Top 15 New Jobs in West Virginia
Infrastructure Projects Provide 48,000 New Jobs
Plans to rebuild major infrastructure of roads and bridges in West Virginia will be funded in 2017, leading to additional public and private business enterprises and more jobs in the state. FirstEnergy Corp. already provided $238 million for infrastructure projects in Monongahela Power’s 34-county service area (Reference: Parkersburg News & Sentinel, March 13, 2017).
The top 15 jobs in targeted infrastructure for West Virginia from 2017 forward will be:
- Infrastructure Planners, Surveyors, Design Engineers and Architects
- IT Engineers and Enterprise Architects
- Project Managers: IT and Construction
- Quality Assurance Engineers
- Technical Writers
- Field Technicians
- Civil Engineers/Estimators
- Bridge and Road Construction Engineers
- Transportation Engineers and Technicians
- Truck and Heavy Equipment Drivers
- Concrete and Asphalt Crew
- Highway Engineers
- Industrial Painters
- Trainees and Interns
Additional sources: West Virginia Infrastructure Development Council, Indeed.com, Jobs2Careers.com, West Virginia Department of Transportation Continuous Openings, Brookings Institute, The Inter-Mountain (March 13, 2017).
More than 80 percent of workers employed in infrastructure occupations typically have short- to long-term on-the-job training, but only 12 percent hold a bachelor’s degree or higher and generally need less education to qualify for these jobs.— Brrokings Institute, 2012
In the February 16, 2017 issue of the Charleston Gazette-Mail, reporter Phil Kabler told us that decaying roads cast the average Charleston driver $1,357 annually in expenses, which probably entail gasoline usage, car repairs, and the various results of auto crashes.
Overall, such bad roads cost drivers at least $1.4 billion every year in West Virginia. Fixing them will save drivers money as well as provide work for job seekers, well past 2020. Governor Jim Justice stated that repairing roads and bridges will create 48,000 jobs.
(Gov. Jim) Justice ... has a personal relationship with the Trump family. The president repeatedly promised on the campaign trail to help states such as West Virginia, hurt badly by the Obama war on coal.— The Inter-Mountain, March 13, 2017
Two of the largest road building projects for the state in 2017 appear on the map below. The road improvements and extensions run beside each other in an almost parallel fashion.
Beckley at point B in the northeast is one of the cities in the state offering the highest numbers of job listings during Spring 2017.
West Virginia leaders have looked to the Mennonites and their expertise in bridge building to reconstruct flooded out bridges since July 2016. (NPR, July 16, 2016: To Rebuild Bridges, West Virginia Turns To Mennonite Technology.) This indicates new partnerships and larger infrastructure projects happening now than occurring in the past.
Two Major Road Construction Projects
Occupational Outlook to 2022
By the end of August 2015, West Virginia had over 35,000 job listings posted across the Internet. Truck driving with CDL license is the number one fast-growing job in the short term, 2014 - 2018; followed by healthcare professionals. Other high demand occupations include all positions at Pizza Hut, and a variety of retail sales and supervision jobs. Construction of infrastructure will add tens of thousands of jobs to the 20,000 jobs listings consistently found in early Spring 2017.
A statewide infrastructure project that addresses poor conditions on roads and bridges requires a large number of professional staff and construction workers.
Engineers, surveyors, and designers in addition to those already the the government payroll will be needed to survey land and design safe, efficient structures in the mountainous geography where crumbling pavement and bridge foundations stand today. Construction foremen, journeymen in several trades, technicians, and helpers will all be needed, providing new work for thousands of individuals.
Average Individual Income Increases
According to WorkForce West Virginia, the average annual wage of a worker is over $37,000 at the end of 2015, up from $31,400 in 2010.
Top 15 High Demand Jobs Expected to 2022
- Construction Trades: All levels for infrastructure rebuilding, including planners, designers, engineers, drafters, surveyors and more. Announced by Governor Jim Justice in February 2017.
- Attorneys: Bachelor's and a professional degree
- Pharmacists: Bachelor's and a professional degree
- Mental Health & Substance Abuse Social Workers: Master's degree
- Medical & Health Services Managers: At least a bachelor's degree. Includes Registered Nurse Managers.
- Accountants & Auditors: Bachelor's degree
- Network Systems & Data Communications Analysts: Bachelor's degree
- Social Workers: Master's degree and License
- Mainstream Elementary School Teachers: Bachelor's degree
- Mainstream Middle School and High School Teachers: Bachelor's degree
- HS Vocational Education Teachers: Bachelor's degree. This position will come into higher demand in order to train new technicians and helpers in the construction trades.
- Special Education Teachers, Pre-K through 5: Bachelor's degree
- Public Relations Specialists: Bachelor's
- Computer Support Specialists: Associate's degree
- Registered Nurses: At least an associate's degree
Private sector companies will be contracted to help with infrastructure construction. This is aided by West Virginia's elimination of its business franchise tax in 2015, making it less expensive to do business in the state. This creates additional funds to be used for employment.
Revenues for funding the infrastructure refurbishment will come from a ten-cent-per-gallon dedicated gasoline tax and a $1.00 toll surcharge on the West Virginia Turnpike, according to the Governor in the Gazette-Mail.
High demand healthcare jobs are increasing alongside infrastructure jobs.
The majority of health-related jobs come through Genesis Healthcare company. Looking at job postings from 2004 - 2014 and considering new businesses coming to West Virginia, as well as considering US Department of Labor predictions, the jobs highest in demand in healthcare and expected to remain so through 2022 are:
- Registered Nurses (RNs)
- Nurse Practitioners, Medical Assistants, and Physician Assistants
- Travel Nurses
- Pediatric Nurses
- Other Nursing Specialists
- Certified Nursing Assistants or CNAs
- Home Health Aides (HHAs)
- Patient Care Techs
- Physical and Occupational Therapist Assistants
- Recreation Assistants - Needed for all age groups, but Senior Citizens are demanding increasing numbers of them in order to help them stay active.
Top 10 Cities Needing the Most Workers
Morgantown, Charleston, Martinsburg, Huntington, Parkersburg, Bridgeport, Wheeling, Beckley, Clarksburg, and Fairmont.
Companies Hiring the Most Workers Long-Term
- Hospitals and Medical Centers requiring more Registered Nurses: WVU Healthcare, Genesis Healthcare, Sunbelt Staffing, Supplemental Health Care, Thomas Memorial Hospital, Advanced Travel Nursing.
- Buffalo Wild Wings: Managers, crew, maintenance and Franchise Owners.
- Dollar General and Family Dollar Stores
- Truck Drivers: Drive United, Modern Transportation, Contract Freighters, Inc (CFI).
- Computer/IT Companies: Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Orbital ATK, ManTech International Corporation, WV National Guard.
- Par Mar Oil Company: Convenience and Gasoline Stores
- Domino's Pizza and Pizza Hut: Management, delivery, and crew
- McDonald's Franchisee: Owners, management, and crew
- Little General Convenience Stores
- Sheetz Grocery Stores
- State of West Virginia: Government jobs
- CVS Health and Pharmacy: All positions, including pharmacists
- RPh on the Go: Pharmacists (staffing agency)
Colleges and Universities with Career Programs
Higher Education Map of West Virginia
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2007 Patty Inglish MS