First-Line Supervisors of Firefighting and Prevention Workers
33-1021.00

Directly supervise and coordinate activities of workers engaged in firefighting and fire prevention and control.

Sample of reported job titles: Engine Boss, Fire Battalion Chief, Fire Captain, Fire Chief, Fire Lieutenant, Fire Marshal, Fire Prevention Chief, Fire Suppression Captain, Forest Fire Specialist Supervisor, Section Forest Fire Warden

Occupation-Specific Information

Tasks

  • Assign firefighters to jobs at strategic locations to facilitate rescue of persons and maximize application of extinguishing agents.
  • Provide emergency medical services as required, and perform light to heavy rescue functions at emergencies.
  • Assess nature and extent of fire, condition of building, danger to adjacent buildings, and water supply status to determine crew or company requirements.
  • Communicate fire details to superiors, subordinates, or interagency dispatch centers, using two-way radios.
  • Serve as a working leader of an engine, hand, helicopter, or prescribed fire crew of three or more firefighters.
  • Instruct and drill fire department personnel in assigned duties, including firefighting, medical care, hazardous materials response, fire prevention, and related subjects.
  • Maintain fire suppression equipment in good condition, checking equipment periodically to ensure that it is ready for use.
  • Evaluate the performance of assigned firefighting personnel.
  • Direct the training of firefighters, assigning of instructors to training classes, and providing of supervisors with reports on training progress and status.
  • Perform maintenance and minor repairs on firefighting equipment, including vehicles, and write and submit proposals to modify, replace, and repair equipment.
  • Schedule employee work assignments and set work priorities.
  • Monitor fire suppression expenditures to ensure that they are necessary and reasonable.
  • Participate in creating fire safety guidelines and evacuation schemes for nonresidential buildings.
  • Maintain required maps and records.
  • Drive crew carriers to transport firefighters to fire sites.
  • Inspect stations, uniforms, equipment, or recreation areas to ensure compliance with safety standards, taking corrective action as necessary.
  • Evaluate fire station procedures to ensure efficiency and enforcement of departmental regulations.
  • Direct firefighters in station maintenance duties, and participate in these duties.
  • Recommend personnel actions related to disciplinary procedures, performance, leaves of absence, and grievances.
  • Perform administrative duties, such as compiling and maintaining records, completing forms, preparing reports, or composing correspondence.
  • Direct investigation of cases of suspected arson, hazards, and false alarms and submit reports outlining findings.
  • Recommend equipment modifications or new equipment purchases.
  • Supervise and participate in the inspection of properties to ensure that they are in compliance with applicable fire codes, ordinances, laws, regulations, and standards.
  • Inspect and test new and existing fire protection systems, fire detection systems, and fire safety equipment to ensure that they are operating properly.
  • Study and interpret fire safety codes to establish procedures for issuing permits to handle hazardous or flammable substances.
  • Analyze burn conditions and results, and prepare postburn reports.
  • Evaluate size, location, and condition of fires.
  • Maintain knowledge of fire laws and fire prevention techniques and tactics.
  • Plan, direct, and supervise prescribed burn projects.
  • Recruit or hire firefighting personnel.

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Technology Skills

  • Analytical or scientific software — BehavePlus; FARSITE; FlamMap; Plume modeling software
  • Data base user interface and query software — Affiliated Computer Services ACS FIREHOUSE; Fire incident reporting systems; Microsoft Access Hot technology ; Wildland Fire Assessment System WFAS; 1 more
  • Electronic mail software — Email software; Microsoft Outlook In-Demand Hot technology
  • Geographic information system — ESRI ArcView; Geographic information system GIS software
  • Helpdesk or call center software — Computer aided dispatch software
  • Internet browser software — Web browser software
  • Map creation software — Mapping software
  • Office suite software — Corel WordPerfect Office Suite; Microsoft Office software In-Demand Hot technology
  • Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint In-Demand Hot technology
  • Project management software — Incident command system ICS software; Resource Ordering and Statusing System ROSS
  • Spreadsheet software — IBM Lotus 1-2-3; Microsoft Excel In-Demand Hot technology
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word Hot technology
Hot technology
Hot Technologies are requirements most frequently included across all employer job postings.
In demand
In Demand skills are frequently included in employer job postings for this occupation.

