Most common jobs in Columbia

Written by:
July 11, 2021
Ruslan Galiullin // Shutterstock

Most common jobs in Columbia

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 Columbia 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 Columbia are the most common.

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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#50. Insurance claims and policy processing clerks

Columbia, SC
- Employment: 1,370 (3.669 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $39,590 (#155 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 240,740 (1.731 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $45,070
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT ($60,640)
--- Anchorage, AK ($60,250)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($58,390)
- Job description: Process new insurance policies, modifications to existing policies, and claims forms. Obtain information from policyholders to verify the accuracy and completeness of information on claims forms, applications and related documents, and company records. Update existing policies and company records to reflect changes requested by policyholders and insurance company representatives.
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ALPA PROD // Shutterstock

#49. First-line supervisors of transportation and material moving workers, except aircraft cargo handling supervisors

Columbia, SC
- Employment: 1,400 (3.740 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $54,970 (#195 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 477,430 (3.432 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $58,300
- Entry level education requirements: nan
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Fairbanks, AK ($80,810)
--- Houma-Thibodaux, LA ($76,610)
--- Odessa, TX ($76,050)
- Job description: Directly supervise and coordinate activities of material-moving machine and vehicle operators and helpers.
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Canva

#48. Financial managers

Columbia, SC
- Employment: 1,410 (3.774 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $121,500 (#203 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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Canva

#47. Cooks, institution and cafeteria

Columbia, SC
- Employment: 1,430 (3.825 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $24,790 (#330 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 387,300 (2.784 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $29,940
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI ($46,970)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($44,240)
--- Fairbanks, AK ($43,890)
- Job description: Prepare and cook large quantities of food for institutions, such as schools, hospitals, or cafeterias.
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Glenn Highcove // Shutterstock

#46. Industrial truck and tractor operators

Columbia, SC
- Employment: 1,450 (3.891 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $34,450 (#300 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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VH-studio // Shutterstock

#45. Educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors

Columbia, SC
- Employment: 1,490 (3.985 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $55,130 (#223 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 292,230 (2.101 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $62,320
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA ($91,420)
--- El Centro, CA ($91,110)
--- Fresno, CA ($90,860)
- Job description: Advise and assist students and provide educational and vocational guidance services.
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Arjuna Kodisinghe // Shutterstock

#44. Network and computer systems administrators

Columbia, SC
- Employment: 1,530 (4.110 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $79,550 (#156 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 339,560 (2.441 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $89,460
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($134,260)
--- Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD ($116,840)
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($111,790)
- Job description: Install, configure, and maintain an organization's local area network (LAN), wide area network (WAN), data communications network, operating systems, and physical and virtual servers. Perform system monitoring and verify the integrity and availability of hardware, network, and server resources and systems. Review system and application logs and verify completion of scheduled jobs, including system backups. Analyze network and server resource consumption and control user access. Install and upgrade software and maintain software licenses. May assist in network modeling, analysis, planning, and coordination between network and data communications hardware and software.
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Rido // Shutterstock

#43. Human resources specialists

Columbia, SC
- Employment: 1,540 (4.119 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $59,150 (#246 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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Rawpixel.com // Shutterstock

#42. Maids and housekeeping cleaners

Columbia, SC
- Employment: 1,570 (4.211 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $23,420 (#269 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 795,590 (5.72 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $28,010
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($44,640)
--- Urban Honolulu, HI ($41,370)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($40,490)
- Job description: Perform any combination of light cleaning duties to maintain private households or commercial establishments, such as hotels and hospitals, in a clean and orderly manner. Duties may include making beds, replenishing linens, cleaning rooms and halls, and vacuuming.
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Roman Samborskyi // Shutterstock

#40 (tie). Software developers and software quality assurance analysts and testers

Columbia, SC
- Employment: 1,600 (4.276 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $81,720 (#298 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 1,476,800 (10.617 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $114,270
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($157,480)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($144,740)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($140,930)
- Job description: Research, design, and develop computer and network software or specialized utility programs. Analyze user needs and develop software solutions, applying principles and techniques of computer science, engineering, and mathematical analysis. Update software or enhance existing software capabilities. May work with computer hardware engineers to integrate hardware and software systems, and develop specifications and performance requirements. May maintain databases within an application area, working individually or coordinating database development as part of a team.

