Special Report

The Most Iconic Job in Every State

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26. Montana
> Most iconic job: Forest and conservation technicians
> Employed in job statewide: 2,140
> Median salary: $32,860
> Share of all U.S. forest and conservation technicians in Mont.: 7.0%

About one-quarter of land in Montana is forested, and much of that land is public and federally managed. In Montana, the U.S. Forest Service manages 16.9 million acres; the National Park Service manages 1.2 million acres; the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages 1.2 million acres; and the Bureau of Land Management manages 8.1 million acres. The concentration of forest and conservation technicians in Montana’s workforce is nearly 22 times greater than it is nationwide.

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27. Nebraska
> Most iconic job: Meat, poultry, and fish cutters and trimmers
> Employed in job statewide: 9,450
> Median salary: $32,980
> Share of all U.S. meat, poultry, and fish cutters and trimmers in Neb.: 6.2%

Meat and poultry cutters and trimmers are about nine times more concentrated in Nebraska’s labor force than that of the U.S. as a whole. The state led the nation in beef and beef product exports in 2017 and produced more pounds of red meat and slaughtered more cattle than every other state in 2018. Farming and ranching is possible in the state as much of the landscape makes for ideal grazing pastures for cattle.

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28. Nevada
> Most iconic job: Misc. gaming service workers
> Employed in job statewide: 3,310
> Median salary: $28,280
> Share of all U.S. misc. gaming service workers in Nev.: 34.3%

More than one in every three miscellaneous gaming workers in the United States are employed in Nevada. The state is home to Las Vegas,which brought in 42.1 million tourists in 2018 alone, largely for its casinos. The MGM Grand Hotel and Casino is also the largest employer in the state.

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29. New Hampshire
> Most iconic job: Air traffic controllers
> Employed in job statewide: 430
> Median salary: $148,000
> Share of all U.S. air traffic controllers in N.H.: 1.9%

One of the smallest states by square miles, many parts of New Hampshire are accessible by air, and the state is peppered with regional airports. Because of the many airports, air traffic control is the most iconic job in the state, as they are four times more concentrated in the state’s workforce than they are in the nationwide labor pool.

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30. New Jersey
> Most iconic job: Biochemists and biophysicists
> Employed in job statewide: 5,150
> Median salary: N/A
> Share of all U.S. biochemists and biophysicists in N.J.: 18.8%

Biochemists and biophysicists are about seven times more concentrated in New Jersey’s labor force than they are among all workers nationwide. They primarily study the physical and chemical properties of living organisms and processes. Such workers typically hold a doctoral or professional degree, and about 19% of all American biochemists and biophysicists work in New Jersey. It may be no coincidence that New Jersey ranks among the most educated states in the country.

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