Jobs

Cities With the Least Experienced Workers

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For those just joining the workforce it is often frustrating to see that employers demand years of experience for some jobs. But of course, not all jobs require much experience, and in many occupations, experience can be gained on the job. In some cities, the prevalence of jobs that require less experience is higher.

To determine the cities with the least experienced workers, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data on employment by occupation from the Occupational Requirements Survey and Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics programs of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Cities were ranked based on the average number of hours of experience workers had prior to starting their current jobs.

In all but two cities on the list, the bachelor’s degree attainment rate is lower than the national average of 35.6%. Similarly, in 30 of the 40 cities, the average annual wage is lower than the national average of $65,470, with the lowest wages starting at $25,970 in Danville, Illinois. The city, which has the sixth least experienced workers, also has the lowest bachelor’s degree attainment rate, at just 15.5%. (These are the highest-paying jobs that don’t require a bachelor’s degree.)

Pennsylvania, California, and Florida have four cities on the list each, though by region the South has the most cities, at 18. The jobs that are more highly concentrated in these cities (compared to their average concentration nationwide) often include physical labor jobs such as roofers, production, and farming occupations, but also includes such jobs as jailers technicians. (Also see: The Most Popular Job in Each US State.)

Full Methodology

To determine the cities with the least experienced workers, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data on employment by occupation from the Occupational Requirements Survey and Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics programs of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Cities were ranked based on the average number of hours of experience workers had prior to starting their current jobs. We aggregated occupation-level data from the ORS to the metropolitan statistical area level using employment counts from the OEWS. Supplemental data on average annual salary for all workers is also from the OEWS. Data on the percentage of adults 25 and older with at least a bachelor’s degree are from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2022 American Community Survey and are one-year estimates. Concentration by occupation is measured by location quotient.

40. Punta Gorda, FL

Source: DawnDamico / iStock Editorial via Getty Images
  • Avg. prior work experience, all workers: 720 days
  • Adults with a bachelor’s degree in 2022: 27.5%
  • Avg. annual salary in 2023: $53,550
  • Highly concentrated occupations relative to nt’l concentration: Roofers; first-line supervisors of correctional officers; pest control workers

39. Terre Haute, IN

Source: 2020 Getty Images / Getty Images News via Getty Images
  • Avg. prior work experience, all workers: 719 days
  • Adults with a bachelor’s degree in 2022: 22.9%
  • Avg. annual salary in 2023: $49,870
  • Highly concentrated occupations relative to nt’l concentration: Extruding and drawing machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic; correctional officers and jailers; first-line supervisors of correctional officers

38. The Villages, FL

Source: Michael Warren / iStock Unreleased via Getty Images
  • Avg. prior work experience, all workers: 719 days
  • Adults with a bachelor’s degree in 2022: 38.0%
  • Avg. annual salary in 2023: $53,920
  • Highly concentrated occupations relative to nt’l concentration: First-line supervisors of correctional officers; correctional officers and jailers; real estate sales agents

37. Chico, CA

Source: jmoor17 / iStock Unreleased via Getty Images
  • Avg. prior work experience, all workers: 718 days
  • Adults with a bachelor’s degree in 2022: 34.5%
  • Avg. annual salary in 2023: $63,270
  • Highly concentrated occupations relative to nt’l concentration: Forest and conservation technicians; educational instruction and library workers; farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

36. Merced, CA

Source: diegograndi / iStock via Getty Images
  • Avg. prior work experience, all workers: 718 days
  • Adults with a bachelor’s degree in 2022: 16.2%
  • Avg. annual salary in 2023: $57,100
  • Highly concentrated occupations relative to nt’l concentration: Farmworkers and laborers, crop, nursery, and greenhouse; food science technicians; farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

35. Rapid City, SD

Source: EunikaSopotnicka / iStock via Getty Images
  • Avg. prior work experience, all workers: 716 days
  • Adults with a bachelor’s degree in 2022: 33.1%
  • Avg. annual salary in 2023: $52,720
  • Highly concentrated occupations relative to nt’l concentration: Gambling change persons and booth cashiers; residential advisors; forest and conservation technicians

34. Great Falls, MT

Source: leezsnow / iStock via Getty Images
  • Avg. prior work experience, all workers: 716 days
  • Adults with a bachelor’s degree in 2022: 28.0%
  • Avg. annual salary in 2023: $51,050
  • Highly concentrated occupations relative to nt’l concentration: Information and record clerks; plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters; hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks

