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Western Wonderlands - Jobs in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Updated on May 27, 2015
Moderns homes in Santa Fe, New Mexico in the 2010s.
Moderns homes in Santa Fe, New Mexico in the 2010s. | Source

Wonderland of Sustainability

New Mexico is one of the US states that is working full force in Santa Fe and other major markets in the cause of the Sustainability Industry and the new jobs that it produces.

An exciting fact is that in the 2000s, collaborations among NM's universities, vocational schools, private sector businesses, and government agencies have produced new services and technologies that blossomed into new jobs. These postitions began replacing others lost in the 2008 - 2009 Recession and will continue to grow in the coming decades. All this has influenced Sustainability Education in K-12 and community learning centers.

The City of Santa Fe is the County Seat of the county of the same name in the Southwest state of New Mexico. In addition, the city has been awarded a position on the list of Top 30 Cities for Jobs in the US by and has been recognized by several economists, trade magazines, and financial organizations (see next section).

An exanding metro area in terms of population and economy, the Santa Fe Metro Area was home to nearly 80,000 people at the end of 2008, The unemployment rate in December '08 was 3.9%, compared to over 7% nationally. This area unemployment rate is still a low level, particularly under 4%, indicating that the employment market is holding a pot of unfilled jobs that are waiting for good job applicants to claim them.

The Top 3 Major Industries in this metro area are Public Administration, Retail Trade & Healthcare and Social Services.

The average weekly wage workers in this are during the 2nd Quarter 2008 (ending in June) was over $700.00, or about $17.65/hour and over $36,700 annually in a full-time position. As with other Top 30 Cities, standard of living is relatively high while cost of living is lower than among many other communities in America. Educational opportunities are phenomenal in this area, while the crime rate is comparatively low. A rich multicultural history and natural beauty not only attracts Travel and Tourism dollars, but also provides interesting choices for free time activities in Santa Fe.

Santa Fe: Setting for Odd Thomas Movie

A markerSanta Fe NM -
Santa Fe, NM, USA
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Selected Area Attractions and Programs

A Top Award Winning City

  • The Second Best Place to Live in the US: Cities Ranked & Rated, 2004.
  • America’s Healthiest City: Organic Style magazine, 2003.
  • One of the Top 10 World’s Best Cities: Travel and Leisure magazine in August 2003.
  • Among the "10 Best Places for Business and Careers" Forbes magazine, 2003.
  • Where to Retire magazine listed Santa Fe as one of "Eight Great Tax-Friendly Towns", 2003.
  • Number Two among the Top 10 Art Destinations: by American Style Magazine, 2002.
  • One of the “10 Dream Towns”: Outside Magazine, 2001.
  • One of the Top 10 Places to Retire: Money Magazine, 2000.
  • “The second oldest city in the country is positioned to emerge as a tech-driven 21st-century hot spot": Wired magazine, 2000.

The Most Often Listed Job Openings in Santa Fe

The following list of jobs contain those most often listed because of any of the following conditions: 1) Lack of qualified personnel available, 2) High turnover rate, 3) New job creation.

Most Often Listed Job Vacancies:

  1. Registed Nurses (RNs)
  2. Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists
  3. Travel Nurses
  4. Emergency Medicine
  5. Hospitalist jobs

Top 10 Jobs Long-term, Santa Fe

Jobs in highest demand long-term include:

  1. Office and Administrative Support
  2. Sales and similar jobs
  3. Food Preparation & Service
  4. Construction/Extraction
  5. Management, all levels
  6. Education & Training (E&T)
  7. Protective Services
  8. Building/Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance
  9. Healthcare Practitioners and Techs
  10. Community and Social Services

Additional Fast Growing Jobs (Service & Retail Industries)

  • Cashiers
  • Retail Sales Persons

The leading and most successful industries in the Santa Fe region include Educational Services, Healthcare, Social Services, and the Tourism & Travel Industry.

