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Summary Report for:
51-8099.03 - Biomass Plant Technicians

Control and monitor biomass plant activities and perform maintenance as needed.

Sample of reported job titles: Auxiliary Engineer, Auxiliary Operator, Biomass Facilitator, Boiler Operator, Control Room Operator, Equipment Operator, Fuel Handler, Fuel Quality Tech, Instrumentation and Controls Technician, Plant Operator

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Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Detailed Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings

Tasks

  • Operate biomass fuel-burning boiler or biomass fuel gasification system equipment in accordance with specifications or instructions. Green Task Statement See more occupations related to this task.
  • Operate valves, pumps, engines, or generators to control and adjust production of biofuels or biomass-fueled power. Green Task Statement See more occupations related to this task.
  • Operate equipment to start, stop, or regulate biomass-fueled generators, generator units, boilers, engines, or auxiliary systems. Green Task Statement See more occupations related to this task.
  • Inspect biomass power plant or processing equipment, recording or reporting damage and mechanical problems. Green Task Statement See more occupations related to this task.
  • Record or report operational data such as readings on meters, instruments, and gauges. Green Task Statement See more occupations related to this task.
  • Clean work areas to ensure compliance with safety regulations. Green Task Statement See more occupations related to this task.
  • Measure and monitor raw biomass feedstock, including wood, waste, or refuse materials. Green Task Statement See more occupations related to this task.
  • Perform routine maintenance or make minor repairs to mechanical, electrical, or electronic equipment in biomass plants. Green Task Statement See more occupations related to this task.
  • Read and interpret instruction manuals or technical drawings related to biomass-fueled power or biofuels production equipment or processes. Green Task Statement See more occupations related to this task.
  • Operate high-pressure steam boiler or water chiller equipment for electrical cogeneration operations. Green Task Statement See more occupations related to this task.
  • Operate equipment to heat biomass, using knowledge of controls, combustion, and firing mechanisms. Green Task Statement See more occupations related to this task.
  • Assess quality of biomass feedstock. Green Task Statement See more occupations related to this task.
  • Calculate, measure, load, or mix biomass feedstock for power generation. Green Task Statement See more occupations related to this task.
  • Manage parts and supply inventories for biomass plants. Green Task Statement See more occupations related to this task.
  • Preprocess feedstock to prepare for biochemical or thermochemical production processes. Green Task Statement See more occupations related to this task.
  • Calibrate liquid flow devices or meters, including fuel, chemical, and water meters. Green Task Statement See more occupations related to this task.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

  • Air dryers — Biomass dryers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Batching plants or feeders — Reclaim feeders See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Belt conveyors — Belt conveyor systems See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Conveyor feeders — Fuel metering conveyors See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Desktop computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Dump trucks See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Extendable conveyors — Radial stackers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Fire tube boilers — Biomass boilers; Bubbling fluidized bed boilers; Circulating fluidized bed boilers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Front end loaders — Wheeled front end loaders See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Grinding mills — Grinders; Tub grinders See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Hammer mills — Hammer hogs See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Intake structures — Biomass screeners; Disc screeners See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Notebook computers — Laptop computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Personal computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Steam engines — Steam turbines See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Steam generators — Heat recovery steam generators See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Truck or rail scales — Drive-on scales See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Water samplers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Water tube boiler — Steam boilers See more occupations related to this tool.

Technology used in this occupation:

  • Analytical or scientific software — Energy analysis software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Development environment software — National Instruments LabVIEW See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Industrial control software — Distributed control systems DCS software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Inventory management software — Inventory control software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Office suite software — Microsoft Office software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word See more occupations related to this technology.

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Knowledge

  • Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Physics — Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes. See more occupations related to this knowledge.

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Skills

  • Operation Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Repairing — Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Equipment Maintenance — Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience. See more occupations related to this skill.

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Abilities

  • Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Rate Control — The ability to time your movements or the movement of a piece of equipment in anticipation of changes in the speed and/or direction of a moving object or scene. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Reaction Time — The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Time Sharing — The ability to shift back and forth between two or more activities or sources of information (such as speech, sounds, touch, or other sources). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand. See more occupations related to this ability.

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Work Activities

  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles). See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment — Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Monitoring and Controlling Resources — Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Detailed Work Activities

  • Evaluate quality of materials or products. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Calculate specific material, equipment, or labor requirements for production. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Measure ingredients or substances to be used in production processes. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Maintain sustainable energy production equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Record operational or production data. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Load materials into production equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Study blueprints or other instructions to determine equipment setup requirements. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Adjust equipment controls to regulate flow of water, cleaning solutions, or other liquids. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Operate biomass or biofuel production equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Clean work areas. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Operate pumping systems or equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Notify others of equipment repair or maintenance needs. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Maintain inventories of materials, equipment, or products. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Inspect sustainable energy production facilities or equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Measure stock or liquid levels in sustainable fuel production systems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Prepare biological feedstock for physical, chemical, or biological processing. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Work Context

  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 99% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 91% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 63% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Contact With Others — 53% responded “Constant contact with others.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 72% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 63% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 59% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Exposed to Contaminants — 67% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 71% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 48% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Consequence of Error — 56% responded “Extremely serious.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 54% responded “More than 40 hours.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Outdoors, Under Cover — 48% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 47% responded “Very high responsibility.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Exposed to Hazardous Conditions — 67% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 36% responded “A lot of freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 39% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 43% responded “Very important results.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment — 39% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Time Pressure — 32% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 38% responded “Important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 33% responded “A lot of freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 47% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Telephone — 44% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Exposed to High Places — 38% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 44% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting — 40% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 52% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 36% responded “High responsibility.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 29% responded “Very important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 33% responded “Very important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Standing — 43% responded “About half the time.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Electronic Mail — 44% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Physical Proximity — 29% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • In an Open Vehicle or Equipment — 25% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 41% responded “Less than half the time.” See more occupations related to this work context.

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed
Education These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
Related Experience Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.
Job Training Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include sheet metal workers, forest fire fighters, customer service representatives, physical therapist aides, salespersons (retail), and tellers.
SVP Range (4.0 to < 6.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
65   High school diploma or equivalent Help
24   Post-secondary certificate Help
7   Some college, no degree

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Interests

Interest code: RCI

  • Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others. See more occupations related to this interest.
  • Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow. See more occupations related to this interest.
  • Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally. See more occupations related to this interest.

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Work Styles

  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job. See more occupations related to this work style.

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Work Values

  • Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement. See more occupations related to this work value.

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages data collected from Plant and System Operators, All Other.
Employment data collected from Plant and System Operators, All Other.
Industry data collected from Plant and System Operators, All Other.

Median wages (2014) $26.55 hourly, $55,230 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 12,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Little or no change (-2% to 2%) Little or no change (-2% to 2%)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 4,500
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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