Federal and state institutions are Ames' primary employers. Iowa State University is the largest employer. Numerous jobs are provided by the technology companies affiliated with the university's research park. The major job providing sectors in Ames include education, government, professional, scientific and technical services; accommodation and food services; and healthcare.
Jobs are also located in manufacturing industries such as containers, business forms, abrasives and metal products. Ames also has numerous computer specialists, post secondary teachers and life and physical scientists. Approximately 45% of the workforce is employed in management, professional and related occupations.
Ames is also home to the Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory, the prominent materials research and development center. Notable companies located in Ames include 3M, Sauer-Danfoss, Ball, Becker Underwood, Syngenta, Boehringer Ingleheim and Hach.
The top companies in Ames based on the number of employees are:
- Iowa State University
- Iowa Department of Transportation
- Mary Greeley Medical Center
- McFarland Clinic PC
- City of Ames
- Ames Community School
- Ames Laboratories
- Hach Companies
- Hy-Vee Food Stores
- Sigler Companies
- Ames Tribune
- Barilla American Inc
- Ball Corporation
- First National Bank
- JC Penney
- Kreg Tool
- MH EBY, Inc
- Nikkel & Associates
- Sam's Club
- Story Construction
Noteworthy information about Ames Iowa: Placed in the "Top 20 best places to live and work" list by Employment Review magazine and BestJobsUSA.com. Named a "Five-Star quality of life metro" by Expansion Management Magazine. The cost of living index in 2008 was 87.1. The country's average is 100. About 59% of the adult population has earned a bachelor's degree or higher. In 2009 the average salary in Ames was $33,000.
Local businesses are provided help by organizations such as:
- Ames Chamber of Commerce
- Ames Economic Development Commission
- Iowa Department of Economic Development
- Iowa Small Business Development Center
Ames newspaper the Ames Tribune is a good resource for local business and industry news.