Special Report

The Most Iconic Job in Each State

31. New Mexico
> Most iconic job:
Physical Scientists, All Other
> Number of people employed in occupation in state: 1,656
> Annual median salary, iconic job: N/A

The most iconic job in New Mexico is perhaps more mysterious than iconic jobs in other states. The share of New Mexico’s workforce employed as physical scientists — excluding astronomers, chemists, life scientists, physicists, and other common physical science occupations — was nearly 12 times higher than the national average concentration. Many of these scientists may be employed in the government sector, which accounted for nearly 24% of the state’s GDP, more than any other statewide industry. The state is home to Los Alamos National Laboratories and the primary site of Sandia National Laboratories. The government was one of the larger state employers.

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32. New York
> Most iconic job:
Fashion Designers
> Number of people employed in occupation in state: 7,176
> Annual median salary, iconic job: $68,880

While New York may be well known for its finance industry, its most standout occupation with respect to the rest of the nation is the fashion designer. New York City is the hub for the nation’s fashion industry, with more than 40% of the nation’s fashion designers employed in New York.

33. North Carolina
> Most iconic job:
Textile Machine Operator
> Number of people employed in occupation in state: 6,880
> Annual median salary, iconic job: $23,180

The most iconic job in North Carolina was the textile machine operator. While the workforce in North Carolina comprised less than 3% of the total U.S. workforce, more than 25% of the nation’s textile machine operators were employed in the state. North Carolina employed the second most textile workers in the nation after Georgia.

34. North Dakota
> Most iconic job:
Extraction Workers, All Other
> Number of people employed in occupation in state: 907
> Annual median salary, iconic job: $42,590

The most prevalent job in North Dakota relative to the rest of the nation was extraction workers. The state’s booming energy sector, particularly the fracking industry, likely employs most such workers.

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35. Ohio
> Most iconic job:
Tool and Die Makers
> Number of people employed in occupation in state: 10,431
> Annual median salary, iconic job: $45,760

More than 13% of the nation’s tool and die makers, Ohio’s most iconic job, worked in the state in 2013. Dies or forms used to stamp and mold metal are a main component of the manufacturing industry. Ohio’s manufacturing industry accounted for 17.5% of the state’s economic output, one of the highest contributions compared to other states. Nearly 16% of the state’s workforce was employed in the industry, also one of the highest shares.