Most common jobs in Grand Rapids

Written by:
July 11, 2021
ESB Basic // Shutterstock

Most common jobs in Grand Rapids

The 10 largest occupations in America employ 30.5 million workers, representing 21% of all workers. Keeping America’s economy moving would be impossible without office workers, package handlers, food prep workers, and truck drivers. And what would the sick do without the millions of hospital workers, nurses, and home health aides?

Stacker compiled a list of the most common jobs in Grand Rapids using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Jobs are ranked by total employment as of May 2020. While much has changed during the coronavirus pandemic, the jobs featured here give a holistic view at the most popular industries in your area and how many jobs are supported.

Keep reading to see which jobs in Grand Rapids are the most common.

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Canva

#50. Financial managers

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Employment: 1,930 (3.741 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $120,700 (#209 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 653,080 (4.695 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $151,510
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($214,670)
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($210,180)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($192,310)
- Job description: Plan, direct, or coordinate accounting, investing, banking, insurance, securities, and other financial activities of a branch, office, or department of an establishment.
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Krakenimages.com // Shutterstock

#49. Childcare workers

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Employment: 1,940 (3.761 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $25,060 (#162 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 494,360 (3.554 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $26,790
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Fairbanks, AK ($38,590)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($38,090)
--- Santa Rosa, CA ($36,220)
- Job description: Attend to children at schools, businesses, private households, and childcare institutions. Perform a variety of tasks, such as dressing, feeding, bathing, and overseeing play.
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Crew // Wikimedia Commons

#48. Bartenders

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Employment: 1,960 (3.798 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $33,110 (#58 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 486,720 (3.499 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $28,910
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI ($64,630)
--- Urban Honolulu, HI ($59,960)
--- Santa Rosa, CA ($45,330)
- Job description: Mix and serve drinks to patrons, directly or through waitstaff.
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Lopolo // Shutterstock

#47. Middle school teachers, except special and career/technical education

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Employment: 2,090 (4.055 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $64,700 (#107 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 599,520 (4.31 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $64,990
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Bakersfield, CA ($101,970)
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($89,200)
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($88,220)
- Job description: Teach one or more subjects to students at the middle, intermediate, or junior high school level.
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Pixabay

#46. Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Employment: 2,120 (4.102 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $41,080 (#300 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 397,550 (2.858 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $46,690
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Fairbanks, AK ($75,080)
--- Wheeling, WV-OH ($74,970)
--- Anchorage, AK ($73,790)
- Job description: Use hand-welding, flame-cutting, hand-soldering, or brazing equipment to weld or join metal components or to fill holes, indentations, or seams of fabricated metal products.

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Rido // Shutterstock

#45. Human resources specialists

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Employment: 2,150 (4.158 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $58,000 (#267 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 647,810 (4.657 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $69,430
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($96,090)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($93,680)
--- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV ($90,130)
- Job description: Recruit, screen, interview, or place individuals within an organization. May perform other activities in multiple human resources areas.
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sculpies // Shutterstock

#44. First-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Employment: 2,210 (4.283 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $61,790 (#290 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 614,080 (4.415 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $72,990
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($107,870)
--- Mount Vernon-Anacortes, WA ($103,930)
--- Santa Rosa, CA ($100,620)
- Job description: Directly supervise and coordinate activities of construction or extraction workers.
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Pressmaster // Shutterstock

#43. Market research analysts and marketing specialists

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Employment: 2,230 (4.325 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $59,240 (#189 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 690,160 (4.962 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $73,970
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($117,900)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($97,720)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($96,150)
- Job description: Research conditions in local, regional, national, or online markets. Gather information to determine potential sales of a product or service, or plan a marketing or advertising campaign. May gather information on competitors, prices, sales, and methods of marketing and distribution. May employ search marketing tactics, analyze web metrics, and develop recommendations to increase search engine ranking and visibility to target markets.
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Canva