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4 PM production // Shutterstock

#40 (tie). First-line supervisors of mechanics, installers, and repairers

Columbia, SC
- Employment: 1,600 (4.293 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $66,310 (#263 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 475,000 (3.415 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $73,100
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($95,680)
--- Bremerton-Silverdale, WA ($93,140)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($92,810)
- Job description: Directly supervise and coordinate the activities of mechanics, installers, and repairers. May also advise customers on recommended services. Excludes team or work leaders.
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#39. Carpenters

Columbia, SC
- Employment: 1,610 (4.312 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $48,140 (#163 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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ALPA PROD // Shutterstock

#38. Medical secretaries and administrative assistants

Columbia, SC
- Employment: 1,690 (4.541 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $36,510 (#183 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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Jacob L. // Shutterstock

#37. Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses

Columbia, SC
- Employment: 1,730 (4.643 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $44,100 (#293 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 676,440 (4.863 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $50,090
- Entry level education requirements: Postsecondary nondegree award
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($75,950)
--- Santa Rosa, CA ($74,820)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($74,520)
- Job description: Care for ill, injured, or convalescing patients or persons with disabilities in hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, private homes, group homes, and similar institutions. May work under the supervision of a registered nurse. Licensing required.
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VH-studio // Shutterstock

#36. Child, family, and school social workers

Columbia, SC
- Employment: 1,740 (4.675 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $44,280 (#250 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 328,120 (2.359 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $52,370
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Trenton, NJ ($76,020)
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($73,490)
--- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV ($70,940)
- Job description: Provide social services and assistance to improve the social and psychological functioning of children and their families and to maximize the family well-being and the academic functioning of children. May assist parents, arrange adoptions, and find foster homes for abandoned or abused children. In schools, they address such problems as teenage pregnancy, misbehavior, and truancy. May also advise teachers.

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Canva

#35. Computer systems analysts

Columbia, SC
- Employment: 1,760 (4.727 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $78,040 (#252 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 574,450 (4.13 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $99,020
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($133,970)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($125,350)
--- Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX ($124,070)
- Job description: Analyze science, engineering, business, and other data processing problems to develop and implement solutions to complex applications problems, system administration issues, or network concerns. Perform systems management and integration functions, improve existing computer systems, and review computer system capabilities, workflow, and schedule limitations. May analyze or recommend commercially available software.
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Dmitry Kalinovsky // Shutterstock

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

Columbia, SC
- Employment: 1,900 (5.098 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $40,190 (#277 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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4 PM production // Shutterstock

#33. Automotive service technicians and mechanics

Columbia, SC
- Employment: 1,950 (5.236 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $43,800 (#211 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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New Africa // Shutterstock

#32. Receptionists and information clerks

Columbia, SC
- Employment: 2,000 (5.353 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $28,500 (#278 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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Canva

#31. Landscaping and groundskeeping workers

Columbia, SC
- Employment: 2,010 (5.390 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $28,590 (#313 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 872,370 (6.272 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $33,800
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($46,990)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($45,160)
--- New Haven, CT ($43,820)
- Job description: Landscape or maintain grounds of property using hand or power tools or equipment. Workers typically perform a variety of tasks, which may include any combination of the following: sod laying, mowing, trimming, planting, watering, fertilizing, digging, raking, sprinkler installation, and installation of mortarless segmental concrete masonry wall units.

