North Dakota salaries

Published: May. 24, 2019 at 3:11 PM CDT
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With graduations, a brand new crop of candidates will be hitting the job market.

North Dakota is one of the states where employment opportunities are plentiful. Job Service lists 15,000 open positions, but the number could be double that, since many employers have one listing for multiple openings.

Naturally, some pay better than others.

Here's a look at wage averages, according to Job Service North Dakota:

Traditionally, the jobs where you get your hands dirty have not paid the best, but that's not necessarily true today.

"Those blue collar jobs are gaining steam in a sense in that you can essentially get them right out of college, you can have less student loan debt, you can own your own business and still have the opportunity to make a good living, and that's attractive to a lot of people," said Bismarck-Mandan Chamber President Brian Ritter.

The average salary in our state is just under $50,000. People starting out in jobs across the board make about $25,000 a year, while those with experience take home nearly $62,000. And that holds true for blue collar jobs as well. While the best paying jobs still tend to be those traditionally termed "white collar," the majority of openings, 59 percent, require only a high school diploma.

"The service sector, that entry level position, that's a big part of what we do here and for a lot of people that's the place where they start," said Ritter. "So yes, it might be lower pay scale, but it's certainly an entry point for a lot of folks into the Bismarck-Mandan labor force."

Here's a breakdown from job service:

The highest averages go to managers and CEO's at $99,000 a year.

Next in line are lawyers, architects and engineers, followed closely by health care practitioners, all averaging in the mid $70,000 range.

Financial operations and computer experts are paid in the high $60,000s.

People skilled in repair and maintenance and construction are averaging between $55,000 and $65,000 a year.

Farm work averages are on the low end at $36,000.

The jobs that tended to pay the lowest are in food service at $25,000 a year.

One sobering statistic, though, Job Service says nearly a third of workers earning between $15 and $20 dollars an hour likely cannot support a family of four on one job alone.

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