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Decatur Employment

Employment and Industries in the Decatur, Alabama Area

Decatur is home to numerous Fortune 500 companies. They were attracted by the large amount of barge traffic on the Tennessee River. The city is sometimes called "Home of Meow Mix" due to the manufacturer purchasing a large facility in Decatur. The Huntsville-Decatur area is known for having a large number of engineers. Approximately 16% of the residents have a bachelor's degree and 7% have a graduate degree. In addition, in early 2009 the average salary in Decatur was $30,000. In 2008 the cost of living index was 80.7. The average in the nation is 100.

The major industries in Decatur are manufacturing, cargo transit, hi-tech, education, health and social services and retail. About 30% of the jobs in Decatur are in management, professional and related occupations. Some of the other common occupations are sales positions, office jobs, production, transportation, material moving jobs, scientific and technical services, educational services and food services. Tourism has a notable influence on employment due to the popular festivals in the area such as the Alabama Jubilee, the Spirit of America Festival, Riverfest and the Racking Horse World Celebration.

The United Launch Alliance combined Boeing and Lockheed-Martin's rocket manufacturing contracts in a central location in Decatur. Currently all satellite launching rockets used by the United States Government are constructed in the city which brought a large number of jobs to Decatur. In addition, in 2008 a large development was announced for inside the city limits which will add numerous jobs in the areas of retail, medical, office workers and jobs related to entertainment venues.

Some major employers and companies of note in the Decatur area:

  • General Dynamics
  • Raytheon
  • L-3 Communications
  • General Electric
  • United Launch Alliance
  • 3M
  • Bunge International
  • Decatur City Schools
  • Meow Mix
  • Hyosung
  • Solutia
  • Nucor
  • Tennessee Valley Authority
  • MPW Industrial Services
  • BP
  • Primesco
  • City of Decatur
  • Mutual Savings Life Insurance Company
  • National Healthcare of Decatur
  • Goss Electric
  • McCatur

Two major business organizations associated with Decatur:

The Decatur Daily offers current information on business activities in Decatur.

Most Popular Jobs in Decatur, Alabama Metro Area (2008 data)

Where the Majority of Workers Have College Degrees

Rank Title Local Jobs Local Mean Salary Typical Local Salary National Growth % 2006-2016 National % With College Degree
1 Registered nurses 1,010 $52,610 $27,670 - 110,420 24% 56%
2 Elementary school teachers, except special education 760 $47,700 $40,480 - 56,660 14% 95%
3 Sales representatives, wholesale and manufacturing, except technical and scientific products 690 $55,500 $26,920 - 102,070 8% 51%
4 Teachers and instructors, all other 560 $33,200 $27,800 - 45,090 9% 54%
5 Secondary school teachers, except special and vocational education 520 $47,540 $38,220 - 55,300 6% 96%
6 Accountants and auditors 330 $46,900 $33,670 - 63,870 18% 79%
7 Middle school teachers, except special and vocational education 320 $45,910 $36,760 - 54,730 11% 95%
8 Industrial engineers 150 $82,070 $51,700 - 122,870 20% 74%
9 Pharmacists 140 $97,130 $74,580 - 124,410 22% 97%
10 Chief executives 110 $138,780 $58,250 - 2% 65%
11 Financial managers 110 $84,810 $44,580 - 132,080 13% 60%
12 Mechanical engineers 110 $74,480 $45,960 - 118,840 4% 78%
13 Education administrators, elementary and secondary school 100 $84,280 $69,470 - 105,410 8% 78%
14 Child, family, and school social workers 100 $41,140 $26,860 - 62,330 19% 77%
15 Lawyers 70 $62,270 $42,900 - 99,730 11% 99%
16 Special education teachers, preschool, kindergarten, and elementary school 70 $51,210 $43,680 - 61,920 20% 87%
17 Medical and clinical laboratory technicians 70 $30,270 $22,560 - 41,380 15% 51%
18 Personal financial advisors 60 $104,850 $47,160 - 41% 81%
19 Educational, vocational, and school counselors 60 $56,630 $45,270 - 66,970 13% 73%
20 Vocational education teachers, secondary school 60 $50,780 $41,710 - 63,380 -5% 96%
21 Librarians 60 $50,010 $41,400 - 63,110 4% 85%
22 Human resources, training, and labor relations specialists, all other 60 $40,710 $13,840 - 71,150 17% 56%
23 Engineering managers 50 $101,450 $51,730 - 160,570 7% 84%
24 Sales managers 50 $99,070 $44,650 - 10% 69%
25 Physical therapists 50 $77,370 $56,960 - 107,280 27% 89%
26 Medical and health services managers 50 $73,610 $47,380 - 117,380 16% 57%
27 Network and computer systems administrators 50 $60,700 $43,220 - 82,850 27% 50%
28 Environmental scientists and specialists, including health 50 $48,440 $33,260 - 65,930 25% 93%
29 Medical and public health social workers 50 $42,080 $31,730 - 57,230 24% 77%
30 Social and human service assistants 50 $26,310 $18,300 - 32,680 34% 58%
31 Computer and information systems managers 40 $88,290 $54,630 - 111,860 16% 73%
32 Electrical engineers 40 $83,440 $58,970 - 105,510 6% 81%
33 Instructional coordinators 40 $60,920 $29,820 - 101,460 23% 79%
34 Civil engineers 40 $59,560 $22,350 - 113,910 18% 87%
35 Computer software engineers, applications 40 $56,640 $44,340 - 79,520 45% 85%
36 Employment, recruitment, and placement specialists 40 $37,970 $20,590 - 64,300 18% 56%
37 Graphic designers 40 $33,080 $21,440 - 51,000 10% 55%
38 Speech-language pathologists 30 $68,940 $45,300 - 101,340 11% 98%
39 Computer systems analysts 30 $60,030 $35,290 - 84,270 29% 68%
40 Computer programmers 30 $54,960 $35,050 - 80,380 -4% 73%
41 Compliance officers, except agriculture, construction, health and safety, and transportation 30 $46,040 $34,820 - 76,580 5% 58%
42 Public relations specialists 30 $39,070 $25,610 - 69,490 18% 81%
43 Community and social service specialists, all other 30 $29,660 $17,880 - 40,600 25% 58%
44 Floral designers 30 $15,660 $12,910 - 19,540 -9% 55%
45 Engineers, all other 30 $0 $ - 6% 82%

