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Summary Report for:
27-2041.00 - Music Directors and Composers

Conduct, direct, plan, and lead instrumental or vocal performances by musical artists or groups, such as orchestras, bands, choirs, and glee clubs; or create original works of music.

The occupation code you requested, 27-2041.04 (Music Composers and Arrangers), is no longer in use. In the future, please use 27-2041.00 (Music Directors and Composers) instead.

Sample of reported job titles: Choir Director, Composer, Conductor, Film Composer, Liturgical Music Director, Music Composer, Music Director, Music Producer, Orchestra Director, Songwriter

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Tasks  |  Technology Skills  |  Tools Used  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Detailed Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Use gestures to shape the music being played, communicating desired tempo, phrasing, tone, color, pitch, volume, and other performance aspects. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Direct groups at rehearsals and live or recorded performances to achieve desired effects such as tonal and harmonic balance dynamics, rhythm, and tempo. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Study scores to learn the music in detail, and to develop interpretations. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Apply elements of music theory to create musical and tonal structures, including harmonies and melodies. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Consider such factors as ensemble size and abilities, availability of scores, and the need for musical variety, to select music to be performed. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Determine voices, instruments, harmonic structures, rhythms, tempos, and tone balances required to achieve the effects desired in a musical composition. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Experiment with different sounds, and types and pieces of music, using synthesizers and computers as necessary to test and evaluate ideas. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Transcribe ideas for musical compositions into musical notation, using instruments, pen and paper, or computers. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Audition and select performers for musical presentations. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Plan and schedule rehearsals and performances, and arrange details such as locations, accompanists, and instrumentalists. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Write musical scores for orchestras, bands, choral groups, or individual instrumentalists or vocalists, using knowledge of music theory and of instrumental and vocal capabilities. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Position members within groups to obtain balance among instrumental or vocal sections. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Perform administrative tasks such as applying for grants, developing budgets, negotiating contracts, and designing and printing programs and other promotional materials. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Confer with producers and directors to define the nature and placement of film or television music. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Meet with soloists and concertmasters to discuss and prepare for performances. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Fill in details of orchestral sketches, such as adding vocal parts to scores. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Explore and develop musical ideas based on sources such as imagination or sounds in the environment. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Write music for commercial mediums, including advertising jingles or film soundtracks. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Transpose music from one voice or instrument to another to accommodate particular musicians. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Rewrite original musical scores in different musical styles by changing rhythms, harmonies, or tempos. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Arrange music composed by others, changing the music to achieve desired effects. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Assign and review staff work in such areas as scoring, arranging, and copying music, and vocal coaching. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Study films or scripts to determine how musical scores can be used to create desired effects or moods. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Transcribe musical compositions and melodic lines to adapt them to a particular group, or to create a particular musical style. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Create original musical forms, or write within circumscribed musical forms such as sonatas, symphonies, or operas. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Collaborate with other colleagues, such as copyists, to complete final scores. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Copy parts from scores for individual performers. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Coordinate and organize tours, or hire touring companies to arrange concert dates, venues, accommodations, and transportation for longer tours. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Produce recordings of music. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Stay abreast of the latest trends in music and music technology. See more occupations related to this task.

Find occupations related to multiple tasks

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Technology Skills

  • Data base user interface and query software — Music Director Pro See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Desktop publishing software — Microsoft Publisher See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Electronic mail software — Microsoft Outlook Hot technology See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Music or sound editing software — Audacity; Avid Technology Sibelius; XT Software energyXT; ZynAddSubFX (see all 77 examples) See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Office suite software — Microsoft Office Hot technology See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Presentation software — MediaShout; Microsoft PowerPoint Hot technology See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel Hot technology See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Video creation and editing software — Apple Final Cut Pro See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word Hot technology See more occupations related to this technology.

Hot technology Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.

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Tools Used

  • Audio monitor — Studio recording monitors See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Bells — Handbells See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Cassette players or recorders — Audio tape recorders See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Conductors batons — Conducting batons See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Desktop computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Digital audio workstation DAW — Digital audio workstations See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Drums — Drum sets See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Guitars — Acoustic guitars; Bass guitars See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Laser printers — Computer laser printers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Loudspeakers — Portable loudspeakers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Microphones — Condenser microphones See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Musical instrument digital interface MIDI interfaces — Audio interfaces; Musical instrument digital interface MIDI sequencers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Musical instrument effects unit — Expression pedals; Foot switches; Sustain pedals See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Musical organs — Electronic organs; Pipe organs See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Notebook computers — Laptop computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Pen or flash drive — Flash drives See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Personal computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Photocopiers — Copy machines See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Pianos — Grand pianos See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Portable hard disk storage device — External hard drives See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Synthesizer — Keyboard synthesizers; Synthesizer keyboards See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Tablet computers See more occupations related to this tool.

