With a labor force of 3.5 million, Washington has a diverse economy containing a variety of industries, such as agriculture, aerospace, and information and communication technology. With companies such as Microsoft and Amazon stationing their headquarters in Washington, the state is considered a hub for forward-thinking technology and innovation.
Many residents find employment in these top industries, but Washington also employs much of the population at the government level. Known for its robust benefits and variety of occupations, Washington prides itself on caring for its people.
The median household income is $77,000, coming in higher than the median household income of the United States. Washington’s unemployment rate sits at 3.7%, which is on par with the country’s unemployment rate.
Career Opportunities in Washington
The following list features the most in-demand jobs in Washington today, along with a short description of the role and education requirements. With hundreds of openings available each year, these occupations are projected to grow at the highest rate. With career options spanning a variety of industries, this list has an opportunity for all interests and skill sets.
A software developer designs and develops computer software to meet client and customer needs. They are expert problem solvers who anticipate customer needs, find solutions, and implement them. A software developer might occasionally need to work on hardware to integrate and maintain software.
As the world becomes increasingly dependent on digital systems and the internet, the demand for software developers only heightens. Most software developers have a Bachelor’s degree, and many Washington universities will equip students with the appropriate training through a major in Computer Software Engineering, Information Technology, or Computer Science.
In Washington, software developers have a median salary of $151,000. The demand for software developers is projected to increase by 37% by 2030. Washington ranks second in the nation for pay in this field and also has the most concentration of jobs, specifically in the Seattle-Tacoma area.
Home Health Aides
Home health aides assist individuals with disabilities or illnesses at the patient’s home. They often help patients with daily activities, like bathing, dressing, and administering medication. Home health aides might take care of light housekeeping services, like laundry or dishes, or simple medical care, like changing a dressing.
Most home health aides have a high school diploma, but no other education is needed. Many home health aides have a certification from a community college in Home Care Aide Training or a similar program. They work under the supervision of licensed nursing staff. Home health training and certification are often available through Home Health Agencies.
Home health aides often work part-time or as needed. They have an annual salary of $34,000, with a projected growth of 3% every year.
Management analysts make operations and systems more efficient and profitable through problem-solving. Their primary responsibilities include analyzing and improving how a company functions, as well as improving employee organization or marketing strategies. Most management analysts work in specialized industries and government agencies.
Many management analysts have a bachelor’s degree, and years of experience in information technology (IT) or management before pursuing this particular job. Universities with degree options in General Business Administration or Data Analytics can fulfill employer education expectations for this role. Additionally, degrees in Information Systems Management and Business Management are acceptable for entry into the role. More opportunities are available in this field for those who pursue an MBA.
Management analysts often contract with employers and move on to a new company after completing the job. The average annual salary for a management analyst is $109,000, and their projected yearly growth rate is 2.2%.
Registered nurses can work in hospitals, clinics, or doctor’s offices. They assess a patient’s needs and implement nursing care plans, and may maintain medical records. They might use their medical knowledge to advise patients on their overall health or educate patients on disease prevention.
A Bachelor’s degree is required to work as a registered nurse in the state of Washington, and a nursing license is necessary to remain in good standing. The licensing exam requires extensive preparation, but many degree plans in Washington have programs designed to help nursing students successfully pass the exam.
Registered nurses work full-time and earn an average annual salary of $93,000. Their projected yearly increase is 0.6%, amounting to over 3,000 open positions annually.
First Line Supervisors of Office and Administrative Support Workers
Supervisors of office and administrative support workers perform managerial duties in a variety of settings, like accounting firms, offices, or customer service lines. They assist employees in their everyday tasks and may handle customer complaints. Supervisors have high interpersonal and organizational skill sets that help them successfully manage groups of employees of any size.
Most supervisors have on-the-job training or an Associate’s degree. Some companies promote supervisors to their roles from different positions in the company, so they can be sure their supervisors are knowledgeable employees in their field. An Associate’s degree in Customer Service Management or Office Management and Supervision will prepare applicants for this career.
Additionally, retail is often a common place for those who began working in a sales role to get promoted into key holder, assistant manager and then manager. Small business or professional services offices are also likely places to promote from within or hire a manager or supervisor without a bachelor’s degree.
The average annual salary of a supervisor is $73,000. There will be more than 2,500 job openings annually, with a growth rate of -0.4%.
Medical and Health Services Managers
Medical and health services managers help maintain the efficiency of healthcare programs while directing and coordinating relevant services. Most of these managers lead a specialized clinic or hospital department, like rehabilitation, pediatrics, or surgery. Since this subset of managerial duties is so specific, medical and health services managers must remain knowledgeable of healthcare laws and regulations. Please note that this type of medical manager is often different than one found in a small private medical practice. The one referenced here is more likely to be found at a hospital or surgical center.
Most medical and health services managers hold a Bachelor’s degree, and many positions require a Master’s degree. Universities with Public Health or Healthcare Administration programs will prepare students best for a career in this role.