33. Kankakee, IL

Source: gnagel / iStock Editorial via Getty Images
  • Avg. prior work experience, all workers: 716 days
  • Adults with a bachelor’s degree in 2022: 21.9%
  • Avg. annual salary in 2023: $54,700
  • Highly concentrated occupations relative to nt’l concentration: Psychiatric technicians; mixing and blending machine setters, operators, and tenders; packaging and filling machine operators and tenders

32. Springfield, OH

Source: cindyfunk / Flickr
  • Avg. prior work experience, all workers: 714 days
  • Adults with a bachelor’s degree in 2022: 20.5%
  • Avg. annual salary in 2023: $52,330
  • Highly concentrated occupations relative to nt’l concentration: Library technicians; machine feeders and offbearers; food processing workers

31. Gettysburg, PA

Source: denisbin / Flickr
  • Avg. prior work experience, all workers: 713 days
  • Adults with a bachelor’s degree in 2022: 24.3%
  • Avg. annual salary in 2023: $52,720
  • Highly concentrated occupations relative to nt’l concentration: Cutting and slicing machine setters, operators, and tenders; paper goods machine setters, operators, and tenders; packaging and filling machine operators and tenders

30. Florence, SC

Source: felixmizioznikov / iStock Editorial via Getty Images
  • Avg. prior work experience, all workers: 713 days
  • Adults with a bachelor’s degree in 2022: 24.3%
  • Avg. annual salary in 2023: $51,910
  • Highly concentrated occupations relative to nt’l concentration: Riggers; orderlies; paper goods machine setters, operators, and tenders

29. Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI

Source: 7Michael / iStock / Getty Images Plus
  • Avg. prior work experience, all workers: 712 days
  • Adults with a bachelor’s degree in 2022: 29.0%
  • Avg. annual salary in 2023: $61,480
  • Highly concentrated occupations relative to nt’l concentration: Motorboat operators; passenger attendants; baggage porters and bellhops

28. Valdosta, GA

Source: Janabi / iStock Editorial via Getty Images
  • Avg. prior work experience, all workers: 711 days
  • Adults with a bachelor’s degree in 2022: 25.5%
  • Avg. annual salary in 2023: $46,640
  • Highly concentrated occupations relative to nt’l concentration: Farm equipment mechanics and service technicians; special education teachers; laundry and dry-cleaning workers

27. Hattiesburg, MS

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images
  • Avg. prior work experience, all workers: 711 days
  • Adults with a bachelor’s degree in 2022: 29.3%
  • Avg. annual salary in 2023: $46,110
  • Highly concentrated occupations relative to nt’l concentration: Paper goods machine setters, operators, and tenders; clinical laboratory technologists and technicians; ophthalmic medical technicians

26. Hanford-Corcoran, CA

Source: David Crockett Photo / iStock via Getty Images
  • Avg. prior work experience, all workers: 710 days
  • Adults with a bachelor’s degree in 2022: 15.9%
  • Avg. annual salary in 2023: $61,250
  • Highly concentrated occupations relative to nt’l concentration: Graders and sorters, agricultural products; agricultural equipment operators; farmworkers and laborers, crop, nursery, and greenhouse

25. Morristown, TN

Source: Dee / iStock Editorial via Getty Images
  • Avg. prior work experience, all workers: 710 days
  • Adults with a bachelor’s degree in 2022: 20.3%
  • Avg. annual salary in 2023: $46,510
  • Highly concentrated occupations relative to nt’l concentration: Woodworking machine setters, operators, and tenders, except sawing; production workers; helpers–production workers

24. Pine Bluff, AR

Source: RoschetzkyIstockPhoto / iStock via Getty Images
  • Avg. prior work experience, all workers: 709 days
  • Adults with a bachelor’s degree in 2022: 19.1%
  • Avg. annual salary in 2023: $47,940
  • Highly concentrated occupations relative to nt’l concentration: Correctional officers and jailers; paper goods machine setters, operators, and tenders; industrial machinery mechanics

23. Lebanon, PA

Source: SEASTOCK / iStock via Getty Images
  • Avg. prior work experience, all workers: 708 days
  • Adults with a bachelor’s degree in 2022: 25.7%
  • Avg. annual salary in 2023: $53,060
  • Highly concentrated occupations relative to nt’l concentration: Sawing machine setters, operators, and tenders, wood; slaughterers and meat packers; career/technical education teachers, postsecondary

