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Top 10 Hot Careers in Oklahoma City

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Employment in Oklahoma City has seen its ups and downs, so employees often focus on stability. As many opt to return to higher education or technical schools to prepare for a change, it helps to analyze which careers appear to be leading OKC.

Based on data from the OK Dept. of Commerce, the OK Employment Security Commission and other economic experts, these areas figure to see many opportunities in the coming years, the ones to examine if considering a career change.

1. Registered Nurses

It would not be an overstatement to say that if you are a well-qualified registered nurse, you could get a quality job in an instant. The health care industry is growing at an incredible pace in the entire state, and an executive at one of the state's largest hospitals recently told me that he could "hire 300 RNs tomorrow if they were available."

Key OKC Employers: Integris, OU Medical Center, Health Department, Family clinics, Higher education and many more

2. Computer Software

The people who saw the potential way back when are doing quite well in the computer industry, despite the dot com burst of a few years back. Those with adequate training in computer programming and computer science can often turn that into an extremely comfortable income in software development. Many companies across Oklahoma City are moving into high-tech areas and software engineers/designers are in demand.

Key OKC Employers: IBM, BearingPoint, State government and many more

3. Sales

Some shake their heads at the notion, but sales opportunities should not be overlooked. A person can make outstanding money if they are well-spoken, friendly and convincing. Companies are constantly searching for talented people and often offer large compensation packages. Those in sales frequently have a great deal of freedom in their jobs as well.

Key OKC Employers: Insurance, Electronics and office equipment, Automobile, Apparel, Home realty, Cellular phones and many more

4. Medical Assistants

Being a RN is not the only way to capitalize on the need in the Health Care industry. Various medical assistants are needed in a number of areas including lab techs, licensed practical nurses, licensed vocational nurses and other home health care options. These do not require the education that a RN needs, but the opportunitites are numerous and often stable.

Key OKC Employers: Integris, Hospice and assisted living, State and federal government health organizations, OU Medical, and more

5. Customer Service

The customer service industry in Oklahoma is growing tremendously as companies take advantage of the favorable business conditions and low cost of living when they move their call centers and the like to our state. Education requirements are often lower than other areas of employment, but favorable compensation packages are available and opportunities are abundant.

Key OKC Employers: Retail, Insurance, Dell, and many more

6. Oil and Gas

Higher energy prices have been a boon to much of the Oklahoma economy due to our reliance as a state on the oil and gas industry. In turn, it has opened a number of opportunities for those engineers, technicians and laborers that are educated in drilling and refining. Although many of the jobs are outside the OKC metro area, a number of oil and gas companies have offices and facilities in the city.

Key OKC Employers: Chesapeake Energy, Devon Energy, and more

7. Information Technology

There's more to consider here than simply the companies that specialize in computers and technology. That's because nearly every large company today has some kind of IT department to handle their increasing use of communication, office and manufacturing technologies. With the right training, not only can you find a secure job, but the pay is frequently above the median income in Oklahoma City.

Key OKC Employers: IBM, EDS, Business, Banking, Communications, and many more

8. Human Resources

More and more the trend in the business community is to have a Human Resources Department in charge of staffing and often payroll. The opportunities are abundant, the pay is above the median and the hours are traditional.

Key OKC Employers: Nearly any large OKC employer such as the state government, Tinker, Integris, Hertz or SBC as well as many smaller employers

9. Administrative

People in business, health care or government will tell you one of their greatest obstacles is the growing amount of paperwork and administrative tasks required for effective operation. In turn, opportunities for those skilled in administrative tasks have grown as well. As with HR, hours are typically traditional and pay above average.

Key OKC Employers: Personnel services place a number of administrative positions while city and state governments are large employers as well.

10. Education

Whether it be public schools, private schools, child care, higher education, trade schools or social services, educational opportunities are numerous in OKC. Upper degrees or extensive experience are often required, and hours can be less than traditional in some capacities, but the pay is typically above the median and benefits are good.

Key OKC Employers: Local school districts, Institutes of higher learning, Child care facilities, Trade schools, City and state government

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