Special Report

The Most Iconic Job in Each State

6. Colorado
> Most iconic job:
Atmospheric and Space Scientists
> Number of people employed in occupation in state: 1,804
> Annual median salary, iconic job: $92,480

The share of Colorado’s workforce employed as atmospheric and space scientists was higher than the occupation’s nationwide share. No other occupation in the state had such a high share when compared to the national share. The proportion was roughly 10 times the occupation’s national average composition. Atmospheric and space scientists observe and interpret meteorological data, most of which is collected by instruments such as satellites.

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7. Connecticut
> Most iconic job:
Actuaries
> Number of people employed in occupation in state: 1,281
> Annual median salary, iconic job: $102,280

Actuaries were the most iconic jobs in Connecticut, as the proportion of the workforce employed in such positions was more than five times the comparable national share — a higher relative concentration than that of any other occupation in the state. This is largely due to the large number of insurance companies operating in Connecticut. Actuaries in the state were paid quite well, earning an annual median salary of $102,280 in 2013. This was one of the higher wages among all occupations and well more than double the statewide annual median salary of $42,280.

8. Delaware
> Most iconic job:
Chemists
> Number of people employed in occupation in state: 3,455
> Annual median salary, iconic job: $88,870

The share of Delaware’s workforce employed as chemists was nearly 13 times greater than the national average proportion. As in most states, people employed in Delaware’s most iconic profession earned more than those in other occupations in the state. Delaware chemists had an annual median salary of $88,870 in 2013, far higher than the median across all state occupations of $37,320.

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9. Florida
> Most iconic job:
Athletes and Sports Competitors
> Number of people employed in occupation in state: 3,861
> Annual median salary, iconic job: $32,450

Nearly 28% of the nation’s athletes and sports competitors were employed in Florida in 2013, the state’s most iconic job. While just 0.05% of the state’s workforce were professional athletes, this was nearly five times greater than the comparable national proportion.

10. Georgia
> Most iconic job:
Textile Winding, Twisting, and Drawing Out Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders
> Number of people employed in occupation in state: 7,988
> Annual median salary, iconic job: $27,410

There were nearly 8,000 machine setters, operators, and tenders working primarily in the textile industry in Georgia, or just over 0.20% of the state’s workforce. Nearly 31% of all U.S. textile machine setters worked in Georgia. Unlike most states, residents working in Georgia’s most iconic job tended to earn less than other state residents. Georgian textile machine setters, operators, and tenders had a median income of $27,410, versus the state median of $32,510 across all occupations in 2013. While the state has historically been the source of much of the nation’s textile products, the industry has been shrinking in recent years.