March 14 2022

The Capital Region STEM/Health Occupations with the Best Job Prospects

The nursing, software-IT and engineering fields dominate the Capital Region’s list of STEM and health-related occupations with the most favorable long-term growth outlooks, according to a Center for Economic Growth analysis of new estimates from the New York State Department of Labor.

Between 2018 and 2028, NYS DOL projects 158 occupations in the eight-county region to have “very favorable” employment outlooks – and a third (56) of them are in STEM and health-related fields.1 These very favorable STEM/health occupations are projected to add 16,150 employed workers to 86,120 by 2028. According to NYS DOL, very favorable occupations have “a moderate growth rate [between 10.7 percent and 17.49 percent] and a large number of total openings as well as fast-growing occupations that have a medium or a large number of total openings.  These occupations offer the best prospects for employment.”


Top Growth Occupations

The leading STEM/health occupations with the most projected employment growth are registered nurses, home health aides and nursing assistants, which are expected to add 3,270, 2,760 and 890 jobs, respectively, over the 2018-2028 period. During that period, the fastest-growing STEM/health occupations are home health aides, physical therapy assistants and occupational therapy assistants, with 52.8 percent, 43.3 percent and 42.1 percent growth rates, respectively.

Among the region’s 56 very favorable STEM/health occupations, 20 had long-term growth rates that outpaced state averages. Chiefly among them were physical therapist assistants, phlebotomists and occupational therapy assistants. Other very favorable STEM/health occupations that are expected to grow faster in the Capital Region than statewide include industrial engineers (13 percent), software developers for applications (30.4 percent), information security analysts (36.4 percent) and phlebotomists (35.1 percent).


Top Job Growth and Wages by Education

Based on the typical education needed for entry, the very favorable STEM/health occupations with the most projected job growth between 2018 and 2028 are home health aide for high school diplomas (2,760), nursing assistant for certificates (880), dental hygienist for associate’s degrees (230), registered nurse for bachelor’s degrees (3,270), physician assistant for master’s degrees (390) and physical therapist for doctor’s degree (380).


Entry-level annual wages are highest for these very favorable STEM/health occupations:

  • High School diploma: construction and building inspectors ($49,020)
  • Certificate: licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses ($40,230)
  • Associate’s: MRI technologists ($66,660)
  • Bachelor’s: industrial engineers ($71,530)
  • Master’s: nurse anesthetists ($159,410)
  • Doctor’s: veterinarians ($79,800)



To ensure the Capital Region’s talent pipeline has the capacity to meet this long-term demand, CEG is leading a regional application for the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Good Jobs Challenge. CEG’s partnership, called CapNY Coalition for Good Jobs, consists of three community colleges, the Greater Capital Region Building Construction Trades Council (GCRBCT), the Capital Region and Warren Saratoga Washington Workforce Boards, the Workforce Development Institute, Capital District Regional Planning Commission, and Alliance for Better Health.

Several occupations targeted by the CapNY Coalition for Good Jobs have very favorable or favorable employment outlooks over the 2018-2028 period. The CapNY Coalition for Good Jobs, which Senator Kirsten Gillibrand supports, focuses on four regionally significant industries. Each sectoral lead offers customized training focused on essential and technical skills: advanced manufacturing (Hudson Valley Community College), Healthcare (SUNY Schenectady), IT (SUNY Adirondack) and Construction and Trades (GCRBCT). Under the proposal, this coalition would serve 2,500 individuals, which will lead to 1,000 job placements and 500 upskilled employees. The Workforce Development Boards would provide job search and placement services, and our social service partners offer kind and compassionate wraparound services.

Capital Region BOCES has training programs for several of the top STEM/health occupations that typically require for entry a high school diploma or certificate. For example, Capital Region BOCES has home health aide, personal care aid and certified nurse assistant certification programs for high school and adult students. It also has a licensed practical nurse program for adults



1 STEM/health-related occupations include those under the following Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system codes: 15-0000  Computer and Mathematical Occupations; 17-0000  Architecture and Engineering Occupations; 19-0000  Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations; 29-0000  Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations; 31-0000  Healthcare Support Occupations; 47-0000  Construction and Extraction Occupations; 49-0000  Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Occupations; 51-0000  Production Occupations.


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