Boston Employment

Employment and Industries in the Boston, Massachusetts Area

The big drivers of the economy in and around Boston are education, health care and life sciences (which represents at least one in six jobs in Boston), finance, and technology (both computer/software technology as well as biotechnology). The education industry in the Boston area has a major impact on the region's economy. Not only are educational institutions major employers, but they also attract high-technology industries to the region and act as incubators for many of the regions new and up-and-coming businesses.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Boston receives the highest amount of annual funding from the NIH of all cities in the United States. According to data presented by the Boston Indicators Project, the Boston area, and Massachusetts as a whole, also receive a tremendous amount of federal R&D funding. Federal spending in academic/nonprofit research institutions was over four and a half billion dollars in 2002. This ranked Massachusetts second only to California in absolute federal spending.

Metropolitan Boston has a highly educated work force. It ranks in the top 16% nationally for college educated adults when compared to similar size cities across the United States. Higher education attainment rates (people holding a bachelors degree or higher) in Boston are in excess of 35%, according 2000 data from the US Department of Commerce. This ranks Boston 5th among large US cities for bachelor’s degree holders. The attainment rate is even higher in the region surrounding Boston with higher education attainment rates as high as 40%.

Boston is also the capital of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the regional headquarters for many federal agencies making government another large industry in and around Boston. The Port of Boston is also one of the oldest industrial and fishing ports in North America and is a major east coast seaport.

Because of its rich colonial and American Revolution history, eastern Massachusetts and the Boston are are also major tourist destinations. Boston is home to four major convention centers, the Hynes Convention Center, the Bayside Expo Center, the World Trade Center Boston, and the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.

Some of the major business/education organizations in and around Boston include:

Some major employers and companies of note in the Boston Area include:

  • The Boston region's 74 colleges and universities servicing a total student enrollment of more than 265,000
  • The Boston region's major hospitals including Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston Medical Center, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Children's Hospital, the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, the Lahey Clinic, The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Massachusetts General Hospital, the New England Medical Center, and St. Elizabeth's Medical Center, and more
  • A substantial number of biotechnology companies including companies such as Alkermes, Biogen IDEC, Genzyme, Novartis, Transkaryotic Therapies, and Wyeth
  • Boston Scientific Corporation
  • Cambridge Technology Partners
  • The Commonwealth of Massachusetts (state government)
  • EMC Corporation
  • Fidelity Investments
  • Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare
  • Gillette, now part of Procter & Gamble
  • Iron Mountain Incorporated
  • Novell
  • NSTAR
  • Raytheon Corporation
  • Staples, Inc.
  • Teradyne, Inc.
  • TJX Companies, Inc.

The Boston Business Journal is an excellent publication to help individuals keep their fingers on the pulse of business in the Boston area.