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Rappaport Center // Wikimedia Commons

#30. Lawyers

Columbia, SC
- Employment: 2,030 (5.428 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $120,310 (#126 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 658,120 (4.731 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $148,910
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($231,610)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($201,920)
--- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV ($186,070)
- Job description: Represent clients in criminal and civil litigation and other legal proceedings, draw up legal documents, or manage or advise clients on legal transactions. May specialize in a single area or may practice broadly in many areas of law.
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Tim Goode/PA Images // Getty Images

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

Columbia, SC
- Employment: 2,060 (5.523 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $61,900 (#175 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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Lopolo // Shutterstock

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

Columbia, SC
- Employment: 2,090 (5.606 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $59,520 (#153 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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sculpies // Shutterstock

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

Columbia, SC
- Employment: 2,210 (5.928 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $62,140 (#285 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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B Brown // Shutterstock

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

Columbia, SC
- Employment: 2,240 (6.003 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $58,270 (#184 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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nullplus // Shutterstock

#25. Light truck drivers

Columbia, SC
- Employment: 2,250 (6.043 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $36,460 (#261 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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Dragon Images // Shutterstock

#24. Social and human service assistants

Columbia, SC
- Employment: 2,460 (6.599 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $29,940 (#344 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 399,920 (2.875 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $38,230
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Yuba City, CA ($60,070)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($55,910)
--- Merced, CA ($53,300)
- Job description: Assist other social and human service providers in providing client services in a wide variety of fields, such as psychology, rehabilitation, or social work, including support for families. May assist clients in identifying and obtaining available benefits and social and community services. May assist social workers with developing, organizing, and conducting programs to prevent and resolve problems relevant to substance abuse, human relationships, rehabilitation, or dependent care.
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Paul.J.West // Shutterstock

#23. Teaching assistants, except postsecondary

Columbia, SC
- Employment: 2,490 (6.679 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $25,530 (#264 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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pio3 // Shutterstock

#22. Police and sheriff's patrol officers

Columbia, SC
- Employment: 2,730 (7.321 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $44,840 (#339 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 654,900 (4.708 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $70,000
- Entry level education requirements: nan
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($131,090)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($122,570)
--- Santa Rosa, CA ($115,690)
- Job description: Maintain order and protect life and property by enforcing local, tribal, state, or federal laws and ordinances. Perform a combination of the following duties: patrol a specific area; direct traffic; issue traffic summonses; investigate accidents; apprehend and arrest suspects, or serve legal processes of courts. Includes police officers working at educational institutions.
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Shift Drive // Shutterstock

#21. Computer user support specialists

Columbia, SC
- Employment: 2,900 (7.769 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $51,120 (#192 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 634,820 (4.564 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $57,000
- Entry level education requirements: Some college, no degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA ($86,350)
--- Napa, CA ($78,740)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($78,670)
- Job description: Provide technical assistance to computer users. Answer questions or resolve computer problems for clients in person, via telephone, or electronically. May provide assistance concerning the use of computer hardware and software, including printing, installation, word processing, electronic mail, and operating systems.

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Pixabay

#20. Construction laborers

Columbia, SC
- Employment: 3,040 (8.135 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $35,210 (#253 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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Daniel Lee // Flickr

#19. Cooks, fast food

Columbia, SC
- Employment: 3,070 (8.220 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $19,820 (#264 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 544,420 (3.914 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $24,300
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Cedar Rapids, IA ($34,790)
--- Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA ($33,580)
--- Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA ($33,570)
- Job description: Prepare and cook food in a fast food restaurant with a limited menu. Duties of these cooks are limited to preparation of a few basic items and normally involve operating large-volume single-purpose cooking equipment.
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fizkes // Shutterstock

#18. Management analysts

Columbia, SC
- Employment: 3,540 (9.488 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $76,990 (#270 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 734,000 (5.277 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $97,580
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Dothan, AL ($163,720)
--- Barnstable Town, MA ($157,490)
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($135,250)
- Job description: Conduct organizational studies and evaluations, design systems and procedures, conduct work simplification and measurement studies, and prepare operations and procedures manuals to assist management in operating more efficiently and effectively. Includes program analysts and management consultants.
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Stock Rocket // Shutterstock