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Knowledge

  • Fine Arts — Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar. 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.
  • Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Communications and Media — Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Philosophy and Theology — Knowledge of different philosophical systems and religions. This includes their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and their impact on human culture. See more occupations related to this knowledge.

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Skills

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions. 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.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action. 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.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Instructing — Teaching others how to do something. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people. See more occupations related to this skill.

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Abilities

  • Hearing Sensitivity — The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch and loudness. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem. 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.
  • Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person. 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.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Auditory Attention — The ability to focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand. 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.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways. 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.
  • Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material. See more occupations related to this ability.

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Work Activities

  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions. 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.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others. 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.
  • 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.
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks. 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.
  • 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.
  • Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members. 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.
  • Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them. 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.
  • 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.
  • Monitoring and Controlling Resources — Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money. 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.
  • Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Detailed Work Activities

  • Coordinate musical rehearsals or performances. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Study details of musical compositions. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Create musical compositions, arrangements or scores. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Determine presentation subjects or content. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Audition or interview potential performers or staff members. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Select staff, team members, or performers. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Design layout of art or product exhibits, displays, or promotional materials. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Direct fundraising or financing activities. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Negotiate for services. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Collaborate with others to prepare or perform artistic productions. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Collaborate with others to determine technical details of productions. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Coordinate artistic activities. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Coordinate logistics for productions or events. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Study scripts to determine project requirements. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Operate audio recording equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Stay informed about current developments in field of specialization. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Work Context

  • Electronic Mail — How often do you use electronic mail in this job? See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — To what extent is this job structured for the worker, rather than allowing the worker to determine tasks, priorities, and goals? See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — How much decision making freedom, without supervision, does the job offer? See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job? See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions? See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Telephone — How often do you have telephone conversations in this job? See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job? See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — What results do your decisions usually have on other people or the image or reputation or financial resources of your employer? See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Time Pressure — How often does this job require the worker to meet strict deadlines? See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Sitting — How much does this job require sitting? See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Level of Competition — To what extent does this job require the worker to compete or to be aware of competitive pressures? See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Work With Work Group or Team — How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job? See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Frequency of Decision Making — How frequently is the worker required to make decisions that affect other people, the financial resources, and/or the image and reputation of the organization? See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — How much does this job require using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls? See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Contact With Others — How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it? See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — How important is repeating the same physical activities (e.g., key entry) or mental activities (e.g., checking entries in a ledger) over and over, without stopping, to performing this job? See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — How important is it to coordinate or lead others in accomplishing work activities in this job? See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — How much does this job require making repetitive motions? See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Deal With External Customers — How important is it to work with external customers or the public in this job? See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Letters and Memos — How often does the job require written letters and memos? See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Public Speaking — How often do you have to perform public speaking in this job? See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — How responsible is the worker for work outcomes and results of other workers? See more occupations related to this work context.

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed
Education Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
Related Experience A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.
Job Zone Examples Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include real estate brokers, sales managers, database administrators, graphic designers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.
SVP Range (7.0 to < 8.0)

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Credentials

Find Training Find Certifications Apprenticeship.gov

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Interests

Interest code: AES   Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.

  • Artistic — Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules. See more occupations related to this interest.
  • Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business. See more occupations related to this interest.
  • Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others. 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.
  • 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.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical. 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.
  • 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.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges. 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.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations. 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.
  • 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.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction. 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.
  • 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.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and 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

  • 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.
  • Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • Recognition — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status. See more occupations related to this work value.

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2019) $24.84 hourly, $51,670 annual
State wages
Local wages
 
Employment (2019) 58,000 employees
Projected growth (2019-2029) Slower than average (1% to 2%) Slower than average (1% to 2%)
Projected job openings (2019-2029) 6,300
State trends
 
Top industries (2019)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2019 wage data external site and 2019-2029 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2019-2029). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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