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Houston Employment

Employment and Industries in the Houston, Texas Area

Houston is the fourth most populous city in the United States. The Houston-sugar Land-Baytown metropolitan area is also the seventh largest metropolitan area in the United States. Similar to other large metropolitan areas, the Houston metropolitan area has a tremendous concentration of business and commerce. The Houston metropolitan area is home to nearly fifty Fortune 1000 company headquarters, and Houston ranks third among metropolitan statistical areas in the number of Fortune 500 headquarters, behind New York, and Chicago.

The Globalization and World Cities Study Group & Network (GaWC) ranks certain cities as "Global Cities" (also known as world cities or world-class cities). There are three tiers of ranking, alpha (first-tier), beta (second-tier) and gamma (third tier), based on a cities "tangible effect on global affairs through socioeconomic, cultural, and/or political means" (Wikipedia). Houston is one of eleven U.S. global cities ranked as a "World City". Houston is ranked as a "Gamma World City" by GaWC, on a par with Boston, Dallas, and Washington.

In Houston, the energy industry, based on oil and gas exploration and production, is a major driver of the Houston economy. The Houston area is also the world's leading manufacturing center for oil field equipment. Houston is one of the world's largest centers of petrochemical manufacturing, including synthetic rubber, insecticides, and fertilizers. Other major industries in Houston include:

  • Aeronautics
  • Agriculture
  • Banking and finance
  • Biomedical research
  • Commercial fishing
  • Education
  • Engineering services
  • Health services
  • High-technology (computer, aerospace, environmental, etc.)
  • Manufacturing
  • Professional and business services
  • Shipping (International import and export)
  • Wholesale and retail trade

The Port of Houston, a man-made shipping channel, is first in the United States in international commerce, and is the sixth largest port in the world. Among US ports, it is the busiest port in foreign tonnage and second busiest port in overall tonnage.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Houston ranks eleventh on the list of US cities who receive the most annual funding from the NIH.

Some major companies of note in and around Houston include:

  • A.D. Vision
  • Air Liquide
  • American General
  • Baker Hughes
  • BHP Billiton
  • BMC Software
  • BP
  • The Boeing Company - IDS NASA Systems
  • Brooks Information Technology
  • Centerpoint Energy
  • Citgo
  • ConocoPhillips
  • Continental Airlines
  • Cooper Industries
  • Dominion Exploration and Production
  • Duke Natural Gas Co.
  • Dynegy
  • EGL - Eagle Global Logistics
  • El Paso Corporation (formerly El Paso Energy)
  • Enron
  • Fiesta Mart
  • Foley's
  • Gerland's
  • Halliburton
  • Landry's
  • Lewis Food Town
  • Lyondell Chemical Company
  • Luby's
  • Marathon Oil
  • Men's Wearhouse
  • Pro-Mark Corporation
  • Reliant Energy
  • Service Corporation International
  • Smith International
  • Sysco
  • Swishahouse
  • Unocal 76
  • U.S. Liquids
  • Waste Management, Inc.
  • Weatherford International

Some of the major business organizations in and around Houston include:

The Houston Business Journal, and the Business Section of the Houston Chronicle are excellent sources of information on business in the Houston metropolitan area.

