Top 10 Observations of Local Constellations

Monday, June 17, 2019
Jeff Rosenthal

Earlier this year, I told you about the Statewide Star Jobs.  Since then, we have completed our sub-state projections, and applied our methodology to the local context.  What have we found?  In honor of the launch of David Letterman’s second season of ‘My Next Guest Needs No Introduction’, I will present the Top 10 observations I had on these local Star Jobs:

10.  There’s more than a mile of local star jobs (5,280 feet in a mile)!

There are 5,647 jobs across 16 sub-state locations that we rated.  This ranges from 199 rated in Pinehurst-Rockingham to 485 in Raleigh-Durham.

9.  Most occupations we projected did not even earn a star rating.

We have projections for 11,878 jobs from 790 occupations across the 16 regions of the state, but the bulk of these (6,231) do not have a star rating (47.5%).  Nearly 5,500 have suppressed data due to size or other considerations.  The rest consist mostly of ‘All Other’ Occupations, as well as hard to project occupations such as Clergy and Farmers.

8.  Of those with a rating, about 1 in 7 jobs were a 5-star job.

As we recall, our ratings are based on median wages, percentage growth, and numeric growth of openings, with 5 stars representing the best career options.  Of the 5,647 jobs we rated, 846 earned 5-stars (15.0%).  This percentage ranged from 12.5% in Fayetteville-Lumberton to 20.6% in Pinehurst-Rockingham.

7.  None of the occupations we project have ‘star’ or ‘jobs’ in their titles.

6.  Every statewide 5-star job is a 5-star job somewhere in the state.

Each of the 79 5-star jobs for North Carolina is a 5-star job in at least one region in the state. 

7 jobs are only 5-star jobs in one of the regions in the state.  Of these, 6 of them are 5-star in the Raleigh-Durham region:

  • Natural Sciences Managers
  • Computer Network Support Specialists
  • Statisticians
  • Electronics Engineers, Except Computers
  • Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Including Health
  • Technical Writers,

while one is 5-star in Charlotte (Financial Examiners).

16 jobs are 5-star jobs in all 16 regions in the state.  They are Managers

  • General and Operations Managers
  • Administrative Services Managers
  • Computer and Information Systems Managers
  • Financial Managers
  • Medical and Health Services Managers
  • Social and Community Service Managers,

Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations

  • Physician Assistants
  • Physical Therapists
  • Speech-Language Pathologists
  • Registered Nurses
  • Nurse Practitioners,

and others 

  • Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists
  • Accountants and Auditors
  • Industrial Engineers
  • Physical Therapist Assistants
  • First-Line Supervisors of Mechanics, Installers, and Repairers. 

These 16 occupations are the only occupations that get 5-star ratings in each of the 16 regions across the state.

5.  Managers are most represented in 5-star lists across the state.

Managerial Occupations (SOC 11-0000) have 178 of the regional 5-star jobs across the state followed by Healthcare Practitioners and Technical (SOC 29-0000) at 172.  Of the rest of the occupational families, only Business and Financial Operations Occupations (SOC 13-0000) have more than 100 jobs across each of the sub-state lists (114).

4.  Most of the 5-star jobs require a lot of advanced training.

Of the 846 5-star jobs across the regions, 640 (73.2%) require at least a Bachelor’s Degree for entry according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The reason why such a high percentage of 5-star jobs require a lot of education is that there is a strong relationship between education and wages: more school is generally associated with higher wages.

3.  Astronomers get no star rating.

There aren’t any Astronomers (SOC 19-2011) in our projections, though there are Astronomy Professors in the Triangle, at least.  We give 3 stars for Atmospheric, Earth, Marine, and Space Sciences Teachers, Postsecondary (SOC 25-1051) in Raleigh-Durham.

2.  Some Career Clusters house more 5-star jobs than others.

When it comes to having the most 5-star jobs across the regions, the Health Science Career Cluster has the most at 224, followed by Business Management & Administration (97), Finance (82), Human Services (75), and Marketing (74). 

However, if we look amongst all of the rated occupations, Information Technology has the greatest percentage of rated jobs as 5-star jobs with 44.1% (49/143) followed by Finance (36.9%), Health Science (34.8%), Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (32.9%) and Marketing (25.2%).

1.  Our Star Ratings are Down-To-Earth.

When looking at Holland Codes which represent career interests associated with occupations, among the 5-star jobs across the regions, the interest code that was associated with the most 5-star jobs was Conventional, followed by Investigative and Enterprising. 

Fun fact- occupations associated with all three of these interest codes that have a 5-star rating somewhere in the state include:

  • Computer and Information Systems Managers
  • Management Analysts
  • Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists
  • Financial Analysts
  • Operations Research Analysts
  • Industrial Engineers
  • Paralegals and Legal Assistants


If you want to stargaze for yourself, step outside.  Then, pull up our list of Star Jobs on your phone at:  From here, you can filter along each of the variables mentioned above like regions, ratings, education, career clusters, and Holland Codes.  Just be sure not to make a wish on a star that turns into a plane: our projections data for Airline Pilots (SOC 53-2011) are mostly suppressed.