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Job Markets in Kansas, an Aviation and Aerospace Leader

Updated on May 22, 2018
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Ms. Inglish is a successful employment & training pro, setting Midwest regional records with tens of thousands placed in gainful employment.

Successful Kansas Industries

The production of wheat grain as a crop has been a foundation of the Kansas state economy in a US plains for many years.

In the 21st century, all farm products and the meat-packing industry have led the state in jobs and business revenues, with the large aircraft industry in Wichita, Kansas coming up fast behind them. Thus, food and aircraft production are leading industries.

Remarkably, just four corporations in Kansas, all of them in Wichita, manufacture over 70% of the whole world's general aviation aircraft. This follows a marked increase in aircraft and aerospace vehicle parts manufacturing in relationship to the increase in aerospace efforts in America and abroad.

Kansas Wheat
Kansas Wheat | Source

Aviation is an industry that will continue to offer opportunities for high-paying jobs and careers throughout the next several decades. This is especially true in light of the growing number of Spaceports in America (at this writing: 12 in the USA, one in Canada, and another under construction in Colorado, USA).

Many of the largest Kansas companies are involved in aviation and aerospace manufacturing and services. Overall, the state supports many hundreds of aerospace companies. Wichita State University houses the National Institute for Aviation Research.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Fort Riley is consistently the largest employer in the state. The army post maintains many services for family member and a partnership with local Native American Nations.Troopers of the 1st Infantry Division Commanding General’s Mounted Color Guard. They perform in parades and rodeos.
Fort Riley is consistently the largest employer in the state. The army post maintains many services for family member and a partnership with local Native American Nations.
Fort Riley is consistently the largest employer in the state. The army post maintains many services for family member and a partnership with local Native American Nations. | Source
Troopers of the 1st Infantry Division Commanding General’s Mounted Color Guard. They perform in parades and rodeos.
Troopers of the 1st Infantry Division Commanding General’s Mounted Color Guard. They perform in parades and rodeos. | Source

Largest Employers in Kansas

  1. Fort Riley: U.S. Military installation.
  2. Sprint: Telecommunications worldwide.
  3. Spirit Aerosystems: Aviation and aerospace business. This is the world’s biggest independent producer of commercial aero-structures,
  4. Via-Christi Health: Healthcare services.
  5. Cessna Aviation. Industry: Aviation; known for the Cessna airplane series.
  6. Kansas University Medical Center: Healthcare services and teaching hospital.
  7. Beechcraft Corp.: Aviation; known for Beechcraft airplanes.
  8. Kansas State University. Public education facilities.
  9. General Motors - Fairfax Plant: Automotive products.
  10. Bombardier: Aerospace manufacturing.

Kansas Job Markets

The WalletHub organization has found that within Kansas, Wichita and Overland Park are the best places to find jobs and grow new businesses.

Wichita is the more prominent business and cultural hub of the state and some of its best jobs are included in the top industries of:

  1. Healthcare
  2. Government
  3. Avionics
  4. Aerospace

The future is very bright there. Wichita is one of Forbes Magazine's Best Cities for Jobs with a lower cost of living. A thriving college town, a dozen institutions of higher education partner tightly with business and government to design internships and new businesses as well. Wichita will continue to grow.

High demand jobs in Leawood KS are located largely inside the I-435 Outerbelt around Kansas City. Leawood is a major suburb of that place, just a few blocks west of the Missouri-Kansas state line and only two miles east of Overland Park.

To the near north in Johnson County lies Shawnee, Kansas, voted one of the Best Cities In America by CNNMoney. The lands that became Shawnee, Kansas were a hub of government as well as native religion among the Shawnee people and the Osage Nation before them.

One of America's Richest Cities, Mission Hills, is located approximately five miles south of the Kansas City area and about five miles northeast of Overland Park.

Overland Park itself is a mega-railroading suburb since the mid-1800s. The American railroads of the 19th and 20th centuries created many towns that grew into large cities along these transportation and shipping lanes.

Mulberry sits in Crawford County, Kansas in the Southeast Market Area designated for gathering statistics about employment and business. Mulberry is actually at the Missouri-Kansas state border, near Arma and Pittsburg KS.

The cost of living in Kansas is less than 86% that of the United States overall.

Wichita, Kansas:
Wichita, KS, USA

get directions

Agricultural Focus in Elementary School

The Walton 21st Century Rural Life Center is an educational facility that provides hands-on training to youth in order to prepare them for the thriving Kansas agricultural businesses and jobs. Animal husbandry and county and state fairs for showing animals from the center all go into the curricula of grades K-5.