Jobs in Houston

Rank Title Total Employees Local Mean Salary (Per Year) Local Mean Salary (Per hour) National Growth % 2014-2024
1 All Occupations 2934990 $52870 $25.42 100
2 Office and Administrative Support Occupations 467890 $38660 $18.58 14.8
3 Sales and Related Occupations 301200 $44770 $21.53 10.15
4 Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations 276520 $23600 $11.35 8.3
5 Transportation and Material Moving Occupations 213330 $41040 $19.73 6.45
6 Production Occupations 185140 $42630 $20.5 5.85
7 Construction and Extraction Occupations 176410 $46170 $22.2 4.4
8 Education, Training, and Library Occupations 172810 $53420 $25.68 6.15
9 Business and Financial Operations Occupations 154980 $84490 $40.62 5.05
10 Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations 153680 $79700 $38.32 5.75
11 Management Occupations 128130 $138880 $66.77 6.05
12 Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Occupations 126020 $47160 $22.67 3.8
13 Retail Salespersons 88310 $26340 $12.66 3.1
14 Architecture and Engineering Occupations 87500 $104640 $50.31 1.65
15 Office Clerks, General 86090 $37130 $17.85 2
16 Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance Occupations 84660 $24200 $11.64 3.7
17 Personal Care and Service Occupations 81740 $23680 $11.39 4.1
18 Computer and Mathematical Occupations 80780 $90970 $43.74 2.8
19 Protective Service Occupations 70660 $43000 $20.67 2.25
20 Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, Including Fast Food 69820 $19890 $9.56 2.15
21 Healthcare Support Occupations 64190 $29500 $14.18 3.05
22 Cashiers 60430 $21170 $10.18 2.25
23 Waiters and Waitresses 55980 $24440 $11.75 1.6
24 Customer Service Representatives 54880 $34940 $16.8 1.75
25 Registered Nurses 50780 $77530 $37.27 1.9
26 General and Operations Managers 47800 $150920 $72.56 1.4
27 Janitors and Cleaners, Except Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners 44420 $22600 $10.86 1.6
28 Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Hand 42810 $29940 $14.4 1.6
29 Secretaries and Administrative Assistants, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive 42230 $36230 $17.42 1.6
30 Stock Clerks and Order Fillers 39540 $27580 $13.26 1.2
31 Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers 39170 $42270 $20.32 1.2
32 Accountants and Auditors 37990 $89900 $43.22 0.9
33 Personal Care Aides 34030 $18940 $9.1 1.3
34 Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Except Technical and Scientific Products 33300 $75480 $36.29 1
35 Construction Laborers 30950 $32840 $15.79 0.8
36 Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations 30710 $87210 $41.93 0.9
37 Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks 29940 $43500 $20.91 1.1
38 Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media Occupations 29480 $54230 $26.07 1.7
39 Sales Representatives, Services, All Other 29420 $68430 $32.9 0.6
40 First-Line Supervisors of Office and Administrative Support Workers 27990 $64600 $31.06 1
41 Maintenance and Repair Workers, General 27840 $37610 $18.08 0.9
42 Security Guards 27400 $29020 $13.95 0.7
43 Medical Secretaries 25130 $34520 $16.6 0.4
44 Cooks, Restaurant 24730 $24100 $11.59 0.75
45 Legal Occupations 23610 $126620 $60.87 0.8
46 Community and Social Service Occupations 22880 $51610 $24.81 1.65
47 First-Line Supervisors of Construction Trades and Extraction Workers 22150 $75100 $36.11 0.4
