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Washington Employment

Employment and Industries in the Washington, District Of Columbia Area

Washington, D.C. is the capital of the United States and one of the thirty largest cities in the United States. The Washington'Arlington'Alexandria metropolitan area is the eighth largest metropolitan area in the United States. As one might expect, the Washington metropolitan area is a center for business, commerce, and government.

The Federal Government is responsible for almost thirty percent of Washington employment, and also a major employer in the surrounding metropolitan area. Behind the Federal Government, the region's major universities and hospitals are also major employers.

There are over ten Fortune 500 companies located in the metropolitan Washington area. Many major defense contractors have operations in and around Washington, D.C., including General Dynamics, Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), and Orbital Sciences Corporation.

In 2006, Inc. magazine ranked the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria area eighth on its list of "Best Cities for Doing Business" in the United States in the large cities category. The criteria used "emphasizes the robustness of a region's growth". Large and significant cities such as Washington, D.C. who have a "tangible effect on global affairs through socioeconomic, cultural, and/or political means" (Wikipedia) get ranked as "Global Cities" (also known as world cities or world-class cities) by the Globalization and World Cities Study Group & Network (GaWC). GaWC has three tiers of ranking, alpha (first-tier), beta (second-tier) and gamma (third tier). Washington, D.C. is one of eleven cities in the United States ranked as a "World City". Washington, D.C. was ranked as a "Gamma World City" by GaWC, on a par with Boston, Dallas, and Houston.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Washington, D.C. ranks in the top thirty on the list of US cities who receive the most annual funding from the NIH.

The Washington D.C. area has a highly educated workforce. More than 15% of Washington D.C. residents hold a graduate degree. The number of scientists, technicians, and Ph.D.s working in the Metropolitan D.C. area is among the highest in the United States.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, major industries in and around Washington include (ranked by size of workforce):

  • Government
  • Professional & Business Services
  • Educational & Health Services
  • Leisure & Hospitality
  • Financial Activities
  • Trade, Transportation, and Utilities
  • Information

The Washington metropolitan area is served by three major airports, the Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, and Washington Dulles International Airport. Dulles ranks 13th in the United States for for nonstop international air travel according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

Some major companies of note in and around Washington, D.C. include:

  • AES Corporation
  • Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc.
  • Capital One
  • Coventry Health Care
  • Danaher
  • Fannie Mae
  • Gannett (publisher of USA Today)
  • Harman International. Industries
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Marriott International
  • NVR Incorporated
  • Pepco Holdings
  • Sprint Nextel Corporation
  • SLM Corporation
  • Washington Post
  • WGL Holdings

Some of the major business organizations in and around Washington, D.C. include:

The Washington Business Journal, and the Business Section of the Washington Post are excellent sources of information on business in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

