Charlotte, NC: Career Outlook & Fastest Growing Careers

May 14, 2018

Looking for a job in or around Charlotte, NC? Charlotte is a fast-growing area in today's 'New South', and the many in-demand careers in this area make it a great destination for anyone seeking a new job or career change.

Overview of Charlotte and the Southwest Prosperity Zone Region

In 2017, ranked Charlotte as #1 among the top 10 cities with the best employee engagement and #7 for businesses and careers. As of May 2017, the average hourly wage for those working in Charlotte was $24.11, very close to the national average of $24.34. The city's current unemployment rate (4.0%) also closely matches the national rate (4.1%) as of March 2018.

The North Carolina Department of Commerce (NCDC) has divided the state into 'prosperity zones'. Charlotte, the county seat of Mecklenburg County, is located in the Southwest Prosperity Zone Region. There are 10 counties in the Southwest Region. Below is some salient information that might help you decide on a career in that area of North Carolina.

Largest Industries

Charlotte, like most any city, is home to a wide variety of industries; some stand out more than others in this Southern city. The NCDC lists the following as the largest industries in the Southwest Prosperity Zone according to the most recent data from 2015:

  • Retail Trade
  • Manufacturing
  • Accommodation and Food Services
  • Healthcare and Social Assistance
  • Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services

Largest Occupations

When one reviews a list of the largest occupations in Charlotte, they will see a variety of managerial and entry-level positions, including a strong representation of service occupations. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that the following were the top 10 largest occupations in 2017 in the Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill area, which lies within the Southwest Prosperity Zone:

  • Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, Including Fast Food
  • Retail Salespersons
  • Customer Service Representatives
  • Cashiers
  • Hand Laborers and Freight, Stock and Materials Movers
  • General Office Clerks
  • Waiters and Waitresses
  • Registered Nurses
  • Stock Clerks and Order Fillers
  • General and Operations Managers

Fastest-Growing Jobs

What are your chances of finding a job opening when you choose Charlotte, NC, as your destination? According to the NCDC, the following are projected to be among the top 25 fastest growing jobs in the in the Southwest Prosperity Zone (2014-2024):

  • Personal Financial Advisors
  • Home Health Aides
  • Occupational Therapy Assistants
  • Statisticians
  • Operations Research Analysts
  • Physical Therapists Assistants
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Physical Therapist Aides
  • Cartographers and Photogrammetrists
  • Hearing Aid Specialists
  • Physical Therapists
  • Interpreters and Translators
  • Forensic Science Technicians
  • Electrical Power Line Installers and Repairers
  • Audiologists
  • Physician Assistants
  • Diagnostic Medical Sonographers
  • Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians
  • Speech-Language Pathologists
  • Occupational Therapists

Fastest-Declining Jobs

Unfortunately, not all occupations in the Charlotte, NC, area will see positive growth; there are many that will see a decrease in demand. The following is a list of those jobs projected by the NCDC to be among the top 25 fastest declining jobs between 2014-2024:

  • Electronic Equipment Installers and Repairers, Motor Vehicles
  • Photographic Process Workers and Processing Machine Operators
  • Switchboard Operators, Including Answering Service
  • Prepress Technicians and Workers
  • Desktop Publishers
  • Foundry Mold and Coremakers
  • Forging Machine Setters, Operators and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
  • Grinding, Lapping, Polishing, and Buffing Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
  • Postal Service Mail Sorters, Processors, and Processing Machine Operators
  • Metal Workers and Plastic Workers, All Other
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