West Virginia Career Guide & Top Growing Career Opportunities

May 29, 2018

West Virginia is noted for its coal production. However, job seekers will find that there are plenty of other career opportunities besides mining in the wild and wonderful Mountain State. Explore some of the fastest growing jobs.


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), with a civilian labor force of 785,300, West Virginia had an unemployment rate of 5.4% compared to a national rate of 3.9% in April of 2018. The BLS also reported an average hourly wage of $19.90 across all occupations in the state as of May 2017. Among the top earners in the average hourly wage category were physicians and surgeons, psychiatrists, dentists, and pharmacists. Read below to learn about some of the fastest-growing jobs in the state.

Home Health Aides

  • Average hourly wage in WV: $10.72
  • Annual job growth in WV (2014-2024): 2.60%

Home health aides are responsible for helping individuals who are disabled, cognitively impaired, suffering from chronic illness or debilitated by age with managing their daily activities. In some regions, home health aides may work under a medical practitioner to check an individual's vital signs or administer medication.

Though not generally required, a high school diploma is advisable. Depending on the agency where you're employed, you may be required to have a certain amount of training and pass a competency examination.

Personal Care Aides

  • Average hourly wage in WV: $9.76
  • Annual job growth in WV (2014-2024): 2.35%

These healthcare workers assist patients with everyday tasks, such as shopping, cleaning, paying bills, transferring patients from a bed to a wheelchair and helping the patient socially engage. Most personal care aides have a high school diploma. On-the-job training is provided by other aides, nurses or the employer.

Fastest-Growing Jobs

According to WorkForce West Virginia (a division of the West Virginia Department of Commerce), these were projected to be among the fastest-growing occupations between 2014-2024 based on their annual growth rates. These jobs will see annual growth from 2.05% up to 2.93% in the state. Many of these professions are related to the fields of healthcare or health-related education.

  • Occupational Therapy Assistants
  • Home Health Aides
  • Diagnostic Medical Sonographers
  • Statisticians
  • Personal Care Aides
  • Postsecondary Health Specialties Teachers
  • Skincare Specialists
  • Information Security Analysts
  • Postsecondary Nursing Instructors and Teachers
  • Meeting, Convention and Event Planners
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