Jobs in Washington

Rank Title Total Employees Local Mean Salary (Per Year) Local Mean Salary (Per hour) National Growth % 2014-2024
1 All Occupations 3072060 $68000 $32.69 100
2 Office and Administrative Support Occupations 408880 $43960 $21.13 14.8
3 Business and Financial Operations Occupations 303450 $92080 $44.27 5.05
4 Sales and Related Occupations 263330 $45230 $21.74 10.15
5 Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations 254900 $26600 $12.79 8.3
6 Management Occupations 234800 $142470 $68.5 6.05
7 Computer and Mathematical Occupations 223490 $104280 $50.13 2.8
8 Education, Training, and Library Occupations 189850 $63950 $30.75 6.15
9 Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations 146530 $93060 $44.74 5.75
10 Transportation and Material Moving Occupations 129150 $40730 $19.58 6.45
11 Construction and Extraction Occupations 113950 $49620 $23.85 4.4
12 Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance Occupations 106660 $29690 $14.27 3.7
13 Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Occupations 91700 $53190 $25.57 3.8
14 Personal Care and Service Occupations 90340 $31000 $14.91 4.1
15 Protective Service Occupations 88680 $56490 $27.16 2.25
16 Retail Salespersons 78240 $27280 $13.12 3.1
17 Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media Occupations 73000 $76460 $36.76 1.7
18 Cashiers 71290 $23240 $11.17 2.25
19 General and Operations Managers 70940 $148920 $71.6 1.4
20 Legal Occupations 68000 $141480 $68.02 0.8
21 Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations 64240 $100720 $48.42 0.9
22 Healthcare Support Occupations 63240 $33690 $16.2 3.05
23 Architecture and Engineering Occupations 62910 $101200 $48.65 1.65
24 Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, Including Fast Food 62250 $21980 $10.57 2.15
25 Management Analysts 59330 $104910 $50.44 0.5
26 Janitors and Cleaners, Except Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners 58660 $27800 $13.36 1.6
27 Business Operations Specialists, All Other 58640 $98450 $47.33 0.7
28 Office Clerks, General 56010 $38840 $18.68 2
29 Production Occupations 52340 $41690 $20.04 5.85
30 Secretaries and Administrative Assistants, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive 50600 $43480 $20.9 1.6
31 Waiters and Waitresses 49360 $27080 $13.02 1.6
32 Lawyers 44370 $172580 $82.97 0.5
33 Registered Nurses 41100 $78330 $37.66 1.9
34 Accountants and Auditors 40980 $91140 $43.82 0.9
35 Customer Service Representatives 40890 $40360 $19.4 1.75
36 Community and Social Service Occupations 40460 $58240 $28 1.65
37 Security Guards 38450 $41370 $19.89 0.7
38 Stock Clerks and Order Fillers 35890 $27870 $13.4 1.2
39 Managers, All Other 35750 $135510 $65.15 0.65
40 First-Line Supervisors of Office and Administrative Support Workers 31920 $68090 $32.74 1
41 Software Developers, Applications 31410 $114130 $54.87 0.5
42 Computer Occupations, All Other 29680 $111780 $53.74 0.2
43 Sales Representatives, Services, All Other 28800 $85110 $40.92 0.6
44 Computer Systems Analysts 28040 $102290 $49.18 0.4
45 Software Developers, Systems Software 27400 $120930 $58.14 0.3
46 Cooks, Restaurant 26120 $27120 $13.04 0.75
47 Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Hand 26020 $29520 $14.19 1.6
48 Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks 25410 $48640 $23.39 1.1
49 Receptionists and Information Clerks 25270 $31930 $15.35 0.7
50 Public Relations Specialists 22030 $92780 $44.61 0.2
51 Maintenance and Repair Workers, General 22020 $46110 $22.17 0.9
52 First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers 21790 $48610 $23.37 1
53 Human Resources Specialists 21350 $83710 $40.25 0.3
54 Nursing Assistants 20690 $30330 $14.58 1.05
55 Personal Care Aides 20270 $25000 $12.02 1.3
56 Network and Computer Systems Administrators 20260 $102870 $49.46 0.3
57 Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists 19540 $77850 $37.43 0.35
58 Computer User Support Specialists 18980 $60970 $29.31 0.4
59 Landscaping and Groundskeeping Workers 18850 $30020 $14.44 0.8
60 Construction Laborers 18760 $34660 $16.66 0.8
61 First-Line Supervisors of Food Preparation and Serving Workers 18710 $41830 $20.11 0.6
62 Financial Managers 18650 $160240 $77.04 0.4
63 Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners 18000 $26860 $12.91 1
64 Computer and Information Systems Managers 17620 $165040 $79.35 0.25
65 Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants 17160 $68900 $33.12 0.5
66 Food Preparation Workers 16100 $24410 $11.74 0.6
67 Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers 15960 $69690 $33.5 0.45
68 Light Truck or Delivery Services Drivers 15860 $37450 $18.01 0.6
69 Substitute Teachers 14990 $32900 $15.82 0
70 Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Except Technical and Scientific Products 14670 $85000 $40.87 1
71 First-Line Supervisors of Construction Trades and Extraction Workers 13970 $73820 $35.49 0.4
72 Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers 13890 $43420 $20.87 1.2
73 Dishwashers 13030 $22870 $11 0.3
74 Dining Room and Cafeteria Attendants and Bartender Helpers 12990 $24340 $11.7 0.3
75 Carpenters 12840 $50060 $24.07 0.6
76 Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics 12730 $48900 $23.51 0.5
77 Home Health Aides 12600 $26230 $12.61 0.7
78 Bus Drivers, School or Special Client 12180 $40120 $19.29 0.3
79 Childcare Workers 11960 $27490 $13.22 0.8
80 Electricians 11840 $56630 $27.23 0.4
81 Information Security Analysts 11660 $108170 $52.01 0.1
82 Financial Analysts 11400 $99540 $47.86 0.2
83 Bartenders 11300 $31360 $15.08 0.4
84 Purchasing Agents, Except Wholesale, Retail, and Farm Products 10970 $88330 $42.47 0.2
85 Paralegals and Legal Assistants 10820 $67980 $32.68 0.2
86 Compliance Officers 10650 $86090 $41.39 0.2
87 Physicians and Surgeons, All Other 10600 $194530 $93.53 0.2
88 Computer Network Architects 10580 $117830 $56.65 0.1
89 Medical Assistants 10470 $36370 $17.49 0.45
90 Counter Attendants, Cafeteria, Food Concession, and Coffee Shop 10360 $23340 $11.22 0.3
91 Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education 10060 $40000 $19.23 0.3
92 Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses 10030 $50840 $24.44 0.5
93 Legal Support Workers, All Other 9730 $102340 $49.2 0
94 Computer Programmers 9400 $98440 $47.33 0.2
95 Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters 9400 $54980 $26.43 0.3
96 Hosts and Hostesses, Restaurant, Lounge, and Coffee Shop 9190 $22760 $10.94 0.25
97 Counter and Rental Clerks 9190 $33020 $15.88 0.3
98 Economists 8970 $125420 $60.3 0
99 First-Line Supervisors of Mechanics, Installers, and Repairers 8970 $73120 $35.15 0.3
100 Hairdressers, Hairstylists, and Cosmetologists 8860 $35550 $17.09 0.4
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Additional Details