Jobs in Boston

RankTitleTotal EmployeesLocal Mean Salary (Per Year)Local Mean Salary (Per hour)National Growth % 2014-2024
1All Occupations2798000$69,240$33.29100
2Office and Administrative Support Occupations345570$49,100$23.6113.75
3Management Occupations256620$141,250$67.916.35
4Sales and Related Occupations245960$53,320$25.639.5
5Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations231990$32,500$15.638.7
6Business and Financial Operations Occupations191310$90,160$43.355.35
7Educational Instruction and Library Occupations178700$70,550$33.926
8Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations177210$101,380$48.745.85
9Transportation and Material Moving Occupations174000$41,630$20.026.7
10Computer and Mathematical Occupations136850$102,630$49.343
11Healthcare Support Occupations125480$36,220$17.412.85
12Production Occupations107040$44,590$21.445.6
13Construction and Extraction Occupations98350$67,310$32.364.6
14Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance Occupations80960$38,690$18.63.6
15Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Occupations78530$58,710$28.233.75
16Retail Salespersons72710$31,580$15.182.7
17Home Health and Personal Care Aides67810$31,680$15.230
18Architecture and Engineering Occupations67370$98,200$47.211.7
19General and Operations Managers66810$145,330$69.871.5
20Personal Care and Service Occupations66360$39,560$19.024.65
21Fast Food and Counter Workers64500$27,830$13.382.45
22Protective Service Occupations59880$59,260$28.492.2
23Registered Nurses58690$96,510$46.41.95
24Cashiers57830$27,740$13.342.2
25Software Developers and Software Quality Assurance Analysts and Testers55260$115,940$55.740.65
26Community and Social Service Occupations54710$51,250$24.641.75
27Customer Service Representatives52680$45,740$21.991.75
28Waiters and Waitresses52090$33,100$15.911.65
29Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations51200$91,610$44.040.8
30Janitors and Cleaners, Except Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners44660$37,300$17.931.5
31Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media Occupations42820$69,090$33.221.8
32Office Clerks, General42550$42,220$20.31.9
33Stockers and Order Fillers34180$32,750$15.741.25
34Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks33730$50,470$24.261.05
35Secretaries and Administrative Assistants, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive33390$48,410$23.271.4
36First-Line Supervisors of Office and Administrative Support Workers31350$69,390$33.360.95
37Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Hand31100$37,310$17.941.8
38Accountants and Auditors29820$85,310$41.020.9
39Financial Managers29150$158,940$76.410.4
40Nursing Assistants26270$36,240$17.420.95
41Legal Occupations25900$136,840$65.790.8
42Management Analysts23440$111,400$53.560.55
43Cooks, Restaurant23160$34,540$16.610.9
44Project Management Specialists and Business Operations Specialists, All Other20270$93,020$44.720.7
45Sales Representatives of Services, Except Advertising, Insurance, Financial Services, and Travel19670$82,040$39.440.7
46First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers19500$51,850$24.930.95
47Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Except Technical and Scientific Products19340$84,310$40.530.85
48Medical Secretaries and Administrative Assistants19330$45,370$21.810.4
49Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers19270$52,250$25.121.2
50Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists19110$74,230$35.690.45
51Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants18630$65,760$31.620.35
52Maintenance and Repair Workers, General18490$51,540$24.780.9
53Computer and Information Systems Managers18470$161,870$77.820.3
54Security Guards18030$37,690$18.120.7
55Receptionists and Information Clerks17250$34,450$16.560.7
56Financial and Investment Analysts, Financial Risk Specialists, and Financial Specialists, All Other17140$104,350$50.170.2
57Computer User Support Specialists17040$66,310$31.880.4
58Lawyers16720$169,920$81.690.5
59Light Truck Drivers16470$43,120$20.730.6
60Passenger Vehicle Drivers, Except Bus Drivers, Transit and Intercity16160$42,280$20.330.3
61Medical Scientists, Except Epidemiologists16120$106,740$51.320.1
62Human Resources Specialists15930$77,950$37.480.4
63Computer Systems Analysts15430$99,670$47.920.4
64Marketing Managers15290$145,910$70.150.2
65Sales Managers15100$155,120$74.580.3
66Packers and Packagers, Hand15010$28,900$13.890.4
67Bartenders14850$31,700$15.240.4
68Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Technical and Scientific Products14530$99,180$47.680.2
69First-Line Supervisors of Food Preparation and Serving Workers14520$45,300$21.780.6
70Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education14420$40,230$19.340.3
71Landscaping and Groundskeeping Workers14340$39,690$19.080.75
72Construction Laborers14310$56,790$27.30.9
73Physicians, All Other; and Ophthalmologists, Except Pediatric14240$180,950$870.3
74Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners13940$34,260$16.470.9
75Electricians12840$72,120$34.670.45
76Miscellaneous Assemblers and Fabricators12770$36,590$17.590.8
77Carpenters12750$63,960$30.750.6
78Medical and Health Services Managers12370$139,240$66.940.3
79Food Preparation Workers11780$31,950$15.360.5
80Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers11700$75,250$36.180.4
81Exercise Trainers and Group Fitness Instructors11460$55,080$26.480.2
82Industrial Engineers10910$105,420$50.680.2
83Medical Assistants10860$42,560$20.460.45
84Dishwashers10830$30,340$14.580.3
85Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics10810$47,720$22.940.5
86First-Line Supervisors of Construction Trades and Extraction Workers10650$91,290$43.890.4
87Social and Human Service Assistants10570$36,050$17.330.3
88Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses10410$62,620$30.10.5
89Childcare Workers10250$31,180$14.990.7
90Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents10030$116,430$55.980.3
91Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors10020$47,380$22.780.2
92Shipping, Receiving, and Inventory Clerks9990$40,980$19.70.4
93Administrative Services and Facilities Managers9680$116,890$56.20.2
94Electrical, Electronic, and Electromechanical Assemblers, Except Coil Winders, Tapers, and Finishers9680$42,700$20.530.2
95Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters9330$76,540$36.80.3
96Mechanical Engineers9120$102,740$49.40.2
97Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians8710$61,100$29.380.2
98Hairdressers, Hairstylists, and Cosmetologists8520$43,680$210.4
99Hosts and Hostesses, Restaurant, Lounge, and Coffee Shop8240$29,790$14.320.3
100First-Line Supervisors of Production and Operating Workers8220$72,040$34.630.4
Source: 2019 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2018-28 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov
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Additional Details

Boston Colleges
Boston colleges and trade schools.

