Most common jobs in Birmingham

Written by:
July 11, 2021
Pxhere

Most common jobs in Birmingham

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 Birmingham 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 Birmingham are the most common.

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ALPA PROD // Shutterstock

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

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Employment: 1,940 (3.905 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $56,910 (#132 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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Rido // Shutterstock

#49. Human resources specialists

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Employment: 1,970 (3.954 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $66,090 (#107 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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B Brown // Shutterstock

#47 (tie). Secondary school teachers, except special and career/technical education

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Employment: 2,040 (4.109 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $56,000 (#218 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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Daniel Lee // Flickr

#47 (tie). Cooks, fast food

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Employment: 2,040 (4.106 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $19,120 (#292 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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ALPA PROD // Shutterstock

#46. Medical secretaries and administrative assistants

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Employment: 2,060 (4.140 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $38,620 (#98 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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Canva

#45. Cooks, institution and cafeteria

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Employment: 2,070 (4.165 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $23,070 (#366 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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Dragana Gordic // Shutterstock

#44. Pharmacy technicians

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Employment: 2,100 (4.224 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $31,070 (#339 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 415,310 (2.986 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $36,450
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($56,620)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($56,020)
--- Santa Rosa, CA ($52,810)
- Job description: Prepare medications under the direction of a pharmacist. May measure, mix, count out, label, and record amounts and dosages of medications according to prescription orders.
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Pixabay

#43. Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Employment: 2,220 (4.454 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $40,720 (#306 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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Glenn Highcove // Shutterstock

#41 (tie). Industrial truck and tractor operators

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Employment: 2,240 (4.506 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $35,050 (#290 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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Daniel Tausis // Unsplash

#41 (tie). Firefighters

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Employment: 2,240 (4.500 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $44,700 (#188 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 311,350 (2.238 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $56,360
- Entry level education requirements: Postsecondary nondegree award
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($125,680)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($109,480)
--- Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($105,670)
- Job description: Control and extinguish fires or respond to emergency situations where life, property, or the environment is at risk. Duties may include fire prevention, emergency medical service, hazardous material response, search and rescue, and disaster assistance.

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Canva

#40. Operating engineers and other construction equipment operators

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Employment: 2,260 (4.544 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $44,730 (#249 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 402,870 (2.896 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $55,280
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($96,440)
--- Barnstable Town, MA ($93,620)
--- Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA ($93,320)
- Job description: Operate one or several types of power construction equipment, such as motor graders, bulldozers, scrapers, compressors, pumps, derricks, shovels, tractors, or front-end loaders to excavate, move, and grade earth, erect structures, or pour concrete or other hard surface pavement. May repair and maintain equipment in addition to other duties.
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Canva

#39. Helpers--production workers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Employment: 2,290 (4.601 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $25,960 (#301 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 239,340 (1.721 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $32,000
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Monroe, MI ($48,620)
--- Lewiston, ID-WA ($46,520)
--- Longview, WA ($43,080)
- Job description: Help production workers by performing duties requiring less skill. Duties include supplying or holding materials or tools, and cleaning work area and equipment.
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4 PM production // Shutterstock

#38. Automotive service technicians and mechanics

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Employment: 2,350 (4.714 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $46,200 (#146 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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Rappaport Center // Wikimedia Commons

#37. Lawyers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Employment: 2,440 (4.912 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $131,990 (#68 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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Hulton Archive // Getty Images

#36. Electricians

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Employment: 2,470 (4.964 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $47,650 (#299 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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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#34 (tie). Insurance sales agents

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Employment: 2,490 (5.002 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $105,840 (#2 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 409,950 (2.947 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $69,100
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($109,540)
--- Birmingham-Hoover, AL ($105,840)
--- Fond du Lac, WI ($105,190)
- Job description: Sell life, property, casualty, health, automotive, or other types of insurance. May refer clients to independent brokers, work as an independent broker, or be employed by an insurance company.
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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#34 (tie). Claims adjusters, examiners, and investigators

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Employment: 2,490 (4.998 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $66,780 (#157 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 287,150 (2.064 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $70,650
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($97,980)
--- Waterbury, CT ($92,160)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($88,750)
- Job description: Review settled claims to determine that payments and settlements are made in accordance with company practices and procedures. Confer with legal counsel on claims requiring litigation. May also settle insurance claims.
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Canva

#33. Financial managers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Employment: 2,510 (5.049 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $147,310 (#58 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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Oleg Golovnev // Shutterstock

