Tennessee Occupational Statistics

  • Total Employees in the State: 2,956,920
  • 1 Year Change in Employment: -270,020 (-8.4%)
  • Average Annual Pay in the State: $44,669
  • 1 Year Change in Annual Pay: $5,291 (13.4%)

Occupation Categories

There are 2,956,920 employed workers in Tennessee. The occupation with the greatest number of workers is Office and Administrative Support Occupations, which employs 468,630 people. This represents 15.8% 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 287,500 and 277,940 respectively.

Occupation Category# Employees% of State
Office and Administrative Support Occupations468,63015.8%
Sales and Related Occupations287,5009.7%
Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations277,9409.4%
Transportation and Material Moving Occupations277,2909.4%
Production Occupations265,8509.0%
Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations195,4006.6%
Management Occupations169,8305.7%
Education Training and Library Occupations155,9305.3%
Installation Maintenance and Repair Occupations127,7504.3%
Business and Financial Operations Occupations127,2204.3%
Construction and Extraction Occupations96,0503.2%
Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance Occupations81,3602.8%
Personal Care and Service Occupations79,8702.7%
Healthcare Support Occupations73,4602.5%
Protective Service Occupations70,8402.4%
Computer and Mathematical Occupations56,4601.9%
Architecture and Engineering Occupations44,5501.5%
Community and Social Service Occupations32,1301.1%
Arts Design Entertainment Sports and Media Occupations31,9601.1%
Life Physical and Social Science Occupations17,3000.6%
Legal Occupations14,6200.5%
Farming Fishing and Forestry Occupations4,9800.2%

Occupation Changes Since Last Year

The occupation with the largest increase in the number of workers is Transportation and Material Moving Occupations, which currently employs 277,290 people. In the last year, the number of workers has increased from 270,020 an increase of 7,270 or 2.7%. The next 2 occupations that have the next largest change in workers are Management Occupations and Business and Financial Operations Occupations, which increased 7,180 and 6,870 respectively.

The occupation with the largest decrease in the number of workers is Office and Administrative Support Occupations, which currently employs 468,630 people. In the last year, the number of workers has decreased from 476,090 or 1.6%. The next 2 occupations that have the next largest decreases in workers are Healthcare Support Occupations and Architecture and Engineering Occupations, which decreased 1,130 and 820 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 277,940 people. Since 2009, the number of workers has increased from 227,040 an increase of 50,900 or 22.4%. The next 2 occupations that have the next largest change in workers are Business and Financial Operations Occupations and Transportation and Material Moving Occupations, which increased 38,580 and 35,060 respectively.

The occupation with the largest decrease in the number of workers is Construction and Extraction Occupations, which currently employs 96,050 people. Since 2009, the number of workers has decreased from 98,430 or 2.4%.
Occupation Category# Employees% Change
Farming Fishing and Forestry Occupations4,98061.7%
Personal Care and Service Occupations79,87047.3%
Computer and Mathematical Occupations56,46044.9%
Business and Financial Operations Occupations127,22043.5%
Architecture and Engineering Occupations44,55035.5%
Legal Occupations14,62029.3%
Life Physical and Social Science Occupations17,30025.4%
Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations277,94022.4%
Management Occupations169,83019.8%
Transportation and Material Moving Occupations277,29014.5%
Protective Service Occupations70,84013.3%
Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations195,40013.0%
Arts Design Entertainment Sports and Media Occupations31,96011.1%
Installation Maintenance and Repair Occupations127,75010.9%
Sales and Related Occupations287,5009.0%
Community and Social Service Occupations32,1307.6%
Education Training and Library Occupations155,9307.1%
Production Occupations265,8505.9%
Office and Administrative Support Occupations468,6303.7%
Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance Occupations81,3602.8%
Healthcare Support Occupations73,4601.8%
Construction and Extraction Occupations96,050-2.4%


Detailed Occupations

The detailed occupation with the greatest number of workers is Laborers and Freight Stock and Material Movers Hand, which employs 95,200 people. This represents 3.2% of all workers in the state. The next 2 occupations that have the most workers are Retail Salespersons and Cashiers, which employ 88,980 and 76,290 respectively.

The Top 10 Occupations in Tennessee are:
Occupation Category# Employees% of State
Laborers and Freight Stock and Material Movers Hand95,2003.2%
Retail Salespersons88,9803.0%
Cashiers76,2902.6%
Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers Including Fast Food72,6002.5%
Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers63,0302.1%
Customer Service Representatives60,9602.1%
Registered Nurses60,3602.0%
Office Clerks General58,9502.0%
Stock Clerks and Order Fillers57,1901.9%
Assemblers and Fabricators All Other Including Team Assemblers54,7201.9%

Detailed Occupations Since 2009

The detailed occupation with the largest increase in the number of workers is Laborers and Freight Stock and Material Movers Hand, which currently employs 95,200 people. Since 2009, the number of workers has increased from 70,590 an increase of 24,610 or 34.9%. The next 2 detailed occupations that have the next largest change in workers are Secretaries and Administrative Assistants Except Legal Medical and Executive and Stock Clerks and Order Fillers, which increased 15,210 and 12,060 respectively.

The detailed occupation with the largest decrease in the number of workers is Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants, which currently employs 5,870 people. In the last year, the number of workers has decreased from 24,420 or 76.0%. The next 2 occupations that have the next largest decreases in workers are Home Health Aides and Cooks Institution and Cafeteria, which decreased 7,740 and 5,210 respectively.