48 First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers 21470 $46100 $22.16 1
49 First-Line Supervisors of Food Preparation and Serving Workers 19740 $41700 $20.05 0.6
50 Counter Attendants, Cafeteria, Food Concession, and Coffee Shop 19680 $18910 $9.09 0.3
51 Nursing Assistants 18830 $26900 $12.93 1.05
52 Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers 18140 $49860 $23.97 0.3
53 Electricians 18130 $49880 $23.98 0.4
54 Shipping, Receiving, and Traffic Clerks 18050 $31480 $15.14 0.4
55 Business Operations Specialists, All Other 17730 $90090 $43.31 0.7
56 Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners 17310 $20010 $9.62 1
57 Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers 16540 $47460 $22.82 0.3
58 Substitute Teachers 16450 $25870 $12.44 0
59 Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators 16280 $33540 $16.12 0.35
60 Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers 16110 $62980 $30.28 0.45
61 Landscaping and Groundskeeping Workers 16000 $26920 $12.94 0.8
62 Light Truck or Delivery Services Drivers 15950 $32330 $15.55 0.6
63 Computer Systems Analysts 15880 $98820 $47.51 0.4
64 Food Preparation Workers 15770 $22300 $10.72 0.6
65 Receptionists and Information Clerks 14790 $27340 $13.14 0.7
66 First-Line Supervisors of Production and Operating Workers 13880 $74260 $35.7 0.4
67 Driver/Sales Workers 13760 $32130 $15.45 0.3
68 Counter and Rental Clerks 13720 $28280 $13.6 0.3
69 Human Resources Specialists 13450 $68900 $33.13 0.3
70 Medical Assistants 13280 $30500 $14.66 0.45
71 Helpers--Production Workers 13250 $27270 $13.11 0.3
72 Computer User Support Specialists 13070 $57850 $27.81 0.4
73 Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters 13000 $50960 $24.5 0.3
74 Childcare Workers 12890 $20280 $9.75 0.8
75 Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses 12820 $51490 $24.76 0.5
76 Lawyers 12750 $175380 $84.32 0.5
77 Software Developers, Applications 12680 $107420 $51.64 0.5
78 Home Health Aides 12390 $22420 $10.78 0.7
79 Carpenters 11280 $40390 $19.42 0.6
80 Hosts and Hostesses, Restaurant, Lounge, and Coffee Shop 10920 $20580 $9.89 0.25
81 Packers and Packagers, Hand 10920 $23610 $11.35 0.45
82 Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants 10910 $60610 $29.14 0.5
83 Industrial Machinery Mechanics 10880 $57930 $27.85 0.2
84 Petroleum Engineers 10880 $165850 $79.74 0
85 Civil Engineers 10690 $113580 $54.61 0.2
86 Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics 10640 $44000 $21.15 0.5
87 Tellers 10590 $27970 $13.45 0.3
88 Billing and Posting Clerks 10410 $40400 $19.42 0.35
89 Bartenders 10340 $27700 $13.32 0.4
90 Operating Engineers and Other Construction Equipment Operators 10210 $42770 $20.56 0.2
91 Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents 10150 $85760 $41.23 0.2
92 Machinists 9980 $46010 $22.12 0.3
93 Dining Room and Cafeteria Attendants and Bartender Helpers 9940 $20390 $9.8 0.3
94 Cooks, Fast Food 9930 $19940 $9.59 0.3
95 Management Analysts 9890 $112000 $53.84 0.5
96 First-Line Supervisors of Mechanics, Installers, and Repairers 9840 $70780 $34.03 0.3
97 Construction Managers 9280 $103150 $49.59 0.2
98 Dishwashers 9270 $19980 $9.61 0.3
99 Purchasing Agents, Except Wholesale, Retail, and Farm Products 9150 $74730 $35.93 0.2
100 Production, Planning, and Expediting Clerks 8870 $50700 $24.38 0.2
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Additional Details

