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The Top 5 Major Industry Jobs in the Southeast

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Written by Kate Lopaze

If you’re looking for a career change (or a change of scenery!), here are some of the fastest-growing jobs for 2016 in the southeastern part of the United States. This includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

The southeast is poised for booming job growth in 2016, buoyed by industries like manufacturing, healthcare, and construction, as many Americans flee rough winters for warm southern charm and legendary food.

1. Tech Job Outlook: Computer Systems Analyst

Move over, Silicon Valley: the fastest-growing tech hubs are mid-sized cities which are capitalizing on nearby universities and large companies to attract talent. Cities like Nashville, TN, and Raleigh, NC, are leading the way here. Computer systems analysts will be a high-demand position as this industry grows.

Systems analysts take current computer systems and processes and design solutions to make them run more effectively. This role, which typically requires a bachelor’s degree, has a median salary of $82,710 per year, and is expected to grow like gangbusters—21% per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

2. Administrative Job Outlook: Market Research Analyst

With the population getting more diverse all the time, identifying trends and helping companies refine their outreach and branding is a key role. This is where market research analysts come in. They take consumer data and turn it into sales leads, marketing promotions, or market forecasts for companies. The field is expected to grown approximately 19%, and offers a median salary of $61,290.

3. Logistics Job Outlook: Machinists

Many companies are relocating their manufacturing plants to the southeast. For example, Mercedes-Benz USA announced in 2015 that it would be moving its headquarters to Atlanta, GA, and bringing with it more than 1,000 jobs. Machinists are a large part of this industrial workforce, operating tools to produce and modify parts. The median salary for machinists is $41,510, and the field is open to those with a high school diploma—or equivalent vocational training or experience.

4. Healthcare Job Outlook: Home Health Aide

The southeast has always been a popular retirement spot for Americans, and that trend is not slowing anytime soon. With an aging population comes very specific healthcare needs—many of which are addressed by home health aides. These aides provide in-home care for clients who have disabilities, chronic illnesses, or other impairments that interfere with the ability to carry out with daily tasks. In addition to helping with chores around the home, aides may also be responsible for monitoring vital signs and ensuring that clients take medication.

There is no formal education requirement for home health aides, but some states may require additional certification. The median salary for this job is $21,380, and the field is expected to grow by 38%—much faster than average.

5. Service Job Outlook: Medical Equipment Repairers

Going hand in hand with the extreme growth in healthcare needs, professionals who maintain and repair medical equipment will also be in high demand. Medical equipment repairers install, maintain, and repair equipment used in diagnosis and patient care.

The median salary for this job is $45,660, and employers generally prefer candidates with an Associate’s degree in engineering or biomedical technology.

The southeast is on the upswing—and not just because you can sit on a beach in December without freezing. People of all demographics are seeking opportunities in the region, and many industries are gearing up to accommodate that growth.

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