Top 15 Jobs in West Virginia

Beautiful West Virginia

New River Gorge Bridge Photo from National Park Service
New River Gorge Bridge Photo from National Park Service

Land Mark Natural Wonders

Gauley Bridge, West Virginia, is one of the most beautiful places in the world, near Hawk's Nest and the New River Gorge.

Some years ago I took a wrong turn in West Virginia and found myself on Rt. 60. Suddenly I came out of the mountains into a tourist community at the edge of the water.

The place is Gauley Bridge and the clean, clear water comes right up to the shoulder of the road. It is so clear, you an see almost to the bottom of the lake. Continuing on along Rt. 60, I found Hawk's Nest State Park. It was simply breathtaking.

West Virginia has been considered an economically depressed area in the past and companies have been charged an special tax for starting a business in the state.

According to the US Department of Labor, the average annual salary in West Virginia is $31,440 among 710,560 total workers. The state capital of Charleston enjoys an annual average wage of $33,000 as of 2010.

Workers in the category of Office and Administrative staff comprise the largest group of workers in the state, earning an average of about $25,000 per year.

Other large employee groups include Sales, with an average salary of $25,000; Food Prep, which averages $15,570 per year; Health Care Techs, average yearly wages over $54,000; Transportation and Material Movers, earning an average of approximately $26,000 per year; Construction, making about $36,000 a year; Production, with an average annual wage of about $30,000; and Installation, Maintenance and Repair Workers, earning about $34,000 a year.

These largest worker groups are those the include service occupations, Health Care technologies, and skilled trades. The lowest-paid groups generally contain the highest numbers of employees, lowering the overall average annual wage earned by employees overall in West Virginia..

Route 60 in West Virginia

show route and directions
A markerHawk's Nest W Va -
Hawks Nest, WV 25938, USA
[get directions]

B markerGauley Bridge W Va -
Gauley Bridge, WV 25085, USA
[get directions]

C markerNew River Gorge W Va -
New River Gorge National River, Glen Jean, WV 25846, USA
[get directions]

Winter at the New River Gorge

White Water Rafting is very popular.
White Water Rafting is very popular. | Source

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK TO 2022 : By the end of August 2015, West Virginia had over 35,000 job listings posted somewhere across the Internet. Truck Driving with CDL license is the Number One fast growing job in the short term, 2014 - 2016. Other high demand occupations include all positions at Pizza Hut, and a variety of healthcare jobs. Retail sales and supervision comes next in importance for those seeking open jobs.

Healthcare Jobs That Are High Demand Through 2022

The state's private companies offer many openings in healthcare, the majority trhough Genesis Healthcare company. Highest in demand and expected to remain so through 2022 are:

  1. Registered Nurses (RNs)
  2. Certified Nursing Assistants or CNAs
  3. Patient Care Techs
  4. Personal Care Associates
  5. Housekeeping Aides and Line Cooks
  6. Physical and Occupational Therapist Assistants
  7. Recreation Assistants - Needed for all age groups, but Senior Citizens are demanding increasing numbers of them in order to help them stay active.

Annual Jobs Growth was 4% 2004 - 2014

Home Health Aides and Personal- Care types of aides showed the greatest number of open positions yearly in West Virginia. However, the to jobs in highest demand were computer related, IT positions.

Overall, seven of the Top 15 job categories offering the most positions through 2014 were IT and technology jobs. Another five occupations in the Top 15 involved Healthcare. The remaining three jobs in the Top 15 were Gaming Managers, Physical Trainers, and Social Service and Human Services Assistants.

West Virginia State Symbols
West Virginia State Symbols

Notes and Explanations


OJT = On the Job Training. Most of the jobs in West Virginia require no certificate above a high school diploma and entail OJT after being hired.

Voc-Ed = Vocational Education, generally for a certificate.

Certificates at Voc Ed schools take anywhere from a few weeks to several months of educational training in the clasroom and field. The next longest training is the AA, Associate's Degree at community colleges and similar institutions.


The high demand types of occupations mentioned in this article through 2014 and further, through 2022, are felt to be able to grow at a statistically meaningful rate in the future of West Virginia.

Notice that these Top 20 High Demand Jobs in the above chart are mainly in IT and Healthcare fields, with additional jobs expected in Social Service and Human Services, teaching, and legal services and technologies. In 2014, the surprise frontrunner became Truck Driving, with a boom-level of new jobs across the country.


Higher Education Map of West Virginia

show route and directions
A markerMarshall University -
Marshall University, 1 John Marshall Drive, Huntington, WV 25755, USA
[get directions]

B markerUniversity of W Va -
West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA
[get directions]

C markerWorkforce W Va -
Workforce West Virginia, 304 Lakeview Drive, Parkersburg, WV 26101, USA
[get directions]

D markerUniversity of Charleston -
University of Charleston, 2300 Maccorkle Avenue Southeast, Charleston, WV 25304, USA
[get directions]

E markerWest Virginia State University -
West Virginia State University, 5000 Fairlawn Avenue, Institute, WV 25112, USA
[get directions]

F markerMountain State University -
Mountain State University, 410 Neville Street, Beckley, WV 25801, USA
[get directions]

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tanyasee 8 years ago

Great article.....


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