Where the Majority of Workers Do Not Have College Degrees

Rank Title Local Jobs Local Mean Salary Typical Local Salary National Growth % 2006-2016 National % With College Degree
1 Team assemblers 1,910 $22,950 $13,760 - 34,480 0% 5%
2 Cashiers 1,900 $15,720 $12,840 - 19,940 -3% 10%
3 Retail salespersons 1,770 $21,540 $13,420 - 33,010 12% 25%
4 Truck drivers, heavy and tractor-trailer 1,560 $35,350 $21,100 - 56,800 10% 4%
5 Combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast food 1,040 $14,230 $12,750 - 16,010 18% 5%
6 Laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, hand 1,020 $21,440 $14,610 - 29,320 2% 5%
7 Secretaries, except legal, medical, and executive 940 $26,610 $17,250 - 38,830 1% 18%
8 General and operations managers 900 $86,700 $42,940 - 158,700 2% 48%
9 Office clerks, general 780 $20,630 $13,740 - 30,290 13% 19%
10 First-line supervisors/managers of retail sales workers 720 $32,590 $17,370 - 49,950 4% 25%
11 Janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners 690 $18,890 $13,520 - 25,180 15% 4%
12 Waiters and waitresses 690 $14,860 $12,780 - 16,650 11% 14%
13 Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks 660 $27,580 $18,870 - 37,920 13% 16%
14 Maintenance and repair workers, general 620 $38,400 $23,270 - 58,200 10% 6%
15 First-line supervisors/managers of office and administrative support workers 600 $40,960 $25,910 - 63,680 6% 29%
16 Helpers--production workers 580 $21,650 $14,120 - 34,550 -1% 4%
17 First-line supervisors/managers of production and operating workers 510 $48,280 $27,600 - 85,710 -5% 15%
18 Industrial truck and tractor operators 510 $30,470 $19,070 - 44,940 -2% 2%
19 Cooks, fast food 510 $14,830 $12,820 - 17,810 8% 5%
20 Customer service representatives 500 $27,630 $17,420 - 40,480 25% 22%
21 Stock clerks and order fillers 500 $23,030 $14,030 - 36,610 -8% 8%
22 Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers 490 $31,630 $21,260 - 46,560 5% 2%
23 First-line supervisors/managers of food preparation and serving workers 470 $24,010 $17,050 - 35,030 11% 14%
24 Packers and packagers, hand 460 $21,040 $14,060 - 28,540 -12% 3%
25 First-line supervisors/managers of construction trades and extraction workers 450 $47,870 $33,380 - 73,960 9% 10%
26 Food preparation workers 440 $16,290 $12,920 - 22,450 15% 7%
27 Truck drivers, light or delivery services 430 $27,690 $15,860 - 56,490 8% 4%
28 Nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants 400 $19,740 $15,600 - 25,040 18% 7%
29 Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses 390 $35,490 $24,100 - 56,110 14% 7%
30 Machinists 380 $27,520 $15,820 - 40,520 -3% 3%
31 Construction laborers 370 $22,970 $14,530 - 31,070 11% 5%
32 Carpenters 360 $34,990 $23,420 - 49,650 10% 6%
33 Teacher assistants 350 $19,330 $15,120 - 22,820 10% 18%
34 Maids and housekeeping cleaners 350 $16,280 $12,950 - 21,230 13% 5%
35 Receptionists and information clerks 340 $20,970 $15,590 - 28,960 17% 13%
36 Industrial machinery mechanics 330 $60,560 $33,970 - 78,740 9% 5%
37 Insulation workers, mechanical 330 $37,670 $24,720 - 49,550 9% 0%
38 Police and sheriff's patrol officers 330 $36,350 $25,500 - 50,050 11% 33%
39 Tellers 330 $21,330 $16,010 - 29,280 14% 16%
40 Packaging and filling machine operators and tenders 300 $28,040 $14,840 - 46,600 -5% 5%
41 Inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers 290 $30,570 $22,330 - 43,140 -7% 14%
42 Automotive service technicians and mechanics 270 $35,540 $19,680 - 54,610 14% 4%
43 Billing and posting clerks and machine operators 260 $29,450 $18,970 - 41,130 4% 15%
44 Landscaping and groundskeeping workers 260 $22,980 $16,030 - 31,150 18% 6%
45 Counter and rental clerks 260 $22,220 $13,210 - 36,860 23% 16%
46 Cooks, restaurant 260 $19,310 $13,570 - 26,060 12% 5%
47 Electricians 250 $39,320 $29,670 - 53,030 7% 7%
48 Cutting, punching, and press machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic 250 $26,710 $17,790 - 37,330 -15% 0%
49 First-line supervisors/managers of mechanics, installers, and repairers 240 $52,230 $31,080 - 82,700 7% 13%
