GOBankingRates

The Most Wanted Jobs in Every State

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dusanpetkovic / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Supply and demand is a basic economic principle that applies to almost any type of market, and the labor market is no exception. Simply put, you could be the best mime who ever lived, but you’re probably not going to pull down as much as an average NBA player. If the demand doesn’t exist for your particular skill set, it’s unlikely that employers will offer as much in salary or benefits — especially when they need those resources to attract top candidates in other fields where they’re scrambling to fill openings. And that’s something you definitely need to keep in mind when considering a profession. Sure, it’s a consideration alongside things like your personal passion or abilities, but it’s one you shouldn’t overlook lest you end up working too hard for too little for years to come.

Related: 25 Tried-and-True Jobs That Will Last Through Any Recession

That’s why GOBankingRates used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to conduct a study of the most in-demand professions in each state. By pairing the projected growth rate of positions in that state with the average annual salary for the position, the study whittled it down to the one job in each state that’s currently growing the fastest and paying the most. That combination means that each of these positions isn’t just one where there’s a lot of new openings, but one where employers are also throwing more money into snapping up the best candidates.

So, here’s a closer look at the most wanted job in every state, ranked by how each state’s most wanted job ranks compared to those elsewhere.

Last updated: Feb. 6, 2021

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50. Alabama

  • Most wanted job: Information security analyst
  • Average annual salary: $92,500
  • Projected job growth from 2006-2026: 37.2%
  • Number of jobs in 2018: 112,300
  • Typical entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree

See: Hiring Growth for These 20 Jobs Has Exploded

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49. Oklahoma

  • Most wanted job: Home health aide
  • Average annual salary: $23,380
  • Projected job growth from 2006-2026: 36.8%
  • Number of jobs in 2018: 3,253,000
  • Typical entry-level education: High school or equivalent

Check Out: Jobs That Only Exist in Hollywood

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48. Maryland

  • Most wanted job: Photographer
  • Average annual salary: $39,640
  • Projected job growth from 2006-2026: 75.3%
  • Number of jobs in 2018: 132,100
  • Typical entry-level education: High school or equivalent

Take a Look: 45 Jobs That Can Make You a Millionaire Before Retirement

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47. Idaho

  • Most wanted job: Respiratory therapist
  • Average annual salary: $57,700
  • Projected job growth from 2006-2026: 51.7%
  • Number of jobs in 2018: 134,000
  • Typical entry-level education: Associate’s degree
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46. South Dakota

  • Most wanted job: Software developer, applications
  • Average annual salary: $75,000
  • Projected job growth from 2006-2026: 29.1%
  • Number of jobs in 2018: 1,365,504
  • Typical entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree
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45. Hawaii

  • Most wanted job: Software developer, applications
  • Average annual salary: $84,340
  • Projected job growth from 2006-2026: 27.7%
  • Number of jobs in 2018: 1,365,500
  • Typical entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree

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44. Mississippi

  • Most wanted job: Software developer, applications
  • Average annual salary: $85,470
  • Projected job growth from 2006-2026: 27.8%
  • Number of jobs in 2018: 1,365,502
  • Typical entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree
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43. Kansas

  • Most wanted job: Information security analyst
  • Average annual salary: $86,160
  • Projected job growth from 2006-2026: 30.3%
  • Number of jobs in 2018: 112,300
  • Typical entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree
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42. Pennsylvania

  • Most wanted job: Statistician
  • Average annual salary: $85,180
  • Projected job growth from 2006-2026: 33.1%
  • Number of jobs in 2018: 47,300
  • Typical entry-level education: Master’s degree
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41. Colorado

  • Most wanted job: Interpreter and translator
  • Average annual salary: $70,050
  • Projected job growth from 2006-2026: 54.1%
  • Number of jobs in 2018: 76,100
  • Typical entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree
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40. North Dakota

  • Most wanted job: Rotary drill operator, oil and gas
  • Average annual salary: $66,440
  • Projected job growth from 2006-2026: 60.0%
  • Number of jobs in 2018: 19,300
  • Typical entry-level education: None

See: 15 Odd Jobs That Pay Insanely Well

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39. Iowa

  • Most wanted job: Operations research analyst
  • Average annual salary: $81,990
  • Projected job growth from 2006-2026: 39.7%
  • Number of jobs in 2018: 109,700
  • Typical entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree

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38. Nebraska

  • Most wanted job: Information security analyst
  • Average annual salary: $84,540
  • Projected job growth from 2006-2026: 38.2%
  • Number of jobs in 2018: 112,300
  • Typical entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree
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37. Wisconsin

  • Most wanted job: Veterinarian
  • Average annual salary: $90,120
  • Projected job growth from 2006-2026: 34.4%
  • Number of jobs in 2018: 84,500
  • Typical entry-level education: Doctoral or professional degree
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36. Vermont

