Arizona Jobs Increase in Top Industries
Arizona Employment Trends
Advertised job listings in Arizona numbered over 142,600 in early 2014, decreasing to a respectable 80,000+ positions available by January 2020 as job seekers were hired more quickly that previously during the Trump Administration from 2017 through 2019.
The fastest growing job titles in Arizona during 2016-2020 were expected and realized by federal and state government labor departments to be in the fields of education, services, healthcare, and information technology (IT).
An individual living in, or planning relocation to, Arizona without a job in hand might begin with a "starter job" such as those offered by the various OJT positions listed below. Arizona also offers a number of opportunities for business ownership.
Snapshot: Arizona Job Listings, First Half 2017
Highest Demand Jobs
- Truck Drivers
- Retail Salespeople and Supervisors
- Retail Store Managers
- Medical and Physician Assistants
- Physical Therapists and Physical Therapy Assistants
- Registered Nurses
- Hospital Food Services Jobs
- Engineers: IT and other fields
- Warehouse Jobs
- Oil and Gas Jobs
- Retail Managers and Assistants
- Sales Representatives
- Occupational Therapists
- Administrative Assistants
Native American Nations in Arizona often are home to hotels and resorts that offer some openings to non-Native peoples, and these Nations need healthcare workers of various skills and education.
Two of my friends worked on the Navajo Nation reservation in Arizona for several years, in nursing and social services and were well satisfied with the opportunities and the job satisfaction this offered.
Renewable Energy is a promising 21st Century business opportunity that creates additional jobs in the classification of green-collar jobs or green jobs in sustainable business fields.
Renewable energy is developed in several forms in Arizona, including solar, geothermal (hot springs, etc.), biomass (forests and landfill gases), and wind energy. See The Arizona Solar Center for some new products and services.
Major Cities With Largest Job Postings
Fastest Growing Jobs in Arizona Through 2024
These job titles are forecasted by the state’s workforce and statistics departments to be the fastest-growing by the largest percent increase. They involve education, healthcare, and information technology (IT) to a large degree.
High levels of training are required for many of these occupations, indicated to the right of each job title.
- Environmental Science Teachers, Postsecondary* - Doctoral degree
- Graduate Teaching Assistants - Bachelor's degree
- Health Specialties Teachers, Postsecondary - Master's degree
- Veterinary Techs - Associate degree
- Entertainment Attendants and Related Workers, All Other - Moderate-term on-the-job training (OJT)
- Pharmacy Technicians - Moderate-term OJT
- Chemistry Teachers, Postsecondary - Doctorate
- Economics Teachers, Postsecondary - Doctorate
- Art, Drama, and Music Teachers, Postsecondary - Master's degree
- Atmospheric, Earth, Marine, and Space Sciences Teachers - Doctorate
- Audio and Video Equipment Technicians - Long-term OJT
- Network Systems and Data Communications Analysts - Bachelor’s degree
- Physics Teachers, Postsecondary - Doctorate
- Area, Ethnic, and Cultural Studies Teachers, Postsecondary - Doctorate
- Biological Science Teachers, Postsecondary - Doctorate
- Dental Hygienists - Associate degree
- Vocational Education Teachers, Postsecondary - Bachelor's or higher degree, plus work experience
- Personal and Home Care Aides - Short-term OJT
- Health Educators - Bachelor's degree
- Computer Science Teachers, Postsecondary - Master's degree
*Postsecondary refers to education beyond the high school diploma or GED certificate level.
Top 10 Jobs With Most Openings Through 2020
The following are expected to generate the most job openings in Arizona. The mix of growing jobs has tipped toward more retail and food service positions at all levels.
- Retail Salespersons: Brief OJT
- Customer Service Representatives: Moderate-term OJT
- Cashiers: Brief OJTY
- Waiters and Waitresses: Brief OJT
- Janitors and Cleaners, including Housekeepers: Brief OJT
- Office Clerks: Brief OJT
- Food Prep & Serving: Brief OJT
- Manual Laborers and Freight Movers: Brief OJT
- Mainstream Elementary School Teachers: Bachelor's degree
- Registered Nurses (RNs): At least the Associate's degree; some jobs require a BSN or higher.
Some Fastest Growing Jobs
Forensics, in the number 14 slot in the 2014 forecast listings, dropped out of the top 20 for the official 2016 projections, but rose into the top 15 again beginning in 2017.
The newer fast growing job listings require a higher level of education in the 2020s than in the 2010s, although a few demand only on-the-job training at no expense to the worker. On the other hand, the jobs offering the most openings to through 2020 are largely of the OJT variety.
Time Line Check: Arizona Job Listings
The number of jobs listed daily on average in June 2012 was the largest since 2001: 82,100 vacancies. By January 2020, the number of advertised jobs was still at 80,000 according to Indeed.com and SimplyHired.com.
The highest demand job titles have been:
- Physical and Occupational Therapists; Physical Therapy Assistants
- RN Nurses and Physicians
- Pharmacy Technicians
- Retail Salespeople
- Truck Drivers
- Managers and Assistant Managers: Food services and dining
- Loan Officers
- Software Engineers
- Manufacturing Engineers
Top 15 Employers in Arizona
The Arizona Republic newspaper determines the 100 employers in the state that employee the largest numbers of employees. A recent listing from this organization found the leading employers to be:
- Walmart Stores Inc.
- Banner Health
- Wells Fargo & Co.