SNAPSHOT: Highest Demand Jobs in 2012 - 2015

  1. Engineers - Los Alamos National Laboratory
  2. Trucking - CDL. Salaried and Owner-Operators
  3. Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists
  4. Teachers - Santa Fe Public Schools, especially in Special Education
  5. Postdoctoral Research Associates - Los Alamos National Laboratory
  6. RN Licensed Nurses, including Travelers
  7. Los Alamos National Laboratory - Scientists and Computer Specialists
  8. Retail Salespeople and Store Managers
  9. Hospice Aides

Job Listings

Large Companies with Job Openings

  • UnitedHealth Group - Second-largest insurance company in the USA; 71,000,000 members. No. 14 on the Business Week Top 50 in 2008.
    Johnson & Johnson -
  • Nurse Options USA -
  • Med Travelers - Travel healthcare in all fields at

Largest Metro Area Employers

Many of the largest Santa Fe employers are among the largest 50 in the State of New Mexico:

  • Los Alamos National Laboratory in Alamos - over 7,000 employees and growing.
  • New Mexico House of Representatives - State legislature.
  • St Vincent Hospital
  • City of Santa Fe Risk Management Office
  • Corrections Department in Los Lunas
  • City/County Health Department
  • New Mexico Health Dept
  • New Mexico State Penitentiary
  • New Mexico Department of Transportation (DOT)
  • Santa Fe Community College
  • Resorts & Hotels
  • General Services Department of Santa Fe

Santa Fe Area Colleges and Universities

The Santa Fe area is home to a greater number of choices for higher education than available many cities around America. It offers even more colleges, universities, vocational schools, and technical schools than most of the other cities on the list of Top 30 List.

An updated listing of school includes:

Going Green in the Southwest

See the following link for information about the first School of Sustainability in America and other degree granting green education programs in the Southwest (Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas):

Top 10 Environmental Degree Programs in the Southwest.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Green oil made from algae.A reclaimed field at EcoVersity.
Green oil made from algae.
Green oil made from algae.
A reclaimed field at EcoVersity.
A reclaimed field at EcoVersity.

Sustainability - New Jobs Now

EcoVersity has developed an Alternative Energy Park in Santa Fe, one of the first in the nation. The park includes solar-photovoltaic, solar-thermal, wind turbines, and 'living green algae machines' that work algae into oil as 1) biofuel and 2) food - blue green algae spirulina is useful for animal and human foods.

The energy park is supported by the work of students that are supervised by professor Alfonz Viszolay, a Hungarian engineer and inventor. He is a leader in the field of algae-culture and environmental reclamation. The Ecoversity Alternative Energy Park opened during Spring of 2009 and to schools K-12 and postseceondary, and other educational facilities for programming, teaching, and hands-on project based learning - the most effective type of learning.

Beekeeping is the focus of another course and project. EcoVersity TV programs are available at the website at In addition, the website offers links and resources to other organizations and materials in the quest for sustainability.

Environmental jobs available around the world at

© 2009 Patty Inglish


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    • profile image

      Edwin - Beekeeping Business 7 years ago actual beekeeping course. You can't go wrong with that! Ecoversity sounds amazing.

    • Neil Ashworth profile image

      George Poe 7 years ago from United Kingdom

      Like the content. Well put together!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 8 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      NM is so progressive in alternative energy sources, Netters. I am happy for you living in a beautiful state, so different from where I have lived, although all states have drawbacks fo course. Thanks for commenting!

    • Netters profile image

      Netters 8 years ago from Land of Enchantment - NM

      I live in Souther NM, I have to get up there, everyone loves it. Thanks for another great hub.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 8 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      What a tremendous experience for you, Catherine! I'm almost ready to move there myself.

    • Catherina Severin profile image

      Catherina Severin 8 years ago from Arizona, U.S.A.

      I spent two months in Santa Fe, NM and loved it. Thanks for this very informative hub xx