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

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Employment: 2,600 (5.216 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $67,880 (#126 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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SritanaN // Shutterstock

#31. Industrial machinery mechanics

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Employment: 2,620 (5.263 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $51,120 (#293 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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Rawpixel.com // Shutterstock

#30. Maids and housekeeping cleaners

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Employment: 2,650 (5.324 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $23,000 (#287 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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Jacob L. // Shutterstock

#28 (tie). Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Employment: 2,750 (5.524 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $44,040 (#295 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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Canva

#28 (tie). Landscaping and groundskeeping workers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Employment: 2,750 (5.522 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $31,660 (#195 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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Tim Goode/PA Images // Getty Images

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

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Employment: 2,930 (5.890 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $66,840 (#102 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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Pixabay

#26. Maintenance and repair workers, general

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Employment: 3,100 (6.228 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $37,950 (#289 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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pio3 // Shutterstock

#25. Police and sheriff's patrol officers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Employment: 3,210 (6.460 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $52,850 (#260 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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Milkovasa // Shutterstock

#24. Medical assistants

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Employment: 3,240 (6.511 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $31,390 (#313 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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Roman Samborskyi // Shutterstock

#23. Software developers and software quality assurance analysts and testers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Employment: 3,320 (6.679 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $94,420 (#176 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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New Africa // Shutterstock

#22. Receptionists and information clerks

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Employment: 3,620 (7.277 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $29,150 (#238 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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sculpies // Shutterstock

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

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Employment: 3,910 (7.859 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $69,210 (#164 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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nullplus // Shutterstock

#20. Light truck drivers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Employment: 4,060 (8.167 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $36,290 (#265 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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Canva

#19. Food preparation workers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Employment: 4,310 (8.663 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $20,680 (#366 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 793,590 (5.705 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $26,820
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI ($37,330)
--- Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA ($36,120)
--- Mount Vernon-Anacortes, WA ($35,860)
- Job description: Perform a variety of food preparation duties other than cooking, such as preparing cold foods and shellfish, slicing meat, and brewing coffee or tea.
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OLIVIER DOULIERY // Getty Images

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

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Employment: 4,340 (8.713 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $34,190 (#263 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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Pixabay

#17. Construction laborers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Employment: 4,460 (8.963 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $34,980 (#259 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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Sean Rayford // Getty Images

#16. Security guards

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Employment: 4,900 (9.849 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $27,470 (#327 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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Unsplash

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

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Employment: 4,910 (9.869 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $25,270 (#327 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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GagliardiPhotography // Shutterstock

#14. Nursing assistants

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Employment: 5,150 (10.359 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $25,750 (#352 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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Rob Kim // Getty Images

#13. First-line supervisors of retail sales workers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Employment: 5,410 (10.880 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $49,090 (#88 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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Rawpixel.com // Shutterstock

#12. Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Employment: 5,470 (10.990 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $39,880 (#235 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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The Boston Globe // Getty Images

#11. Stockers and order fillers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Employment: 5,560 (11.178 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $28,060 (#278 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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GaudiLab // Shutterstock

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

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Employment: 6,040 (12.132 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $62,320 (#66 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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Ruslan Galiullin // Shutterstock

#9. Office clerks, general

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Employment: 6,530 (13.115 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $27,300 (#366 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

#8. Waiters and waitresses

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Employment: 7,370 (14.806 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $19,210 (#365 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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Stock Rocket // Shutterstock

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

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Employment: 7,640 (15.363 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $74,200 (#90 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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Pixabay

#6. General and operations managers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Employment: 9,910 (19.926 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $128,840 (#60 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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Pxhere

#5. Fast food and counter workers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Employment: 12,240 (24.605 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $19,470 (#366 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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G-Stock Studio // Shutterstock

#4. Secretaries and administrative assistants, except legal, medical, and executive

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Employment: 12,540 (25.205 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $38,740 (#153 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 1,850,360 (13.302 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $40,420
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($56,080)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($52,480)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($51,930)
- Job description: Perform routine administrative functions such as drafting correspondence, scheduling appointments, organizing and maintaining paper and electronic files, or providing information to callers.
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Dean Drobot // Shutterstock

#3. Cashiers

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Employment: 13,240 (26.603 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $22,550 (#301 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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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#2. Retail salespersons

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Employment: 14,120 (28.383 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $28,890 (#231 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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Rawpixel.com // Shutterstock

#1. Registered nurses

Birmingham-Hoover, AL
- Employment: 16,430 (33.015 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $62,470 (#325 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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