#42. Tool and die makers

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Employment: 2,270 (4.397 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $55,740 (#70 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 61,190 (0.44 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $55,520
- Entry level education requirements: Postsecondary nondegree award
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Flint, MI ($74,390)
--- New Haven, CT ($73,530)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($72,420)
- Job description: Analyze specifications, lay out metal stock, set up and operate machine tools, and fit and assemble parts to make and repair dies, cutting tools, jigs, fixtures, gauges, and machinists' hand tools.
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Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

#40 (tie). Carpenters

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Employment: 2,290 (4.435 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $48,740 (#150 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 699,300 (5.027 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $54,200
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Urban Honolulu, HI ($82,950)
--- Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($82,300)
--- Hanford-Corcoran, CA ($79,870)
- Job description: Construct, erect, install, or repair structures and fixtures made of wood and comparable materials, such as concrete forms; building frameworks, including partitions, joists, studding, and rafters; and wood stairways, window and door frames, and hardwood floors. May also install cabinets, siding, drywall, and batt or roll insulation. Includes brattice builders who build doors or brattices (ventilation walls or partitions) in underground passageways.

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4 PM production // Shutterstock

#40 (tie). Automotive service technicians and mechanics

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Employment: 2,290 (4.441 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $44,040 (#204 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 620,110 (4.458 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $46,760
- Entry level education requirements: Postsecondary nondegree award
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Fairbanks, AK ($66,060)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($64,630)
--- California-Lexington Park, MD ($64,420)
- Job description: Diagnose, adjust, repair, or overhaul automotive vehicles.
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Milkovasa // Shutterstock

#38 (tie). Medical assistants

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Employment: 2,550 (4.941 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $34,890 (#178 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 710,200 (5.106 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $36,930
- Entry level education requirements: Postsecondary nondegree award
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($53,960)
--- Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($53,660)
--- Santa Rosa, CA ($52,520)
- Job description: Perform administrative and certain clinical duties under the direction of a physician. Administrative duties may include scheduling appointments, maintaining medical records, billing, and coding information for insurance purposes. Clinical duties may include taking and recording vital signs and medical histories, preparing patients for examination, drawing blood, and administering medications as directed by physician.
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New Africa // Shutterstock

#38 (tie). Receptionists and information clerks

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Employment: 2,550 (4.928 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $32,480 (#98 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 968,420 (6.962 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $32,410
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Napa, CA ($43,270)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($42,160)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($41,840)
- Job description: Answer inquiries and provide information to the general public, customers, visitors, and other interested parties regarding activities conducted at establishment and location of departments, offices, and employees within the organization.
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DuxX // Shutterstock

#37. Packaging and filling machine operators and tenders

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Employment: 2,630 (5.101 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $34,380 (#166 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 370,910 (2.667 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $35,220
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Beckley, WV ($52,340)
--- Cedar Rapids, IA ($52,240)
--- Battle Creek, MI ($49,120)
- Job description: Operate or tend machines to prepare industrial or consumer products for storage or shipment. Includes cannery workers who pack food products.
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Pixabay

#36. Construction laborers

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Employment: 2,710 (5.244 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $37,420 (#205 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 971,330 (6.983 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $43,000
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI ($66,670)
--- Kankakee, IL ($65,730)
--- Urban Honolulu, HI ($63,860)
- Job description: Perform tasks involving physical labor at construction sites. May operate hand and power tools of all types: air hammers, earth tampers, cement mixers, small mechanical hoists, surveying and measuring equipment, and a variety of other equipment and instruments. May clean and prepare sites, dig trenches, set braces to support the sides of excavations, erect scaffolding, and clean up rubble, debris, and other waste materials. May assist other craft workers.

