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News Release Information

Monday, May 20, 2024

Contacts Technical information: Media contact:

Occupational Employment and Wages in Roanoke — May 2023

Workers in the Roanoke, VA Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $26.20 in May 2023, 17 percent below the nationwide average of $31.48, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Alexandra Hall Bovee noted that, after testing for statistical significance, wages in the local area were lower than their respective national averages in 21 of the 22 major occupational groups, including legal; arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media; and computer and mathematical.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, Roanoke area employment was more highly concentrated in 10 of the 22 occupational groups, including healthcare practitioners and technical, production, and sales and related. Twelve groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including management, computer and mathematical, and business and financial operations. (See table A.)

Table A. Occupational employment and wages by major occupational group, United States and the Roanoke metropolitan area, and measures of statistical significance, May 2023
Major occupational group Percent of total employment Mean hourly wage ($)
United States Roanoke United States Roanoke Percent difference (1)

Total, all occupations

100.0 100.0 31.48 26.20* -17


6.9 4.6* 66.23 57.96* -12

Business and financial operations

6.6 5.8* 43.55 35.04* -20

Computer and mathematical

3.4 1.9* 54.39 43.13* -21

Architecture and engineering

1.7 1.3* 47.64 39.04* -18

Life, physical, and social science

0.9 0.6* 42.24 38.17* -10

Community and social service

1.6 1.8* 28.36 24.56* -13


0.8 0.6* 64.34 51.03* -21

Educational instruction and library

5.8 5.3* 31.92 25.95* -19

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.4 1.2* 36.31 24.34* -33

Healthcare practitioners and technical

6.1 9.0* 49.07 41.52* -15

Healthcare support

4.7 4.4* 18.37 16.93* -8

Protective service

2.3 2.6* 27.74 22.95* -17

Food preparation and serving related

8.7 7.9* 16.58 15.23* -8

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

2.9 2.7* 18.43 15.97* -13

Personal care and service

2.0 2.2* 18.48 16.42* -11

Sales and related

8.8 9.6* 25.62 22.03* -14

Office and administrative support

12.2 12.4* 23.05 20.41* -11

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 0.1* 19.22 20.87* 9

Construction and extraction

4.1 4.3* 29.57 23.18* -22

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.9 4.6* 28.13 25.85* -8


5.8 7.6* 22.90 21.04* -8

Transportation and material moving

9.1 9.3* 22.45 20.83* -7

(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in the Roanoke, VA Metropolitan Statistical Area is above the national mean wage, while a negative difference reflects a lower wage.
* The mean hourly wage or percent share of employment is significantly different from the national average of all areas at the 90-percent confidence level.

One occupational group—healthcare practitioners and technical—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Roanoke had 13,550 jobs in healthcare practitioners and technical, accounting for 9.0 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 6.1-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $41.52, significantly below the national wage of $49.07.

Some of the larger detailed occupations within the healthcare practitioners and technical group included registered nurses (5,470) and licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses (1,090). Among the higher-paying jobs in this group were orthopedic surgeons, except pediatric ($212.88) and general internal medicine physicians ($175.86). (See chart 1.) At the lower end of the wage scale were emergency medical technicians ($18.75) and ophthalmic medical technicians ($19.24). (Detailed data for the healthcare practitioners and technical occupations are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations available go to

Location quotients allow us to explore the occupational make-up of a metropolitan area by comparing the composition of jobs in an area relative to the national average. (See table 1.) For example, a location quotient of 2.0 indicates that an occupation accounts for twice the share of employment in the area than it does nationally. In the Roanoke area, above-average concentrations of employment were found in many of the occupations within the healthcare practitioners and technical group. For instance, radiologic technologists and technicians were employed at 1.9 times the national rate in Roanoke, and clinical laboratory technologists and technicians, at 1.8 times the U.S. average. Nurse practitioners had a location quotient of 1.0 in Roanoke, indicating that this particular occupation’s local and national employment shares were similar.

The statistics in this release are from the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) survey, a cooperative effort between BLS and the State Workforce Agencies (SWAs). BLS funds the survey and provides the procedures and technical support. State Workforce Agencies collect most of the data: in this case, the Virginia Employment Commission.

