Chart Book, May 2008

Industry Focus

Figure 15

Home health aides was one of the fastest growing healthcare occupations between May 2004 and May 2008

Employment in selected healthcare occupations in the health care and social assistance sector in May 2004, and the occupations' employment growth from May 2004 to May 2008

  • Home health aides had the greatest absolute and percentage employment increase from May 2004 to May 2008, increasing by 293,650, or 54.3 percent.
  • Medical assistants had faster percentage growth, at 24.4 percent, than registered nurses, which grew 10.2 percent.
  • The two relatively small occupations of radiologic technologists and technicians and emergency medical technicians and paramedics both grew at a faster pace than most occupations shown, by 18.2 percent and 17.8 percent, respectively.

Figure 16

Many of the largest occupations in the health insurance industry were office and administrative support occupations, with customer service representatives alone making up about 18 percent of employment in the industry

Employment and mean wages of the largest occupations in the
health insurance industry, May 2008

  • Of the 12 largest occupations in the health insurance industry, 8 had average hourly wages above the U.S. average hourly wage of $20.32.
  • Three of the four occupations shown in the chart with average hourly wages below the U.S. average are office and administrative support occupations.
  • Three of the largest occupations in the industry are specific to this and other insurance industries, including insurance sales agents; claims adjusters, examiners, and investigators; and insurance claims and policy processing clerks.

Figure 17

Many food service workers start as untrained food preparation workers and advance to cook positions as they acquire kitchen skills and demonstrate greater responsibility

Wage distributions for selected occupations in
full-service restaurants, May 2008

  • Dishwashers and combined food preparation and serving workers were among the lowest paid workers in the full-service restaurant industry. There was little variation in their wages: 80 percent of dishwashers were paid between $6.90 and $10.17.
  • In contrast, chefs and head cooks as well as food service managers had the highest wages and greatest wage variation. Eighty percent of chefs and head cooks earned between $10.20 and $30.01 per hour, and 80 percent of food service managers earned between $15.05 and $37.52.
  • Wages were lower than average in full-service restaurants for dishwashers, combined food preparation and serving workers, restaurant cooks, and chefs and head cooks.
  • Many workers earn progressively higher wages as they gain experience or switch to jobs in establishments offering more advancement opportunities or higher pay, according to the BLS Career Guide to Industries. For example, waiters and waitresses may transfer to jobs in more expensive or busier restaurants where they tend to receive more money from tips.

Figure 18

Occupations within the chemical manufacturing industry varied widely in wages and fit into various education and training categories

Wage ranges for selected occupations in the chemical manufacturing
industry, by education and training category, May 2008

  • Chemical technicians, for whom the most common level of education and training was an associate degree, had almost the same wage range as chemical equipment operators and tenders, for whom the most common level of education and training was moderate-term on-the-job training.
  • Some occupations shown in the chart for which a master's degree or a doctoral degree was the most common level of education—such as microbiologists—had lower 90th percentile wages than a few occupations in which most workers did not have either of these degrees—such as industrial production managers.

Figure 19

The largest of the mining industry groups presented in the chart, nonmetallic mineral mining and quarrying, had the lowest average wages for each of the occupations shown

Mean annual wages of the largest occupations in selected mining
industries, May 2008

  • Metal ore mining, the smallest mining industry, had the highest average wages for 9 of the 12 largest occupations.
  • First-line supervisors/managers of construction trades and extraction workers had the highest average wage of the occupations shown for all three mining (except oil and gas) industries.
  • Laborers and hand freight, stock, and material movers had the greatest average annual wage differentials across the three industries: they made $42,420 in metal ore mining, $34,380 in coal mining, and $26,100 in nonmetallic mineral mining.

Figure 20

Operating engineers and other construction equipment operators was the largest occupation in each of the three industries, with total employment of 24,300 across all three industries

Employment in the largest occupations of selected mining
industries, May 2008

  • The smallest of the three industries, metal ore mining, employed the greatest number of workers from the occupation of mobile heavy equipment mechanics, except engines.
  • Coal mining employed the greatest number of electricians, industrial machinery mechanics, mine cutting and channeling machine operators, first-line supervisors/managers of construction trades and extraction workers, and continuous mining machine operators.

Figure 21

The supersector with the second-highest number of job openings in May 2008, professional and business services, had employment in a wide variety of occupations

Largest occupations in the industry supersector with the second-highest number of job openings: professional and business services, May 2008

  • Janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners, was the largest occupation in the professional and business services supersector. Almost all of the workers in this occupation were employed in services to buildings and dwellings, in which they had a mean wage of $10.01.
  • The professional and business services supersector consists of the following three industry sectors: professional, scientific, and technical services (NAICS 54); management of companies and enterprises (NAICS 55); and administrative and support and waste management and remediation services (NAICS 56).
  • In May 2008, the education and health services supersector (NAICS 61 and 62) had the highest number of job openings, 728,000 (seasonally adjusted). Professional and business services had 681,000 job openings in May 2008 (seasonally adjusted), according to the BLS Job Openings and Labor Turnover program.

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Last Modified Date: April 2, 2010