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Career Growth in Iowa

In 2019, Iowa ranked as the number one place to find a job in the United States, proving there are endless opportunities for students looking for their future career. Iowa has a robust mix of industries, providing diverse choices for Iowa students as they plan their future.

Did you know?

  • Iowa is known as the hub for ag-tech and animal health research.
  • Iowa ranks second nationally for wind energy installation.
  • Iowa is a leader in the finance and insurance industries.
  • Iowa has three of the top 10 cities to work in tech in 2019 with Cedar Rapids (4th), Davenport (5th), and Des Moines (6th).
  • Healthcare is one of the fastest growing segments of Iowa's economy and is the largest employment sector in the state.
  • 90% of Iowa's exports are from the advanced manufacturing sector. With continued growth projected in more than 6,000 companies in Iowa, careers in advanced manufacturing are on the rise.
  • Trade jobs account for 54% of the labor market and 52% of job openings in Iowa.
  • Advanced manufacturing, healthcare, and the building and construction trades made up 40% of job growth with an estimated 2.5 million jobs added in 2017.

Is Education and Training Beyond High School Worth It?

Does a degree or credential really make a difference? Is it worth the money spent and potential debt? The short answer is YES!

  • $37,010 is the average annual income for a high school graduate
  • $50,000 is the average annual salary of an apprenticeship program graduate
  • $53,700 is the average annual salary of an Associate's degree holder
  • $74,290 is the average annual salary of a Bachelor's degree holder
  • 2.1% unemployment rate for college graduates
  • 98% more income per hour than people without a degree or credential
  • 74% of employers say a post high school education or training provides students not only with the skills needed for their first job, but also benefits and skills for their entire career, along with intangible benefits such as the ability to pursue a passion or contribute to society.

Next Steps

Find your passion, or just an area of interest through assessments and then ask questions. Research your future so you can reach your full potential and have every opportunity for the success-filled life you envision.

If you think research tends to be boring, it might be because you haven't been excited about the topic. Discovering what you will do for the rest of your life is an interesting process that will help you do well in high school. The only way to find out if a career is for you is to learn all about it.

Use your Career Assessment results, like the ones in MyACT to answer important questions like the ones below. You assessment should help you dive in and provide all the information requested in the following questions.

Training

  • How much education or training beyond high school do you need? See education levels (PDF) for the fastest-growing jobs in Iowa.
  • What, if any, majors will prepare you for this career?
  • What types of high school classes relate to this occupation?
  • Will you need any ongoing training or education?

Money and Outlook

  • What is the average starting pay? Starting salary and average salary are different. When you are just starting out, you need to look at average starting salary.
  • What is the median salary, or the amount of money you can make with a few years' experience?
  • What is the outlook (how many jobs will be available in the future) for this career? See fast-growing jobs in Iowa (PDF) and in the United States.

Responsibilities and Skills

  • What are the daily responsibilities?
  • What are the required basic skills?
  • What are the working conditions?
  • What are the travel requirements?
  • What are the physical demands?
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