50 Operating engineers and other construction equipment operators 240 $39,160 $27,840 - 51,540 8% 3%
51 Extruding and drawing machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic 240 $29,170 $23,850 - 33,290 -7% 0%
52 Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters 230 $41,940 $33,430 - 53,520 11% 4%
53 Shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks 230 $31,120 $18,160 - 49,650 4% 6%
54 Home health aides 230 $17,340 $13,390 - 22,430 49% 7%
55 Chemical equipment operators and tenders 220 $50,300 $42,840 - 62,200 -4% 14%
56 Pharmacy technicians 220 $23,740 $16,660 - 32,140 32% 16%
57 Bus drivers, school 210 $14,290 $12,780 - 16,060 9% 4%
58 Construction managers 190 $68,020 $39,760 - 116,960 16% 29%
59 Butchers and meat cutters 190 $23,360 $20,660 - 26,370 2% 2%
60 Cooks, institution and cafeteria 190 $16,870 $13,200 - 20,780 11% 5%
61 Assemblers and fabricators, all other 180 $19,940 $16,260 - 28,090 -9% 5%
62 Loan officers 170 $58,150 $31,220 - 102,460 12% 49%
63 Executive secretaries and administrative assistants 170 $40,240 $26,960 - 54,110 15% 18%
64 Sheet metal workers 170 $33,370 $20,190 - 48,290 7% 4%
65 Bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists 170 $32,990 $21,750 - 45,490 12% 3%
66 Hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists 170 $30,830 $17,010 - 56,340 12% 6%
67 Tire repairers and changers 160 $23,210 $17,840 - 29,270 20% 6%
68 Personal and home care aides 160 $17,650 $13,460 - 23,530 51% 10%
69 Child care workers 160 $15,170 $12,730 - 19,370 18% 15%
70 Postal service mail carriers 160 $0 $ - 1% 11%
71 First-line supervisors/managers of transportation and material-moving machine and vehicle operators 150 $48,000 $31,550 - 64,440 10% 17%
72 Loan interviewers and clerks 150 $27,370 $18,500 - 39,260 -1% 24%
73 Driver/sales workers 150 $0 $ - -5% 4%
74 Structural iron and steel workers 140 $31,880 $22,980 - 47,130 6% 4%
75 Computer-controlled machine tool operators, metal and plastic 140 $28,890 $22,830 - 36,590 -3% 6%
76 Stationary engineers and boiler operators 140 $0 $ - 3% 10%
77 Electrical and electronics repairers, commercial and industrial equipment 130 $64,420 $45,220 - 79,160 7% 0%
78 Structural metal fabricators and fitters 130 $30,140 $20,420 - 42,230 -0% 0%
79 Medical assistants 130 $23,300 $17,620 - 30,390 35% 10%
80 Helpers--electricians 130 $22,480 $16,070 - 29,330 7% 3%
81 Production workers, all other 130 $0 $ - 2% 5%
82 Industrial production managers 120 $86,240 $40,380 - 129,910 -6% 43%
83 Dental laboratory technicians 120 $29,420 $16,530 - 45,240 4% 12%
84 Refuse and recyclable material collectors 120 $26,910 $20,130 - 37,090 7% 3%
85 First-line supervisors/managers of non-retail sales workers 110 $70,730 $36,450 - 128,900 4% 38%
86 Kindergarten teachers, except special education 110 $49,200 $41,630 - 60,590 16% 43%
87 Purchasing agents, except wholesale, retail, and farm products 110 $47,280 $25,320 - 71,140 0% 42%
88 First-line supervisors/managers of helpers, laborers, and material movers, hand 110 $40,850 $26,500 - 58,200 13% 17%
89 Millwrights 110 $37,720 $27,470 - 49,480 6% 0%
90 Dental hygienists 110 $36,830 $26,010 - 47,660 30% 33%
91 Interviewers, except eligibility and loan 110 $31,760 $20,730 - 48,860 10% 24%
92 Court, municipal, and license clerks 110 $25,760 $18,380 - 35,400 9% 24%
93 Order clerks 110 $24,990 $14,640 - 38,810 -24% 16%
94 Cement masons and concrete finishers 100 $29,030 $21,430 - 41,190 11% 2%
95 Painters, construction and maintenance 100 $27,250 $20,250 - 37,480 12% 6%
96 Emergency medical technicians and paramedics 100 $24,560 $20,770 - 30,030 19% 14%
97 Coating, painting, and spraying machine setters, operators, and tenders 100 $24,510 $18,030 - 31,520 -13% 4%
98 Cooks, short order 100 $18,460 $13,320 - 26,970 5% 5%
99 Residential advisors 100 $17,010 $13,010 - 21,590 19% 28%
100 Dishwashers 100 $16,910 $13,220 - 20,750 10% 3%
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Jobs More Common Near Decatur Than Most Other Cities

