The land of Oklahoma was added to the U.S. with the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. In the 20th century, with the state officially entering into the U.S. in 1907, Texas ranchers moved to the area when 'land runs' were permitted by the U.S. government for them to claim homesteads. Oklahoma relied heavily on oil production before the 1930s when the Dust Bowl destroyed farmland. Into the 21st century, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the state had an average hourly wage of $20.84 for all occupations, as of May 2017. In April 2018, the BLS also reported a civilian labor force of nearly 1.9 million for the state and an unemployment rate of 4.0%.
Top Employers in Oklahoma
Oklahoma boasts a large list of companies and organizations that employ thousands of the state's residents. The top 5 employers in Oklahoma, according to America's CareerInfoNet (www.careerinfonet.org), are as follows. Located in Stillwater, Tulsa and Oklahoma City, these companies each employ more than 6,000 workers.
- Oklahoma State University
- St. Francis Heart Hospital
- St. John Health System
- American Airlines, Inc.
- Health Sciences Center
Find schools that offer these popular programs
- Biological and Biomedical Sciences
- Communications and Journalism
- Computer Sciences
- Culinary Arts and Personal Services
- Liberal Arts and Humanities
- Mechanic and Repair Technologies
- Medical and Health Professions
- Physical Sciences
- Transportation and Distribution
- Visual and Performing Arts
Below are the ten occupations projected to see the fastest growth rates from 2014-2024. This information was obtained from the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission and reported by CareerInfoNet. These jobs will experience between 31% - 48% growth over the decade. Five out of these ten careers have only a high school diploma or equivalent as the educational requirement.
- Computer Numerically Controlled Machine Tool Programmers, Metals and Plastics
- Computer-Controlled Machine Tool Operators, Metal and Plastic
- Operations Research Analysts
- Cartographers and Photogrammetrists
- Occupational Therapy Assistants
- Physical Therapist Aides
- Hearing Aid Specialists
- Industrial Machinery Mechanics
- Personal Care Aides
Most Projected Openings
Bear in mind that an occupation's number of openings is important to consider along with its percentage growth. It's entirely possible for an occupation to have a large number of job openings while still having very little growth. The top 10 jobs that CareerInfoNet expects to have the most openings in Oklahoma from 2014-2024 are as follows. These professions are forecasted to have anywhere from 750-2,260 annual job openings.
- Retail Salespersons
- Waiters and Waitresses
- Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, Including Fast Food
- Registered Nurses
- Customer Service Representatives
- General Office Clerks
- Hand Laborers and Freight, Stock and Material Movers
- General and Operations Managers
- Stock Clerks and Order Fillers