by Rachel Vilsack

The state’s economy is projected to expand by 13 percent between 2010 and 2020, according to new data from the state’s Labor Market Information Office. By 2020, it’s estimated that there will be over one million total job openings across the state between 2010 and 2020. A post earlier this month looked at the industry outlook to 2020 in Minnesota. But what occupations will be in high demand, through new job growth and replacement hiring?


Here’s a look at the top 5 projected high demand jobs in Minnesota:

  • Registered nurses are the largest health care occupation in Minnesota, employing 56,000 individuals in 2011. This profession is expected to expand by 22 percent between 2010 and 2020, or nearly 23,000 openings in the state. Keep in mind that competition for these jobs will probably exist. Recent news stories highlighted the difficulty recent graduates face in finding full-time employment. While the minimum education needed for entry into the field is an Associate degree, some employers may require a Bachelor’s degree or higher.
  • Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers ensure that Minnesota goods get to their destination. At an average wage of $19.63 per hour, this occupation employs over 31,000 workers in Minnesota and is projected to expand by 23 percent. A total of 14,600 job openings are projected. A commercial driver’s license (CDL) is usually required for this profession.
  • Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives have extensive knowledge of a manufacturing sector and the products being sold. This profession is expected to have 10,200 job openings in Minnesota between 2010 and 2020. Communication, problem solving, and time management are some of the key skills needed in this occupation. Education requirements vary, depending on the product being sold. Previous sales experience is needed.
  • Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses earn an average of $20.56 per hour in Minnesota. Like RNs, this profession is projected to expand rapidly, with 9,500 total openings in Minnesota over 10 years. The largest numbers of licensed practical nurses work in nursing care facilities, hospitals, doctor’s offices, and home health care services. Nursing professions require a license in Minnesota.
  • Office and administrative support supervisors work in either customer service or clerical support and keep day-to-day operations running smoothly. Prior office or administrative support experience is needed, often along with some formal training beyond high school. Almost 8,800 job openings are expected in this occupation, particularly as people retire or otherwise leave the profession.


Which occupations round out the top 10? Read about five more high demand, high pay occupations here.