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