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Which Jobs Will Have the Most Openings?

Nurse taking elderly woman's blood pressure. The patient wears a slightly sinister expression, like she knows something's about to go down, but isn't letting on.

Every year, the Montana Department of Labor & Industry produces employment forecasts for job growth in upcoming years. Workers, parents, and students can use the employment projections to make career decisions and evaluate the future opportunities for various professions. In Montana, about 5,530 new jobs are expected each year through 2025. As workers retire or change positions, new workers will also be needed to fill the resulting openings. For example, when a bookkeeper retires or is promoted to an accountant, a new replacement worker is needed to fill that position even though the number of bookkeeper jobs has not changed. The total number of workers needed each year is the sum of replacement openings and growth openings. In total, Montana will need nearly 17,400 workers each year to fill openings.

About 38% of the over 17,000 openings are projected to occur in food preparation, sales, and office and administrative support occupations. These occupational groups are the largest in Montana and are found in a wide variety of industries, so it is not surprising that the state will need a large number of workers to fill these positions in the future. While there are a large number of job openings projected in these occupational groups, most of the job openings are driven by replacements. Food preparation, sales, and office and administrative support occupations tend to see higher turnover rates because they consist of many entry-level or seasonal positions.

The table below shows the occupations with the most projected job openings over the next ten years. Many of the top occupations are within the large occupational groups of food preparation, sale, and office and administrative. However, registered nurses, maids and housekeeping, janitors, and nursing assistants also top the list of jobs with the most openings. In 2015, average wages for registered nurses were $62,650 annually, well above the statewide average.

Top Ten Detailed Occupations with the Highest Projected Annual Openings

The number 1 occupation was  Cashiers with 121 projected annual openings due to new jobs, and  651 openings due to worker replacement, for a total of 771 projected annual openings. The annual average wage for this occupation was 21,270 dollars in Montana for 2015.
The number 2 occupation was  Retail Salespersons with 203 projected annual openings due to new jobs, and  546 openings due to worker replacement, for a total of 750 projected annual openings. The annual average wage for this occupation was 27,130 dollars in Montana for 2015.
The number 3 occupation was  Combined Food Preparation & Serving Workers, Including Fast Food with 165 projected annual openings due to new jobs, and  347 openings due to worker replacement, for a total of 511 projected annual openings. The annual average wage for this occupation was 19,860 dollars in Montana for 2015.
The number 4 occupation was  Waiters and Waitresses with 66 projected annual openings due to new jobs, and  427 openings due to worker replacement, for a total of 493 projected annual openings. The annual average wage for this occupation was 20,970 dollars in Montana for 2015.
The number 5 occupation was  Registered Nurses with 209 projected annual openings due to new jobs, and  236 openings due to worker replacement, for a total of 445 projected annual openings. The annual average wage for this occupation was 62,650 dollars in Montana for 2015.
The number 6 occupation was  Office Clerks, General with 97 projected annual openings due to new jobs, and  236 openings due to worker replacement, for a total of 333 projected annual openings. The annual average wage for this occupation was 29,400 dollars in Montana for 2015.
The number 7 occupation was  Bartenders with 66 projected annual openings due to new jobs, and  208 openings due to worker replacement, for a total of 273 projected annual openings. The annual average wage for this occupation was 20,010 dollars in Montana for 2015.
The number 8 occupation was  Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners with 103 projected annual openings due to new jobs, and  169 openings due to worker replacement, for a total of 272 projected annual openings. The annual average wage for this occupation was 21,760 dollars in Montana for 2015.
The number 9 occupation was  Janitors & Cleaners, Except Maids & Housekeeping Cleaners with 95 projected annual openings due to new jobs, and  162 openings due to worker replacement, for a total of 257 projected annual openings. The annual average wage for this occupation was 25,920 dollars in Montana for 2015.
The number 10 occupation was  Nursing Assistants with 111 projected annual openings due to new jobs, and  145 openings due to worker replacement, for a total of 256 projected annual openings. The annual average wage for this occupation was 25,200 dollars in Montana for 2015.

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