Overview of Career Opportunities in Illinois

Numerous career opportunities are available in Illinois. Read on to find out about the industries that are projected to see the fastest job growth through 2022, occupational groups that will add the most workers and jobs that are declining.

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Illinois Career Information

Illinois' (IL) labor force was the fifth largest in the nation in May 2013, with around 6,555,000 workers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2012, the per capita income was $45,800, based on data from the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the coming years, the biggest job growth in Illinois is expected in healthcare, IT and business occupations.

Fastest Growing Illinois Careers

Illinois Department of Employment Security's (IDES) employment growth projections through 2022 indicate that the fastest growing Illinois career is home health aide. These professionals are projected to see 42% growth in the number of available positions in Illinois between 2012 and 2022. There were 40,020 residents employed in this position in 2012, so projected growth will add 16,630 additional jobs.

The next highest projected growth field, industrial-organizational psychologists, is projected to see 39% growth through 2022. Bear in mind that only 30 individuals were employed in this job in 2012. The anticipated 39% increase will result in only 50 jobs by 2022.

Another fast growing career in Illinois is that of skincare specialist. These jobs are expected to grow at a rate of 38% from 2012-2022.

Other fast-growing Illinois occupations include:

  • Biomedical Engineer (38% growth - about 200 new positions)
  • Interpreters and Translators (38% growth - about 710 new positions)
  • Occupational Therapy Assistant (37% growth - about 490 new positions)
  • Insulation Workers, Mechanical (35% growth - about 520 new positions)
  • Physical Therapist Aides (34% growth - about 850 new positions)

Illinois Jobs with the Most Projected Openings

In terms of sheer number of openings, IDES reports that the highest ranked Illinois occupational group is the retail sales field, which is projected to add about 13,120 jobs by 2022, for a total of about 188,030 jobs in the state. Other industries with the highest number of projected job openings include:

  • Cashiers (almost 2,480 new positions)
  • Laborers and Freight, Stock and Material Movers, Hand (about 20,500 new positions)
  • Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, Including Fast Food (about 14,910 new positions)

Declining Employment

Employment for the following positions in Illinois is expected to decline the most from 2012-2022, according to IDES:

  • Postal Service Clerks
  • Postal Service Mail Sorters, Processors and Processing Machine Operators
  • Postal Service Mail Carriers
  • Word Processors and Typists
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