MERIC NEWS LETTER

Missouri's Top Employing Occupations

Retail salespersons, office clerks, cashiers, food service workers and registered nurses represent the 5 largest occupations in Missouri based upon the number employed. These five occupations employ 358,500 in the state.

The state's Top 30 employing occupations account for nearly 1.1 million jobs (1,091,780) or 41 percent of all jobs in the state. Combined the Top 30 pay an average hourly wage of $13.13 or $28,997 annually.i The pay ranges from $7.11 per hour for waiters and waitresses to $40.03 hourly for general and operations managers.

The state average hourly wage for all jobs is $16.61 or $34,548 annually.ii

All occupations listed, except for Security Guards, were in the Top 30 in the last survey period. Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses are the only occupation to fall off the list from the prior survey.

Missouri's Top Employing Occupations

Occupation Employment Average Hourly Wages Annual Average Wages Ranking (Previous)
Retail Salespersons 91,600 $10.94 $22,760 1 (1)
Office Clerks, General 82,360 $10.95 $22,790 2 (2)
Cashiers 74,640 $7.93 $16,490 3 (3)
Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, Including Fast Food 56,270 $7.21 $15,010 4 (4)
Registered Nurses 53,630 $23.18 $48,220 5 (5)
Waiters and Waitresses 49,520 $7.11 $14,790 6 (6)
Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Hand 43,170 $10.57 $21,990 7 (9)
Customer Service Representatives 41,760 $13.79 $28,680 8 (8)
Truck Drivers, Heavy and Tractor-Trailer 41,430 $17.66 $36,730   9 (11)
Janitors and Cleaners, Except Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners 41,370 $9.23 $19,200 10 (10)
Nursing Aides, Orderlies, and Attendants 39,420 $9.23 $19,190 11 (12)
Team Assemblers 38,380 $13.91 $28,930 12 (14)
Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks 34,240 $13.29 $27,650 13 (13)
General and Operations Managers 33,170 $40.03 $83,270 14 (7)
Stock Clerks and Order Fillers 29,540 $10.16 $21,130 15 (19)
Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education 28,470 -- $36,240 16 (15)
Maintenance and Repair Workers, General 28,050 $15.25 $31,710 17 (20)
Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Except Technical and Scientific Products 27,370 $25.17 $52,350 18 (21)
Secretaries, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive 25,350 $12.61 $26,230 19 (18)
First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Office and Administrative Support Workers 24,720 $19.53 $40,630 20 (16)
Executive Secretaries and Administrative Assistants 23,660 $16.82 $34,980 21 (23)
Carpenters 23,540 $20.16 $41,930 22 (24)
Receptionists and Information Clerks 21,750 $10.35 $21,520 23 (26)
Accountants and Auditors 21,510 $26.21 $54,530 24 (27)
Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Vocational Education 21,300 -- $38,310 25 (22)
Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners 20,530 $7.77 $16,160 26 (25)
First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Retail Sales Workers 19,770 $18.24 $37,930 27 (17)
Packers and Packagers, Hand 18,510 $9.04 $18,810 28 (28)
Security Guards 18,410 $11.43 $23,770    29   *
Truck Drivers, Light Or Delivery Services 18,340 $12.55 $26,090 30 (30)

*Occupation not on last report.

Missouri's Top 30 employing occupations represent 14 of the 22 major occupational groups according to the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system. (See detail) The major SOC group of Office and Administrative Support Occupations account for eight of the Top 30, while the SOC groups of Sales and Related Occupations and Transportation and Material Moving Occupations each account for four of the Top 30 employing occupations.

The eight major SOC groups not represented in the Top 30 occupations in Missouri are:

The comparison of Missouri's Top 30 occupations with those of surrounding states shows favorable results for Show-Me state workers. In comparing the average wages of Missouri's Top 30 with the average wages for those occupations in the eight surrounding states combined, all but three occupations had higher average wages in Missouri. The exceptions are elementary school teachers, secondary school teachers, and nursing aides, orderlies and attendants.

