West Michigan's Hot Jobs

The Hot Jobs! List

If you’re in the market for a new job, this is the list for you. The Hot Jobs! list can help guide you to new employment in a high-demand career. We’ve analyzed online job posting data and surveyed employers to create a list of the 100 highest-growing and most in-demand jobs in West Michigan.

  • These occupations meet the criteria for Michigan Works! training scholarships.
  • The agriculture industry, including farming and food production, accounts for nearly 10,000 jobs and $300 million in labor income in the region. Many of the high-demand occupations within agriculture overlap other industries.
  • Minimum education and training requirements are based on regional employers’ current hiring practices.

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Median Hourly Earnings
2014-24 Projected Growth
2014-2024 Annual Openings
Minimum Education or Training Requirements*
Architects$31.5911.4%10Bachelor's degree, Internship
Brickmasons and Blockmasons$17.9032.3%20Apprenticeship


Civil Engineers$34.3714.8%39Bachelor's degree, License
Construction and Building Inspectors$26.9211.5%115+ years work experience, Moderate-term O.J.T.

Construction Laborers$13.6521.8%194Short-term O.J.T.

Construction Managers$17.2611.2%37Bachelor's degree, Moderate-term O.J.T.

Cost Estimators $26.4116.8%58Bachelor's degree, Moderate-term O.J.T.

Electrical Engineers$34.6411.0%36Bachelor's degree

Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repairers$34.3826.3%55Certification, Apprenticeship

Electricians$23.0621.9%114License, Apprenticeship

First-Line Supervisors of Construction Trades and Extraction Workers$25.2719.4%58License, 5+ years work experience

Heating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers$19.0122.8%53Certification, Long-term O.J.T.