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OLIVIER DOULIERY // Getty Images

#35. First-line supervisors of food preparation and serving workers

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Employment: 2,730 (5.286 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $38,700 (#119 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 891,540 (6.409 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $37,880
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI ($59,490)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($53,350)
--- Napa, CA ($53,230)
- Job description: Directly supervise and coordinate activities of workers engaged in preparing and serving food.
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Sean Rayford // Getty Images

#34. Security guards

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Employment: 2,770 (5.354 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $29,590 (#279 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 1,054,400 (7.58 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $34,360
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Idaho Falls, ID ($66,030)
--- San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA ($61,090)
--- Durham-Chapel Hill, NC ($51,850)
- Job description: Guard, patrol, or monitor premises to prevent theft, violence, or infractions of rules. May operate x-ray and metal detector equipment.
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Tim Goode/PA Images // Getty Images

#33. Sales representatives of services, except advertising, insurance, financial services, and travel

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Employment: 3,120 (6.042 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $72,160 (#53 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 977,070 (7.024 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $70,490
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($115,620)
--- Lawrence, KS ($97,910)
--- Boulder, CO ($94,870)
- Job description: Sell services to individuals or businesses. May describe options or resolve client problems.
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Hulton Archive // Getty Images

#32. Electricians

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Employment: 3,150 (6.099 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $48,890 (#288 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 656,510 (4.72 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $61,550
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($106,680)
--- Trenton, NJ ($90,210)
--- Kankakee, IL ($88,530)
- Job description: Install, maintain, and repair electrical wiring, equipment, and fixtures. Ensure that work is in accordance with relevant codes. May install or service street lights, intercom systems, or electrical control systems.
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nullplus // Shutterstock

#31. Light truck drivers

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Employment: 3,170 (6.129 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $42,410 (#83 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 929,470 (6.682 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $41,050
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($52,420)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($51,890)
--- Anchorage, AK ($51,590)
- Job description: Drive a light vehicle, such as a truck or van, with a capacity of less than 26,001 pounds Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW), primarily to pick up merchandise or packages from a distribution center and deliver. May load and unload vehicle.

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ALPA PROD // Shutterstock

#30. Medical secretaries and administrative assistants

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Employment: 3,230 (6.246 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $34,290 (#269 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 597,100 (4.293 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $39,000
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($55,220)
--- Salinas, CA ($53,900)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($52,020)
- Job description: Perform secretarial duties using specific knowledge of medical terminology and hospital, clinic, or laboratory procedures. Duties may include scheduling appointments, billing patients, and compiling and recording medical charts, reports, and correspondence.
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Rob Kim // Getty Images

#29. First-line supervisors of retail sales workers

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Employment: 3,320 (6.418 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $46,860 (#150 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 1,063,110 (7.643 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $47,300
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($62,180)
--- Yakima, WA ($61,710)
--- Sheboygan, WI ($61,610)
- Job description: Directly supervise and coordinate activities of retail sales workers in an establishment or department. Duties may include management functions, such as purchasing, budgeting, accounting, and personnel work, in addition to supervisory duties.
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Jorge Royan // Wikimedia Commons

#28. Cooks, restaurant

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Employment: 3,340 (6.470 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $28,050 (#163 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 1,109,650 (7.977 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $29,530
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI ($45,200)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($39,950)
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($39,450)
- Job description: Prepare, season, and cook dishes such as soups, meats, vegetables, or desserts in restaurants. May order supplies, keep records and accounts, price items on menu, or plan menu.
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B Brown // Shutterstock

#27. Secondary school teachers, except special and career/technical education

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Employment: 3,550 (6.873 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $60,610 (#150 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 991,000 (7.124 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $67,340
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Napa, CA ($99,170)
--- Fresno, CA ($96,200)
--- Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA ($95,500)
- Job description: Teach one or more subjects to students at the secondary school level.
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LuckView // Shutterstock

#26. Cutting, punching, and press machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Employment: 3,610 (6.990 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $36,850 (#147 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 179,300 (1.289 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $38,650
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Oshkosh-Neenah, WI ($50,080)
--- Rome, GA ($49,580)
--- Weirton-Steubenville, WV-OH ($49,140)
- Job description: Set up, operate, or tend machines to saw, cut, shear, slit, punch, crimp, notch, bend, or straighten metal or plastic material.

