What Are the Fastest-Growing Careers in Texas?

Explore the fastest-growing careers in Texas, and learn what it takes to enter these booming fields.

portrait of Doug Wintemute
by Doug Wintemute

Updated May 16, 2022

Edited by Amelia Buckley
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What Are the Fastest-Growing Careers in Texas?


Texas is home to several of the best cities to work in across the country. The state also boasts a cheaper cost of living than the national average and a growing job market. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Texas hosts some of the largest workforces in the nation's major industries and economic drivers, including healthcare, education, and finance.

According to the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), the demand within many of the fastest-growing careers in Texas has far surpassed the local supply. This creates great opportunities for aspiring professionals in these sectors. Here, we take a closer look at many of the top-growing careers in the state of Texas, highlighting the job outlook for these industries.

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Texas Career Outlook

The career outlook in Texas appears promising as the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas projects strong growth and economic recovery throughout 2022 and beyond. Prospective students and workers can benefit from ample job opportunities in Texas. TWC's 2020 Report on Texas Growth Occupations projects the addition of 1.7 million new jobs between 2018 and 2028.

Texas has one of the fastest-growing job markets in the U.S., according the World Population Review. Additionally, the annual mean wage in the state was $52,400 in May 2020 (slightly below the national average of $56,310). And wages in the state should continue to increase. TWC's report shows that over 40% of the top-growing and highest-paying careers in Texas will require postsecondary training.

Top 12 Fastest-Growing Careers in Texas

Operations Research Analysts

2020 Median Annual Salary: $87,090
2020-2030 Job Outlook: 37.9%

Operations research analysts seek to improve organizational decision-making by taking advantage of data and analytical methods. They apply statistical analysis, performance reviews, predictive modeling, and expert insight to solve problems and improve operations. According to the BLS, operations research analysts typically need a bachelor's degree at minimum for employment.

The growing Texas economy and technological advances have created opportunities and demand for operations research analysis. Organizations need to be more efficient and effective to compete.

Physician Assistants

2020 Median Annual Salary: $112,200
2020-2030 Job Outlook: 37.3%

Physician assistants examine, diagnose, and treat patients in many areas of medicine. The extent of their duties depends on their state, but these professionals typically work on teams under the supervision of a lead physician. According to the BLS, physician assistants need a master's degree at minimum to practice. Aspiring professionals may be interested in an online physician assistant master's program.

The aging population in Texas has created a great demand for healthcare services. As a result of quicker training (compared to physicians) and a broadening variety of services, the demand for physician assistants should continue to grow.

Dental Hygienists and Assistants

2020 Median Annual Salary: $77,590
2020-2030 Job Outlook: 35.0%

Dental hygienists and dental assistants work on dental teams. Hygienists provide oral hygiene services, and assistants help dentists and provide administrative services. Hygienists typically perform cleanings, while assistants prepare dental patients and stations. According to the BLS, dental hygienists need an associate or bachelor's in dental hygiene, whereas dental assistants typically need a diploma or a certificate in dental assistance.

The growing demand for healthcare services in Texas includes the dental field. An aging population that requires more dental services, a greater awareness of the benefits of oral health, and expanding roles for dental hygienists should also contribute to growth for these positions.

Market Research Analysts and Specialists

2020 Median Annual Salary: $76,840
2020-2030 Job Outlook: 33.2%

Market research analysts provide organizations with information on market conditions. They research target consumer groups, purchasing habits and inclinations, and competitors to get insight on demand, price appetite, and risks and opportunities.

According to the BLS, most professionals in this field require a bachelor's degree at minimum, such as an online bachelor's in marketing. Projected job growth for market research analysts and specialists is especially high in certain industries, such as professional, scientific, and technical services.

A growing Texas economy and business landscape have led to more organizations relying on data to better understand their customers and markets. In addition to shaping marketing approaches, the input from market research analysts can impact entire organizational strategies and operations.

Self-Enrichment Education Teachers

2020 Median Annual Salary: $37,390
2020-2030 Job Outlook: 32.8%

Self-enrichment teachers train people in non-academic or career-based fields. They may provide teachings in recreational disciplines, helping students develop hobbies, new interests, and fitness regimes. According to O*NET OnLine, most professionals in this role need experience and an associate degree at minimum to enter the field.

In Texas, the expanding population has created a demand for teachers in all areas of education. As the population diversifies, the need for more varied recreational classes and programs should grow. Self-enrichment education teachers help residents add meaning, excitement, and recreation to their lives.

Nurse Practitioners

2020 Median Annual Salary: $116,700
2020-2030 Job Outlook: 31.9%

Nurse practitioners provide primary care to patients, including examining, diagnosing, and treating patients. These professionals can specialize in various fields, such as geriatric, mental, and pediatric health services. According to the BLS, nurse practitioners need a master's degree at minimum to practice. For example, candidates could enroll in an online nurse practitioner master's program.

The great demand for nurse practitioners in Texas primarily results from a growing and aging population and a general need for healthcare services. Furthermore, as the roles and responsibilities of nurse practitioners grow and evolve, healthcare providers may come to depend on these nurses even more.

