Each of the 50 states has its own unique identity. These identities have been shaped over decades and centuries and are often defined, at least in part, by economic forces.
Whether it is agriculture in California or resource extraction in Texas, certain industries — and therefore certain jobs — are far more common in some states than others. Often, these occupations serve as both economic engines and as symbols of local identity.
Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on the concentration of jobs in a given state relative to their concentration nationwide, 24/7 Wall St. identified the most iconic job in each state.
Farm and home management educators are the most iconic job in Kentucky. They are effectively consultants for farmers and those engaged in home economics activities. Such advisors are about 10 times more common in Kentucky’s labor pool than in the U.S. labor pool as a whole. Agriculture and animal raising are big business in Kentucky as the state is home to over 2 million head of cattle.
The average annual wage for a farm and home management educator in Kentucky is $51,080, slightly below the national average of $52,720.
To determine the most iconic job by state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the relative concentration of occupations within all 50 states with data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2019 Occupational Employment Statistics program. Detailed occupations were ranked based on location quotient — the concentration of an occupation within a state’s labor force relative to the concentration in the national labor force — as of 2019. Additional data on median annual wage at the state and national levels also came from the BLS. This is the most iconic job in every state.
State:Most iconic job:State workers in job:Concentration relative to US:AlabamaMetal-refining furnace operators1,3906 times greaterAlaskaMisc. mining machine operators46015 times greaterArizonaPlasterers and stucco masons2,3404 times greaterArkansasMisc. food processing workers4,08011 times greaterCaliforniaFarmworkers and laborers201,4406 times greaterColoradoAtmospheric and space scientists9706 times greaterConnecticutActuaries1,3505 times greaterDelawareChemists1,3505 times greaterFloridaShip engineers1,5203 times greaterGeorgiaTextile winding machine operators12,07013 times greaterHawaiiWater vessel captains1,2709 times greaterIdahoNuclear technicians33010 times greaterIllinoisRail car repairers3,1203 times greaterIndianaEngine assemblers7,9908 times greaterIowaWind turbine technicians4808 times greaterKansasAircraft assemblers8,86022 times greaterKentuckyFarm and home management educators1,07010 times greaterLouisianaSailors and marine oilers7,34018 times greaterMaineShoe machine operators39019 times greaterMarylandPhysicists1,8806 times greaterMassachusettsMedical scientists16,8605 times greaterMichiganEngine assemblers9,5807 times greaterMinnesotaWind turbine technicians5004 times greaterMississippiFallers40014 times greaterMissouriLocomotive engineers1,3502 times greaterMontanaForest and conservation technicians86014 times greaterNebraskaMeat cutters and trimmers9,2009 times greaterNevadaGambling dealers22,58024 times greaterNew HampshireLog graders and scalers705 times greaterNew JerseyBiochemists and biophysicists7,2808 times greaterNew MexicoPhysicists1,74019 times greaterNew YorkFashion designers8,4606 times greaterNorth CarolinaTextile machine operators2,0208 times greaterNorth DakotaWellhead pumpers1,11030 times greaterOhioFoundry mold and coremakers3,0005 times greaterOklahomaOil and gas drill operators3,48015 times greaterOregonMisc. logging workers1,21025 times greaterPennsylvaniaMetal pourers and casters1,0803 times greaterRhode IslandJewelers78010 times greaterSouth CarolinaTire builders3,97013 times greaterSouth DakotaSoil and plant scientists58014 times greaterTennesseeMusicians and singers2,1703 times greaterTexasPetroleum engineers18,7207 times greaterUtahMining machine operators1,4009 times greaterVermontFallers505 times greaterVirginiaMarine engineers and naval architects2,5208 times greaterWashingtonAvionics technicians3,1806 times greaterWest VirginiaMining machine operators1,37068 times greaterWisconsinAnimal breeders2608 times greaterWyomingOil and gas service unit operators1,95020 times greater