Jobs More Common Near Boston Than Most Other Cities

* Average job popularity for metro areas = 1.0

TitleMean Local SalaryLocal Jobs
All Occupations$69,2402,798,000
Office and Administrative Support Occupations$49,100345,570
Management Occupations$141,250256,620
Sales and Related Occupations$53,320245,960
Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations$32,500231,990
Business and Financial Operations Occupations$90,160191,310
Educational Instruction and Library Occupations$70,550178,700
Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations$101,380177,210
Transportation and Material Moving Occupations$41,630174,000
Computer and Mathematical Occupations$102,630136,850
Healthcare Support Occupations$36,220125,480
Production Occupations$44,590107,040
Construction and Extraction Occupations$67,31098,350
Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance Occupations$38,69080,960
Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Occupations$58,71078,530
Retail Salespersons$31,58072,710
Home Health and Personal Care Aides$31,68067,810
Architecture and Engineering Occupations$98,20067,370
General and Operations Managers$145,33066,810
Personal Care and Service Occupations$39,56066,360
Fast Food and Counter Workers$27,83064,500
Protective Service Occupations$59,26059,880
Registered Nurses$96,51058,690
Cashiers$27,74057,830
Software Developers and Software Quality Assurance Analysts and Testers$115,94055,260
Community and Social Service Occupations$51,25054,710
Customer Service Representatives$45,74052,680
Waiters and Waitresses$33,10052,090
Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations$91,61051,200
Janitors and Cleaners, Except Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners$37,30044,660
Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media Occupations$69,09042,820
Office Clerks, General$42,22042,550
Stockers and Order Fillers$32,75034,180
Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks$50,47033,730
Secretaries and Administrative Assistants, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive$48,41033,390
First-Line Supervisors of Office and Administrative Support Workers$69,39031,350
Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Hand$37,31031,100
Accountants and Auditors$85,31029,820
Financial Managers$158,94029,150
Nursing Assistants$36,24026,270
Legal Occupations$136,84025,900
Management Analysts$111,40023,440
Cooks, Restaurant$34,54023,160
Project Management Specialists and Business Operations Specialists, All Other$93,02020,270
Sales Representatives of Services, Except Advertising, Insurance, Financial Services, and Travel$82,04019,670
First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers$51,85019,500
Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Except Technical and Scientific Products$84,31019,340
Medical Secretaries and Administrative Assistants$45,37019,330
Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers$52,25019,270
Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists$74,23019,110

Work Paying Relatively Well in the Boston, Massachusetts Metro Area (2008 data)

* Average Salary Index for metro areas = 1.0

TitleMean Local SalaryLocal Jobs
All Occupations$69,2402,798,000
Office and Administrative Support Occupations$49,100345,570
Management Occupations$141,250256,620
Sales and Related Occupations$53,320245,960
Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations$32,500231,990
Business and Financial Operations Occupations$90,160191,310
Educational Instruction and Library Occupations$70,550178,700
Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations$101,380177,210
Transportation and Material Moving Occupations$41,630174,000
Computer and Mathematical Occupations$102,630136,850
Healthcare Support Occupations$36,220125,480
Production Occupations$44,590107,040
Construction and Extraction Occupations$67,31098,350
Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance Occupations$38,69080,960
Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Occupations$58,71078,530
Retail Salespersons$31,58072,710
Home Health and Personal Care Aides$31,68067,810
Architecture and Engineering Occupations$98,20067,370
General and Operations Managers$145,33066,810
Personal Care and Service Occupations$39,56066,360
Fast Food and Counter Workers$27,83064,500
Protective Service Occupations$59,26059,880
Registered Nurses$96,51058,690
Cashiers$27,74057,830
Software Developers and Software Quality Assurance Analysts and Testers$115,94055,260
Community and Social Service Occupations$51,25054,710
Customer Service Representatives$45,74052,680
Waiters and Waitresses$33,10052,090
Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations$91,61051,200
Janitors and Cleaners, Except Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners$37,30044,660
Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media Occupations$69,09042,820
Office Clerks, General$42,22042,550
Stockers and Order Fillers$32,75034,180
Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks$50,47033,730
Secretaries and Administrative Assistants, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive$48,41033,390
First-Line Supervisors of Office and Administrative Support Workers$69,39031,350
Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Hand$37,31031,100
Accountants and Auditors$85,31029,820
Financial Managers$158,94029,150
Nursing Assistants$36,24026,270
Legal Occupations$136,84025,900
Management Analysts$111,40023,440
Cooks, Restaurant$34,54023,160
Project Management Specialists and Business Operations Specialists, All Other$93,02020,270
Sales Representatives of Services, Except Advertising, Insurance, Financial Services, and Travel$82,04019,670
First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers$51,85019,500
Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Except Technical and Scientific Products$84,31019,340
Medical Secretaries and Administrative Assistants$45,37019,330
Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers$52,25019,270
Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists$74,23019,110

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