West Virginia

Job Shortages

The tables below show the top three occupations that are projected from 2018-2028 of West Virginia employers based on the level of education they require. There is a state minimum wage of $8.75 in West Virginia. 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) Nursing Assistant to Licensed Practical Nurse

Nursing Assistant Job Description: 

  • Provide or assist with basic care or support under the direction of onsite licensed nursing staff

Entry Level Requirements:  

  • Complete a state-approved nurse aide training program
  • Pass the state exam ($125-$160), certification is attained once the state exam is passed

Licensed Practical Nurse Job Description: 

  • Provide more extensive patient care with fewer administrative tasks relative to medical assistant  

Career Advancement Requirements:  

  • Complete a state-approved Practical Nursing program
  • Pass the National Council Licensure Exam-Practical Nurse (NCLEX-PN) exam ($200)
  • Apply for license ($75, renewal every 2 years)

3) General & Operations Manager to Chief Executive

General & Operations Manager Job Description: 

  • Plan, direct, or coordinate the operations of public or private sector organizations, overseeing multiple departments or locations

Entry Level Requirements:  

  • Bachelor’s degree in Business related field
  • Prior experience in managerial position is often required, more information found here

Chief Executive Job Description: 

  • Determine and formulate policies and provide overall direction of companies or private and public sector organizations within guidelines set up by a board of directors or similar governing body

Career Advancement Requirements:  

  • Bachelor’s degree in business related field, MBA encouraged
  • 5+ years of management experience, more information found here


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Immigration in West Virginia

The following are facts about the immigrant community in West Virginia

  • Immigrants comprise 2% of the state population and 2% of the West Virginia labor force 
  • Top industries of immigrant employment: 
    • Educational Services, 3,422 workers 
    • Health Care and Social Assistance, 2,924 workers 
    • Retail Trade, 1,633 workers 
    • Accommodation and Food Services, 1,612 workers 
    • Manufacturing, 1,092 workers 
  • 1,204 immigrant business owners account for 2% of all self-employed West Virginia residents
  • 52% of immigrants in West Virginia are naturalized and another 14% are undocumented
  • Top foreign-born countries of origin:
    • Mexico, 11% 
    • China, 9% 
    • India, 7% 
    • The Philippines, 6% 
    • Germany, 5% 
  • 2% of native-born West Virginians are children of an immigrant
  • Educational attainment of foreign born adults in West Virginians
    • High School diploma or less –  29
    • More than HS diploma, less than Bachelor’s degree – 29
    • Bachelor’s degree or higher – 42









* 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)”;  http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm 

Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2019 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates; https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oessrcst.htm  

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections, “Education and training assignments by detailed occupation,” 2019; https://www.bls.gov/emp/tables/education-and-training-by-occupation.htm  

National Council of State Legislatures, “State Minimum Wages”, December 2020; http://www.ncsl.org/research/labor-and-employment/state-minimum-wage-chart.aspx#Table 

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Economic News Release, “Employees on Nonfarm Payrolls by State, Seasonally adjusted”, November 2020; https://www.bls.gov/news.release/laus.t03.htm  

Potential Career Advancement 

National Conference of State Legislatures, “The National Occupational Licensing Database”, March 2020: https://www.ncsl.org/research/labor-and-employment/occupational-licensing-statute-database.aspx  


American Immigration Council, State by State Fact Sheet, August 2020; https://www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/topics/state-by-state

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