Best Jobs in Odessa, Texas - Rawhide, Oil, and Healthcare

The Permian Basin

Odessa is mid-way between the metro areas of El Paso and Fort Worth, Texas. This particular region is the very center of the famous Permian Basin, a geological range that is considered a classic world-class sedimentary and petroleum basin. The basin covers a range of 250 by 300 miles at it's widest points and over 60,000 square miles. Odessa and Midland, Texas are Oil & Gas leaders in the basin.

Students and scientists from the University of Texas at Odessa, from around Texas, and from around the world come to The Permian Basin to study its geological structures and history as well as paleontology and related sciences. As the ancient Permian Sea dried up, it left behind its sea life - plants and animals - that creates large expanses of the oil we use today, discovered about 1926 during the Roaring Twenties. The roar in the Permian Basin was made by oil and gas machinery.

In the 21st Century, Big Oil & Gas are joined by Healthcare as major industries contributing to the local economy. Retail Trade is also valuable, since companies like Family Dollar Stores built headquaters in Odessa (2003).

Between El Paso and Fort Worth

map of the Permian Basin in North America, from the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL).
map of the Permian Basin in North America, from the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL).

Comanche Nation Gave Way to Cattle

The Comanche Nation lived in the Permian Basin for many years until American railroads began to come through in 1881. In fact, the Texas and Pacific Railway built across the Odessa area because of the water resources needed for its steam engines.

In the late 1870s - early 1880s, land around Odessa was very inexpensive and settlers began to arrive. Ranching began in earnest in 1885 and the Texas and Pacific railroad assisted with transporting ranchers' cattle in place of the old "trail drives" featured in old TV shows like Rawhide with Clint Eastwood, 1959 - 1966. Today, some trail drives are still sponsored as a tourist experience, but are real drives taking cattle to market.

Even though the 3,000 head of cattle on Rawhide started out east of Odessa at San Antonio, the show gives a pretty fair picture of the trail drive of the Old West.

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Top 10 Job Listings - Actual Jobs Available

The following list make up the top job listings in Odessa Texas on Internet Search engines, company HR webpages, and websites of employment recruiters.

  1. Phsycians/Doctors
  2. Nurses – RNs, LPNs, LVNs - Healthcare. Can require anywhere from 1 year to 4-years of training beyind high school, and graduate school for MSNs and PhD Nurses.
  3. Truck Drivers
  4. Dispatchers
  5. Physical Therapists
  6. Assistant Managers
  7. Automotive Technicians
  8. Wireless Technician III
  9. Independent Sales Representatives
  10. Occupational Therapists

Several of the Top 10 Job Listings are in Healthcare. All five require advanced training and certifcation beyond high school. Some require professional school after the 4-year bachelors degree.

Further top job listings include:

  1. Retail Store Managers
  2. Team Members – Casual Dining
  3. Sales Representatives

Job Titles Expected to Add Most Jobs by 2016

  1. Personal and Home Care Aides
  2. Mainstream Elementary School Teachers
  3. Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, Including Fast Food
  4. Retail Salespersons
  5. Roustabouts, Oil and Gas
  6. Registered Nurses (RNs) - Appears in actual job listings May - September 2009.
  7. Customer Service Representatives
  8. Child Care Workers
  9. Truck Drivers, Heavy and Tractor-Trailer
  10. Office Clerks, General
  11. Waitstaff - Casual and Fine Dining
  12. Janitors/Cleaners, except Housekeepers
  13. Service Unit Operators, Oil, Gas, and Mining
  14. Mainstream Secondary School Teachers
  15. Mainstream Middle School Teachers
  16. Construction Laborers
  17. Executive Secretaries and Administrative Assistants

Forecast to Increase Most Quickly through 2016

  1. Personal and Home Care Aides
  2. Mainstream Elem. Teachers
  3. Mainstream Mid. Sch. Teachers
  4. Industrial Machinery Mechanics
  5. Computer Systems Analysts
  6. Derrick, Oil/Gas Rotary Drill jobs
  7. Oil & Gas Engineers
  8. Mainstream Pre-Sch Teachers
  9. Mainstream Secondary Teachers
  10. Roustabouts, Oil and Gas

Background: Stimulus Funds 2009 - 2012

Before the Stimulus Package of 2009 was compiled and distributed, Odessa was one out of only 9 of a total 311 metro areas with existing data that showed a yearly jobs gain in construction and related positions. In fact, Odessa was 3rd on the list with a 5% increase in such jobs before the ARRA Stimulus Package was available. Stimulus funds are expected to boost this continuing increase higher from 2009 - 2012. A new Forensic Center is a possibility in these ventures, creating construction and criminal science jobs.

The City of Odessa also received $3.9 Million to use for improving transporation. It is targeted to purchase 12 new city buses, support vehicles, support equipment, fare collection equipment, route signs, bus shelters, communications equipment; and to pay for preventive maintenance.

Higher Education in Odessa

Teaching Hospitals and Healthcare Services

Theme From Rawhide, Blues Brothers Version

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Comments 7 comments

Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 7 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

Brilliantly researched hub, I found it really interesting even though I am not job hunting in that area. Feel as if I just paid a visit, thanks.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 7 years ago from North America Author

Thanks for the encouraing words, Gypsy Willow. I'd like to visit the Permian Basin, but it's probably very very hot in summer. The Ronald McDonald Mobile Unit healthcare service is pretty encouraging, I think.


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

One of my favorite movies of all time is Friday Night Lights starring Billy Bob Thornton and Lucas Black. The movie which was based off of the Permian Panters of Odessa and their championship run in the mid to late 1980s and as you may know, it was turned into a TV show recently. The strong message that it conveyed was that football there wasn't a sport. It was a religion! With that being said, the football coach (Thorton) was making more than the high school's principal and all anyone cared about was winning a state title as it would provide the football players a ticket out of Odessa. Awesome movie, awesome informative hub. Thanks.


Jenny30 profile image

Jenny30 7 years ago from Canada

Nice article. Very interesting! You did a lot of research I can see! Awesome work! Look forward to more of your hubs!


melshomecorner profile image

melshomecorner 7 years ago from Mississippi

very interesting hub !

Melinda Winner


Sandyspider profile image

Sandyspider 7 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

Very interesting Hub.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 7 years ago from North America Author

dohn121 - That;s really interesting about the moveiw and the show. I;ve seen it on TV a couple of times. Now you;ve given me the background!

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