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Canva

#25. Mechanical engineers

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Employment: 3,700 (7.156 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $80,380 (#251 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 293,960 (2.113 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $95,560
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($125,760)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($124,190)
--- Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX ($123,700)
- Job description: Perform engineering duties in planning and designing tools, engines, machines, and other mechanically functioning equipment. Oversee installation, operation, maintenance, and repair of equipment such as centralized heat, gas, water, and steam systems.
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SritanaN // Shutterstock

#24. Industrial machinery mechanics

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Employment: 3,710 (7.186 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $51,960 (#274 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 385,980 (2.775 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $57,350
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Norwich-New London-Westerly, CT-RI ($84,180)
--- San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA ($84,150)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($77,580)
- Job description: Repair, install, adjust, or maintain industrial production and processing machinery or refinery and pipeline distribution systems. May also install, dismantle, or move machinery and heavy equipment according to plans.
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GaudiLab // Shutterstock

#23. First-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Employment: 3,750 (7.267 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $57,910 (#159 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 1,427,260 (10.261 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $62,010
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Bremerton-Silverdale, WA ($78,770)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($77,030)
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($75,820)
- Job description: Directly supervise and coordinate the activities of clerical and administrative support workers.
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The Boston Globe // Getty Images

#22. Elementary school teachers, except special education

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Employment: 3,790 (7.339 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $63,560 (#123 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 1,364,870 (9.812 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $65,420
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Merced, CA ($99,360)
--- Kingston, NY ($93,780)
--- Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA ($92,910)
- Job description: Teach academic and social skills to students at the elementary school level.
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ImageFlow // Shutterstock

#21. Accountants and auditors

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Employment: 3,960 (7.670 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $70,270 (#224 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 1,274,620 (9.163 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $81,660
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Salinas, CA ($111,680)
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($105,720)
--- Midland, TX ($103,120)
- Job description: Examine, analyze, and interpret accounting records to prepare financial statements, give advice, or audit and evaluate statements prepared by others. Install or advise on systems of recording costs or other financial and budgetary data.

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London Metropolitan Archives/Heritage Images // Getty Images

#20. Machinists

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Employment: 4,150 (8.028 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $43,360 (#267 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 360,340 (2.59 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $47,800
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Urban Honolulu, HI ($68,950)
--- Anchorage, AK ($64,610)
--- Farmington, NM ($64,190)
- Job description: Set up and operate a variety of machine tools to produce precision parts and instruments out of metal. Includes precision instrument makers who fabricate, modify, or repair mechanical instruments. May also fabricate and modify parts to make or repair machine tools or maintain industrial machines, applying knowledge of mechanics, mathematics, metal properties, layout, and machining procedures.
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Creative Tools // Flickr

#19. Molding, coremaking, and casting machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Employment: 4,160 (8.063 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $33,150 (#147 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 155,020 (1.114 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $35,960
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Vineland-Bridgeton, NJ ($58,180)
--- New Bern, NC ($55,410)
--- Portsmouth, NH-ME ($50,160)
- Job description: Set up, operate, or tend metal or plastic molding, casting, or coremaking machines to mold or cast metal or thermoplastic parts or products.
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Paul.J.West // Shutterstock

#18. Teaching assistants, except postsecondary

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Employment: 4,170 (8.077 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $29,640 (#135 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 1,272,840 (9.151 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $30,630
- Entry level education requirements: Some college, no degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA ($42,110)
--- New Bedford, MA ($41,780)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($41,160)
- Job description: Assist a preschool, elementary, middle, or secondary school teacher with instructional duties. Serve in a position for which a teacher has primary responsibility for the design and implementation of educational programs and services.
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Rawpixel.com // Shutterstock