  • Most wanted job: Software developer, applications
  • Average annual salary: $97,720
  • Projected job growth from 2006-2026: 25.5%
  • Number of jobs in 2018: 1,365,507
  • Typical entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree

Make Six Figures From Your Couch: 26 Highest-Paying Jobs That Let You Work From Home

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35. Rhode Island

  • Most wanted job: Software developer, applications
  • Average annual salary: $96,850
  • Projected job growth from 2006-2026: 28.4%
  • Number of jobs in 2018: 1,365,503
  • Typical entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree
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34. Missouri

  • Most wanted job: Information security analyst
  • Average annual salary: $91,210
  • Projected job growth from 2006-2026: 41.9%
  • Number of jobs in 2018: 112,300
  • Typical entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree
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33. Kentucky

  • Most wanted job: Nurse practitioner
  • Average annual salary: $99,790
  • Projected job growth from 2006-2026: 32.8%
  • Number of jobs in 2018: 240,700
  • Typical entry-level education: Master’s degree

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32. Minnesota

  • Most wanted job: Statistician
  • Average annual salary: $95,930
  • Projected job growth from 2006-2026: 39.8%
  • Number of jobs in 2018: 47,300
  • Typical entry-level education: Master’s degree
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31. West Virginia

  • Most wanted job: Nurse practitioner
  • Average annual salary: $100,690
  • Projected job growth from 2006-2026: 33.6%
  • Number of jobs in 2018: 240,700
  • Typical entry-level education: Master’s degree
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30. New York

  • Most wanted job: Solar photovoltaic installer
  • Average annual salary: $48,630
  • Projected job growth from 2006-2026: 104.8%
  • Number of jobs in 2018: 9,702
  • Typical entry-level education: High school or equivalent
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29. Tennessee

  • Most wanted job: Software developer, applications
  • Average annual salary: $87,630
  • Projected job growth from 2006-2026: 52.5%
  • Number of jobs in 2018: 1,365,505
  • Typical entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree
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28. Ohio

  • Most wanted job: Physician assistant
  • Average annual salary: $105,410
  • Projected job growth from 2006-2026: 30.9%
  • Number of jobs in 2018: 118,800
  • Typical entry-level education: Master’s degree
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27. Arkansas

  • Most wanted job: Physician assistant
  • Average annual salary: $99,280
  • Projected job growth from 2006-2026: 39.3%
  • Number of jobs in 2018: 118,800
  • Typical entry-level education: Master’s degree
©Shutterstock.com

26. Louisiana

  • Most wanted job: Software developer, applications
  • Average annual salary: $81,640
  • Projected job growth from 2006-2026: 63.8%
  • Number of jobs in 2018: 1,365,501
  • Typical entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree

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25. Connecticut

  • Most wanted job: Statistician
  • Average annual salary: $101,820
  • Projected job growth from 2006-2026: 37.0%
  • Number of jobs in 2018: 47,300
  • Typical entry-level education: Master’s degree

Need a Job? Here Are the Top 3 Positions Your State Is Hiring For Right Now

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24. New Jersey

  • Most wanted job: Solar photovoltaic installer
  • Average annual salary: $55,140
  • Projected job growth from 2006-2026: 101.1%
  • Number of jobs in 2018: 9,701
  • Typical entry-level education: High school or equivalent
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23. Montana

  • Most wanted job: Nurse practitioner
  • Average annual salary: $103,510
  • Projected job growth from 2006-2026: 37.3%
  • Number of jobs in 2018: 240,700
  • Typical entry-level education: Master’s degree
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22. Maine

  • Most wanted job: Physician assistant
  • Average annual salary: $110,030
  • Projected job growth from 2006-2026: 28.9%
  • Number of jobs in 2018: 118,800
  • Typical entry-level education: Master’s degree
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21. Alaska

  • Most wanted job: Dental hygienist
  • Average annual salary: $114,320
  • Projected job growth from 2006-2026: 23.4%
  • Number of jobs in 2018: 219,800
  • Typical entry-level education: Associate’s degree
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20. Indiana

  • Most wanted job: Nurse practitioner
  • Average annual salary: $103,200
  • Projected job growth from 2006-2026: 38.7%
  • Number of jobs in 2018: 240,700
  • Typical entry-level education: Master’s degree

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19. North Carolina

  • Most wanted job: Statistician
  • Average annual salary: $101,010
  • Projected job growth from 2006-2026: 42.0%
  • Number of jobs in 2018: 47,300
  • Typical entry-level education: Master’s degree
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18. New Mexico

  • Most wanted job: Information security analyst
  • Average annual salary: $106,360
  • Projected job growth from 2006-2026: 36.8%
  • Number of jobs in 2018: 112,300
  • Typical entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree
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17. South Carolina

