Virginia has a diverse economy consisting of a heavy agricultural presence in the southern part of the state, led by peanuts, tomatoes and tobacco. In the northern portion of the state, there's a strong software, communications, and defense contracting and related sectors presence. The state's manufacturing industry produces everything from structural steel beams to semiconductors, rocket engines to robots. Virginia's Arlington County is home to the Pentagon and the many industries that support the state's large military presence.
Trade, technical and vocational schools in Virginia may be an important first step for some students seeking careers in Virginia. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov), several of the fastest-growing employment sectors in Virginia in April of 2014 included:
- Government services with 708,500 employees
- Professional and business services with 665,600 employees
- Trade, transportation and utilities with 639,200 workers
The state's top employers may provide potential career opportunities for some students who earn certificates, degrees or diplomas from vocational and trade schools in Virginia. The state is home to 23 Fortune 500 companies, including heavyweights such as Northrup Grumman, Freddie Mac, SAIC, CarMax, Dollar Tree, Booz Allen Hamilton and Gannett Co.
Virgina population and salary statistics
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Virginia was home to an estimated 8.26 million people in 2013. The following is a sampling of Virginia median salary statistics provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics from May of 2013 that students of vocational schools in Virginia may wish to explore:
- Welders, cutters and brazers -- $18.86 per hour
- Telecommunications equipment installers -- $27.22 per hour
- Paralegals and legal assistants -- $22.50 per hour
- Police and patrol officers (Criminal Justice) -- $22.84 per hour
The cities of Virginia are as diverse as the state's economy. Roanoke leads the way in rail transportation equipment, while Hampton is a leader in aeronautical research. The city of Newport News is home to Newport News Shipbuilding, the largest and oldest private-sector shipbuilding firm in the U.S. Norfolk is home to Naval Station Norfolk, which supports the U.S. Atlantic Fleet and comprises the largest naval complex in the world.
Students who desire careers into the state's robust transportation, defense or construction industries may want to learn more about technical and trade schools in Virginia.
Economy at a Glance, Virginia, Bureau of Labor Statistics, April 2014, http://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.va.htm
State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Virginia, May 2013, www.bls.gov/oes/2013/may/oes_va.htm
State & Country QuickFacts, Virginia, U.S. Census Bureau, 2013, http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/51000.html
"Virginia is the Center of the U.S. Shipbuilding Industry," Christopher Cavas, DefenseNews, June 23, 2013, www.defensenews.com/article/20130623/DEFREG02/306230006/Virginia-Center-US-Shipbuilding-Industry
Welcome to Naval Station Norfolk, Naval Station Norfolk, U.S. Navy, www.cnic.navy.mil/regions/cnrma/installations/ns_norfolk.html
"23 Virginia companies on Fortune 500," Virginia Business, May 8, 2013, www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/23-virginia-companies-on-fortune-500