- Raytheon Co.: Missile manufacturing (NASA Commercial Crew)
- Apollo Group Inc.: Education
- McDonald's Corp.
- Kroger Co.: Grocery and more
- Honeywell International Inc.: Aerospace (Commercial Crew)
- Intel Corp.: Semiconductors
- Target Corp.: Retail Sales
- US Airways: Aviation Transportation
- Bashas' Supermarkets
- JP Morgan Chase & Co.: Financial
- Safeway Inc.: Grocery Stores
- Home Depot Inc.: Home and Garden, DIY, Appliances
Arizona Business Opportunities
Native American Nations Business and Employment
Federal grants and other funding support projects and programs among Native American nation Arizona and throughout the Southwest, often in coordination with local colleges and universities.
Hospitality, gaming, healthcare, IT, and other industries provide employment for Native American groups in Arizona, but theses businesses consistently hire non-indigenous individuals as well.
Location native nations and their businesses include:
- Ak-Chin Indian Community: Ak-Chin Farms and the Ak-Chin Tribal Government are all major employers.
- Yavapai-Apache Nation: Cliff Castle in Camp Verde.
- Navajo Nation: Tourism has a major role in the Navajo Tribe's economy, as is Diné College, the first tribally controlled community college in the country.
- Cocopah Indian Reservation: Cocopah in Somerton. Agriculture is another major industry.
- Colorado River Indian Tribes: Blue Water in Parker.
- White Mountain Apache Tribe: Timber, lumber hardware, and a ski resort also thrive.
- Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation: Agriculture, a sand and gravel center, and a tribally-owned gas station are significant sources of economic activity.
- Fort Mojave Indian Tribe: Mojave Valley and Laughlin, NV
- Gila River Indian Community: The economy includes Gila River farms, sand and gravel operations, a nationally acclaimed industrial park - Lone Butte.
- Havasupai Indian Reservation: Tourism is the base economy, along with a cafe, grocery store, museum, cultural center, and an art-silkscreen studio.
- Hopi Tribe: Agriculture is the base economy, but IT is advancing.
- Hualapai Tribe: The economy centers on tourism, cattle ranching, timber sales, and arts/crafts.
- Kaibab-Pauite Tribe: Economy is based on tourism, livestock, and agriculture - especially a 1,300 tree fruit orchard.
- Pascua Yaqui Tribe: Economy includes a landscape nursery, a manufacturer of adobe blocks, and a bingo hall.
- Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community: Close to the Phoenix metro area, there is a 140-acre retail development called The Pavilions, with a Wal-Mart. Salt River also keeps a 19,000-acre nature preserve. Agriculture and gaming underpin the economy.
- San Carlos Apache Reservation: Part of the Reservation is in the largest stand of ponderosa pines in the world. Lumbering, tourism, cattle ranching, and recreation comprise the economy, with a retail shopping complex added for additional growth.
- Tohono O'odham Nation: Economic activities include tourism, an industrial park, and a resort.
- Tonto Apache Tribe: Businesses in Payson
- Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe: Economy includes tourism, gaming, and retail activities. The tribe owns a 162-room resort, a business park, and a shopping center.
- Fort Yuma-Quechan Tribe: This is an agricultural community, with tourism and a sand and gravel operation. The Tribe operates five trailer and RV parks, a grocery store, and a museum.
- San Juan Southern Paiute Tribe: An economic endeavors include livestock and subsistence farming.
Sports Opportunities for Recreation and Employment
College and High School
- Arizona State Sun Devils
- Arizona Wildcats
- Northern Arizona Lumberjacks
- Tucson Scorch women's hockey (WPHL)
- Tucson Sidewinders (PCBL)
- Yuma Frogs women's basketball (WBL)
Professional Athletic Teams
- Arizona Cardinals (NFL) - Tempe
- Arizona Diamondbacks (MLB) - Phoenix
- Arizona Rattlers (AFL) - Phoenix
- Phoenix Coyotes (NHL) - Phoenix
- Phoenix Mercury women's basketball (WNBA) - Phoenix
- Phoenix Suns (NBA) - Phoenix
Arenas and Stadiums
- Talking Stick Resort Arena (formerly America West Arena) in Phoenix
Higher Education for Well Paying Jobs
- American Indian College of the Assemblies of God: Phoenix
- Arizona State University: Tempe
- Arizona State University Polytechnic: Mesa
- Arizona State University West: Phoenix
- Coconino Community College: Flagstaff
- Diné College: Tsaile, Window Rock, Chinle, Ganado, Kayenta and Tuba City; also Shiprock and Crownpoint, NM
- Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott: Business and Science degrees in aviation & aerospace.
- Maricopa Community Colleges: Several locations
- Midwestern University: Glendale
- Mohave Community College: Several locations
- Northern Arizona University: Flagstaff
- Northland Pioneer College Distance Learning: Holbrook
- Pima Community College: Tucson, AZ
- Prescott College
- Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences: Tempe
- Arizona Christian University - Formerly Southwestern College: Phoenix
- University of Advancing Technology: Tempe
- University of Arizona: Tucson
- Wayland Baptist University: Phoenix, Sierra Vista, Arizona
- Western Bible College of the Assemblies of God: Phoenix
- Yavapai College: Prescott, Verde Valley, Yavapai
Arizona Community College Board
- Arizona Western College: Yuma
- Central Arizona College: Coolidge
- Cochise College: Douglas, Sierra Vista, Willcox, Benson, Fort Huachuca
- Eastern Arizona College: Thatcher
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2007 Patty Inglish MS