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Montana Labor Market Blog

Research & Analysis Bureau - Montana Department of Labor & Industry

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Worker Demand by Education Level

Many of the occupations with the most job openings do not require high levels of training and education. In general, most of the jobs in Montana don’t require postsecondary education. The Montana Department of Labor & Industry projects occupations requiring a high school diploma or less will continue to make up the majority of Montana’s employment in future years. The chart below  shows the share of jobs by education over the next ten years.

MT Jobs by Minimum Education Requirement, Current & Projected

A stacked bar chart showing the percentage of Montana Jobs by 5 education levels. For the year 2015, 28.7% of jobs required less than a high school diploma, compared to 28.8% in 2017 and a projected 29.1% in 2025. 36% of Montana jobs required a high school diploma or equivalent in 2015, compared to 36% in 2017 and 35.8% in 2025. 12.4% of Montana jobs required some college or an associates degree in 2015, compared to 12.3% in 2017 and 12.2% in 2025. 18.6% of Montana jobs required a Bachelor's degree in 2015, compared to 18.5% in 2017 and 18.5% in 2025. 4.3% of Montana jobs required higher than a bachelor's degree in 2015, compared to 4.4% in 2017 and 4.4% in 2025.

In 2016 and 2017, Montana Department of Labor & Industry estimates approximately 69% of the total annual job openings will require a high school diploma or less. Occupations requiring a bachelor’s degree make up another 17% of annual openings, which is the most among occupations requiring post-secondary education.

Although occupations like cashiers and retail sales workers that require a high school degree or less need a lot of workers, educators and training professionals do not need to develop training programs for these positions because they can be filled by entry-level workers without specialized education or experience. Occupations requiring some post-secondary education call for more investment by educators and training professionals. Therefore, these occupations are often the target of workforce training efforts in Montana even though they do not necessarily have the most job openings.

The table below displays the jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree or more with the most projected openings. Occupations in the education, health care, and business services industries are expected to be in relatively high demand compared to other occupations requiring a bachelor’s degree.

Top Jobs Requiring a Bachelor’s Degree or Higher, 2015-2025

The occupation Registered Nurses requries a  Bachelor’s degree and is expected to have 445 total annual openings from 2015 to 2025. This occupation pays an annual average wage of $62,650. The occupation General and Operations Managers requries a  Bachelor’s + 5 years experience and is expected to have 177 total annual openings from 2015 to 2025. This occupation pays an annual average wage of $90,590. The occupation Accountants and Auditors requries a  Bachelor’s degree and is expected to have 157 total annual openings from 2015 to 2025. This occupation pays an annual average wage of $62,820. The occupation Elementary School Teachers Except Special Education requries a  Bachelor’s plus internship and is expected to have 107 total annual openings from 2015 to 2025. This occupation pays an annual average wage of $49,730. The occupation Secondary School Teachers Except Special and Career/Technical Education requries a  Bachelor’s plus internship and is expected to have 83 total annual openings from 2015 to 2025. This occupation pays an annual average wage of $48,960. The occupation Lawyers requries a  Professional Degree and is expected to have 70 total annual openings from 2015 to 2025. This occupation pays an annual average wage of $82,070. The occupation Substitute Teachers requries a  Bachelor’s plus internship and is expected to have 68 total annual openings from 2015 to 2025. This occupation pays an annual average wage of $22,860. The occupation Business Operations Specialists, all other requries a  Bachelor’s degree and is expected to have 65 total annual openings from 2015 to 2025. This occupation pays an annual average wage of $58,570. The occupation Physical Therapists requries a  Professional Degree and is expected to have 62 total annual openings from 2015 to 2025. This occupation pays an annual average wage of $75,040. The occupation Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education requries a  Bachelor’s degree and is expected to have 60 total annual openings from 2015 to 2025. This occupation pays an annual average wage of $58,710.

Categories: Montana Career Resources

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