Kansas summer wheat.
Kansas summer wheat. | Source

The Center is located 25 miles north of Wichita and classes begin every day with breakfast at 7:35 AM and end at 3:00 PM. This is about an average workday in America for the first shift, but many hours fewer than a real agricultural job often requires.

This education is not all farm work! Grades K-5 have music lessons twice weekly, physical education twice weekly, and either or both on Fridays. Computer literacy also keeps the children busy.

Agricultural High Schools for grades 9-12 are not so new in America. Even Chicago and Philadelphia have them. Akron, Ohio supports an agricultural middle school. Farming is not dead in the USA and Kansas is a big proof of that.

Walton 21st Century Rural Life Center; 502 Main, Walton KS:
502 Main Street, Walton, KS 67151, USA

get directions

"Keeper of the Plains" statue in Wichita.
"Keeper of the Plains" statue in Wichita. | Source

Plains Indians: Native American Businesses

  • Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska. Route 1, Box 58A, White Cloud KS 66094-9624
  • Kickapoo Tribe in Kansas. P.O. Box 271, Horton KS 66349-0271
  • Pelathe Community Resource Center
  • Lawrence's Indian Center 1423 Haskell Avenue, Lawrence KS 66044
  • Prairie Band Potawatomi Tribe. Route 2 Box 50A, Mayetta KS 66509
  • RedNation of the Cherokee. 1509 Washington Lane, Augusta, KS 67010
  • Sac & Fox Tribe of Missouri. Rt. 1, Box 60, Reserve KS 66434-9723

White Cloud KS:
White Cloud, KS 66094, USA

get directions

Horton KS :
Horton, KS 66439, USA

get directions

Lawrence KS :
Lawrence, KS, USA

get directions

Mayetta KS :
Mayetta, KS 66509, USA

get directions

Augusta, Kansas:
Augusta, KS 67010, USA

get directions

Reserve KS:
Reserve, KS 66434, USA

get directions

Kansas City
Kansas City | Source

Sports Related Opportunities

College and High School

  • Kansas Jayhawks - Lawrence
  • Kansas State Wildcats - Manhattan
  • Pittsburg State Gorillas - Pittsburg
  • Tabor College Bluejays - Hillsboro

League Team Sports

  • Topeka Scarecrows (USHL) - Topeka
  • Wichita Thunder (CHL) - Wichita
  • Wichita Wranglers (AA) - Wichita

Higher Education in Kansas

Larger Schools With Multiple Campuses:

  • Cowley County Community College: Arkansas City, Mulvane, Wellington, Wichita, Winfield
  • Ottawa University: Ottawa, also Jeffersonville, Kansas City, Arizona, Milwaukee, International
  • Saint Mary College: Leavenworth, Overland Park, Kansas City

Additional Schools in Wichita

  • Newman University
  • Wichita Area Technical College
  • Wichita State University in Wichita

Additional Schools

  • Allen County Community College: Iola and Burlingame
  • Baker University: Baldwin City
  • Barclay College: Haviland
  • Barton County Community College: Great Bend
  • Benedictine College: Atchison
  • Bethany College: Lindsborg
  • Bethel College: North Newton
  • Butler County Community College: El Dorado
  • Central Christian College of Kansas: McPherson
  • Cloud County Community College: Concordia
  • Coffeyville Community College: Coffeyville, Columbus
  • Colby Community College: Colby
  • Donnelly College: Kansas City
  • Emporia State University: Emporia
  • Fort Hays State University: Hays
  • Fort Scott Community College: Fort Scott
  • Garden City Community College: Garden City
  • Haskell Indian Nations University: Lawrence
  • Hesston College: Hesston
  • Highland Community College: Highland
  • Hutchinson Community College: Hutchinson
  • Independence Community College: Independence
  • Johnson County Community College: Overland Park KS
  • Kansas City Kansas Community College: Kansas City
  • Kansas Wesleyan University: Salina
  • Labette Community College: Parsons
  • Manhattan Christian College: Manhattan
  • McPherson College: McPherson
  • MidAmerica Nazarene University: Olathe
  • Neosho County Community College: Chanute
  • Pittsburg State University: Pittsburg
  • Pratt Community College: Pratt
  • Seward County Community College: Liberal
  • Southwestern College: Winfield
  • Sterling College: Sterling
  • Tabor College: Hillsboro
  • University of Kansas: Lawrence
  • University of Kansas Medical Center: Kansas City
  • Washburn University: Topeka


  • Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  • Sperling's Best Places. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  • WalletHub. Retrieved May 22, 201.

© 2007 Patty Inglish MS


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