The most disproportionately popular job in the 40 biggest US cities

  • Different jobs are concentrated in different parts of the country.
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides a convenient measure for how concentrated certain jobs are in different metropolitan areas.

Different jobs are concentrated in different parts of the country.

Using recently released data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, we took a look at the most overrepresented job in the 40 biggest US metropolitan statistical areas, among professions with at least 1,000 employees in the region. Each of these metro areas has more people working these jobs per capita than the nation as a whole, based on the BLS' location quotients for those jobs, as described in our post looking at disproportionately popular jobs at the state level.

Here are the most disproportionately popular jobs in each of the 40 biggest US metro areas. 

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Disproportionately popular jobs in the 40 biggest US cities
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Disproportionately popular jobs in the 40 biggest US cities

New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA: Fashion designers

Number employed:6,740

Employment per 1,000 workers: 0.724

Location quotient:5.45

Median annual salary: $76,940

Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA: Theatrical and performance makeup artists

Number employed:1,750

Employment per 1,000 workers:0.290

Location quotient:11.69

Median annual salary: $67,250

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI: Occupational therapy aides

Number employed:2,020

Employment per 1,000 workers:0.440

Location quotient:8.11

Median annual salary: $26,470

Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX: Wellhead pumpers

Number employed:1,140

Employment per 1,000 workers: 0.327

Location quotient:4.16

Median annual salary: $55,870

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX: Petroleum engineers

Number employed:10,950

Employment per 1,000 workers:3.739

Location quotient:16.65

Median annual salary: $156,250

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV: Political scientists

Number employed:4,570

Employment per 1,000 workers: 1.473

Location quotient:33.24

Median annual salary: $123,230

Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL: Sailors and marine oilers

Number employed:2,800

Employment per 1,000 workers:1.092

Location quotient:5.03

Median annual salary:No estimate given by BLS.

Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD: Shampooers

Number employed:1,350

Employment per 1,000 workers:0.478

Location quotient:5.11

Median annual salary: $19,440

Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA: Airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers

Number employed:6,720

Employment per 1,000 workers:2.566

Location quotient:4.35

Median annual salary:No estimate given by BLS.

Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH: Biochemists and biophysicists

Number employed:3,820

Employment per 1,000 workers:1.400

Location quotient:7.29

Median annual salary: $108,200

Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ: Semiconductor processors

Number employed:1,830

Employment per 1,000 workers:0.925

Location quotient:5.60

Median annual salary: $34,880

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA: Subway and streetcar operators

Number employed:2,910

Employment per 1,000 workers:1.227

Location quotient:14.49

Median annual salary: $61,560

Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA: Tapers

Number employed:1,250

Employment per 1,000 workers:0.872

Location quotient:6.87

Median annual salary: $55,490

According to the Department of Labor's O*NET occupational database, tapers seal joints between plasterboard or drywall pieces to prepare a wall for painting or papering.

Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI: Metal and plastic model makers

Number employed:1,110

Employment per 1,000 workers:0.565

Location quotient:13.85

Median annual salary: $68,480

Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA: Tapers

Number employed:1,300

Employment per 1,000 workers:0.667

Location quotient:5.26

Median annual salary: $51,310

Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI: Biomedical engineers

Number employed:1,240

Employment per 1,000 workers:0.639

Location quotient:4.53

Median annual salary: $107,130

San Diego-Carlsbad, CA: Electronics engineers, except computer

Number employed:6,080

Employment per 1,000 workers:4.244

Location quotient:4.48

Median annual salary: $123,130

Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL: Private detectives and investigators

Number employed:1,720

Employment per 1,000 workers:1.343

Location quotient:6.18

Median annual salary: $54,140

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO: Financial clerks, all other

Number employed:1,670

Employment per 1,000 workers:1.157

Location quotient:5.11

Median annual salary: $45,940

Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD: Education administrators, all other

Number employed:1,550

Employment per 1,000 workers:1.136

Location quotient:4.48

Median annual salary: $95,920

St. Louis, MO-IL: Financial examiners

Number employed:1,290

Employment per 1,000 workers:0.953

Location quotient:2.58

Median annual salary: $70,260

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC: Textile winding, twisting, and drawing out machine setters, operators, and tenders

Number employed:1,640

Employment per 1,000 workers:1.382

Location quotient:6.37

Median annual salary: $23,130

Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL: Concierges

Number employed:1,880

Employment per 1,000 workers:1.553

Location quotient:6.19

Median annual salary: $24,160

San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX: Telemarketers

Number employed:5,720

Employment per 1,000 workers:5.698

Location quotient:4.28

Median annual salary: $25,690

Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA: Semiconductor processors

Number employed:3,230

Employment per 1,000 workers:2.789

Location quotient:16.89

Median annual salary: $35,960

Pittsburgh, PA: Crossing guards

Number employed:1,630

Employment per 1,000 workers:1.438

Location quotient:2.68

Median annual salary: $26,690

Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade, CA: Tax examiners and collectors, and revenue agents

Number employed:3,310

Employment per 1,000 workers:3.449

Location quotient:8.68

Median annual salary: $50,080

Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV: Gaming service workers, all other

Number employed:2,530

Employment per 1,000 workers:2.629

Location quotient:38.80

Median annual salary: $29,600

Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN: Engine and other machine assemblers

Number employed:1,180

Employment per 1,000 workers:1.115

Location quotient:4.21

Median annual salary: $55,570

Kansas City, MO-KS: Tax examiners and collectors, and revenue agents

Number employed:1,560

Employment per 1,000 workers:1.483

Location quotient:3.73

Median annual salary: $41,700

Austin-Round Rock, TX: Semiconductor processors

Number employed:1,090

Employment per 1,000 workers:1.097

Location quotient:6.65

Median annual salary: $37,620

Columbus, OH: Office machine operators, except computer

Number employed:1,520

Employment per 1,000 workers:1.469

Location quotient:3.81

Median annual salary: $26,330

Cleveland-Elyria, OH: Engine and other machine assemblers

Number employed:1,210

Employment per 1,000 workers:1.173

Location quotient:4.43

Median annual salary: $56,230

Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN: Therapists, all other

Number employed:1,030

Employment per 1,000 workers:0.999

Location quotient:11.85

Median annual salary: $39,270

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA: Computer hardware engineers

Number employed:9,790

Employment per 1,000 workers:8.989

Location quotient:19.19

Median annual salary: $145,510

Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro--Franklin, TN: Metal and plastic forging machine setters, operators, and tenders

Number employed:2,110

Employment per 1,000 workers:2.245

Location quotient:17.49

Median annual salary: $57,010

Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC: Ship engineers

Number employed:1,390

Employment per 1,000 workers:1.871

Location quotient:33.80

Median annual salary: $59,040

Providence-Warwick, RI-MA: Protective service workers, all other

Number employed:1,750

Employment per 1,000 workers:3.077

Location quotient:3.24

Median annual salary: $32,800

Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI: Print binding and finishing workers

Number employed:1,500

Employment per 1,000 workers:1.780

Location quotient:5.21

Median annual salary: $32,090

Jacksonville, FL: Special education teachers, all other

Number employed:1,580

Employment per 1,000 workers:2.367

Location quotient:8.88

Median annual salary: $55,160  

Photo credit: Getty

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