Alabama Job Outlook: Overview of the Fastest Growing Careers

May 14, 2018

Searching for a new job in Alabama? Consider seeking employment in one of the state's rapidly growing fields, which include healthcare, teaching and machinery. Read on to learn more about the fastest-growing careers in Alabama.

Alabama's Fastest-Growing Careers

In the past few years, job hunting was a challenge in the struggling labor market. Fortunately, the national unemployment rate has fallen to 4.1%. Better news for those in Alabama: the state's unemployment rate was 3.8% as of March 2018, so opportunities seem to be growing in the Yellowhammer State. The average hourly wage among all occupations in Alabama was $20.76 as of May 2017.

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) collects data on the most in-demand occupations in each region. Its tables are based on current annual job openings and projected growth between 2014 and 2024. The top ten fastest-growing careers in Alabama for that decade are as follows:

Profession Projected Employment in AL, 2024* Percentage Growth*
Occupational Therapy Assistants 590 57%
Commercial Divers 20 50%
Computer Controlled Machine Tool Operators 3,360 47%
Physical Therapist Assistants 2,880 47%
Biological Science Teachers, Postsecondary 2,570 41%
Ambulance Drivers and Attendants (except EMTs) 500 37%
Nurse Practitioners 2,400 37%
Physical Therapist Aides 770 37%
Physical Therapists 3,280 37%
Health Technologists and Technicians, All Other 830 35%

Source: *CareerOneStop from the DOL

All of the above careers are in industries that are growing relatively quickly throughout the U.S. Others include those in healthcare, educational support, information services, and construction.

Jobs with the Most Openings in AL

The fastest-growing jobs aren't necessarily the ones with the most expected job openings, since openings can be created by turnover, retirement and other factors in addition to growth. The following table outlines those occupations that are expected to have the most vacancies in Alabama through 2024:

Profession Employment in AL, 2014** Projected Annual Openings in AL**
Cashiers 69,260 3,270
Retail Salespeople 59,810 2,620
Food Preparation & Service Workers 43,480 1,900
Registered Nurses (RNs) 46,460 1,870
Team Assemblers 33,550 1,560
Waiters and Waitresses 29,240 1,480
Hand Laborers and Freight, Stock and Material Movers 36,190 1,380
Customer Service Reps 31,430 1,190
Office Clerks 45,750 1,090
First-Line Supervisors of Retail Workers 35,290 1,030

Source: **CareerOneStop from the DOL

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