North Carolina Occupational Statistics

  • Total Employees in the State: 4,383,200
  • 1 Year Change in Employment: -320,050 (-6.8%)
  • Average Annual Pay in the State: $47,188
  • 1 Year Change in Annual Pay: $5,063 (12.0%)

Occupation Categories

There are 4,383,200 employed workers in North Carolina. The occupation with the greatest number of workers is Office and Administrative Support Occupations, which employs 629,880 people. This represents 14.4% of all workers in the state. The next 2 occupations that have the most workers are Sales and Related Occupations and Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations, which employ 472,380 and 426,490 respectively.

Occupation Category# Employees% of State
Office and Administrative Support Occupations629,88014.4%
Sales and Related Occupations472,38010.8%
Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations426,4909.7%
Production Occupations343,4507.8%
Transportation and Material Moving Occupations323,4807.4%
Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations278,8806.4%
Education Training and Library Occupations277,4006.3%
Business and Financial Operations Occupations218,2305.0%
Management Occupations191,0904.4%
Installation Maintenance and Repair Occupations188,3804.3%
Construction and Extraction Occupations167,9303.8%
Healthcare Support Occupations147,3003.4%
Computer and Mathematical Occupations135,1303.1%
Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance Occupations133,8903.1%
Personal Care and Service Occupations121,5902.8%
Protective Service Occupations100,0802.3%
Architecture and Engineering Occupations64,1601.5%
Community and Social Service Occupations53,0501.2%
Arts Design Entertainment Sports and Media Occupations42,1001.0%
Life Physical and Social Science Occupations35,2200.8%
Legal Occupations24,5500.6%
Farming Fishing and Forestry Occupations8,5400.2%

Occupation Changes Since Last Year

The occupation with the largest increase in the number of workers is Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations, which currently employs 278,880 people. In the last year, the number of workers has increased from 264,860 an increase of 14,020 or 5.3%. The next 2 occupations that have the next largest change in workers are Sales and Related Occupations and Construction and Extraction Occupations, which increased 11,320 and 10,120 respectively.

The occupation with the largest decrease in the number of workers is Office and Administrative Support Occupations, which currently employs 629,880 people. In the last year, the number of workers has decreased from 631,920 or 0.3%. The next 2 occupations that have the next largest decreases in workers are Healthcare Support Occupations and Architecture and Engineering Occupations, which decreased 690 and 200 respectively.


Occupation Changes Since 2009

The occupation with the largest increase in the number of workers, since the recession ended in 2009, is Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations, which currently employs 426,490 people. Since 2009, the number of workers has increased from 346,620 an increase of 79,870 or 23.0%. The next 2 occupations that have the next largest change in workers are Business and Financial Operations Occupations and Sales and Related Occupations, which increased 64,040 and 61,060 respectively.

The occupation with the largest decrease in the number of workers is Life Physical and Social Science Occupations, which currently employs 35,220 people. Since 2009, the number of workers has decreased from 41,060 or 14.2%.
Occupation Category# Employees% Change
Personal Care and Service Occupations121,59045.3%
Computer and Mathematical Occupations135,13042.5%
Business and Financial Operations Occupations218,23041.5%
Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations278,88023.7%
Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations426,49023.0%
Farming Fishing and Forestry Occupations8,54022.7%
Architecture and Engineering Occupations64,16019.3%
Installation Maintenance and Repair Occupations188,38017.6%
Transportation and Material Moving Occupations323,48015.1%
Sales and Related Occupations472,38014.8%
Legal Occupations24,55012.0%
Arts Design Entertainment Sports and Media Occupations42,10010.6%
Protective Service Occupations100,0808.4%
Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance Occupations133,8907.4%
Education Training and Library Occupations277,4005.7%
Management Occupations191,0905.2%
Office and Administrative Support Occupations629,8803.1%
Construction and Extraction Occupations167,9302.2%
Production Occupations343,4501.2%
Healthcare Support Occupations147,3000.8%
Community and Social Service Occupations53,050-5.0%
Life Physical and Social Science Occupations35,220-14.2%


Detailed Occupations

The detailed occupation with the greatest number of workers is Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers Including Fast Food, which employs 147,170 people. This represents 3.4% of all workers in the state. The next 2 occupations that have the most workers are Retail Salespersons and Cashiers, which employ 141,960 and 126,460 respectively.

