West Michigan's Hot Jobs

The Hot Jobs! List

If you’re in the market for a new job, this is the list for you. The Hot Jobs! list can help guide you to new employment in a high-demand career. We’ve analyzed online job posting data and surveyed employers to create a list of the 100 highest-growing and most in-demand jobs in West Michigan.

You can find a key to the list and methodology information below.

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   TitleMedian Hourly Earnings2016-26 Projected Growth2016-26 Annual OpeningsEducation or Training Requirements*
Architectural, Engineering Managers$55.779.2%125Bachelor's degree and 5+ years work experience
Brickmasons, Blockmasons$25.1611.2%55Apprenticeship and moderate-term OJT
Bus and Truck Mechanics, Diesel Engine Specialists$22.1612.7%180Certification and long-term OJT
Cabinet Makers, Bench Carpenters$18.4619.2%95Moderate-term OJT
Cement Masons, Concrete Finishers$19.6913.6%140Apprenticeship
Civil Engineers$37.3512.1%85Bachelor's degree and license
Construction Laborers$17.1413.9%555No formal educational credential, short-term OJT
Construction Managers$39.1312.3%95Bachelor's degree and 5+ years work experience
Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repairers$38.4711.1%90Certification and apprenticeship
Electricians$26.669.6%410License and apprenticeship
First-Line Supervisors of Landscaping, Lawn Service and Groundskeeping Workers$23.9415.5%110Certification
First-Line Supervisors of Mechanics, Installers and Repairers$32.429.7%250 5+ years work experience
Heating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers$24.0216.8%175Certification and long-term OJT
Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers$20.1510.6%1625Certification and short-term OJT
Operating Engineers and Other Construction Equipment Operators$21.6811.9%145Certification and moderate-term OJT
Plumbers, Pipefitters, Steamfitters$25.4916.5%270License and apprenticeship
Roofers$18.1612%60Moderate-term OJT
Security and Fire Alarm Systems Installers$23.8520%40Certification
Supervisors of Construction and Extraction Workers$28.1612.4%2555+ years work experience