Technical Note

The Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) survey is a semiannual survey measuring occupational employment and wage rates for wage and salary workers in nonfarm establishments in the United States. The OEWS data available from BLS include cross-industry occupational employment and wage estimates for the nation; over 580 areas, including states and the District of Columbia, metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), nonmetropolitan areas, and territories; national industry-specific estimates at the NAICS sector, 3-digit, most 4-digit, and selected 5- and 6-digit industry levels; and national estimates by ownership across all industries and for schools and hospitals. Full OEWS data tables are available online.

Additional information about the OEWS estimates and methodology are available in the national Technical Notes. The overall national response rate for the six panels, based on the 50 states and the District of Columbia, is 65.8 percent based on establishments and 64.3 percent based on weighted sampled employment. The sample in the Roanoke, VA Metropolitan Statistical Area included 1,696 establishments with a response rate of 66 percent.

A value that is statistically different from another does not necessarily mean that the difference has economic or practical significance. Statistical significance is concerned with the ability to make confident statements about a universe based on a sample. It is entirely possible that a large difference between two values is not significantly different statistically, while a small difference is, since both the size and heterogeneity of the sample affect the relative error of the data being tested.

Metropolitan area definitions

The substate area data published in this release reflect the standards and definitions established by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.

The Roanoke, VA Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Botetourt County, Craig County, Franklin County, Roanoke city, Roanoke County, and Salem city.


For more information

Answers to frequently asked questions about the OEWS data, as well as general program documentation, are available on the OEWS website.

Information in this release will be made available to individuals with sensory impairments upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Telecommunications Relay Service: 7-1-1.

Table 1. Employment and wage data for healthcare practitioners and technical occupations, Roanoke metropolitan area, May 2023
Occupation (1) Employment Mean wages ($)
Level (2) Location quotient (3) Hourly Annual (4)

Healthcare practitioners and technical occupations

13,550 1.5 41.52 86,370


50 1.3 25.18 52,380

Dentists, general

90 0.7 88.65 184,390

Dietitians and nutritionists

70 1.0 32.14 66,860


50 1.1 (5) (5)


370 1.1 61.63 128,190

Physician assistants

250 1.7 56.12 116,730

Occupational therapists

200 1.4 43.40 90,280

Physical therapists

360 1.5 42.85 89,130

Respiratory therapists

210 1.7 34.67 72,110

Speech-language pathologists

170 1.0 39.39 81,930


120 1.5 51.91 107,980

Registered nurses

5,470 1.7 39.28 81,710

Nurse practitioners

290 1.0 54.67 113,710

Family medicine physicians

160 1.4 106.21 220,910

General internal medicine physicians

40 0.6 175.86 365,790


40 1.5 106.30 221,100

Physicians, all other

300 1.0 131.18 272,850

Orthopedic surgeons, except pediatric

30 2.4 218.88 455,270

Dental hygienists

200 1.0 39.37 81,880

Clinical laboratory technologists and technicians

580 1.8 27.06 56,280

Radiologic technologists and technicians

400 1.9 34.75 72,280

Emergency medical technicians

280 1.7 18.75 39,000


140 1.4 24.34 50,630

Pharmacy technicians

540 1.2 19.25 40,040

Surgical technologists

180 1.7 30.68 63,820

Veterinary technologists and technicians

110 0.9 21.71 45,160

Ophthalmic medical technicians

160 2.3 19.24 40,010

Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses

1,090 1.8 26.42 54,950

Medical records specialists

240 1.3 24.35 50,650

Opticians, dispensing

90 1.2 23.83 49,560

Health technologists and technicians, all other

180 1.1 23.44 48,750

Athletic trainers

30 1.2 (6) 56,550

Healthcare practitioners and technical workers, all other

30 0.9 28.08 58,400

(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the Roanoke, VA Metropolitan Statistical Area, see
(2) Estimates for detailed occupations may not sum to the totals due to rounding, and because the totals may include occupations that are not shown separately. Estimates do not include self-employed workers.
(3) The location quotient is the ratio of the area concentration of occupational employment to the national average concentration. A location quotient greater than one indicates the occupation has a higher share of employment than average, and a location quotient less than one indicates the occupation is less prevalent in the area than average.
(4) Annual wages have been calculated by multiplying the hourly mean wage by a 'year-round, full-time' hours figure of 2,080 hours; for those occupations where there is not an hourly mean wage published, the annual wage has been directly calculated from the reported survey data.
(5) Estimate not released.
(6) Wages for some occupations that do not generally work year-round, full time, are reported either as hourly wages or annual salaries depending on how they are typically paid.


Last Modified Date: Monday, May 20, 2024