INFOGRAPHIC: Which Job is Most Unique to Your State?

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By Matt Tarpey, CareerBuilder writer

The United States is made up of an incredible array of unique landscapes, climates and cultures. It stands to reason that regional economies exhibit a similarly expansive variety. An industry that is a major economic driver in one state may be almost nonexistent just a few states away. So how can you tell which jobs are the most unique to your home state?

One way is using a metric called location quotient, which is a measurement of job concentration. This is found by taking the percentage share of a state's workforce working in a given occupation and comparing it to the percentage share of the national workforce in that same occupation.

Put another way, LQ asks, "What percentage of workers in Texas are petroleum engineers?" then asks "What percentage of U.S. workers are Petroleum engineers?" and compares the two answers.

A LQ of 1.0 means that the occupation is exactly as concentrated in the state as it is at the national level. The higher the LQ, the more unique the job is to that state. Going back to the example above, the LQ for petroleum engineers in Texas is 6.39, indicating that petroleum engineer jobs are more than six times more common in Texas than they are in the country as a whole.

Industries and occupations that are more concentrated in one area are often a good indicator of what drives the economy in that region. In turn, this can shed light on career opportunities that may not be available in other parts of the country.

The following map, released by CareerBuilder and Economic Modeling Specialists Intl. and designed by mental_floss magazine, uses LQ to reveal the most unique jobs in each state through 2013.

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The following table provides a more in-depth look at the data behind the map.

State Occupation LQ Jobs 2013 Med. Hourly Earnings
Alabama Tire Builders 7.75 1,900 $24.55
Alaska Fishers & Related Fishing Workers 33.56 2,901 $16.85
Arizona Semiconductor Processors 4.19 1,640 $15.32
Arkansas Food Processing Workers 6.78 2,303 $10.59
California Actors 3.19 33,328 $29.23
Colorado Atmospheric & Space Scientists 7.76 1,510 $49.34
Connecticut Actuaries 4.16 1,141 $51.22
D.C. Political Scientists 86.61 3,197 $55.64
Delaware Chemists 11.65 3,050 $41.45
Florida Motorboat Operators 5.92 1,315 $14.17
Georgia Textile Winding, Twisting, & Drawing Out Machine Setters, Operators, & Tenders 10.52 8,607 $13.03
Hawaii Tour Guides & Escorts 8.55 1,687 $12.82
Idaho Forest & Conservation Technicians 14.2 2,273 $15.06
Illinois Correspondence Clerks 3.93 1,727 $19.88
Indiana Boilermakers 7.03 2,686 $31.66
Iowa Soil & Plant Scientists 8.94 1,574 $30.05
Kansas Umpires, Referees, Other Sports Officials 5.42 1,216 $11.16
Kentucky Roof Bolters, Mining 14.14 1,184 $25.65
Louisiana Captains, Mates, & Pilots of Water Vessels 17.2 8,857 $34.88
Maine Fishers & Related Fishing Workers 27.31 4,070 $17.52
Maryland Subway & Streetcar Operators 10.41 1,884 $25.43
Massachusetts Psychiatric Technicians 4.86 8,202 $17.52
Michigan Model Makers, Metal & Plastic 6.23 1,095 $24.72
Minnesota Slaughterers & Meat Packers 4.82 7,619 $12.80
Mississippi Coil Winders, Tapers, & Finishers 11.18 1,340 $18.87
Missouri Food and Tobacco Roasting, Baking, & Drying Machine Operators & Tenders 5.58 2,303 $12.37
Montana Forest & Conservation Technicians 19.41 2,200 $15.05
Nebraska Meat, Poultry, and Fish Cutters & Trimmers 9.92 11,453 $13.58
Nevada Gaming Supervisors 30.91 7,414 $25.40
New Hampshire Metal Workers & Plastic Workers, All Other 10.05 1,020 $14.40
New Jersey Biochemists & Biophysicists 4.71 3,628 $50.38
New Mexico Wellhead Pumpers 13.75 1,358 $22.50
New York Fashion Designers 5.18 7,164 $32.27
North Carolina Textile Winding, Twisting, & Drawing Out Machine Setters, Operators, & Tenders 7.63 6,394 $11.12
North Dakota Derrick Operators, Oil & Gas 28.21 2,137 $26.65
Ohio Rolling Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal & Plastic 3.53 4,778 $17.21
Oklahoma Wellhead Pumpers 8.66 1,671 $20.51
Oregon Logging Workers, all other 21.24 1,400 $16.57
Pennsylvania Survey Researchers 3.54 2,776 $13.09
Rhode Island Education, Training, & Library Workers 3.04 1,062 $20.42
South Carolina Textile Knitting and Weaving Machine Setters, Operators, & Tenders 10.99 3,220 $13.70
South Dakota Farmers, Ranchers, and Other Agricultural Managers 9.42 14,827 $12.78
Tennessee Conveyor Operators & Tenders 4.25 3,486 $13.73
Texas Petroleum Engineers 6.39 21,457 $66.80
Utah Forest & Conservation Technicians 4.4 1,362 $13.46
Vermont Highway Maintenance Workers 3.99 1,364 $16.88
Virginia Legal Support Workers, All Other 5.75 9,039 $43.50
Washington Aircraft Structure, Surfaces, Rigging, & Systems Assemblers 14.21 13,535 $23.09
West Virginia Roof Bolters, Mining 66.29 2,129 $26.84
Wisconsin Foundry Mold & Coremakers 5.47 1,351 $15.72
Wyoming Rotary Drill Operators, Oil & Gas 28.0 1,566 $27.05
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