While the global pandemic has negatively impacted the majority of states in the country, Oregon has had a strong economy. The state has seen consistent growth post-COVID and was recently named the 9th best economy in the United States by WalletHub. Oregon’s top industries are health care and social assistance, retail trade, and scientific and technical services. The state has a workforce of just over 2.2 million people and an unemployment rate of 3.5%, which is on par with the national average. The gross state product (GSP) in 2021 was $270.12 billion, ranking 25th in the nation. For residents of Oregon, the median income is just over $59,000, which is well over the national average of $44,225. In this article, you will find information regarding the top occupations in Oregon, resources to find jobs in the state, resources for resume writing, and the top job boards to find job listings.
Oregon is home to several industries that contribute to the state’s overall economy. Oregon has long been a leader in natural resources like lumber, agriculture, and fishing. Now, the state is still a leader in natural resources but has become a leader in technologies and retail. Manufacturing and tourism have become significant contributors to Oregon’s economy, with tourism taking full advantage of the natural beauty the state has to offer. Lumber manufacturing still makes up a healthy portion of the economy, but the state has now become a leading manufacturer in high technology, helping the state form what is called the “Silicon Forest.”
Career Opportunities in Oregon
In this section, you’ll find helpful information about some of the top careers and best opportunities in the state of Oregon. These jobs are some of the most in-demand roles in the state, and you will be able to find information about job outlook, median salary, and why it is one of the fastest-growing jobs.
Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors
Oregon recently relaxed its laws on certain drug offenses, and with substance abuse already being an issue in the state, experts believe that abuse could increase in the coming years. With Oregon also being one of the worst states in the country in regard to poor mental health, the need for more drug and mental health counselors in the state will be extremely high in the next decade. The position is expected to grow almost 28% through 2029, with an expected increase of over 1,400 roles. With an average salary of just over $56,000, it falls a little below the median income, but the salary will continue to increase as the demand for the position increases.
In order to become a substance abuse counselor, you may have some opportunities with a high school diploma, but the majority of folks in the industry have at least an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree, most likely in psychology or social work. These qualifications are in addition to a certification. Even more so, a master’s degree in social work, psychology, or counseling along with certification is the most marketable in the field.
In Oregon, there are three levels of certification, each one based on education and experience. Ultimately you will need to pass a certification exam at each level. For more information check out: https://www.humanservicesedu.org/oregon-substance-abuse-counselor/
Application Software Developers
The Silicon Forest is still going strong, and Oregon is home to some of the country’s largest tech companies, including Intel, the leading manufacturer of microchips. As more tech companies start to call Oregon their home and the need for more software developers continues to grow, the role of the application software developer in Oregon is one of the most in-demand jobs in the state. Through 2029, the role is expected to grow by over 28%, with over 4,600 new jobs added over that time frame. Most of these openings will require a bachelor’s degree for entry-level roles. You may consider sharpening your skills through a coding bootcamp or pursuing various IT certifications as well. The average salary for the job is over $88,000 a year, and some companies offer sign-on bonuses and other incentives to work for them.
Operations Research Analysts
An operations research analyst is an important role for most large corporations and businesses, as they help analyze and enhance business processes. They help a company’s leadership team make key business choices with careful and thoughtful analysis. Their role can include job duties like reviewing company policies and business processes, analyzing data and information to identify business opportunities, and recommending and updating policies and procedures to improve performance and enhance workflow.
Typically, a bachelor’s degree is required for analyst level positions. Most majors are welcome in the industry but degrees in business, economics, data science, engineering, and information management systems are the most common. In Oregon, the average salary for this position will fall between $63,000 to $80,000, and the job is expected to grow 28.7% through 2029, with about 377 new jobs added in that time.
Health care is an important sector of the Oregon economy. With one of the nation’s leading medical universities located in Portland, more healthcare roles will be in high demand in Oregon. Nurse practitioners will see an increase of over 29% through 2029, with over 650 new jobs added. A Master’s degree is required for this position, and the average salary for a nurse practitioner in Oregon is just over $107,000. A nurse practitioner can provide care to patients, perform examinations, order and administer diagnostic tests, and can operate and maintain medical equipment. This job is highly sought after since it is like being an M.D. without having to go through the same amount of education.
The job of statisticians is one that is in extremely high demand from the government, most businesses, and even nonprofit organizations in the state of Oregon. Their job duties include:
- Analyzing data
- Using models and programs for analysis
- Breaking down difficult-to-understand information to put it into accessible formats
Additionally, statisticians seek to solve complex problems, provide forecasts, and look for errors in data. Industries are doing more data collection than ever before, and statisticians are becoming more in demand than ever before due to their data analytics skills. The job outlook for statisticians through 2029 is 31.3%, and the median salary for a statistician is just over $85,800 per year.
Information Security Analysts
Information security analysts are another technology job opportunity that is one of the fastest-growing careers in the state of Oregon due to the number of tech companies in the area. An information security analyst’s job is to secure the data, information systems, and important information for a company or an organization. They are experts in testing the security and vulnerability of a system while investigating potential threats and making sure their organization is using up-to-date security systems along with strong security measures. As cyber-attacks are becoming more common, this job has seen a steep rise in demand in Oregon, where many large tech companies are located. The average salary for this role is over $84,500, and the role is expected to see a growth rate of almost 32%.
Computer Numerically Controlled Machine Tool Programmers
The role of a computer numerically controlled machine tool programmer, or CNC programmer, will be one of the hottest roles in demand in Oregon in the coming years. Through 2029, this job is expected to grow by over 32%, with 187 new jobs added in that time frame. A CNC programmer is responsible for developing programs to control machining or the processing of metal or plastic parts by automatic machine tools, equipment, or systems. They can also write programming in the language of a machine and store programs on media. A CNC programmer should have at least an associate’s degree or certificate in engineering or machining concentrations.