22. Daphne-Fairhope-Foley, AL

Source: Kruck20 / iStock via Getty Images
  • Avg. prior work experience, all workers: 707 days
  • Adults with a bachelor’s degree in 2022: 33.5%
  • Avg. annual salary in 2023: $45,380
  • Highly concentrated occupations relative to nt’l concentration: Motorboat mechanics and service technicians; amusement and recreation attendants; real estate sales agents

21. Goldsboro, NC

Source: By Warren LeMay from Cullowhee, NC, United States - Elm Street, Southside, Greensboro, NC, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=83519672
  • Avg. prior work experience, all workers: 707 days
  • Adults with a bachelor’s degree in 2022: 18.3%
  • Avg. annual salary in 2023: $47,070
  • Highly concentrated occupations relative to nt’l concentration: Cooks, fast food; packaging and filling machine operators and tenders; food batchmakers

20. Wenatchee, WA

Source: Jaskaran Kooner / iStock via Getty Images
  • Avg. prior work experience, all workers: 706 days
  • Adults with a bachelor’s degree in 2022: 31.3%
  • Avg. annual salary in 2023: $59,340
  • Highly concentrated occupations relative to nt’l concentration: Graders and sorters, agricultural products; forest and conservation technicians; demonstrators and product promoters

19. Anniston-Oxford-Jacksonville, AL

Source: jjneff / iStock via Getty Images
  • Avg. prior work experience, all workers: 706 days
  • Adults with a bachelor’s degree in 2022: 21.1%
  • Avg. annual salary in 2023: $46,140
  • Highly concentrated occupations relative to nt’l concentration: Molding, coremaking, and casting machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic; mobile heavy equipment mechanics, except engines; electrical and electronics repairers, commercial and industrial equipment

18. Hot Springs, AR

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images
  • Avg. prior work experience, all workers: 705 days
  • Adults with a bachelor’s degree in 2022: 25.9%
  • Avg. annual salary in 2023: $44,830
  • Highly concentrated occupations relative to nt’l concentration: Animal trainers; animal caretakers; hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks

17. Muncie, IN

Source: Nicholas Klein / iStock via Getty Images
  • Avg. prior work experience, all workers: 701 days
  • Adults with a bachelor’s degree in 2022: 26.7%
  • Avg. annual salary in 2023: $52,320
  • Highly concentrated occupations relative to nt’l concentration: Cutting, punching, and press machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic; psychiatric technicians; career/technical education teachers, postsecondary

16. Chambersburg-Waynesboro, PA

Source: Pgiam / iStock via Getty Images
  • Avg. prior work experience, all workers: 700 days
  • Adults with a bachelor’s degree in 2022: 24.5%
  • Avg. annual salary in 2023: $53,120
  • Highly concentrated occupations relative to nt’l concentration: Electrical and electronics repairers, commercial and industrial equipment; mobile heavy equipment mechanics, except engines; computer numerically controlled tool operators

15. East Stroudsburg, PA

Source: Alex Potemkin / iStock Unreleased via Getty Images
  • Avg. prior work experience, all workers: 700 days
  • Adults with a bachelor’s degree in 2022: 29.2%
  • Avg. annual salary in 2023: $52,560
  • Highly concentrated occupations relative to nt’l concentration: Electrical and electronics repairers, commercial and industrial equipment; chemical equipment operators and tenders; lifeguards, ski patrol, and other recreational protective service workers

14. Rome, GA

Source: formulanone / Flickr
  • Avg. prior work experience, all workers: 698 days
  • Adults with a bachelor’s degree in 2022: 24.1%
  • Avg. annual salary in 2023: $51,310
  • Highly concentrated occupations relative to nt’l concentration: Extruding and forming machine setters, operators, and tenders, synthetic and glass fibers; cutting, punching, and press machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic; production workers

13. Yakima, WA

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  • Avg. prior work experience, all workers: 695 days
  • Adults with a bachelor’s degree in 2022: 18.9%
  • Avg. annual salary in 2023: $56,860
  • Highly concentrated occupations relative to nt’l concentration: Graders and sorters, agricultural products; cleaning, washing, and metal pickling equipment operators and tenders; agricultural inspectors

12. Stockton-Lodi, CA

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images
  • Avg. prior work experience, all workers: 694 days
  • Adults with a bachelor’s degree in 2022: 22.9%
  • Avg. annual salary in 2023: $61,930
  • Highly concentrated occupations relative to nt’l concentration: Farmworkers and laborers, crop, nursery, and greenhouse; helpers–brickmasons, blockmasons, stonemasons, and tile and marble setters; material moving workers

