Special Report

The Most Iconic Job in Each State

36. Oklahoma
> Most iconic job:
Oil and Gas Derrick Operators
> Number of people employed in occupation in state: 3,166
> Annual median salary, iconic job: $44,310

The most prevalent job in Oklahoma relative to the rest of the nation was derrick operator in the oil and gas industry. About 15% of the nation’s oil and gas derrick operators were employed in the state. This is attributable to the fact that Oklahoma is a major contributor to the nation’s overall energy production. Oklahoma was the fourth largest natural gas producing state and sixth largest crude oil producing state in the nation as of 2013.

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37. Oregon
> Most iconic job:
Logging Workers
> Number of people employed in occupation in state: 1,393
> Annual median salary, iconic job: $34,560

The most iconic job in Oregon was the logging worker. Oregon is the number one producer of softwood lumber in the nation, accounting for roughly 20% of total national production. Roughly 57,000 state residents were employed in Oregon’s forest sector.

38. Pennsylvania
> Most iconic job:
Survey Researchers
> Number of people employed in occupation in state: 2,921
> Annual median salary, iconic job: $27,330

Survey researchers were the most iconic profession in Pennsylvania. While roughly 4.3% of the nation’s workforce was employed in Pennsylvania, nearly 17% of all survey researchers worked in the state. In addition, the share of the state’s workforce employed as survey researchers was nearly four times more concentrated than the national average share. According to the BLS, the occupation is expected to grow considerably faster than the national average growth rate for all occupations.

39. Rhode Island
> Most iconic job:
Textile Bleaching and Dyeing Machine Operators and Tenders
> Number of people employed in occupation in state: 308
> Annual median salary, iconic job: $33,720

Textile tenders use machines or manually perform finishing work on fabrics, including bleaching, shrinking, and dying. The occupation was the most iconic in Rhode Island. Unlike most of the annual median salaries for states’ most iconic jobs, the median salary of textile workers in Rhode Island of $33,720 was lower than the median for all occupations in the state of $37,500.

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40. South Carolina
> Most iconic job:
Tire Builders
> Number of people employed in occupation in state: 2,856
> Annual median salary, iconic job: $44,550

The most iconic job in South Carolina was the tire builder. Such workers operate the machinery used in tire production. While South Carolina was home to just over 1% of total U.S. employees, it was home to more than 15% of the country’s tire builders. South Carolina is the biggest tire producer and exporter in the nation.