The Top 10 Occupations in North Carolina are:
Occupation Category# Employees% of State
Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers Including Fast Food147,1703.4%
Retail Salespersons141,9603.2%
Cashiers126,4602.9%
Registered Nurses102,5002.3%
Customer Service Representatives94,4202.2%
Laborers and Freight Stock and Material Movers Hand89,3102.0%
Office Clerks General82,6301.9%
Waiters and Waitresses82,6001.9%
Nursing Assistants63,0101.4%
Stock Clerks and Order Fillers62,0501.4%

Detailed Occupations Since 2009

The detailed occupation with the largest increase in the number of workers is Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers Including Fast Food, which currently employs 147,170 people. Since 2009, the number of workers has increased from 105,350 an increase of 41,820 or 39.7%. The next 2 detailed occupations that have the next largest change in workers are Cashiers and Office Clerks General, which increased 25,240 and 22,620 respectively.

The detailed occupation with the largest decrease in the number of workers is Home Health Aides, which currently employs 30,040 people. In the last year, the number of workers has decreased from 75,990 or 60.5%. The next 2 occupations that have the next largest decreases in workers are Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants and Food Preparation Workers, which decreased 33,740 and 10,040 respectively.


The Top 10 Detailed Occupations With The Largest Increase Since 2009 are:
Occupation Category# Employees% Change
Food Preparation and Serving Related Workers All Other9301,228.6%
Radio Cellular and Tower Equipment Installers and Repairers500525.0%
Financial Examiners4,070498.5%
Riggers380442.9%
Highway Maintenance Workers4,500383.9%
Medical Equipment Repairers1,760266.7%
Postsecondary Teachers All Other5,220257.5%
Meeting Convention and Event Planners3,120246.7%
Cooks Fast Food10,720237.1%
Merchandise Displayers and Window Trimmers2,610234.6%


The 10 Occupations With The Largest Decrease Since 2009 are:
Occupation Category# Employees% Change
Material Moving Workers All Other30-91.9%
Desktop Publishers110-86.7%
Drilling and Boring Machine Tool Setters Operators and Tenders Metal and Plastic180-84.6%
Milling and Planing Machine Setters Operators and Tenders Metal and Plastic190-81.2%
Farm and Home Management Advisors130-79.7%
Funeral Service Managers220-78.6%
Broadcast News Analysts40-76.5%
Proofreaders and Copy Markers50-75.0%
Patternmakers Wood30-75.0%
Manufactured Building and Mobile Home Installers110-73.8%

Occupation Pay

The occupation with the highest annual pay is Management Occupations, which pays an average of $123,220 per year. This represents 161.1% above the state average pay. The next 2 occupations that have the highest average pay are Legal Occupations and Computer and Mathematical Occupations, which pay $90,650 and $87,630 per year, respectively.

Occupation CategoryAvg Payvs State Avg
Management Occupations$123,220261.1%
Legal Occupations$90,650192.1%
Computer and Mathematical Occupations$87,630185.7%
Architecture and Engineering Occupations$78,210165.7%
Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations$76,140161.4%
Business and Financial Operations Occupations$74,930158.8%
Life Physical and Social Science Occupations$71,000150.5%
Arts Design Entertainment Sports and Media Occupations$55,120116.8%
Education Training and Library Occupations$49,080104.0%
Installation Maintenance and Repair Occupations$46,18097.9%
Community and Social Service Occupations$45,60096.6%
Construction and Extraction Occupations$40,97086.8%
Sales and Related Occupations$40,52085.9%
Protective Service Occupations$39,87084.5%
Office and Administrative Support Occupations$36,54077.4%
Production Occupations$35,43075.1%
Transportation and Material Moving Occupations$33,97072.0%
Farming Fishing and Forestry Occupations$33,33070.6%
Healthcare Support Occupations$28,71060.8%
Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance Occupations$26,20055.5%
Personal Care and Service Occupations$25,93054.9%
Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations$22,76048.2%