Operating Engineers and Other Construction Equipment Operators$20.2615.3%40Certification, Moderate-term O.J.T.
Plumbers, Pipefitters and Steamfitters$20.7220.2%62License, Apprenticeship
Sheet Metal Workers$21.7117.8%26Apprenticeship
Median Hourly Earnings
2014-24 Annual Openings
2014-24 Annual Openings
Minimum Education or Training Requirements*
Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians$23.0732.6%11Associate's degree, Certification
Child, Family, and School Social Workers$22.448.9%75Bachelor's degree, License
Dental Hygienists$29.518.3%33Associate's degree, License
Diagnostic Medical Sonographers$28.8632.6%22Associate's degree
Dietitians and Nutritionists$29.2721.2%9Bachelor's degree, Residency
Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics$15.6719.5%22Certification, License
Health Educators$24.5318.2%12Bachelor's degree
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses$20.999.9%98License
Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technicians$14.6120.2%44Associate's degree, Certification, License
Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists$27.9220.3%46Bachelor's degree, Certification, License
Medical and Health Services Managers$42.8819.3%85Bachelor's degree, <5 years work experience
Medical and Public Health Social Workers$26.1622.2%48Master's degree, License, Residency
Medical Assistants$15.8517.3%99Certification
Medical Equipment Preparers$15.5723.2%12Certification, Moderate-term O.J.T.
Medical Records and Health Information Technicians$17.1217.9%23Certification
Nurse Practitioners$47.2033.3%17Master's degree, License
Nursing Assistants$13.4516.2%309Certification, License
Occupational Therapist Assistants$22.2737.7%23Associate's degree
Occupational Therapists$33.5426.5%43Master's degree, License
Personal and Home Care Aides$10.5426.0%126Certification, Short-term O.J.T.
Pharmacy Technicians$14.7912.6%32Certification, License, Moderate-term O.J.T.
Physical Therapist Assistants$22.5137.2%54Associate's degree, License
Physical Therapists$39.0631.7%94Doctoral or professional degree, License
Physician Assistants$52.0527.0%31Master's degree, License
Physicians and Surgeons, All Other$106.7416.3%41Doctoral or professional degree, License, Residency
Radiologic Technologists$24.3314.2%30Associate's degree, Certification
Registered Nurses$29.0623.9%650Bachelor's degree,License
Respiratory Therapists$26.0524.4%31Associate's degree, License
Speech-Language Pathologists$34.2414.6%25Master's degree, License, Residency
Surgical Technologists$19.8322.0%20Certification
Median Hourly Earnings
2014-24 Projected Growth
2014-24 Annual Openings
Minimum Education or Training Requirements*
Computer and Information Systems Managers$45.9213.6%23Bachelor's degree, 5+ years work experience
Computer Network Architects$30.1518.2%9Bachelor's degree, 5+ years work experience
Computer Occupations, All Other$22.8410.3%16Bachelor's degree
Computer Systems Analysts$31.3922.8%47Bachelor's degree
Computer User Support Specialists$22.1515.9%80Some college, no degree, Certification
Database Administrators$35.3910.9%10Bachelor's degree
Information Security Analysts$37.2922.2%3Bachelor's degree, <5 years work experience
Management Analysts$32.5719.4%45Bachelor's degree, <5 years work experience
Network and Computer Systems Architects & Administrators$31.6910.8%31Bachelor's degree
Software Developers, Applications$32.5824.4%65Bachelor's degree
Software Developers, Systems Software$37.8811.0%30Bachelor's degree
Web Developers$18.3527.2%16Associate's degree
Median Hourly Earnings
2014-24 Projected Growth
2014-24 Annual Openings
Minimum Education or Training Requirements*
Commercial and Industrial Designers$24.757.4%21Bachelor's degree
Computer-Controlled Machine Tool Operators, Metal and Plastic$17.3433.7%187Certification, Moderate-term O.J.T.
Electrical and Electronic Engineering Technicians$24.297.49%30Associate's degree
Engineering Technicians, Except Drafters, All Other$20.6413.5%10Associate's degree
Engineers, All Others$34.1611.6%25Bachelor's degree
First-Line Supervisors of Mechanics, Installers and Repairers$29.5011.2%84<5 years work experience
First-Line Supervisors of Production and Operating Workers$26.908.3%149<5 years work experience
Industrial Engineering Technicians$21.628.3%52Associate's degree
Industrial Engineers$35.8812.6%176Bachelor's degree
Industrial Machinery Mechanics$21.7731.9%166Apprenticeship, Long-term O.J.T.
Industrial Production Managers$46.216.5%81Bachelor's degree, 5+ years work experience
Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators$13.9711.8%151Certification, Short-term O.J.T.
Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers and Weighers$14.4210.0%222Moderate-term O.J.T.
Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Hand$12.0111.8%687Short-term O.J.T.
Machinists$18.2021.4%244Certification, Long-term O.J.T.
Maintenance and Repair Workers, General$17.569.90%261Certification, Moderate-term O.J.T.
Maintenance Workers, Machinery$20.0120.0%18Certification, Long-term O.J.T.
Mechanical Engineering Technicians$22.7610.8%14Associate's degree
Mechanical Engineers$33.1813.0%117Bachelor's degree
Multiple Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic$13.7010.1%49Certification, Moderate-term O.J.T.
Numerical Tool and Process Control Programmers$22.1733.0%29Certification, Moderate-term O.J.T.
Production Workers, All Others$15.3914.3%90Moderate-term O.J.T.
Welders, Cutters, Solderers and Brazers$16.7212.5%105Certification, Moderate-term O.J.T.
Median Hourly Earnings
2014-24 Projected Growth
2014-24 Annual Openings
Minimum Education or Training Requirements*
Accountants and Auditors$28.1014.8%180Bachelor's degree
Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics$15.057.2%123Certification, Short-term O.J.T.
Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists$19.8913.3%42Certification, Long-term O.J.T.
Financial Managers$41.3910.6%74Bachelor's degree, 5+ years work experience
General and Operations Managers$45.4610.8%335Bachelor's degree, 5+ years work experience
Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers$18.927.6%313Certification, Short-term O.J.T.
Human Resources Managers$37.2411.8%24Bachelor's degree, 5+ years work experience
Insurance Sales Agents$23.7815.1%128Certification, Moderate-term O.J.T.
Lawyers$38.168.8%45Doctoral or professional degree
Managers, All Other$17.398.6%113Bachelor's degree, <5 years work experience
Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists$25.9122.8%67Bachelor's degree
Marketing Managers$38.7914.7%22Bachelor's degree, 5+ years work experience
Personal Financial Advisors$35.3618.7%45Bachelor's degree, Long-term O.J.T.
Sales Managers$47.327.8%56Bachelor's degree, <5 years work experience
Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, except Technical and Scientific Products $26.449.0%347Certification, Moderate-term O.J.T.
Teacher Assistants$12.7710.9%262Some College, No Degree
Training and Development Specialists$26.0813.5%32Bachelor's degree, <5 years work experience

*Annual wage


Data Collection
Occupational data was obtained from the analytical program, EMSI, and the State of Michigan Bureau of Labor Market Information & Strategic Initiatives.

Data and employer feedback were used to determine the industry focus for our region: manufacturing, health sciences, information technology, construction and energy, professional services, and agriculture.

Internal and Employer Review Process
Each county-specific list was presented to West Michigan Works! staff and employers within region wide industry councils for anecdotal feedback and insight into hiring needs that may not be represented or overrepresented by job posting data. Occupations that report less than 30 jobs and a median wage of less than $13.00 per hour were removed.

Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI), http://www.economicmodeling.com/data-sources/
O*Net O*NET OnLine. National Center for O*NET Development, http://www.onetonline.org/
Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/data/
Michigan DTMB Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives, http://milmi.org/default.aspx