The Top 10 Detailed Occupations With The Largest Increase Since 2009 are:
Occupation Category# Employees% Change
Biochemists and Biophysicists6701,575.0%
Radio Cellular and Tower Equipment Installers and Repairers7001,300.0%
Grounds Maintenance Workers All Other1,490609.5%
Audio-Visual and Multimedia Collections Specialists260550.0%
Credit Counselors1,750548.1%
Shoe and Leather Workers and Repairers360500.0%
Electro-Mechanical Technicians470487.5%
Health Specialties Teachers Postsecondary5,690431.8%
Automotive and Watercraft Service Attendants3,660430.4%
Umpires Referees and Other Sports Officials530430.0%


The 10 Occupations With The Largest Decrease Since 2009 are:
Occupation Category# Employees% Change
Cutters and Trimmers Hand100-82.8%
Pourers and Casters Metal80-82.2%
Drilling and Boring Machine Tool Setters Operators and Tenders Metal and Plastic180-80.6%
Legislators560-79.9%
Respiratory Therapy Technicians120-78.6%
Conveyor Operators and Tenders700-78.0%
Grinding and Polishing Workers Hand240-76.2%
Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants5,870-76.0%
Desktop Publishers110-75.6%
Airline Pilots Copilots and Flight Engineers260-72.9%

Occupation Pay

The occupation with the highest annual pay is Management Occupations, which pays an average of $98,980 per year. This represents 121.6% above the state average pay. The next 2 occupations that have the highest average pay are Legal Occupations and Architecture and Engineering Occupations, which pay $91,620 and $75,630 per year, respectively.

Occupation CategoryAvg Payvs State Avg
Management Occupations$98,980221.6%
Legal Occupations$91,620205.1%
Architecture and Engineering Occupations$75,630169.3%
Computer and Mathematical Occupations$75,310168.6%
Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations$70,110157.0%
Life Physical and Social Science Occupations$64,880145.2%
Business and Financial Operations Occupations$64,340144.0%
Arts Design Entertainment Sports and Media Occupations$53,170119.0%
Education Training and Library Occupations$49,960111.8%
Installation Maintenance and Repair Occupations$45,290101.4%
Community and Social Service Occupations$42,20094.5%
Construction and Extraction Occupations$41,79093.6%
Protective Service Occupations$39,24087.8%
Sales and Related Occupations$37,50084.0%
Production Occupations$36,78082.3%
Office and Administrative Support Occupations$36,22081.1%
Transportation and Material Moving Occupations$35,01078.4%
Farming Fishing and Forestry Occupations$31,41070.3%
Healthcare Support Occupations$30,77068.9%
Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance Occupations$26,24058.7%
Personal Care and Service Occupations$25,04056.1%
Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations$21,90049.0%

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 $98,980 per year. Since 2009, pay has increased from $81,760 an increase of $17,220 or 21.1%. The next 2 occupations that pay the most to their workers are Computer and Mathematical Occupations and Arts Design Entertainment Sports and Media Occupations, which increased $12,850 and $10,790 respectively.

Occupation CategoryAnnual $% Change
Arts Design Entertainment Sports and Media Occupations$53,17025.5%
Healthcare Support Occupations$30,77023.4%
Education Training and Library Occupations$49,96021.5%
Management Occupations$98,98021.1%
Construction and Extraction Occupations$41,79020.6%
Computer and Mathematical Occupations$75,31020.6%
Office and Administrative Support Occupations$36,22019.9%
Sales and Related Occupations$37,50019.4%
Protective Service Occupations$39,24018.9%
Transportation and Material Moving Occupations$35,01016.9%
Community and Social Service Occupations$42,20016.8%
Production Occupations$36,78016.7%
Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance Occupations$26,24016.6%
Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations$21,90015.4%
Installation Maintenance and Repair Occupations$45,29015.2%
Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations$70,11015.2%
Life Physical and Social Science Occupations$64,88014.4%
Personal Care and Service Occupations$25,04014.3%
Architecture and Engineering Occupations$75,63012.8%
Farming Fishing and Forestry Occupations$31,41012.2%
Business and Financial Operations Occupations$64,34010.7%
Legal Occupations$91,62010.6%


Detailed Occupation Annual Compensation

The detailed occupation that pays their workers the most is Surgeons, which pays $271,680 per year. This represents 608.2% above the state average of $44,669. The next 2 occupations that pay their workers the most are Anesthesiologists and Physicians and Surgeons All Other, which pay $262,070 and $231,960 respectively.

Highest Paid Occupations

The Top 10 Paying Occupations in Tennessee are:
Occupation CategoryAnn'l Pay% of State
Surgeons$271,680608.2%
Anesthesiologists$262,070586.7%
Physicians and Surgeons All Other$231,960519.3%
Orthodontists$219,860492.2%
Family and General Practitioners$212,900476.6%
Internists General$208,860467.6%
Obstetricians and Gynecologists$201,690451.5%
Psychiatrists$195,670438.0%
Pediatricians General$190,040425.4%
Dentists General$186,670417.9%

Lowest Paid Occupations

The 10 Lowest Paying Occupations in Tennessee are:
Occupation CategoryAnn'l Pay% of State
Gaming Change Persons and Booth Cashiers$18,79042.1%
Counter Attendants Cafeteria Food Concession and Coffee Shop$19,27043.1%
Hosts and Hostesses Restaurant Lounge and Coffee Shop$19,58043.8%
Waiters and Waitresses$19,87044.5%
Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers Including Fast Food$19,87044.5%
Ushers Lobby Attendants and Ticket Takers$20,00044.8%
Models$20,19045.2%
Substitute Teachers$20,25045.3%
Dining Room and Cafeteria Attendants and Bartender Helpers$20,31045.5%
Lifeguards Ski Patrol and Other Recreational Protective Service Workers$20,32045.5%



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.