Careers in Arkansas: An Overview of Popular and Growing Fields

Arkansas Hiring and Employment trends in 2021

Arkansas has grown exponentially over the last decade. According to the last census information from 2010, Arkansas’s population has increased at a rate of .38% – making it the 29th fastest-growing state in the US. This growth isn’t just limited to the population – we have also grown financially, technologically, and industrially. And all of that growth has impacted the workforce.

Many jobs that existed 50 (or even 15) years ago have been made redundant by technology, streamlining, or progress. The same will be true in 50 more years of the jobs available now. But while we can’t look 50 years into the future, we can offer you a look into the trends and statistics for the next few years and help you identify an industry or position that offers growth and job stability. 

How Did We Identify the Fastest Growing Occupations in Arkansas?

Every few years, the Department of Labor and the Bureau of Labor Statistics work together to compile projections for job growth by occupation. The latest projections were completed in 2018 and span out through 2028. While this information covers all of America, this article is based on data for Arkansas specifically and only includes jobs that are projected to have at least 1,000 workers in the state in 2028. That way, you know that the job will still be relevant in eight years. 

The Top Ten Fastest Growing Jobs In Arkansas

  1. Physical Therapist Assistant
  2. Nurse Practitioner
  3. Physical Therapist
  4. Occupational Therapist
  5. Phlebotomist
  6. Medical Assistant
  7. Crew Member
  8. Speech-Language Pathology Internship
  9. Computer Numerical Controller Machinist
  10. Emergency Medical Technician

The Fast-Growing Medical Field 

When you look at these jobs, there is a very obvious and heavy skew towards the medical and healthcare field. This makes perfect sense when you consider a few factors:

First, that Little Rock, Arkansas is home to the University of Arkansas for the Medical Sciences (UAMS) – the state’s only academic health center. UAMS ranks in the top 16% of all colleges and universities nationally for research funding from the federal government and houses BioVentures – a business incubator that has produced 46 companies that currently produce an annual payroll of $27 million. This institution, along with other major employers like St. Vincent, Baptist, and Children’s Hospital, is among the largest employers in Arkansas. And as an educational facility, they are consistently turning out new healthcare employees! 

Secondly, the Baby Boomer generation is the largest recorded in American history – and they’re beginning to age. In addition to more Americans who will need healthcare services, the average life expectancy is rising exponentially. By 2050 men are expected to live until 80 and women until 86 on average. By 2030, one in five Americans will be a senior citizen. We need more healthcare professionals to keep up with caring for this new and numerous longevity. 

Jobs and Opportunities in Information Technology (IT)

While one technology-related job made the Top Ten list in Arkansas, there are many, many more in the Top 100. For instance, Information Technology Manager at number 18. It has an expected growth of 120.2% over the next eight years with an average salary of $112,320 and 2,080 jobs. Software developer clocks in at a 119.3% increase in growth with an average salary of $86,890 and 2,530 expected jobs. 

Nationally, out of 705,200 projected job openings from 2018-2028, over half are in the computer and information technology field. Software developers, in particular, are projected to have the most openings (134,600). This trend will be reflected in Arkansas as well – especially when you take into consideration the growing number of jobs in this field that offer remote work.

In the “Computer and Mathematical Occupations” category, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 12.7% growth rate in employment at an average salary of $86,340 – the second-highest median salary listed. This implies that the technology field is an excellent bet for both job stability and financial success over the next several years. 

The invention of the smartphone, the availability of the internet almost anywhere in the country, and the explosion of the gaming industry – all of these have occurred in just the last 20 years. Now we can barely remember a life without them. It is said that technology doubles every 18 months. If that’s the case, then technology-focused careers are likely one of the most stable career choices you can make.

Apex Staffing Can Help Place You in Your Dream Job

If you’re thinking about a career in the medical field or in information technology, you’re in the right place. Apex Staffing specializes in matching high-quality candidates with high-level jobs in some of Arkansas’s best companies. We’re a permanent placement agency, which means you’ll be interviewing for a full-time, salaried position when you work through us. Think of us as boutique head-hunters for the best and largest employers in Arkansas. 

If you’re looking for a new job, check out our Job Openings page + to see what’s available. Apex Staffing specializes in connecting talented job seekers with high-quality, local employers. Our service is completely free for job seekers and we are always accepting applications.