   TitleMedian Hourly Earnings2016-26 Projected Growth2016-26 Annual OpeningsEducation or Training Requirements*
Child, Family and School Social Workers$23.3817.7%290Bachelor's degree and license
Community Health Workers$18.7216.2%50Certification
Dental Assistants$20.8913.7%155Postsecondary non-degree award and license
Dental Hygienists$33.0613.6%105Associate degree and license
Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics$16.7613.6%55Certification and license
Family and General Practitioners$105.6111.4%40Doctoral or professional degree
Healthcare Social Workers$26.4118.7%160Bachelor's degree and license
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses$21.0612%245License
Massage Therapists$16.5730.7%85Postsecondary non-degree award and license
Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists$20.289.6%55Bachelor's degree and license
Medical and Health Services Managers$45.0418.1%190Bachelor's degree and less than 5 years work experience
Medical Assistants$16.2323.5%445Certification
Medical Records and Health Information Technicians$17.3414.1%50Certification
Medical Secretaries$16.0017.8%410Short-term OJT
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers$24.0119.6%95Bachelor's degree
Mental Health Counselors$21.4219.2%95Bachelor's degree and license
Nurse Practitioners$50.0732.2%40Master's degree and license
Nursing Assistants$13.8612%1095Certification and license
Occupational Therapists$33.2421.6%75Master's degree and license
Occupational Therapy Assistants$22.9025%55Associate degree
Pharmacy Technicians$15.2411.8%170Certification, license and moderate-term OJT
Physical Therapist Assistants$25.1826.8%130Associate degree and license
Physical Therapists$40.0324.4%110Doctoral or professional degree and license
Physician Assistants$50.7533.9%90Master's degree and license
Physicians and Surgeons, All Other$95.839.3%55Doctoral or professional degree, license and residency
Radiologic Technologists$25.3010.7%55Associate degree and license
Registered Nurses$31.7614.8%1010Bachelor's degree and license
Respiratory Therapists$26.9925.2%45Associate degree and license
Social and Community Service Managers$34.7318.3%95Bachelor's degree and less than 5 years work experience
Surgical Technologists$20.8811.2%60Certification
   TitleMedian Hourly Earnings2016-26 Projected Growth2016-26 Annual OpeningsEducation or Training Requirements*
Computer and Information Systems Managers$53.7912.9%90Bachelor's degree and 5+ years work experience
Computer Network Support Specialists$26.4912.2%40Bachelor's degree
Computer User Support Specialists$22.3715.9%270Postsecondary non-degree award or certification
Database Administrators$30.0711.3%30Bachelor's degree
Developers$38.8230.7%255Bachelor's degree
Graphic Designers$19.179.6%135Bachelor's degree
Information Security Analysts$37.1334.6%15Bachelor's degree and less than 5 years work experience
Network and Computer Systems Administrators$33.399.1%80Bachelor's degree
Web Developers$31.9215.5%35Associate degree
   TitleMedian Hourly Earnings2016-26 Projected Growth2016-26 Annual OpeningsEducation or Training Requirements*
Cleaning, Washing and Metal Pickling Equipment Operators and Tenders$16.0917.4%85Short-term OJT
Commercial and Industrial Designers$29.1310.8%90Bachelor's degree
Computer Numerically Controlled Machine Tool Operators, Metal and Plastic$24.7518.7%65Certification and moderate-term OJT
Cutting and Slicing Machine Setters, Operators and Tenders$15.7511.1%70Short-term OJT
Engineers: Electrical, Industrial, Mechanical$35.4214.5%715Bachelor's degree
First-Line Supervisors of Helpers, Laborers and Material Movers, Hand$26.679.8%1155+ years work experience
Food and Tobacco Roasting, Baking and Drying Machine Operators and Tenders$16.8224%55Short-term OJT
Food Batchmakers$15.7823.6%330Short-term OJT
Food Cooking Machine Operators and Tenders$17.0223.5%70Short-term OJT
Industrial Machinery Mechanics$22.5318.6%445Apprenticeship and long-term OJT
Laborers and Freight, Stock and Material Movers, Hand$14.1011.9%2965High school diploma or equivalent
Maintenance and Repair Workers, General$17.4610.6%855Certification and moderate-term OJT
Mixing and Blending Machine Setters, Operators and Tenders$16.3512.3%170Short-term OJT
Multiple Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic$17.659%280Certification and moderate-term OJT
Packaging and Filling Machine Operators and Tenders$14.6916.1%770Short-term OJT
Production, Planning and Expediting Clerks$21.9010.9%300High school diploma or equivalent
Separating, Filtering, Clarifying, Precipitating and Still Machine Setters, Operators, Tenders$18.4022.7%60Short-term OJT
   TitleMedian Hourly Earnings2016-26 Projected Growth2016-26 Annual OpeningsEducatio or Training Requirements*
Accountants and Auditors$29.2312.3%560Bachelor's degree and certification
Administrative Services Managers$40.1013.2%90Bachelor's degree
Billing and Posting Clerks$17.8514.2%210Short-term OJT
Cost Estimators$28.1810.1%145Bachelor's degree
Education Administrators$37.1514.6%95Master's degree
Educational, Guidance, School and Vocational Counselors$27.9016.8%175Master's degree and certificaiton
Elementary/Middle School Teachers, Except Special Education$27.6011.9%875Bachelor's degree and license
Financial Managers$51.2021.5%245Bachelor's degree and 5+ years work experience
First-Line Supervisors of Services$17.2812.5%1000Moderate-term OJT
Food Service Managers$27.8311.6%1505+ years work experience
General and Operations Managers$44.8410.5%880Bachelor's degree and 5+ years work experience
Human Resources Specialists$26.349.3%225Bachelor's degree
Insurance Claims and Policy Processing Clerks$17.1117%90Short-term OJT
Insurance Sales Agents$23.3316.5%290Moderate-term OJT
Loan Officers$24.8819.2%120Bachelor's degree and license
Management Analysts$35.5016.8%205Bachelor's degree and 5+ years work experience
Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists$27.1325.2%310Bachelor's degree and certification
Personal Financial Advisors$37.4118.4%85Bachelor's degree, license and long-term OJT
Postsecondary Teachers, All Other$37.2116.3%270Master's or doctorate degree, experience in field teaching
Property, Real Estate and Community Association Managers$31.0013.4%1055+ years work experience
Sales Managers$60.3411%170Bachelor's degree and 5+ years work experience
Sales Representatives, Services, All Other $25.979.9%390Short-term OJT

2020 Hot Jobs List Key

  • Title: Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) title as determined by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Titles in this report represent one or more detailed occupations, in some cases occupations with similar job duties, skills, education and training are grouped together.
  • Projected Growth: Percentage of growth over 10 years. Rapidly growing occupations may indicate favorable prospects for employment. NOTE: When looking at the best option for job prospects, job growth should be considered in conjunction with annual openings.
  • Annual Openings: Includes projected number of workers leaving an occupation entirely, transfers to a different occupation, and new jobs added due to growth.
  • OJT: On-the-job training: Training or preparation received while employed to attain competency in an occupation (short-term: 1 month or less, moderate-term: between 1-12 months, long-term: more than 12 months).
  • Occupations that meet the criteria for West Michigan Works! training scholarships.
  • Occupations also in demand in the agriculture industry. The agriculture industry, including farming and food production, accounts for nearly 26,000 jobs and $300 million in labor income in the region.
  • Education and training requirements are based on regional employers’ current hiring practices.


Data Collection
Occupational data was obtained from the analytical program, EMSI, and the State of Michigan Bureau of Labor Market Information & Strategic Initiatives.

Data and employer feedback were used to determine the industry focus for our region: manufacturing, health sciences, information technology, construction and energy, professional services and agriculture.

Criteria for Inclusion
Occupations on the Hot Jobs List must show a growth rate of at least 9% (the regional average) over 10 years; annual openings above industry averages; and wages at or above $13.75  per hour.

The list was presented to West Michigan Works! staff and employers within the region’s industry councils for anecdotal feedback and insight into hiring needs.

Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI), http://www.economicmodeling.com/data-sources/
O*Net O*NET OnLine. National Center for O*NET Development, http://www.onetonline.org/
Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/data/
Michigan DTMB Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives, http://milmi.org/default.aspx

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