The Mississippi economy is slowly recovering from the most recent economic downturn. Beginning in 2012, the state began to see some positive economic trends -- including a drop in the unemployment rate, according to the Mississippi Department of Employment Security. Employment in Mississippi is expected to grow nearly 10 percent through 2020. Some vocational, technical and trade schools in Mississippi are poised to offer training for today's jobs and tomorrow's opportunities.
Top Mississippi employers
As a general rule, employment opportunities in Mississippi are best in large, urban areas. Job growth has concentrated in cities like Jackson. Rural areas continue to see a loss of jobs, as well as a loss of residents.
Healthcare is a big industry in Mississippi, employing over 100,000 people statewide. The University of Mississippi Medical Center located in Jackson is the state's largest private employer. Baptist Health Foundation, also in Jackson, and North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo are in the top five, reports the U.S. Department of Labor.
Healthcare represents most of the top 50 fastest-growing occupations in the state. The top 14 are expected to grow by 18 percent by 2020. Vocational and trade schools in Mississippi provide training for a number of the top 15 fastest-growing jobs. Here's a list from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) along with the May 2013 median hourly wage for each job:
- Surgical technologists: $16.27
- Cardiovascular technologists and technicians: $18.02
- Dental hygienists: $24.82
- Dental assistants: $13.77
- Home health aides: $10.25
- Respiratory therapy technicians: $19.29
- Diagnostic medical sonographers: $27.50
- Nuclear medical technologists: $31.21
- Physician assistants: $20.70
- Medical and clinical laboratory technicians: $15.98
- Physical therapist aides: $9.93
- Physical therapist assistants: $23.21
- Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics: $13.26
According to the Mississippi Development Authority Tourism Division, tourism is Mississippi's fourth largest private employment sector as of 2013. The industry provided nearly 85,000 jobs and visitors spent $6.25 billion in Mississippi in 2013. Here is a sampling of the median hourly wages for tourism-related jobs:
- Chefs: $16.92
- Gaming supervisors: $21.43
- Travel guides: $12.06
- Food service managers: $22.48
- Gaming managers: $32.77
Despite a steady decline, manufacturing is still the top employment sector in Mississippi. Transportation equipment manufacturing currently employs over 23,000 people in the state and is expected to grow over 10 percent by 2020. Mississippi workers build jet engines for GE, kitchen stoves for Viking, and cars for Toyota and Nissan.
Vocational and trade schools in Mississippi
Whether you are looking to pursue entry-level qualifications or return to school to get additional certifications in an effort to improve your career opportunities, you may want to find out more about vocational and trade schools in Mississippi and learn about the training they offer.
Industry Employment Projections, Year 2010 Projected to Year 2020, Employment Projections Unit, Mississippi Department of Employment Security, http://www.mdes.ms.gov/media/8194/state.pdf
Mississippi Travel and Tourism Economic Contribution Report, Fiscal Year 2013, Mississippi Development Authority Tourism Division, February 2014, http://www.visitmississippi.org/pdfs/FY-2013-Economic-Contribution-Report.pdf
Reflections 2012 -- An In-Depth Look at Mississippi's Economy, Labor Market Information Department, Mississippi Department of Employment Security, http://mdes.ms.gov/media/30664/reflections2012.pdf
State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Mississippi, Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/2013/may/oes_ms.htm
State Profile: Largest Employers, Mississippi, Career One Stop, U.S. Department of Labor, 2014, http://www.careerinfonet.org/oview6.asp?id=&soccode=&nodeid=12&stfips=28&from=State