The state of Louisiana is a blend of peaceful southern hospitality and charm, mixed with progressiveness, diversity, and prosperity. Famous for its mysterious swamps, Creole cooking, jazz music, the Gulf Coast, huge lakes, Mardi Gras, and so much more, Louisiana is a diverse and wonderful place to live, visit, and work.
In 2009, the United States Census Bureau recorded the population of Louisiana at nearly 4,500,000 residents. The total area of Louisiana covers almost 52,000 square miles, with over 8,000 of those miles covered by water. The state is divided into three areas.
To the east of the mighty Mississippi River and north of Lake Pontchartrain lies the East Gulf Coastal Plain. This region consists of marshland near the river.
The Mississippi Alluvial Plain comprises about one-fourth of Louisiana and stretches along the Mississippi River from Arkansas in the north and southward to the Gulf of Mexico. This land encompasses 13,000 square miles of the most fertile area in the state and is known as the Mississippi Delta.
West of the Mississippi Alluvial Plain, lays the West Gulf Coastal Plain. To the south of this area are Louisiana’s barrier beaches. Behind these beaches are marshes that extend into Louisiana’s interior. North of the marshlands is an area of gently rolling land that leads toward Arkansas.
Many of Louisiana jobs are defined by these different areas of the state. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported that over 1,871,950 people held Louisiana jobs. The average annual salary, when considering all workers in Louisiana, was reported to be $36,610.
The workforce in Louisiana is diverse. The majority of Louisiana jobs are broken down into four categories. The oil and gas industry employ the largest number of Louisiana residents. Some of these positions include managers, engineers, and production workers. Welcoming more than 10 million visitors annually, Louisiana’s tourism industry provides a significant number of jobs. With its ideal geographic location, Louisiana ports are some of the busiest in the world. Both importing and exporting cargo takes place in its busy ports. Several cruise ships also call on Louisiana, employing thousands. A lesser known, but vitally important supplier of Louisiana jobs is the aerospace industry. While these sectors provide employment for thousands of people, Louisiana is also considered an agricultural state, creating jobs for many. Major universities, hospitals, and U.S. Navy installations combine to employ thousands more.
The greatest number of Louisiana jobs are held by those considered office and administrative support personnel. Nearly 3,000,000 employees hold these jobs, reporting an average annual income of around $30,000. The salaries within this category vary significantly. Statistical assistants, postal mail carriers, postal service mail sorters, cargo and freight agents, and first-line supervisors and managers all report earnings in excess of $40,000 per year. Hotel clerks, file clerks, and tellers reportedly earn the least of the workers in this classification with annual salaries of just over $20,000
About two million Louisiana jobs are held by those considered sales and related services occupations. Earning an average of $72,000 per year are those classified as securities, commodities, and financial service sales agents. Following closely are sales engineers and sales representatives in the field of wholesale and manufacturing of technical and scientific products.
Owing in large part to the booming tourism industry, food preparation and serving related Louisiana jobs are held by over 160,000 Louisiana employees. Typical chefs and head cooks earn around $40,000 per year. The lowest paid employees in this classification are workers in fast food restaurants. It should be noted here that many of these lower paying jobs are held by young people, and most are considered part-time.
Almost as many Louisiana jobs are held by those working in the field of transportation and material moving. This classification includes airline pilots, air traffic controllers, commercial pilots, vessel captains, and taxi drivers. Salaries for 90 airline pilots, copilots and engineers exceed $90,000 per year. Air traffic controllers report the second highest annual salaries, at around $75,000. Parking lot attendants are at the lower end of the pay scale for workers in this classification and report earning around $18,000 annually.
Production workers hold more than 121,000 Louisiana jobs. Power distributors and dispatchers in Louisiana can earn about $60,000 per year. Power plant operators can make a good living in Louisiana, reaping an annual salary of nearly $50,000. Nearly 16,000 welders report earnings in excess of $41,000. Earning almost the same amount are over 6,000 machinists. Workers in petroleum plants are paid an average of $60,000 for performing these Louisiana jobs.
Health care practitioners and technical occupations account for over 111,000 Louisiana jobs. As is true in most areas of the country, the largest number of these positions is held by registered nurses. Nearly 40,000 registered nurses are employed in Louisiana, with an average annual salary of over $60,000. An additional 20,000 vocational and licensed practical nurses are employed in Louisiana, with average annual salaries, somewhat higher than in many areas of the country at around $40,000. Anesthesiologists in New Orleans earn the highest salary in this health care practitioner field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational and Wage Employment report states that these doctors earn in excess of $205,000 annually. Physicians and surgeons follow closely, with annual salaries just short of that $200,000 mark.
In Louisiana, education, training, and library occupations account for over 100,000 Louisiana jobs. Home to one of the most prestigious law schools in the country, it is not surprising to find that law professors garner the highest annual salary for this classification with a reported income of over $125,000. Graduate teaching assistants can earn over $33,000 per year. Elementary, middle, and high school teachers in Louisiana’s public schools average just over $45,000 annually. Almost 17,000 teaching assistants earn just under $18,000 per year.
Louisiana jobs are plentiful, interesting, and varied. Come to Louisiana for a visit, and it’s likely that one of these jobs will allow the visitor to make Louisiana a place called “home”.