North Dakota

Job Shortages

The tables below show the top three occupations that are projected from 2018-2028 of North Dakota employers based on the level of education they require.  There is a state minimum wage of $7.25 in North Dakota. The one highlighted occupation under each of the three education levels has been selected to expand on in terms of potential career advancement.

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Potential Career Advancement

1) Retail Salesperson to Supervisor of Retail Sales Workers

Retail Salesperson Job Description: 

  • Sell merchandise, such as furniture, motor vehicles, appliances, or apparel to consumers

Entry Level Requirements:  

  • Short-term on-the-job training
  • English language proficiency

Supervisor of Retail Sales Workers Job Description: 

  • Supervise and coordinate activities of retail sales workers in a department 

Career Advancement Requirements:  

  • High School diploma or GED typically required

2) Teacher Assistant to Elementary School Teacher

Teacher Assistant Job Description: 

  • Assist in the teaching of academic and social skills to students at any and all school levels

Entry Level Requirements:  

  • Complete 2 years of higher education OR obtain an Associate’s degree or higher OR pass the North Dakota approved assessment, more information found here

Elementary School Teacher Job Description: 

  • Teach academic and social skills to students at the elementary school level 

Career Advancement Requirements:  

  • Obtain Bachelor’s degree
  • Complete a state-approved teacher training program 
  • Pass a series of Praxis exams
  • Apply for license ($105, renewal every 2 years)

3) Registered Nurse to Nurse Practitioner

Registered Nurse Job Description: 

  •  Assess patient health problems and needs, develop and administer nursing care

Entry Level Requirements:  

  • Complete an accredited nursing program in North Dakota
  • Pass the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN) exam ($200)

Nurse Practitioner Job Description: 

  • Diagnose and treat patients independently or as part of a healthcare team 

Career Advancement Requirements:  

  • Earn graduate degree in nursing speciality 
  • Become nationally certified, here is a list of Advanced Practice Certification examinations recognized by the North Dakota Board of Nursing
  • Complete the Initial Advanced Practice License with or without Prescriptive Authority application ($125)

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Immigration in North Dakota 

The following are facts about the immigrant community in North Dakota:  

  • Immigrants comprise 4% of the state population and 6 % of the North Dakota labor force 
  • Top industries of immigrant employment in North Dakota:
    • Health Care and Social Assistance,  6,245 
    • Educational Services, 4,690 
    • Manufacturing, 3,501 
    • Retail Trade, 2,156 
    • Wholesale Trade, 2,036
  • 1,056 immigrant business owners account for 3% of all self-employed North Dakota residents
  • 45% of immigrants in North Dakota are naturalized and another 23% are undocumented
  • Top foreign-born countries of origin:
    • Philippines, 8% 
    • Bhutan, 8% 
    • Nepal, 8% 
    • Canada, 6% 
    • Liberia, 6% 
  • 5% of native-born North Dakotans are children of an immigrant 
  • Educational attainment of foreign born adults in North Dakota:
    • High School diploma or less – 41% 
    • More than HS diploma, less than Bachelor’s degree – 24% 
    • Bachelor’s degree or higher – 35% 







* Share of immigrant professionals, who are unemployed, employed at poverty-level wages in High School diploma or less jobs, or significantly underemployed in more than HS diploma, less than Bachelor’s degree jobs


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Projections Managing Partnership (PMP), Projections Central – State Occupational Projections, “Long Term Occupational Projection (2018-2028)”; 

Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2019 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates;  

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections, “Education and training assignments by detailed occupation,” 2019;  

National Council of State Legislatures, “State Minimum Wages”, December 2020; 

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Economic News Release, “Employees on Nonfarm Payrolls by State, Seasonally adjusted”, November 2020;  

Potential Career Advancement 

National Conference of State Legislatures, “The National Occupational Licensing Database”, March 2020:  


American Immigration Council, State by State Fact Sheet, August 2020;


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