The role of a physician assistant is considered to be the fastest growing role in the state of Oregon. Their job duties include examining, diagnosing, and treating a physician’s patients. Generally speaking, a physician assistant will work as a part of a medical team, can prescribe medications, and offer support and assistance to family members of patients. They can also consult with other healthcare workers and provide outreach in times of need. As the population in Oregon continues to age, the demand for qualified physician assistants in the healthcare industry is growing rapidly. With a job outlook growth rate of 34.7% through 2029, the role will continue to see continuous growth, with 585 new jobs added during that time. The median salary for this job opportunity is over $92,000 and requires a Master’s degree.
Oregon Employment and Job Seeking Resources
If you’re a job seeker in Oregon, you’ll find information about finding employment, and informational job-seeking resources in this section. We have l included links to helpful job boards and other resources to help job seekers find a new career or work in Oregon. This section will provide information about Indeed, WorkSource Oregon, SE Works, The Oregonian, and the State of Oregon Employment Department.
Indeed is one of the largest job boards available on the internet. Despite being the country’s largest job board, it is extremely helpful for job seekers who live in Oregon or are looking to move to the state for a new career. Along with job postings, Indeed also offers career growth services, resume-building services, and advice from professionals. You can find informational articles, videos, and other resources to help you find a new career in Oregon. The website features an easy job application system and new jobs that get added to the site every day. Indeed has been one of the best resources for job seekers for quite some time and offers a wide variety of jobs in Oregon.
WorkSource Oregon works in partnership with the Oregon Employment Department and other state and local agencies to provide a variety of employment and training services to job seekers and employers in the state of Oregon. Their job is to help people find jobs and help businesses find employees. WorkSource Oregon will help job seekers who are new to the workforce, looking to make a change, or are recently unemployed find jobs they match with and enjoy doing. With an easy-to-use website and 39 locations across the entire state, WorkSource Oregon is one of the best available resources for job seekers in Oregon.
SE Works is a one-stop career center located in Portland, Oregon, that works in assistance with WorkSource Oregon and aims to aid multi-barrier, low-income, underserved populations and people returning from incarceration with finding full-time employment. They have a long history and track record of helping people in Oregon find new work. SE Works offers job search services for those looking to make a change or those that have become unemployed, additional education and training, career workshops, and career advising services. SE Works also has career services for disabled people and others with special needs who need accommodations to find work. You can find their website here.
State of Oregon Employment Department
The state of Oregon employment department offers plenty of employment resources for job seekers, unemployed workers, and businesses. The department is run by the Oregon state government and has a website with plenty of resources for Oregonian job seekers. These resources include job searches, access to job fairs and events, resources for veteran job seekers, unemployment claim services, and more. The state also offers plenty of resources with other job assistance organizations that they work with within the state to provide as many resources as possible. You can find the state of Oregon employment department job resources page on their website, located here.
Oregonlive.com is a website resource sponsored by The Oregonian, the top newspaper publication in the state of Oregon. Their website has become a vital resource for Oregon job seekers, and it features an in-depth job board, as well as resources for employers to find quality candidates in the state. The website also features job news such as trends and what’s happening in Oregon, like new employers moving into the state, employment trends, and more. There is also a career advice section that offers guidance for those looking to make a change or that have become unemployed. They offer resume advice and networking advice, along with interview and negotiation tips. You can find their website here.
Oregon Resume Writing Resources
In this section, you will find information and links to helpful resume writing resources located throughout Oregon. These resources will help you create a resume to help you stand out to potential employers and provide tips on writing an impressive cover letter.
University of Oregon
The University of Oregon is the state of Oregon’s top educational institution. As part of their student resources pages on their website, they offer resume and cover letter tips and advice for new job seekers and those looking to make a change. Along with great information and tips on how to perfect your resume and your cover letter, the site features an example resume and example cover letter so you can compare. Along with these resources, you can meet with a career coach and view an action verb list to help yourself stand out during your application and interview process. You can view the website here.
WorkSource Oregon works in partnership with the Oregon Employment Department along with other state and local agencies to provide a variety of employment and training services to both job seekers and employers in the state of Oregon. Along with matching people with jobs, WorkSource offers resume writing resources, education on improving your skills, and skill assessments to boost your resume. With an easy-to-use website and 39 locations across the entire state, WorkSource Oregon is one of the best available resources for job seekers in Oregon. They also offer career workshops and cover letter-building services.
Otto Resumes is a Portland-based resume writing business that helps Oregonians perfect their resume. Otto Resumes has over a decade of experience in recruiting and hiring, meaning they can offer resume writing advice and services from a different perspective. They can help write resumes for workers of all experience levels, including, entry-level, professional, executive-level, military transition, and academic job seekers. Their team works closely with you to craft your perfect resume and has experience with multiple industries. With a small, local team based out of Portland, Oregon, they offer a unique and individualized resume writing experience. You can find their website here.
Oregonlive.com is a website resource sponsored by The Oregonian, the top newspaper publication in the state of Oregon. Their website has become a vital resource for Oregon job seekers and features an in-depth job board, resume advice, and resources for job seekers. Their career advice page offers blogs and articles centered around bettering your resume, building a strong resume, creating a cover letter that helps you stand out, and more informational pieces. Along with resume-building advice, they offer tips on how to be better at networking and tips on how to be a better interviewee to be successful in your next job interview! You can find their website here.
Oregon Resume Writing Services
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