The United States has the most dynamic economy in the world. Where it once was symbolized by the automotive and steel industries, the American economy is now the world's technology colossus. But the U.S. economy is more than that. It is a unique sum of the parts of 50 states whose identities are often tied to a particular job or industry. (And domestic workers hold the most jobs in these 12 states.)

Using data on employment by state for all detailed occupations from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Wage and Employment Statistics survey for May 2022, 24/7 Wall St. identified the most unique job in every state.

Based on location quotient - the ratio of the concentration of an occupation's employment in a state relative to its concentration nationwide - forest and conservation workers ranks as the most unique occupation in South Dakota. With 610 jobs in the field out of 435,260 jobs in the state, the occupation is 34.4 times more concentrated in South Dakota than it is nationwide.

The average annual wage for workers in the occupation across the state is $33,250, compared to $36,010 nationwide.


StateMost unique jobOccupation's location quotientOccupation employment in stateOccupation's avg. annual wage in state ($)
AlabamaTextile winding, twisting, and drawing out machine setters, operators, and tenders6.21,99037,270
AlaskaZoologists and wildlife biologists20.774081,320
ArizonaContinuous mining machine operators6.81,88051,800
ArkansasAgricultural product graders and sorters7.61,47033,470
CaliforniaCrop, nursery, and greenhouse farmworkers and laborers5.6188,58034,790
ColoradoAtmospheric and space scientists5.71,050107,220
ConnecticutMethal and plastic lathe and turning machine tool setters, operators, and tenders5.41,16048,140
DelawareMeat, poultry, and fish cutters and trimmers8.33,40031,190
FloridaBridge and lock tenders3.682032,040
GeorgiaTextile winding, twisting, and drawing out machine setters, operators, and tenders11.58,57034,890
HawaiiMotorboat operators45.457052,930
IdahoNuclear engineers9.0590149,100
IllinoisMisc. mathematical science occupations6.396079,540
IndianaMetal-refining furnace operators and tenders10.64,29067,860
IowaAgricultural technicians9.21,25049,630
KansasAircraft structure, surfaces, rigging, and systems assemblers19.25,76056,560
KentuckyMetal and plastic forging machine setters, operators, and tenders7.31,00052,490
LouisianaSailors and marine oilers19.16,79052,910
MaineLogging equipment operators7.476043,240
MassachusettsBiochemists and biophysicists10.58,250117,830
MichiganMetal and plastic patternmakers9.359064,050
MinnesotaMisc. gambling service workers13.23,09030,520
MissouriCooling and freezing equipment operators and tenders6.883048,000
MontanaGambling and sports book writers and runners21.757020,020
NebraskaTransportation equipment electrical and electronics installers and repairers8.950073,550
NevadaGambling managers31.81,46090,350
New HampshireMisc. metal and plastic workers6.561040,520
New JerseyShampooers7.81,62029,190
New MexicoExtraction worker helpers17.567043,760
New YorkTransit and railroad police7.01,46076,290
North CarolinaTextile bleaching and dyeing machine operators and tenders7.41,55030,030
North DakotaWellhead pumpers30.61,22064,350
OhioEngine and other machine assemblers4.27,66056,370
OklahomaGambling surveillance officers and investigators14.91,70031,310
OregonMisc. personal care and service workers24.218,43034,900
PennsylvaniaMetal pourers and casters4.51,07042,690
Rhode IslandJewelers and precious stone and metal workers7.564045,750
South CarolinaTire builders15.44,12052,610
South DakotaForest and conservation workers34.461033,250
TennesseeStatistical assistants12.01,69051,840
TexasOil and gas derrick operators7.26,93051,570
UtahContinuous mining machine operators7.21,07063,690
VermontMisc. community and social service specialists5.094048,080
VirginiaMetal and plastic layout workers12.62,26057,530
West VirginiaMining roof bolters87.568066,080
WisconsinFoundry mold and coremakers5.31,15043,410
WyomingOil and gas roustabouts28.52,02048,120