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Occupational Requirements

Work Activities

  • Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • 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.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.
  • Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
  • Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • 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 materials.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
  • Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
  • Communicating with People Outside the 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.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
  • Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Monitoring and Controlling Resources — Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.
  • 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.
  • Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
  • 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.
  • Providing Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
  • Staffing Organizational Units — Recruiting, interviewing, selecting, hiring, and promoting employees in an organization.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
  • 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.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Selling or Influencing Others — Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.

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Detailed Work Activities

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Work Context

  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 84% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Contact With Others — 77% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 78% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 67% responded “Every day.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 68% responded “Very important results.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 65% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Telephone — 73% responded “Every day.”
  • Deal With External Customers — 73% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Electronic Mail — 73% responded “Every day.”
  • In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 69% responded “Every day.”
  • Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 64% responded “Every day.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 59% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 54% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Consequence of Error — 78% responded “Extremely serious.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 45% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 59% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 45% responded “Very important.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 43% responded “Every day.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 43% responded “Every day.”
  • Physical Proximity — 56% responded “Very close (near touching).”
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 39% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 44% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants — 38% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 33% responded “Every day.”
  • Wear Specialized Protective or Safety Equipment such as Breathing Apparatus, Safety Harness, Full Protection Suits, or Radiation Protection — 40% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 70% responded “More than 40 hours.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Conditions — 41% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 47% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Disease or Infections — 37% responded “Every day.”
  • Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting — 31% responded “Every day.”
  • Letters and Memos — 35% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Level of Competition — 37% responded “Highly competitive.”
  • Time Pressure — 36% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 32% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Cramped Work Space, Awkward Positions — 37% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 31% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations — 29% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 38% responded “Less than half the time.”
  • Exposed to High Places — 31% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Spend Time Standing — 36% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 25% responded “Very important.”
  • Public Speaking — 35% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Outdoors, Under Cover — 27% responded “Every day.”

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Experience Requirements

Job Zone

Title
Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
Education
Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
Related Experience
Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples
These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include hydroelectric production managers, desktop publishers, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, court reporters and simultaneous captioners, and medical assistants.
SVP Range
1-2 years of preparation (6.0 to < 7.0)

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Training & Credentials

State training
Local training
Certifications
Apprenticeships
Have a career path or location in mind? Visit Apprenticeship.gov external site to find apprenticeship opportunities near you.

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Worker Requirements

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.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Management of Personnel Resources — Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
  • Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Negotiation — Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
  • Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
  • Operations Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.

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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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Building and Construction — Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
  • 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.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Law and Government — Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Personnel and Human Resources — Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
  • Administrative — Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.
  • Medicine and Dentistry — Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
  • Psychology — Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Chemistry — Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
  • Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Transportation — Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.

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Education

How much education does a new hire need to perform a job in this occupation? Respondents said:

  • 29%
     
    responded: High school diploma or equivalent requiredmore info
  • 24%
     
    responded: Associate’s degree required
  • 19%
     
    responded: Post-secondary certificate required

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Worker Characteristics

Abilities

  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • 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 that there is a problem.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • 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).
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • 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).
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without "giving out" or fatiguing.
  • 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.
  • Explosive Strength — The ability to use short bursts of muscle force to propel oneself (as in jumping or sprinting), or to throw an object.
  • Static Strength — The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
  • Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Extent Flexibility — The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Gross Body Equilibrium — The ability to keep or regain your body balance or stay upright when in an unstable position.
  • 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.
  • Speed of Closure — The ability to quickly make sense of, combine, and organize information into meaningful patterns.
  • 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).
  • Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.

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Interests

Interest code: ERS
Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

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Work Values

  • Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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Work Styles

  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • 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.

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Workforce Characteristics

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2021)
$37.61 hourly, $78,230 annual
State wages
Local wages
Employment (2021)
82,800 employees
Projected growth (2021-2031)
Average (4% to 7%)
Projected job openings (2021-2031)
6,500
State trends
Top industries (2021)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 wage data external site and 2021-2031 employment projections external site . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2021-2031). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

State job openings
Local job openings

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More Information

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Sources of Additional Information

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