#17. Sales representatives, wholesale and manufacturing, except technical and scientific products

Columbia, SC
- Employment: 3,570 (9.563 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $66,490 (#211 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 1,278,670 (9.192 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $73,500
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Danbury, CT ($112,810)
--- Napa, CA ($101,850)
--- Santa Fe, NM ($93,680)
- Job description: Sell goods for wholesalers or manufacturers to businesses or groups of individuals. Work requires substantial knowledge of items sold.
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GagliardiPhotography // Shutterstock

#16. Nursing assistants

Columbia, SC
- Employment: 3,650 (9.775 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $28,320 (#273 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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ImageFlow // Shutterstock

#15. Accountants and auditors

Columbia, SC
- Employment: 3,690 (9.890 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $61,130 (#367 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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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#14. Waiters and waitresses

Columbia, SC
- Employment: 4,270 (11.445 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $19,560 (#354 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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Pixabay

#13. Maintenance and repair workers, general

Columbia, SC
- Employment: 4,450 (11.922 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $39,840 (#245 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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Pixabay

#12. Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers

Columbia, SC
- Employment: 4,560 (12.230 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $45,550 (#241 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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Rob Kim // Getty Images

#11. First-line supervisors of retail sales workers

Columbia, SC
- Employment: 4,570 (12.241 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $42,850 (#283 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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The Boston Globe // Getty Images

#10. Stockers and order fillers

Columbia, SC
- Employment: 4,730 (12.685 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $26,350 (#349 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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Unsplash

#9. Janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners

Columbia, SC
- Employment: 5,040 (13.498 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $25,460 (#321 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 1,990,510 (14.31 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $31,410
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($44,110)
--- Barnstable Town, MA ($43,860)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($42,250)
- Job description: Keep buildings in clean and orderly condition. Perform heavy cleaning duties, such as cleaning floors, shampooing rugs, washing walls and glass, and removing rubbish. Duties may include tending furnace and boiler, performing routine maintenance activities, notifying management of need for repairs, and cleaning snow or debris from sidewalk.
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Pixabay

#8. General and operations managers

Columbia, SC
- Employment: 5,200 (13.938 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $113,010 (#152 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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GaudiLab // Shutterstock

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

Columbia, SC
- Employment: 5,450 (14.620 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $57,490 (#172 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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Sean Rayford // Getty Images

#6. Security guards

Columbia, SC
- Employment: 5,520 (14.786 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $33,060 (#167 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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Ruslan Galiullin // Shutterstock

#5. Office clerks, general

Columbia, SC
- Employment: 7,160 (19.186 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $28,660 (#355 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 2,788,090 (20.044 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $37,770
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($49,560)
--- Napa, CA ($47,570)
--- Boulder, CO ($47,160)
- Job description: Perform duties too varied and diverse to be classified in any specific office clerical occupation, requiring knowledge of office systems and procedures. Clerical duties may be assigned in accordance with the office procedures of individual establishments and may include a combination of answering telephones, bookkeeping, typing or word processing, office machine operation, and filing.
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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#4. Retail salespersons

Columbia, SC
- Employment: 10,350 (27.749 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $27,720 (#288 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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Pixabay

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

Columbia, SC
- Employment: 11,340 (30.391 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $29,990 (#302 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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Dean Drobot // Shutterstock

#2. Cashiers

Columbia, SC
- Employment: 12,390 (33.217 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $22,010 (#328 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 3,333,100 (23.962 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $25,710
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($35,970)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($34,480)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($34,320)
- Job description: Receive and disburse money in establishments other than financial institutions. May use electronic scanners, cash registers, or related equipment. May process credit or debit card transactions and validate checks.
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ESB Basic // Shutterstock

#1. Customer service representatives

Columbia, SC
- Employment: 12,590 (33.739 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $35,190 (#202 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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