Top Jobs in Florida for 2013

top florida jobs

The Top 7 Best Jobs in Florida  And Why Now is a Great Time to Find One

We all know the mess that our nation’s job picture is in – we’ve seen and felt the pain of it for close to five years now. But lately it seems that things are improving. The unemployment rate is coming down, even if it’s doing so slowly. Jobs are being created in some of the hardest hit areas, like construction. And in certain places around the country, the jobs picture actually looks quite a bit better. Florida job creation has recently happened at a faster rate than the national average
On the whole, Florida’s unemployment rate pretty closely tracks that of the nation overall. But there are pockets of strength and even areas where jobs go unfilled. The posted job vacancy rate in Florida is at nearly 300,000 as of February 2013. Areas like Orlando, Tampa/St. Pete and Jacksonville are reporting job availability at rates not seen since 2007, according to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

So what are the hottest jobs in the state and where do you need to go to find them? Some of the answers may be obvious, but others are sure to surprise you. Read on….

  • Coming in at number 7 is Specialized Manufacturing. This may be a surprise to many of us who are used to hearing about the decline in US manufacturing jobs. While that may be true in some industries like textiles and furniture, there are areas of growth in manufacturing. Some of the manufacturing jobs in Florida include Pharmaceuticals, Eyeglass and Contact Lens, Aerospace, and Building Materials – especially those related to sustainable building design.
  • In the number 6 spot is Defense and Aerospace. You would think that the Aerospace industry was in decline since the elimination of the nation’s Space Shuttle program, but that’s not quite the case. It is more accurate to say that the funding of this industry has shifted to more private sources, bringing competition and opportunity to places like Florida’s Space Coast. Defense spending is also strong in Florida, with all 5 branches of the service represented and a continued focus on maintaining our national security.
  • At number 5 is IT and Other High-Tech. The growth in jobs pertaining to Information Technology and other high-tech industries is taking hold in Florida, especially in the north-eastern part of the state. In fact, the Jacksonville area was recently named the number 6 city in terms of tech job growth by Forbes Magazine. Sought-after areas of tech expertise include application development, network management, database administration and IT security.
  • Retail and Customer Service takes the number 4 spot. And that’s not much of a surprise to most of us I’m sure. Even during the economic downturn in recent years, vacationers and visitors from abroad still come to Florida and still want to spend their money in our malls and specialty shops. And of course our attractions offer another way for visitors to leave their money here. Retail jobs may not pay as well, but they will continue to be plentiful in Florida.
  • In number 3 position, Construction makes a comeback. As the housing market recovers, so are the jobs that go along with it. Florida was hit especially hard by the bursting of the real estate bubble. But with the indicators for new housing beginning to show life, construction is starting to pick up steam and more jobs are being filled. Certain specialized areas within the construction industry are growing even faster. These include any “green” or sustainable building jobs in areas like solar, recycled products, wind energy, etc.
  • Probably no surprise that Travel and Tourism takes the number 2 spot. Here in Florida, maybe more than in any other state, the travel and tourism industry provides a steady stream of jobs. This is in large part due to the number of theme-park attractions, hotels, resorts and vacation destinations we offer. As with retail however, the travel and tourism industry is not a high-paying area of job growth, but it offers steady work for a large percentage of Floridians.
  • And the hottest area of job growth in Florida? Healthcare! Again, given the demographics of our state, this is probably no surprise to anyone. But what may come as a surprise is the variety of jobs in the nursing and healthcare field. For example, one of the fastest growing sub-areas is physical therapy. This includes home health therapists, care facility workers and private healthcare providers. Another growth area is that of physician and medical assistants. These jobs don’t necessarily require a nursing degree, but offer a high-paying and rewarding career in a fast-growing area.

Florida’s job picture is better than it’s been in years. 2012 was the best year for job creation in any of the past five. Some areas of our state are actively seeking job candidates to fill high-paying and rewarding roles in a number of fast growing industries. Now is the time to check out Florida’s job picture and see what it has to offer.