Dentists

2020 Median Annual Salary: $184,410
2020-2030 Job Outlook: 31.7%

Dentists care for patients' teeth and mouths. They repair cavities and damaged teeth, treat oral concerns, and provide education on preventative and restorative dental care. According to the BLS, dentists need a doctorate to practice in this field, such as a doctorate in dental surgery or dental medicine.

The demand for dentists in Texas is largely driven by the aging population and an increased need for dental services. According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, demand for dentists should continue to outpace supply from 2018-2030.

Software Developers

2020 Median Annual Salary: $109,570
2020-2030 Job Outlook: 31.4%

Software developers create computer software and applications for clients and organizations. They design and develop programs based on client needs or seek to improve upon existing operations. According to the BLS, software developers usually need a bachelor's degree in a computer science discipline. Alternatively, they can have experience in another discipline combined with software development bootcamp training.

The demand for software developers in Texas largely results from new industries and technologies integrating computer systems and applications. For example, advancements in the healthcare, consumer electronics, and appliance industries have contributed to the growth in software development.

Coaches and Scouts

2020 Median Annual Salary: $53,740
2020-2030 Job Outlook: 30.8%

Coaches and scouts work with amateur, collegiate, and professional athletes. Scouts identify potential in athletes, and coaches oversee athletes' development in practices and games. According to the BLS, coaches and scouts often need a bachelor's degree, though advancement opportunities may be more accessible with a master's in coaching.

In Texas, population growth and a growing interest in collegiate and professional sports should drive demand for coaches and scouts. Expanding high school and college sports programs may also create new opportunities for these professionals.

Financial Managers

2020 Median Annual Salary: $148,860
2020-2030 Job Outlook: 30.1%

Financial managers oversee an organization's financial operations and strategies. Financial analysts provide insight to organizations and individuals about investments and financial activities. According to the BLS, financial managers and financial analysts require a bachelor's degree at minimum for employment. For example, students could enroll in an online accounting program or pursue a bachelor's in finance.

The demand in the financial industry in Texas is caused by several factors, including growth in specialized financial services, international business transactions, and risk management services.

Management Analysts

2020 Median Annual Salary: $95,730
2020-2030 Job Outlook: 26.7%

Management analysts help organizations improve their operational efficiencies. They may work with the organization's finances and personnel to find ways to reduce costs and improve performance. According to the BLS, management analysts need a bachelor's degree at minimum, though employers may require a graduate degree like a master's in management.

The growing economy in Texas and an increasingly global marketplace has created more competition for organizations. Businesses and agencies want to operate efficiently to ensure they remain competitive.

Substance Use and Behavioral Disorder Counselors

2020 Median Annual Salary: $50,920
2020-2030 Job Outlook: 25.8%

These professionals provide counseling and support services to people with substance use and behavioral issues. They evaluate clients, develop treatment plans, and work with healthcare providers and family members. According to the BLS, most professionals in these fields earn a bachelor's degree, such as an online bachelor's in behavioral psychology or addiction counseling. However, some roles may require a master's degree.

The growth in the Texas healthcare system and the need for diverse healthcare services contribute to the demand for substance use and behavioral disorder counselors. A growing public awareness of these health issues and the use of treatment as an alternative to jail time for people convicted of crimes should also increase demand.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Fastest-Growing Careers in Texas

What jobs are in high demand right now in Texas?

According to TWC, the fastest-growing careers in Texas include physician assistants, software developers, management analysts, market research analysts, and financial managers. TWC projects over 30% growth for each of these fields between 2018 and 2028.

Jobs within certain industries also have higher projected growth rates. For example, TWC projects job opportunities for market research analysts and software developers within the professional, scientific, and technical services field will grow by 53.6% and 40.5%, respectively, from 2018-2028.

What jobs in Texas make the most money?

According to TWC, the highest-paying position in Texas belongs to physicians and surgeons, who made an average annual salary of $216,701 in 2019. Other high-paying jobs in Texas include financial managers, computer and information systems managers, general and operations managers, engineers, and sales managers. Professionals in these roles earned average annual wages over $146,000.

The top-paying industry belongs to the finance and insurance sector. Of the 20 fastest-growing occupations in this industry, 16 earned more than the average annual salary in Texas in 2018.

Is it easy to get a job in Texas?

According to TWC, more than 13 million jobs located in Texas were posted in December 2021, surpassing the pre-pandemic numbers and setting a record for the state. The 4.8% unemployment rate in Texas has continued to drop month over month as the state recovers from COVID-19.

Nonetheless, finding employment in Texas often requires determination, training, and education. TWC projects that 40% of new jobs added between 2018 and 2028 will require some form of postsecondary training. Aspiring workers who target the fastest-growing careers in Texas can help improve their odds of securing employment.

What city in Texas has the most jobs?

The cities with the most job opportunities in Texas are located in large metropolitan areas, including the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan center and the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land metropolitan center.According to the LaborIQ Market Index, which ranks labor market strength, the Texas cities with the best labor opportunities also include Austin and Round Rock. Round Rock is one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, and Austin was one the fastest to recover jobs lost during COVID-19.

Feature Image: Javier Zayas Photography / Moment / Getty Images

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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