* Average job popularity for metro areas = 1.0

Title Mean Local Salary Local Jobs Pop. vs. Avg.*
Insulation workers, mechanical 37,670 330 43.9
Chemical equipment operators and tenders 50,300 220 17.2
Stationary engineers and boiler operators 0 140 12
Millwrights 37,720 110 10.3
Extruding and drawing machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic 29,170 240 9.6
Dental laboratory technicians 29,420 120 9.5
Residential advisors 17,010 100 6.9
Structural iron and steel workers 31,880 140 6.9
Team assemblers 22,950 1,910 5.3
Tire repairers and changers 23,210 160 5.3
Electrical and electronics repairers, commercial and industrial equipment 64,420 130 5.2
Butchers and meat cutters 23,360 190 4.7
Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers 31,630 490 4
Helpers--production workers 21,650 580 3.7
Industrial machinery mechanics 60,560 330 3.7
Structural metal fabricators and fitters 30,140 130 3.6
Helpers--electricians 22,480 130 3.5
Court, municipal, and license clerks 25,760 110 3.5
Coating, painting, and spraying machine setters, operators, and tenders 24,510 100 3.4
Cutting, punching, and press machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic 26,710 250 3.3
Computer-controlled machine tool operators, metal and plastic 28,890 140 3.3
Teachers and instructors, all other 33,200 560 3.2
Refuse and recyclable material collectors 26,910 120 3.1
Sheet metal workers 33,370 170 3.1
Truck drivers, heavy and tractor-trailer 35,350 1,560 2.8
Machinists 27,520 380 2.8
Cooks, fast food 14,830 510 2.7
Packaging and filling machine operators and tenders 28,040 300 2.6
Industrial truck and tractor operators 30,470 510 2.4
First-line supervisors/managers of production and operating workers 48,280 510 2.3
Industrial production managers 86,240 120 2.3
Construction managers 68,020 190 2.3
First-line supervisors/managers of construction trades and extraction workers 47,870 450 2.2
Industrial engineers 82,070 150 2.1
Assemblers and fabricators, all other 19,940 180 2
Bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists 32,990 170 2
First-line supervisors/managers of transportation and material-moving machine and vehicle operators 48,000 150 2
Kindergarten teachers, except special education 49,200 110 1.9
Loan interviewers and clerks 27,370 150 1.9
Operating engineers and other construction equipment operators 39,160 240 1.9
Pharmacy technicians 23,740 220 1.9
Cooks, short order 18,460 100 1.9
Inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers 30,570 290 1.8
Dental hygienists 36,830 110 1.7
Packers and packagers, hand 21,040 460 1.7
First-line supervisors/managers of retail sales workers 32,590 720 1.7
First-line supervisors/managers of helpers, laborers, and material movers, hand 40,850 110 1.7
Emergency medical technicians and paramedics 24,560 100 1.6
Production workers, all other 0 130 1.6
Cooks, institution and cafeteria 16,870 190 1.6

