Report lists petroleum engineers as “most iconic job” in Texas

The economic data website, 24/7 Wall St., has identified the most iconic jobs in all 50 states using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In Texas, the most iconic job is a petroleum engineer.

The BLS identified jobs by concentration in each state based on BLS’ May 2019 Occupational Employment Statistics program. Detailed occupations were ranked based on the concentration of an occupation within a state’s labor force relative to the concentration in the national labor force in 2019. The analysis also incorporated median annual wage at the state and national levels.

“In many cases, the most iconic job in a given state is deeply rooted in the state’s history,” the report states. “And though the occupation might not be these days the economic force it has been in decades past, it remains closely linked to the state’s identity. This is particularly true in states where the most iconic job is in manufacturing, an industry that has been in a long decline in the United States.”

There are over 32,600 petroleum engineers nationwide whose job is to develop oil and gas extraction methods — 57.4 percent of them work in Texas. Demand for petroleum engineers is driven by Texas’ resource wealth. Over 40 percent of all proved crude oil reserves in the U.S. are located in Texas; the state accounts for over 40 percent of crude oil production in the U.S.


State: Most iconic job: State workers in job: Concentration relative to US:
Alabama Metal-refining furnace operators 1,390 6 times greater
Alaska Misc. mining machine operators 460 15 times greater
Arizona Plasterers and stucco masons 2,340 4 times greater
Arkansas Misc. food processing workers 4,080 11 times greater
California Farmworkers and laborers 201,440 6 times greater
Colorado Atmospheric and space scientists 970 6 times greater
Connecticut Actuaries 1,350 5 times greater
Delaware Chemists 1,350 5 times greater
Florida Ship engineers 1,520 3 times greater
Georgia Textile winding machine operators 12,070 13 times greater
Hawaii Water vessel captains 1,270 9 times greater
Idaho Nuclear technicians 330 10 times greater
Illinois Rail car repairers 3,120 3 times greater
Indiana Engine assemblers 7,990 8 times greater
Iowa Wind turbine technicians 480 8 times greater
Kansas Aircraft assemblers 8,860 22 times greater
Kentucky Farm and home management educators 1,070 10 times greater
Louisiana Sailors and marine oilers 7,340 18 times greater
Maine Shoe machine operators 390 19 times greater
Maryland Physicists 1,880 6 times greater
Massachusetts Medical scientists 16,860 5 times greater
Michigan Engine assemblers 9,580 7 times greater
Minnesota Wind turbine technicians 500 4 times greater
Mississippi Fallers 400 14 times greater
Missouri Locomotive engineers 1,350 2 times greater
Montana Forest and conservation technicians 860 14 times greater
Nebraska Meat cutters and trimmers 9,200 9 times greater
Nevada Gambling dealers 22,580 24 times greater
New Hampshire Log graders and scalers 70 5 times greater
New Jersey Biochemists and biophysicists 7,280 8 times greater
New Mexico Physicists 1,740 19 times greater
New York Fashion designers 8,460 6 times greater
North Carolina Textile machine operators 2,020 8 times greater
North Dakota Wellhead pumpers 1,110 30 times greater
Ohio Foundry mold and coremakers 3,000 5 times greater
Oklahoma Oil and gas drill operators 3,480 15 times greater
Oregon Misc. logging workers 1,210 25 times greater
Pennsylvania Metal pourers and casters 1,080 3 times greater
Rhode Island Jewelers 780 10 times greater
South Carolina Tire builders 3,970 13 times greater
South Dakota Soil and plant scientists 580 14 times greater
Tennessee Musicians and singers 2,170 3 times greater
Texas Petroleum engineers 18,720 7 times greater
Utah Mining machine operators 1,400 9 times greater
Vermont Fallers 50 5 times greater
Virginia Marine engineers and naval architects 2,520 8 times greater
Washington Avionics technicians 3,180 6 times greater
West Virginia Mining machine operators 1,370 68 times greater
Wisconsin Animal breeders 260 8 times greater
Wyoming Oil and gas service unit operators 1,950 20 times greater



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