Medical and health services managers earn an average annual salary of $134,000. Employment is projected to increase by 1.9% annually.
General and Operations Managers
General and operations managers work in a variety of industries, such as restaurants, retail, or office-based companies. Their duties might include managing employees, overseeing a large corporation’s locations, or maintaining a company budget. They often write policies and supervise the use of company material but can be assigned various tasks depending on the industry.
Again, this role varies greatly and the way to enter the field does as well. Requirements will be contingent on the industry. Some general managers in the hospitality industry for example have at least a bachelor’s degree, while others have worked their way up from server or front desk clerk.
Most general and operations managers come into their roles by way of promotion. However, an Associate’s degree in Business Administration and Management or General Business/Commerce can prepare students for a future career in this role.
The salary for a general and operations manager can vary, but they earn an average salary of $140,000. Employment is projected to increase by 1.0% annually.
Middle School Teachers
Middle school teachers teach various subjects to students at the middle school or junior high level. This listing applies to middle school teachers teaching any subject, excluding special education teachers and substitute teachers.
Middle school teachers hold a Bachelor’s degree in their intended subject matter and must attend a state-approved teacher preparation program. Many Washington universities provide relevant degrees for any subject the student wants to teach at the middle school level and prioritize these teacher preparation programs in their curriculum. Teachers need to obtain a certification or license for the state they wish to teach in, which requires a certification exam.
There are over 700 job openings expected each year for middle school teachers, with an average annual salary of $77,000.
Washington Employment and Job Seeking Resources
The following list features free job-seeking resources for those searching for employment in the state of Washington. Here, you’ll find job boards for the general public alongside specific industries like government and long-term care. Many of these websites feature additional resources for veterans, the unemployed, and people with disabilities.
WorkSource Washington provides services to job seekers and employers alike with an easy-to-use public job board that lists career opportunities in the state. You can apply directly to jobs through their website and save any you’d like to use later. Their site also allows you to create a resume and store your career documents to be readily available for application purposes.
WorkSource Washington also provides resources for veterans, farm workers, people with disabilities, and dislocated workers. You can learn about available apprenticeships through their website and read articles that give free career advice for several occupations.
Washington Connection is a helpful website with a series of links designed to connect users to various career services that can fit almost every need. Here, you can find information on unemployment and childcare options for those going back to work or looking for work. They also list resources for the blind and vocational rehabilitation to help people with disabilities with their job search.
You can also use Washington Connection as a link to many job boards in the state. For those looking for general career help, they offer a link to Career Bridge. They also provide career-specific boards, like Washington Care Careers, specifically those looking for long-term care jobs.
Washington Career Bridge
Through Washington Career Bridge, users can take a quiz to determine which career best fits their interests. This comprehensive quiz analyzes what you like to do and your core values. Then, they pair you with a short list of careers that might suit you well. This is an excellent resource for those just starting out on their career search or looking to make a change.
Users can also view job trends directly through the website. By conducting a quick keyword search, you can view job descriptions, their annual salary, and their employment outlook. Once you’ve settled on a career (or perhaps a few), head to their “find education” tab to search for trade schools, colleges, and universities that can help you access the training you need for the career you want. They also offer links to federal aid to help students pay for college tuition.
This website serves as the database for all government job openings in Washington state. Browse for jobs, set up email alerts for jobs that align with your interests, and learn about the competitive benefits Washington offers its employees, including options for retirement and paid leave.
The state government offers a wide variety of job openings, including positions at colleges and universities and jobs in law enforcement. You can also find openings in healthcare and engineering, along with opportunities for internships to help you advance your career.
Washington Resume Writing Resources
The following list features free state-specific resume writing resources to help you organize your career documents and quickly apply for jobs. While there are many resume writing resources in the state and online, the following is the only option in Washington that offers free help.
Worksource Washington provides a free resume generator to any active user who creates a free account on their website. This basic resume service is helpful when applying for jobs on the Worksource website and is available for any type of job application. While it’s a no-frills approach to resume writing, it’s a great resource for those seeking help with organizing career information or generating their first career documents.
Resume Writing Services in Washington
Below, you’ll find a list of all the resume writing services in the state of Washington. In selecting these services, we have considered their ability to create effective resumes that will catch the attention of employers and hiring managers while also optimizing them for the applicant tracking system (ATS) and depicting the value of the employee in a concise manner.
Ascend Career and Life Strategies+
13555 SE 36th Street Suite 100, Bellevue, WA 98006
Career Discovery Inc.+
40 Lake Bellevue Suite 100, Bellevue, WA 98005
Career Horizons, LLC+
14205 SE 36th Street Suite 100, Bellevue, WA 98006
Seattle, WA 98118
6100 219th St. SW Suite 480, Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043
Quality Resume 20+
Radiance Coaching and Consulting+
Seattle, WA 98116
RM Career Services, LLC+