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High Demand Occupations in the Metro Area

2/14/2022 9:00:00 AM

Tim O'Neill

The Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) released updated lists within its Occupations in Demand (OID) tool in January of 2022. This tool shows what jobs are in highest demand in the state of Minnesota and its regions. Beyond occupational demand, these lists also include wage information, projected growth rates and openings, educational requirements, and on-the-job training requirements. Let's look at those high demand occupations in the Twin Cities Metro Area.

According to the latest OID update, Registered Nurses ranks as the Metro Area's most in-demand occupation. This is backed up by recent Job Vacancy Survey (JVS) results, where employers in the region reported over 2,700 job vacancies for Registered Nurses, a record high. This is also bolstered by DEED's Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) data, which shows there are an estimated 38,340 Registered Nurses employed in the Metro Area. As the JVS and OEWS datasets are the two main inputs into creating DEED's OID lists, it makes sense to see Registered Nurses top the list. It also makes sense because hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, and other healthcare establishments continue to call for nurses as the COVID-19 pandemic drags on. The median annual wage for Registered Nurses in the Metro Area is $88,275 (Table 1).

Table 1. Top Ten Occupations in Demand in the Metro Area, 2021

SOC Code Occupation 25th Percentile Wage Median Wage 2018-2028 Projected Growth* Educational Requirements
291141 Registered Nurses $74,426 $88,275 +11.9%
(+15,659 jobs)
Associate degree
412031 Retail Salespersons $25,747 $29,563 -4.9%
(+30,316 jobs)
High school diploma or equivalent
353023 Fast Food and Counter Workers $24,361 $27,050 N/A High school diploma or equivalent
311120 Home Health and Personal Care Aides $27,539 $30,550 N/A High school diploma or equivalent
434051 Customer Service Representatives $35,978 $43,930 -2.3%
(+20,835 jobs)
High school diploma or equivalent
412011 Cashiers $25,353 $28,148 -4.8%
(+30,316 jobs)
High school diploma or equivalent
411011 First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers $40,412 $50,220 -1.0%
(+4,458 jobs)
High school diploma or equivalent
372011 Janitors and Cleaners $28,686 $33,643 +6.2%
(+20,731 jobs)
High school diploma or equivalent
351012 First-Line Supervisors of Food Preparation and Serving Workers $35,315 $42,227 +6.7%
(+5,351 jobs)
High school diploma or equivalent
533032 Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers $46,501 $53,619 +4.9%
(+8,244 jobs)
High school diploma or equivalent
Source: DEED Occupations in Demand
*Projected Growth openings include net new jobs plus labor market exit openings

Other occupations making the top-ten in-demand list come from a mix of Sales and Related Occupations; Food Preparation and Serving Occupations; Healthcare Support Occupations; Office and Administrative Support Occupations; Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance Occupations; and Transportation and Material Moving Occupations. This represents a robust variety of occupations offering countless career opportunities just within the top 10 (Table 1).

Expanding out to the top 100 in-demand occupations offers even more opportunities for career seekers, with nearly every major occupational group represented. Those occupational groups with the most specific occupations in the top 100 include Food Preparation and Serving; Management; Office and Administrative Support; Business and Financial Operations; Sales and Related; and Transportation and Material Moving. Beyond those occupations listed in Table 1, other in-demand occupations include Software Developers; Stockers and Order Fillers; Nursing Assistants; Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers; Waiters and Waitresses; Maintenance and Repair Workers; Secretaries and Administrative Assistants; Sales Representatives; Cooks; and Light Truck Drivers.

Metro Area Top 100 Occupations in Demand by Educational Requirements

Educational requirements also varied within the Metro Area's top 100 in-demand occupations. Just over half (56%) require a high school diploma or equivalent, just over one-quarter (28%) require a bachelor's degree, nearly one-tenth (9%) require a post-secondary non-degree award, and the remaining occupations require a doctoral or professional degree (5%) or an associate degree (2%) (Figure 1). Among the top 10 occupations in-demand list, only Registered Nurses require post-secondary education. The remaining occupations can be started with a high school diploma or equivalent.

To learn more about Minnesota's Occupations in Demand, visit DEED's OID tool at

For More Information

Contact Tim O'Neill, Labor Market Analyst.

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