Work Paying Relatively Well in the Decatur, Alabama Metro Area (2008 data)

* Average Salary Index for metro areas = 1.0

Title Mean Local Salary Salary Index * Local Jobs
Industrial machinery mechanics 60,560 1.36 330
Electrical and electronics repairers, commercial and industrial equipment 64,420 1.31 130
Hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists 30,830 1.23 170
Chemical equipment operators and tenders 50,300 1.18 220
Industrial engineers 82,070 1.13 150
Interviewers, except eligibility and loan 31,760 1.12 110
Maintenance and repair workers, general 38,400 1.12 620
Shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks 31,120 1.09 230
Packaging and filling machine operators and tenders 28,040 1.07 300
Executive secretaries and administrative assistants 40,240 1.04 170
Kindergarten teachers, except special education 49,200 1.04 110
Packers and packagers, hand 21,040 1.03 460
Industrial truck and tractor operators 30,470 1.01 510
First-line supervisors/managers of non-retail sales workers 70,730 1.01 110
Stock clerks and order fillers 23,030 1.01 500
Mechanical engineers 74,480 1 110
Loan officers 58,150 0.98 170
Sales representatives, wholesale and manufacturing, except technical and scientific products 55,500 0.98 690
Tire repairers and changers 23,210 0.98 160
Automotive service technicians and mechanics 35,540 0.98 270
Industrial production managers 86,240 0.98 120
Billing and posting clerks and machine operators 29,450 0.97 260
Elementary school teachers, except special education 47,700 0.96 760
Truck drivers, light or delivery services 27,690 0.96 430
Counter and rental clerks 22,220 0.95 260
First-line supervisors/managers of helpers, laborers, and material movers, hand 40,850 0.95 110
Landscaping and groundskeeping workers 22,980 0.95 260
Truck drivers, heavy and tractor-trailer 35,350 0.94 1,560
Extruding and drawing machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic 29,170 0.93 240
Customer service representatives 27,630 0.93 500
Secondary school teachers, except special and vocational education 47,540 0.93 520
Pharmacists 97,130 0.93 140
First-line supervisors/managers of transportation and material-moving machine and vehicle operators 48,000 0.92 150
Chief executives 138,780 0.92 110
First-line supervisors/managers of mechanics, installers, and repairers 52,230 0.92 240
Cutting, punching, and press machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic 26,710 0.92 250
Helpers--production workers 21,650 0.92 580
Operating engineers and other construction equipment operators 39,160 0.92 240
Financial managers 84,810 0.91 110
Secretaries, except legal, medical, and executive 26,610 0.91 940
Inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers 30,570 0.91 290
First-line supervisors/managers of production and operating workers 48,280 0.91 510
Middle school teachers, except special and vocational education 45,910 0.91 320
Insulation workers, mechanical 37,670 0.91 330
Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters 41,940 0.91 230
First-line supervisors/managers of office and administrative support workers 40,960 0.91 600
Tellers 21,330 0.9 330
General and operations managers 86,700 0.9 900
Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers 31,630 0.9 490
Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses 35,490 0.9 390

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