3 Occupational Sectors in Massachusetts With Good Outlooks
Massachusetts isn't just the heart of New England; it's also a place where people can thrive in ways that truly matter. Opportunities are being created throughout the state—from major regions like Greater Boston, Middlesex County, and Worcester to cities in the western part of the state like Springfield and Chicopee. In fact, several different industries are generating new jobs, and those jobs are becoming available in places that are known for offering a high quality of life.
For instance, Massachusetts is a major player in the emerging clean energy industry, which already employs many skilled professionals in jobs related to solar, wind, biomass, and geothermal energy. The state is also an important hub for the financial services and life sciences sectors. And more than 158,000 people work in the region's diverse higher education sector.1
Beyond those examples, some of the most promising career sectors may include the three below:
1. Medical and Health Services
Like most other regions in America, Massachusetts has a large percentage of older residents who need increasing amounts of health care. Plus, this state has a law that gives every resident access to affordable health insurance, regardless of what happens with health care law at the federal level. And the health care industry is the largest recipient of venture capital funding in Massachusetts.1
In addition, the state's population is expected to grow, modestly, by 5.3 percent between 2020 and 2035.2 All of those facts are why no other vocational sector has as many of Massachusetts' fastest-growing occupations as this one. For example, consider the job growth over the decade from 2016 to 2026 for the following vocations, along with the average annual wages for each one based on 2018 data.3, 4
- Physical therapist assistants—22 percent / $64,180
- Massage therapists—19 percent / $53,750
- Diagnostic medical sonographers—18 percent / $83,780
- Occupational therapy assistants—18 percent / $62,530
- Addiction counselors—18 percent / $47,880
- Medical assistants—17 percent / $40,270
- Phlebotomists—16 percent / $39,970
- Registered nurses—13 percent / $92,140
- Medical secretaries—13 percent / $43,450
- Health information technicians—10 percent / $50,740
2. Information Technology
Innovation has played a big role in the Massachusetts economy for a very long time. And that's expected to continue. On a per-capita basis, the state produces the most STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) graduates in America. They're involved in a large variety of areas, from digital health technologies, communications, and cloud computing to robotics, video games, defense, and nanotechnology. Collectively, they help account for hundreds of thousands of jobs.1
Many new jobs are expected to be created in the technology sector for years to come, and additional opportunities could become available as older professionals retire. To get an idea of the types of occupations with expansion potential, look at the following examples, along with their anticipated job growth and average annual wages:3, 4
- Application software developers—26 percent / $109,130
- Information security analysts—25 percent / $108,400
- Web developers—11 percent / $84,300
- Computer user support specialists—10 percent / $63,860
- Computer network support specialists—7 percent / $84,230
- Computer systems analysts—6 percent / $94,510
3. Skilled Trades
Massachusetts is home to several progressive manufacturing companies that continue to supply good jobs to skilled workers. And industries like construction, aviation, and automotive service also frequently generate compelling opportunities for skilled tradespeople in the state. Plus, many experienced people in the trades are expected to retire in the coming years, which could result in a lot of new job openings in hands-on vocations. For instance, check out the projected job growth and average annual wages of the following skilled trades:3, 4
- Diesel mechanics—12 percent / $59,310
- Electricians—10 percent / $68,030
- HVAC/R technicians—10 percent / $59,890
- Industrial machinery mechanics—8 percent / $56,620
- Auto body technicians—8 percent / $50,790
- Millwrights—6 percent / $59,590
- Commercial truck drivers—6 percent / $50,310
Follow Through on the Opportunity
With sought-after skills, you can take advantage of the great potential and create a highly satisfying life in Massachusetts. So take action right away. Quickly discover nearby technical colleges and trade schools in MA by entering your zip code into the convenient program finder below!
1 The Innovation Institute at the MassTech Collaborative, The Annual Index of the Massachusetts Innovation Economy—22nd Edition, website last visited on November 4, 2019.
2 UMass Donahue Institute, Long-term Population Projections for Massachusetts Regions and Municipalities, website last visited on August 26, 2019.
3 Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Massachusetts Occupational and Industry Projections, website last visited on August 26, 2019.
4 U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, website last visited on August 26, 2019.