  • Most wanted job: Physician assistant
  • Average annual salary: $103,710
  • Projected job growth from 2006-2026: 40.5%
  • Number of jobs in 2018: 118,800
  • Typical entry-level education: Master’s degree

Don’t Miss: 20 Hot Jobs That Pay More Than $150,000

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16. Illinois

  • Most wanted job: Nurse practitioner
  • Average annual salary: $105,800
  • Projected job growth from 2006-2026: 38.3%
  • Number of jobs in 2018: 240,700
  • Typical entry-level education: Master’s degree
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15. Georgia

  • Most wanted job: Physician assistant
  • Average annual salary: $103,190
  • Projected job growth from 2006-2026: 42.9%
  • Number of jobs in 2018: 118,800
  • Typical entry-level education: Master’s degree
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14. Massachusetts

  • Most wanted job: Statistician
  • Average annual salary: $108,670
  • Projected job growth from 2006-2026: 36.2%
  • Number of jobs in 2018: 47,300
  • Typical entry-level education: Master’s degree
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13. Texas

  • Most wanted job: Wind turbine service technician
  • Average annual salary: $55,340
  • Projected job growth from 2006-2026: 109.1%
  • Number of jobs in 2018: 6,600
  • Typical entry-level education: Postsecondary nondegree award
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12. Virginia

  • Most wanted job: Nurse practitioner
  • Average annual salary: $105,170
  • Projected job growth from 2006-2026: 43.7%
  • Number of jobs in 2018: 240,700
  • Typical entry-level education: Master’s degree
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11. New Hampshire

  • Most wanted job: Physician assistant
  • Average annual salary: $111,080
  • Projected job growth from 2006-2026: 36.1%
  • Number of jobs in 2018: 118,801
  • Typical entry-level education: Master’s degree
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10. Michigan

  • Most wanted job: Physician assistant
  • Average annual salary: $110,240
  • Projected job growth from 2006-2026: 37.7%
  • Number of jobs in 2018: 118,800
  • Typical entry-level education: Master’s degree
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9. Oregon

  • Most wanted job: Physician assistant
  • Average annual salary: $113,570
  • Projected job growth from 2006-2026: 38.6%
  • Number of jobs in 2018: 118,800
  • Typical entry-level education: Master’s degree
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8. California

  • Most wanted job: Solar photovoltaic installer
  • Average annual salary: $46,390
  • Projected job growth from 2006-2026: 130.6%
  • Number of jobs in 2018: 9,700
  • Typical entry-level education: High school or equivalent

Look: 24 Job Skills You’ll Need To Grow Your Career in 2020

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7. Florida

  • Most wanted job: Physician assistant
  • Average annual salary: $105,930
  • Projected job growth from 2006-2026: 49.5%
  • Number of jobs in 2018: 118,800
  • Typical entry-level education: Master’s degree
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6. Delaware

  • Most wanted job: Personal financial advisor
  • Average annual salary: $126,880
  • Projected job growth from 2006-2026: 31.8%
  • Number of jobs in 2018: 271,700
  • Typical entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree
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5. Wyoming

  • Most wanted job: Petroleum engineer
  • Average annual salary: $115,250
  • Projected job growth from 2006-2026: 49.1%
  • Number of jobs in 2018: 33,500
  • Typical entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree
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4. Utah

  • Most wanted job: Software developer, applications
  • Average annual salary: $99,070
  • Projected job growth from 2006-2026: 71.4%
  • Number of jobs in 2018: 1,365,506
  • Typical entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree
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3. Arizona

  • Most wanted job: Nurse practitioner
  • Average annual salary: $110,750
  • Projected job growth from 2006-2026: 57.7%
  • Number of jobs in 2018: 240,700
  • Typical entry-level education: Master’s degree
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2. Nevada

  • Most wanted job: Electrical and electronic equipment assembler
  • Average annual salary: $32,990
  • Projected job growth from 2006-2026: 207.5%
  • Number of jobs in 2018: 1,868,100
  • Typical entry-level education: High school or equivalent
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1. Washington

  • Most wanted job: Marketing manager
  • Average annual salary: $155,580
  • Projected job growth from 2006-2026: 67.8%
  • Number of jobs in 2018: 286,800
  • Typical entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree

More From GOBankingRates

Methodology: For every state, GOBankingRates found the 10 occupations with the highest projected growth rate between 2016 and 2026, according to Projections Central (funded by the U.S. Department of Labor). To screen out niche occupations, GOBankingRates excluded all occupations with fewer than 500 employed in 2016. Then, each occupation was scored against the others in its state on its: 1) projected growth rate and 2) average annual wage as of May 2018, according to the BLS. Each occupation was then assigned a total score (the sum of its score in the two categories above). The “most wanted” job in each state was determined to be the occupation with the best total score. To be included in the ranking, occupations had to have information available on both their projected growth rate and average annual wage. All data was compiled on and up-to-date as of Feb. 4, 2020.