#17. Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Employment: 4,250 (8.225 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $40,690 (#197 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 1,443,940 (10.381 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $44,100
- Entry level education requirements: Some college, no degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($56,700)
--- Santa Rosa, CA ($55,720)
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($55,720)
- Job description: Compute, classify, and record numerical data to keep financial records complete. Perform any combination of routine calculating, posting, and verifying duties to obtain primary financial data for use in maintaining accounting records. May also check the accuracy of figures, calculations, and postings pertaining to business transactions recorded by other workers.
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Fusionstudio // Shutterstock

#16. Shipping, receiving, and inventory clerks

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Employment: 4,260 (8.251 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $35,240 (#246 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 727,640 (5.231 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $37,210
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Fairbanks, AK ($52,310)
--- California-Lexington Park, MD ($50,180)
--- Bremerton-Silverdale, WA ($49,530)
- Job description: Verify and maintain records on incoming and outgoing shipments involving inventory. Duties include verifying and recording incoming merchandise or material and arranging for the transportation of products. May prepare items for shipment.

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Pixabay

#15. Maintenance and repair workers, general

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Employment: 4,310 (8.353 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $40,510 (#224 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 1,357,630 (9.76 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $43,790
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($58,140)
--- Yuba City, CA ($57,930)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($54,820)
- Job description: Perform work involving the skills of two or more maintenance or craft occupations to keep machines, mechanical equipment, or the structure of a building in repair. Duties may involve pipe fitting; HVAC maintenance; insulating; welding; machining; carpentry; repairing electrical or mechanical equipment; installing, aligning, and balancing new equipment; and repairing buildings, floors, or stairs.
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viviandnguyen_ // Flickr

#13 (tie). Packers and packagers, hand

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Employment: 4,340 (8.397 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $28,880 (#151 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 599,270 (4.308 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $29,270
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Rome, GA ($39,770)
--- Longview, WA ($39,680)
--- Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI ($36,820)
- Job description: Pack or package by hand a wide variety of products and materials.
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Glenn Highcove // Shutterstock

#13 (tie). Industrial truck and tractor operators

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Employment: 4,340 (8.398 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $35,180 (#286 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 640,950 (4.608 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $39,210
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Urban Honolulu, HI ($58,230)
--- Hinesville, GA ($56,220)
--- Battle Creek, MI ($52,400)
- Job description: Operate industrial trucks or tractors equipped to move materials around a warehouse, storage yard, factory, construction site, or similar location.
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Dmitry Kalinovsky // Shutterstock

#12. Inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Employment: 4,470 (8.647 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $37,550 (#332 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 549,200 (3.948 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $44,580
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Odessa, TX ($85,040)
--- Fairbanks, AK ($80,520)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($67,990)
- Job description: Inspect, test, sort, sample, or weigh nonagricultural raw materials or processed, machined, fabricated, or assembled parts or products for defects, wear, and deviations from specifications. May use precision measuring instruments and complex test equipment.
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Oleg Golovnev // Shutterstock

#11. First-line supervisors of production and operating workers

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Employment: 5,040 (9.752 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $66,210 (#174 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 599,900 (4.313 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $66,800
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Baton Rouge, LA ($101,930)
--- Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX ($100,590)
--- Longview, WA ($99,590)
- Job description: Directly supervise and coordinate the activities of production and operating workers, such as inspectors, precision workers, machine setters and operators, assemblers, fabricators, and plant and system operators. Excludes team or work leaders.