11. Homosassa Springs, FL

Source: Xianghong Garrison / iStock Editorial via Getty Images
  • Avg. prior work experience, all workers: 692 days
  • Adults with a bachelor’s degree in 2022: 19.4%
  • Avg. annual salary in 2023: $48,450
  • Highly concentrated occupations relative to nt’l concentration: Physical therapist assistants; pest control workers; roofers

10. Hammond, LA

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons
  • Avg. prior work experience, all workers: 692 days
  • Adults with a bachelor’s degree in 2022: 20.3%
  • Avg. annual salary in 2023: $46,520
  • Highly concentrated occupations relative to nt’l concentration: Food processing workers; healthcare practitioners and technical workers; postsecondary teachers

9. Dothan, AL

Source: Jens_Lambert_Photography / iStock via Getty Images
  • Avg. prior work experience, all workers: 690 days
  • Adults with a bachelor’s degree in 2022: 21.5%
  • Avg. annual salary in 2023: $46,400
  • Highly concentrated occupations relative to nt’l concentration: Meat, poultry, and fish cutters and trimmers; sawing machine setters, operators, and tenders, wood; nurse anesthetists

8. Joplin, MO

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons
  • Avg. prior work experience, all workers: 689 days
  • Adults with a bachelor’s degree in 2022: 24.8%
  • Avg. annual salary in 2023: $50,650
  • Highly concentrated occupations relative to nt’l concentration: Cabinetmakers and bench carpenters; cooks, fast food; food batchmakers

7. Sebring, FL

Source: felixmizioznikov / iStock via Getty Images
  • Avg. prior work experience, all workers: 688 days
  • Adults with a bachelor’s degree in 2022: 18.5%
  • Avg. annual salary in 2023: $48,820
  • Highly concentrated occupations relative to nt’l concentration: Farmworkers and laborers, crop, nursery, and greenhouse; farming, fishing, and forestry occupations; roofers

6. Danville, IL

Source: paul_everett82 / Flickr
  • Avg. prior work experience, all workers: 687 days
  • Adults with a bachelor’s degree in 2022: 15.5%
  • Avg. annual salary in 2023: $53,470
  • Highly concentrated occupations relative to nt’l concentration: Food batchmakers; mixing and blending machine setters, operators, and tenders; industrial truck and tractor operators

5. Kokomo, IN

Source: davidwilson1949 / Flickr
  • Avg. prior work experience, all workers: 686 days
  • Adults with a bachelor’s degree in 2022: 20.4%
  • Avg. annual salary in 2023: $53,680
  • Highly concentrated occupations relative to nt’l concentration: Labor relations specialists; plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters; production occupations

4. Gadsden, AL

Source: techbirmingham / Flickr
  • Avg. prior work experience, all workers: 673 days
  • Adults with a bachelor’s degree in 2022: 16.9%
  • Avg. annual salary in 2023: $42,450
  • Highly concentrated occupations relative to nt’l concentration: Cutting, punching, and press machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic; physical therapist assistants; career/technical education teachers, postsecondary

3. Vineland-Bridgeton, NJ

Source: Ultima_Gaina / iStock via Getty Images
  • Avg. prior work experience, all workers: 665 days
  • Adults with a bachelor’s degree in 2022: 19.0%
  • Avg. annual salary in 2023: $57,380
  • Highly concentrated occupations relative to nt’l concentration: Molders, shapers, and casters, except metal and plastic; extruding, forming, pressing, and compacting machine setters, operators, and tenders; conveyor operators and tenders

2. Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC

Source: Loadmaster (David R. Tribble) This image was made by Loadmaster (David R. Tribble) Email the author: David R. Tribble Also see my personal gallery at Google Photos / Wikimedia Commons
  • Avg. prior work experience, all workers: 661 days
  • Adults with a bachelor’s degree in 2022: 29.8%
  • Avg. annual salary in 2023: $46,150
  • Highly concentrated occupations relative to nt’l concentration: Real estate brokers; education teachers, postsecondary; amusement and recreation attendants

1. Ocean City, NJ

Source: Aneese / iStock via Getty Images
  • Avg. prior work experience, all workers: 660 days
  • Adults with a bachelor’s degree in 2022: 37.8%
  • Avg. annual salary in 2023: $54,100
  • Highly concentrated occupations relative to nt’l concentration: Word processors and typists; hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks; automotive and watercraft service attendants

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