Washington Colleges
Washington colleges and trade schools.
Washington Graduate Schools
Washington Graduate and Business Schools

Jobs More Common Near Washington Than Most Other Cities

* Average job popularity for metro areas = 1.0

Title Mean Local Salary Local Jobs
All Occupations 68,000 3,072,060
Office and Administrative Support Occupations 43,960 408,880
Business and Financial Operations Occupations 92,080 303,450
Sales and Related Occupations 45,230 263,330
Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations 26,600 254,900
Management Occupations 142,470 234,800
Computer and Mathematical Occupations 104,280 223,490
Education, Training, and Library Occupations 63,950 189,850
Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations 93,060 146,530
Transportation and Material Moving Occupations 40,730 129,150
Construction and Extraction Occupations 49,620 113,950
Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance Occupations 29,690 106,660
Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Occupations 53,190 91,700
Personal Care and Service Occupations 31,000 90,340
Protective Service Occupations 56,490 88,680
Retail Salespersons 27,280 78,240
Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media Occupations 76,460 73,000
Cashiers 23,240 71,290
General and Operations Managers 148,920 70,940
Legal Occupations 141,480 68,000
Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations 100,720 64,240
Healthcare Support Occupations 33,690 63,240
Architecture and Engineering Occupations 101,200 62,910
Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, Including Fast Food 21,980 62,250
Management Analysts 104,910 59,330
Janitors and Cleaners, Except Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners 27,800 58,660
Business Operations Specialists, All Other 98,450 58,640
Office Clerks, General 38,840 56,010
Production Occupations 41,690 52,340
Secretaries and Administrative Assistants, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive 43,480 50,600
Waiters and Waitresses 27,080 49,360
Lawyers 172,580 44,370
Registered Nurses 78,330 41,100
Accountants and Auditors 91,140 40,980
Customer Service Representatives 40,360 40,890
Community and Social Service Occupations 58,240 40,460
Security Guards 41,370 38,450
Stock Clerks and Order Fillers 27,870 35,890
Managers, All Other 135,510 35,750
First-Line Supervisors of Office and Administrative Support Workers 68,090 31,920
Software Developers, Applications 114,130 31,410
Computer Occupations, All Other 111,780 29,680
Sales Representatives, Services, All Other 85,110 28,800
Computer Systems Analysts 102,290 28,040
Software Developers, Systems Software 120,930 27,400
Cooks, Restaurant 27,120 26,120
Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Hand 29,520 26,020
Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks 48,640 25,410
Receptionists and Information Clerks 31,930 25,270
Public Relations Specialists 92,780 22,030

Work Paying Relatively Well in the Washington, District of Columbia Metro Area (2008 data)

* Average Salary Index for metro areas = 1.0

Title Mean Local Salary Local Jobs
All Occupations 68,000 3,072,060
Office and Administrative Support Occupations 43,960 408,880
Business and Financial Operations Occupations 92,080 303,450
Sales and Related Occupations 45,230 263,330
Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations 26,600 254,900
Management Occupations 142,470 234,800
Computer and Mathematical Occupations 104,280 223,490
Education, Training, and Library Occupations 63,950 189,850
Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations 93,060 146,530
Transportation and Material Moving Occupations 40,730 129,150
Construction and Extraction Occupations 49,620 113,950
Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance Occupations 29,690 106,660
Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Occupations 53,190 91,700
Personal Care and Service Occupations 31,000 90,340
Protective Service Occupations 56,490 88,680
Retail Salespersons 27,280 78,240
Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media Occupations 76,460 73,000
General and Operations Managers 148,920 70,940
Legal Occupations 141,480 68,000
Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations 100,720 64,240
Healthcare Support Occupations 33,690 63,240
Architecture and Engineering Occupations 101,200 62,910
Management Analysts 104,910 59,330
Janitors and Cleaners, Except Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners 27,800 58,660
Business Operations Specialists, All Other 98,450 58,640
Office Clerks, General 38,840 56,010
Production Occupations 41,690 52,340
Secretaries and Administrative Assistants, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive 43,480 50,600
Waiters and Waitresses 27,080 49,360
Lawyers 172,580 44,370
Registered Nurses 78,330 41,100
Accountants and Auditors 91,140 40,980
Customer Service Representatives 40,360 40,890
Community and Social Service Occupations 58,240 40,460
Security Guards 41,370 38,450
Stock Clerks and Order Fillers 27,870 35,890
Managers, All Other 135,510 35,750
First-Line Supervisors of Office and Administrative Support Workers 68,090 31,920
Software Developers, Applications 114,130 31,410
Computer Occupations, All Other 111,780 29,680
Sales Representatives, Services, All Other 85,110 28,800
Computer Systems Analysts 102,290 28,040
Software Developers, Systems Software 120,930 27,400
Cooks, Restaurant 27,120 26,120
Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Hand 29,520 26,020
Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks 48,640 25,410
Receptionists and Information Clerks 31,930 25,270
Public Relations Specialists 92,780 22,030
Maintenance and Repair Workers, General 46,110 22,020
First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers 48,610 21,790

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