Illinois Careers: Top Growing Career Opportunities in Illinois (IL)

While the economic recovery in Illinois has been relatively slow compared to much of the U.S., things are starting to look up for the Prairie State. Find out what careers are flourishing in Illinois if you're considering a career change or relocating to this area.

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Economic Facts About Illinois

With a labor force of nearly 6.5 million, Illinois has seen its unemployment rate fall slowly but steadily from 4.9% to 4.4% between November 2017 and April 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). While still slightly above the national rate, this is a good sign for Illinois. Meanwhile, the average hourly wage for Illinois workers is $25.20, as reported by the BLS in May 2017; this figure is just above the national average. So, what careers offer the best opportunities in this state?

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  • Agriculture
  • Architecture
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • Business
  • Communications and Journalism
  • Computer Sciences
  • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Legal
  • Liberal Arts and Humanities
  • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
  • Medical and Health Professions
  • Physical Sciences
  • Psychology
  • Transportation and Distribution
  • Visual and Performing Arts

Careers with Good Outlooks in the State of Illinois

When it comes to fastest-growing careers in Illinois, things are not much different than anywhere else in the country: those in healthcare and computers should expect to see among the largest growth potential. Percentage-wise, farm and home management advisors will see the biggest increase, though the employment change over the 2014-2024 period will only be 14. According to the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES), the following are among the fastest-growing occupations in the state:

  • Operations Research Analysts
  • Web Developers
  • Ambulance Drivers/Attendants except EMTs
  • Hearing Aid Specialists
  • Mathematical Scientists
  • Software Developers, Applications
  • Biomedical Engineers
  • Home Health Aides
  • Occupational Therapist Aides
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Computer Systems Analysts
  • Veterinary Technologists and Technicians

Highest Paid Careers in Illinois:

If salary is important to you, you might wish to know which careers in Illinois pay the highest wages. The following is a list of the highest paid careers in Illinois, as of 2018 based on info provided by the BLS. Most are in the medical field. All of these jobs have salaries between $150,000-$200,000 per year:

  • Chief Executives
  • Physicians and Surgeons, All Other
  • Obstetricians and Gynecologists
  • Family and General Practitioners
  • Psychiatrists
  • General Internists
  • Nurse Anesthetists
  • Podiatrists
  • Other Specialists, Dentists
  • General Pediatricians
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