries ranging from business and health care to criminal justice and IT. Have a look at some of the military-support positions below and the number of job openings that are expected to open up from 2016 to 2026:4
- Material recording, scheduling, dispatching, and distributing workers—83,335
- Security guards—41,325
- Nursing assistants—38,948
- General maintenance and repair workers—21,862
- Installation, maintenance, and repair supervisors—8,404
- Police and sheriff's patrol officers—8,353
- Purchasing agents and managers—7,100
- HVAC mechanics and installers—6,072
- Human resources assistants—4,449
- Marine engineers and naval architects—386
Maryland is considered an ideal state for manufacturing due to several factors, including its location in one of the busiest corridors in the nation. Manufacturers have access to a deep-water port, four foreign trade zones, four international airports, five major highways, and two rail lines. And 60 percent of Maryland's manufacturers are considered advanced, meaning that they produce high-tech products like electronics, aeronautics, software, and aircraft engines.3
There are around 3,900 manufacturing businesses supporting almost 105,000 jobs in which the annual salary is $78,400, on average.3 A large number of positions can be found in the areas of computer and electronic, food, chemical, plastic and rubber, and fabricated-metal product manufacturing. And many occupations are expecting a large number of openings during the 2016-to-2026 period. Check out a few of these examples:4
- Food processing workers—13,953
- Assemblers and fabricators—13,536
- Metal and plastic workers—10,531
- Electronics engineers—3,644
- Mechanical engineers—3,460
- Electrical engineers—3,177
- Industrial machinery mechanics—3,004
- Sheet metal workers—2,687
- Industrial engineers—1,827
- Structural metal fabricators and fitters—716
- CNC machine operators and programmers—628
6. Industrial and Green Energy
Coal, hydro, natural gas, nuclear, solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass companies make up most of the energy sector in Maryland. The majority of the state's electricity is generated from coal and nuclear power.7 However, the state's dependency on fossil fuel energy sources has been declining over time while electricity generation from renewable sources has been increasing.
Looking at solar energy alone, there are more than 230 solar companies employing over 4,500 people across the state.8 Even corporations are getting on board, and several large international retailers located throughout the state have converted to solar energy.
The emerging renewable energy sector is partially a result of the government's requirement that at least 50 percent of the state's energy must come from renewable sources by 2030. That being said, traditional energy sources still have an important role. There are more than 1,200 energy businesses employing more than 38,000 people across the state. And the industry pays an average annual salary of $87,610.3
Some of the top positions in the Maryland energy sector can be found in the areas of waste management and mediation, electric and gas power generation, transmission, and distribution, environmental quality program administration, and utilities regulation and administration. Take a look at some of the key occupations within energy companies and the number of positions that are expected to become available between 2016 and 2026:4
- Plant and systems operators—3,645
- Environmental scientists and specialists—1,763
- Electrical power line installers and repairers—1,645
- Commercial and industrial electrical and electronics equipment repairers—1,180
- Environmental engineers—863
- Nuclear engineers—461
- Environmental engineering technicians—324
7. Aerospace and Defense
The aerospace and defense industry in Maryland is a major economic engine for the state, and it relies on a highly skilled workforce. Maryland houses 15 of the top 20 aerospace companies in the country.3 The aerospace and defense workforce is largely comprised of engineers, scientists, and technicians, but many other positions exist as well.
There are 9,500 aerospace and defense companies across the state that collectively employ more than 134,000 people in sub-sectors like cybersecurity, robotics, and space exploration. Some of the top positions can be found in areas related to computer systems design and related services, national security, and research and development. And the average annual salary within the industry is $114,520.3
Occupational growth is anticipated across the industry. Below are a few examples of jobs related to aerospace and defense and the estimated number of openings that should become available between 2016 and 2026:4
- Electrical and electronic equipment mechanics, installers, and repairers—11,840
- Computer programmers—4,079
- Electrical and electronic engineering technicians—3,678
- Aircraft mechanics and service technicians—2,029
- Aerospace engineers—1,904
- Aerospace engineering and operating technicians—423
8. Biotechnology and Life Sciences
Maryland has one of the largest life sciences clusters in the nation. The state is home to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as well as many academic, medical, and research institutions that have made huge contributions to the biotechnology and life sciences field. Maryland was the first state to map the human genome, it has a databank that collects all known DNA sequences, and it maintains the Human Gene Map. It was also the first state to develop an approved rapid test for Ebola and is the world's largest producer of adult stem cells.3
Maryland was also the first state to develop an approved rapid test for Ebola and is the world's largest producer of adult stem cells.2 So you can see that Maryland's contributions to the biotechnology field have been many. And this has been due to the state's higher education resources, state-of-the-art specialized facilities, funding programs, and tax incentives that have been designed to foster innovation and growth throughout the biotech and life sciences sector.
There are thousands of biotech and life sciences companies in Maryland that together employ more than 40,000 people.3 And it is anticipated that the biotech sector will be experiencing substantial growth in the coming years. Check out a few of the more common occupations and the number of job openings that are expected to become available from 2016 to 2026:4
- Biological technicians—2,771
- Operations research analysts—2,024
- Chemical equipment operators and tenders—1,079
- Chemical technicians—959
- Biomedical engineers—476
- Materials engineers—533
A Better Career Outlook Starts Here
Trade schools and colleges in Maryland can help you capitalize on many of the wonderful opportunities that this state has to offer. Take a moment right now to turn your ambition into action by finding a school that can begin leading you toward achieving your dreams. Enter your zip code into the simple search tool below to view a list of programs that are available in your area!
1 United States Census Bureau, website last visited on January 7, 2020.
2 Money, "Best Places to Live 2016," website last visited on December 9, 2019.
3 Maryland Department of Commerce, website last visited on November 26, 2019.
4 Maryland Department of Labor, website last visited on July 22, 2019.
5 U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, website last visited on July 22, 2019.
6 Milken Institute, 2018 State Technology and Science Index, website last visited on July 22, 2019.
7 U.S. Energy Information Administration, "Maryland: State Profile and Energy Estimates," website last visited on July 22, 2019.
8 Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), "Maryland Solar," website last visited on July 22, 2019.