Occupation Title MO Wage IA Wage IL Wage KY Wage TN Wage AR Wage OK Wage KS Wage NE Wage
Retail Salespersons $10.94 $10.16 $10.84 $9.92 $10.73 $9.32 $9.93 $10.54 $10.22
Office Clerks, General $10.95 $10.67 $11.95 $10.47 $11.10 $9.12 $10.11 $10.29 $10.25
Cashiers $7.93 $7.50 $8.08 $7.38 $7.69 $7.14 $7.34 $7.52 $7.74
Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, Including Fast Food $7.21 $6.93 $7.26 $6.71 $6.84 $6.30 $6.71 $7.02 $7.03
Registered Nurses $23.18 $20.85 $23.93 $23.10 $23.30 $22.07 $21.75 $22.11 $22.92
Waiters and Waitresses $7.11 $6.71 $7.70 $6.46 $6.79 $6.29 $6.75 $6.93 $6.82
Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Hand $10.57 $10.58 $10.24 $10.59 $10.24 $9.34 $9.36 $10.17 $10.12
Customer Service Representatives $13.79 $12.38 $14.61 $12.32 $12.79 $12.77 $12.12 $12.88 $12.49
Truck Drivers, Heavy and Tractor-Trailer $17.66 $15.16 $17.69 $15.14 $15.58 $15.93 $15.22 $15.82 $15.35
Janitors and Cleaners, Except Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners $9.23 $9.58 $10.32 $8.68 $8.86 $7.98 $8.26 $9.23 $9.29
Nursing Aides, Orderlies, and Attendants $9.23 $10.45 $9.90 $9.44 $9.30 $8.39 $8.63 $9.98 $10.14
Team Assemblers $13.91 $12.55 $11.44 $14.32 $13.14 $11.29 $11.62 $12.23 $11.95
Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks $13.29 $12.65 $14.55 $12.69 $13.18 $12.18 $12.64 $12.75 $12.51
General and Operations Managers $40.03 $39.03 $40.76 $33.86 $36.21 $39.18 $34.43 $38.96 $38.84
Stock Clerks and Order Fillers $10.16 $9.79 $10.30 $9.91 $9.75 $9.26 $9.93 $10.06 $10.21
Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education $36,240 $34,140 $43,940 $38,940 $39,090 $36,210 $33,580 $36,240 $38,910
Maintenance and Repair Workers, General $15.25 $14.93 $17.81 $14.91 $15.26 $13.21 $13.29 $14.48 $13.43
Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Except Technical and Scientific Products $25.17 $24.26 $26.32 $23.24 $24.52 $23.35 $20.90 $26.22 $22.62
Secretaries, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive $12.61 $11.88 $13.10 $11.00 $11.34 $10.53 $10.52 $11.38 $11.28
First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Office and Administrative Support Workers $19.53 $19.27 $21.10 $17.98 $18.75 $16.35 $18.56 $18.84 $19.13
Executive Secretaries and Administrative Assistants $16.82 $15.56 $17.38 $15.07 $15.37 $14.75 $14.68 $15.55 $15.16
Carpenters $20.16 $15.74 $22.67 $15.66 $14.22 $14.00 $14.18 $16.49 $15.19
Receptionists and Information Clerks $10.35 $10.01 $11.04 $9.74 $10.24 $9.16 $9.42 $10.05 $10.20
Accountants and Auditors $26.21 $24.52 $28.87 $23.89 $23.08 $22.33 $21.82 $26.00 $25.45
Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Vocational Education $38,310 $34,540 $52,900 $40,230 $41,410 $38,200 $35,300 $35,650 $38,820
Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners $7.77 $8.15 $8.87 $7.88 $7.75 $6.80 $7.03 $7.38 $7.96
First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Retail Sales Workers $18.24 $16.68 $18.12 $15.30 $16.57 $14.04 $15.57 $16.20 $17.00
Packers and Packagers, Hand $9.04 $8.89 $9.37 $8.88 $9.16 $8.95 $7.95 $8.84 $8.86
Security Guards $11.43 $10.67 $10.95 $9.25 $9.23 $9.18 $10.24 $10.67 $10.87
Truck Drivers, Light Or Delivery Services $12.55 $12.59 $15.03 $11.77 $12.27 $10.12 $10.52 $13.15 $11.73

Highlighted figures indicate a higher wage or salary in that state compared to Missouri.

Notes

iEmployment and wage estimates are based on results from the 2003/2004 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey. The MERIC OES program conducts a semi-annual mail survey designed to produce estimates of employment and wages for specific occupations. Each state conducts an identical survey in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). 

iiSource: MERIC, Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, data is for calendar year 2004. 

Average Hourly Wage is calculated by dividing Total Wages by Average Employment by 2,080 hours (52 weeks x 40 hours) across all industries. 

Average Annual Wage is calculated by dividing Total Wages by Average Employment across all industries.

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