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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#10. Waiters and waitresses

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Employment: 5,920 (11.469 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $30,090 (#85 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 1,944,240 (13.977 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $27,470
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Urban Honolulu, HI ($62,630)
--- Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI ($57,210)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($43,160)
- Job description: Take orders and serve food and beverages to patrons at tables in dining establishment.
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GagliardiPhotography // Shutterstock

#9. Nursing assistants

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Employment: 6,910 (13.371 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $30,240 (#196 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 1,371,050 (9.857 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $32,050
- Entry level education requirements: Postsecondary nondegree award
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($48,420)
--- Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA ($43,960)
--- Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($42,200)
- Job description: Provide or assist with basic care or support under the direction of onsite licensed nursing staff. Perform duties such as monitoring of health status, feeding, bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting, or ambulation of patients in a health or nursing facility. May include medication administration and other health-related tasks. Includes nursing care attendants, nursing aides, and nursing attendants.
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The Boston Globe // Getty Images

#8. Stockers and order fillers

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Employment: 7,150 (13.833 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $29,960 (#175 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 2,210,960 (15.895 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $31,010
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Odessa, TX ($39,130)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($39,040)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($38,580)
- Job description: Receive, store, and issue merchandise, materials, equipment, and other items from stockroom, warehouse, or storage yard to fill shelves, racks, tables, or customers' orders. May operate power equipment to fill orders. May mark prices on merchandise and set up sales displays.
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Pixabay

#7. General and operations managers

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Employment: 7,990 (15.461 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $120,940 (#100 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 2,347,420 (16.876 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $125,740
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($183,170)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($175,990)
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($172,370)
- Job description: Plan, direct, or coordinate the operations of public or private sector organizations, overseeing multiple departments or locations. Duties and responsibilities include formulating policies, managing daily operations, and planning the use of materials and human resources, but are too diverse and general in nature to be classified in any one functional area of management or administration, such as personnel, purchasing, or administrative services. Usually manage through subordinate supervisors. Excludes First-Line Supervisors.
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Pixabay

#6. Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Employment: 9,560 (18.504 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $46,610 (#218 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 1,797,710 (12.924 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $48,710
- Entry level education requirements: Postsecondary nondegree award
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Barnstable Town, MA ($65,170)
--- Danville, IL ($63,230)
--- Lewiston, ID-WA ($62,250)
- Job description: Drive a tractor-trailer combination or a truck with a capacity of at least 26,001 pounds Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW). May be required to unload truck. Requires commercial drivers' license. Includes tow truck drivers.

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ESB Basic // Shutterstock

#5. Customer service representatives

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Employment: 9,660 (18.704 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $39,060 (#80 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 2,833,250 (20.368 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $38,510
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($49,930)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($47,720)
--- Midland, MI ($47,250)
- Job description: Interact with customers to provide basic or scripted information in response to routine inquiries about products and services. May handle and resolve general complaints. Excludes individuals whose duties are primarily installation, sales, repair, and technical support.
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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#4. Retail salespersons

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Employment: 12,400 (23.999 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $30,660 (#165 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 3,659,670 (26.31 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $30,940
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($43,160)
--- Carson City, NV ($40,030)
--- Santa Rosa, CA ($39,160)
- Job description: Sell merchandise, such as furniture, motor vehicles, appliances, or apparel to consumers.
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Pxhere

#3. Fast food and counter workers

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Employment: 13,400 (25.936 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $24,310 (#129 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 3,450,120 (24.803 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $24,540
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($34,020)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($34,000)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($33,370)
- Job description: Perform duties such as taking orders and serving food and beverages. Serve customers at counter or from a steam table. May take payment. May prepare food and beverages.
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Rawpixel.com // Shutterstock

#2. Registered nurses

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Employment: 13,940 (26.989 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $69,760 (#196 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 2,986,500 (21.47 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $80,010
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($149,200)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($146,870)
--- Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($142,140)
- Job description: Assess patient health problems and needs, develop and implement nursing care plans, and maintain medical records. Administer nursing care to ill, injured, convalescent, or disabled patients. May advise patients on health maintenance and disease prevention or provide case management. Licensing or registration required.
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Pixabay

#1. Laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, hand

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Employment: 19,300 (37.364 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $29,400 (#325 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 2,805,200 (20.167 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $33,710
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($42,690)
--- Fairbanks, AK ($41,900)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($41,820)
- Job description: Manually move freight, stock, luggage, or other materials, or perform other general labor. Includes all manual laborers not elsewhere classified.

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