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Houston colleges and trade schools.
Houston Graduate Schools
Houston Graduate and Business Schools

Jobs More Common Near Houston Than Most Other Cities

* Average job popularity for metro areas = 1.0

Title Mean Local Salary Local Jobs
All Occupations 52,870 2,934,990
Office and Administrative Support Occupations 38,660 467,890
Sales and Related Occupations 44,770 301,200
Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations 23,600 276,520
Transportation and Material Moving Occupations 41,040 213,330
Production Occupations 42,630 185,140
Construction and Extraction Occupations 46,170 176,410
Education, Training, and Library Occupations 53,420 172,810
Business and Financial Operations Occupations 84,490 154,980
Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations 79,700 153,680
Management Occupations 138,880 128,130
Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Occupations 47,160 126,020
Retail Salespersons 26,340 88,310
Architecture and Engineering Occupations 104,640 87,500
Office Clerks, General 37,130 86,090
Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance Occupations 24,200 84,660
Personal Care and Service Occupations 23,680 81,740
Computer and Mathematical Occupations 90,970 80,780
Protective Service Occupations 43,000 70,660
Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, Including Fast Food 19,890 69,820
Healthcare Support Occupations 29,500 64,190
Cashiers 21,170 60,430
Waiters and Waitresses 24,440 55,980
Customer Service Representatives 34,940 54,880
Registered Nurses 77,530 50,780
General and Operations Managers 150,920 47,800
Janitors and Cleaners, Except Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners 22,600 44,420
Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Hand 29,940 42,810
Secretaries and Administrative Assistants, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive 36,230 42,230
Stock Clerks and Order Fillers 27,580 39,540
Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers 42,270 39,170
Accountants and Auditors 89,900 37,990
Personal Care Aides 18,940 34,030
Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Except Technical and Scientific Products 75,480 33,300
Construction Laborers 32,840 30,950
Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations 87,210 30,710
Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks 43,500 29,940
Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media Occupations 54,230 29,480
Sales Representatives, Services, All Other 68,430 29,420
First-Line Supervisors of Office and Administrative Support Workers 64,600 27,990
Maintenance and Repair Workers, General 37,610 27,840
Security Guards 29,020 27,400
Medical Secretaries 34,520 25,130
Cooks, Restaurant 24,100 24,730
Legal Occupations 126,620 23,610
Community and Social Service Occupations 51,610 22,880
First-Line Supervisors of Construction Trades and Extraction Workers 75,100 22,150
First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers 46,100 21,470
First-Line Supervisors of Food Preparation and Serving Workers 41,700 19,740
Counter Attendants, Cafeteria, Food Concession, and Coffee Shop 18,910 19,680

Work Paying Relatively Well in the Houston, Texas Metro Area (2008 data)

* Average Salary Index for metro areas = 1.0

Title Mean Local Salary Local Jobs
All Occupations 52,870 2,934,990
Office and Administrative Support Occupations 38,660 467,890
Sales and Related Occupations 44,770 301,200
Transportation and Material Moving Occupations 41,040 213,330
Production Occupations 42,630 185,140
Construction and Extraction Occupations 46,170 176,410
Education, Training, and Library Occupations 53,420 172,810
Business and Financial Operations Occupations 84,490 154,980
Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations 79,700 153,680
Management Occupations 138,880 128,130
Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Occupations 47,160 126,020
Retail Salespersons 26,340 88,310
Architecture and Engineering Occupations 104,640 87,500
Office Clerks, General 37,130 86,090
Computer and Mathematical Occupations 90,970 80,780
Protective Service Occupations 43,000 70,660
Healthcare Support Occupations 29,500 64,190
Customer Service Representatives 34,940 54,880
Registered Nurses 77,530 50,780
General and Operations Managers 150,920 47,800
Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Hand 29,940 42,810
Secretaries and Administrative Assistants, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive 36,230 42,230
Stock Clerks and Order Fillers 27,580 39,540
Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers 42,270 39,170
Accountants and Auditors 89,900 37,990
Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Except Technical and Scientific Products 75,480 33,300
Construction Laborers 32,840 30,950
Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations 87,210 30,710
Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks 43,500 29,940
Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media Occupations 54,230 29,480
Sales Representatives, Services, All Other 68,430 29,420
First-Line Supervisors of Office and Administrative Support Workers 64,600 27,990
Maintenance and Repair Workers, General 37,610 27,840
Security Guards 29,020 27,400
Medical Secretaries 34,520 25,130
Legal Occupations 126,620 23,610
Community and Social Service Occupations 51,610 22,880
First-Line Supervisors of Construction Trades and Extraction Workers 75,100 22,150
First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers 46,100 21,470
First-Line Supervisors of Food Preparation and Serving Workers 41,700 19,740
Nursing Assistants 26,900 18,830
Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers 49,860 18,140
Electricians 49,880 18,130
Shipping, Receiving, and Traffic Clerks 31,480 18,050
Business Operations Specialists, All Other 90,090 17,730
Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers 47,460 16,540
Substitute Teachers 25,870 16,450
Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators 33,540 16,280
Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers 62,980 16,110
Landscaping and Groundskeeping Workers 26,920 16,000

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