High-Demand Job and Career Outlook in Michigan

STEM and Healthcare Occupations

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Despite the financial challenges facing the City of Detroit, Michigan still provides plenty of employment opportunity. In fact, according to the Upjohn Institute Blog, Michigan ranked 5th in the nation for positive job growth from 2009 to 2011.


It should come as no surprise, given the history of Michigan's auto industry, that the state still is home to its fair share of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) jobs. In fact, According to EconomicModeling.com, Michigan ranked 8th in the nation (tied with California and Minnesota) for its portion of STEM jobs.

Other categories in which Michigan has a higher percentage of jobs as compared to other states include production (metal model makers, tool & die makers), food prep, serving, and, last but not least, healthcare occupations

Healthcare Occupations

In fact, healthcare may just be the industry of choice when considering employment in Michigan as several occupations within the category are either in high demand or pay really well. According to Michigan's top jobs for 2012, nurses, family & general practitioners, and physician assistants are both in demand and pay well.

High-Demand Jobs Requiring a Bachelor's Degree

The Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget created a list of Michigan's Hot 50 jobs that sets out the high-paying jobs expected to be in high demand in Michigan through 2018. While STEM and healthcare occupations are definitely represented on the list, there are a lot of other occupations of interest. The top jobs requiring a bachelor's degree include:

  • Registered Nurse
  • Accountant/Auditor
  • Elementary School Teacher
  • Industrial Engineer
  • Computer Systems Analyst
  • Human Resource Specialist
  • Network Systems and Data Communication Analyst
  • Insurance Sales Agent
  • Management Analyst
  • Public Relations Specialist
  • Sales Manager
  • Market Research Analyst
  • Computer Software Engineer

Little to No College

According to Michigan's Hot 50, the top ten jobs on the list that require two years or less of college or on-the-job training include:

  • Customer Service Representative
  • Truck Driver
  • Licensed Practical Nurse
  • Dental Assistant
  • Purchasing Agent
  • Dental Hygienist
  • Bill and Account Collector
  • Heating, A/C
  • Self-Enrichment Education Teacher
  • Compliance Officer (some categories)

Where in Michigan to Find Jobs

According to The Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget, the top locations for employment growth in Michigan (through 2018) include Ann Arbor, Northwest Lower Peninsula, Grand Rapids, Central Michigan and Muskegon.

That being said, EconomicModeling.com ranks two Michigan areas within its top 10 of America's most competitive metros since 2010. The Grand Rapid-Wyoming area was ranked 7th nationally, while the Detroit-Warren-Livonia area was ranked 10th.

Self Employment and Innovation

While STEM and healthcare occupations are good bets for employment in Michigan in the coming years, the state also scores high marks for entrepreneurship and innovation.

  • The Detroit-Warren-Livonia area ranked 11th in the nation (from 2008 to 2011) for self-employment.
  • Michigan ranked 13th in the nation in patents per capita.

Other Job and Career Stats

  • Michigan ranks 12th in the nation for percentage of adults with some college.
  • The Detroit-Warren-Livonia area is one of the best locations in the nation for both Mechanical and Industrial Engineers, both of which placed in the top 10 occupations in the nation with a bachelor's degree.


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