Occupation Pay Changes Since 2009

The occupation with the largest increase in the average annual pay, since the recession ended in 2009, is Management Occupations, which currently pays an average of $123,220 per year. Since 2009, pay has increased from $101,170 an increase of $22,050 or 21.8%. The next 2 occupations that pay the most to their workers are Business and Financial Operations Occupations and Computer and Mathematical Occupations, which increased $14,820 and $13,190 respectively.

Occupation CategoryAnnual $% Change
Business and Financial Operations Occupations$74,93024.7%
Sales and Related Occupations$40,52022.8%
Arts Design Entertainment Sports and Media Occupations$55,12022.6%
Farming Fishing and Forestry Occupations$33,33022.6%
Management Occupations$123,22021.8%
Construction and Extraction Occupations$40,97020.3%
Healthcare Support Occupations$28,71019.7%
Community and Social Service Occupations$45,60019.5%
Education Training and Library Occupations$49,08018.9%
Architecture and Engineering Occupations$78,21018.4%
Computer and Mathematical Occupations$87,63017.7%
Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations$22,76017.4%
Office and Administrative Support Occupations$36,54016.8%
Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance Occupations$26,20016.5%
Protective Service Occupations$39,87016.3%
Production Occupations$35,43015.9%
Life Physical and Social Science Occupations$71,00015.8%
Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations$76,14015.6%
Legal Occupations$90,65015.3%
Transportation and Material Moving Occupations$33,97015.2%
Installation Maintenance and Repair Occupations$46,18014.5%
Personal Care and Service Occupations$25,93012.5%


Detailed Occupation Annual Compensation

The detailed occupation that pays their workers the most is Anesthesiologists, which pays $285,730 per year. This represents 605.5% above the state average of $47,188. The next 2 occupations that pay their workers the most are Surgeons and Orthodontists, which pay $278,260 and $276,550 respectively.

Highest Paid Occupations

The Top 10 Paying Occupations in North Carolina are:
Occupation CategoryAnn'l Pay% of State
Anesthesiologists$285,730605.5%
Surgeons$278,260589.7%
Orthodontists$276,550586.1%
Internists General$260,860552.8%
Obstetricians and Gynecologists$255,100540.6%
Family and General Practitioners$221,220468.8%
Dentists General$212,160449.6%
Chief Executives$210,050445.1%
Dentists All Other Specialists$207,640440.0%
Physicians and Surgeons All Other$198,040419.7%

Lowest Paid Occupations

The 10 Lowest Paying Occupations in North Carolina are:
Occupation CategoryAnn'l Pay% of State
Cooks Fast Food$19,02040.3%
Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers Including Fast Food$19,73041.8%
Dishwashers$20,04042.5%
Hosts and Hostesses Restaurant Lounge and Coffee Shop$20,11042.6%
Ushers Lobby Attendants and Ticket Takers$20,13042.7%
Shampooers$20,18042.8%
Lifeguards Ski Patrol and Other Recreational Protective Service Workers$20,21042.8%
Dining Room and Cafeteria Attendants and Bartender Helpers$20,31043.0%
Baggage Porters and Bellhops$20,40043.2%
Cashiers$20,54043.5%



Data Sources




About the Writer

This page was created and is maintained by Kurt Tietjen, Founder of Stavera, High Peak Media & HomeGearWorks.com. Kurt is an executive, data scientist and software engineer who holds an MBA in Management Information Systems. In 2010, he partnered with scientists at Northwestern University to launch The Street Wire. This was one of the first mainstream uses of what would become “Narrative Science”, an artificial intelligence platform specializing in natural language generation. You can contact Kurt on LinkedIn here.