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The top 100 Critical Occupation List is longitudinal, focused on job growth in the future and acknowledging the need for extended timeframes to achieve higher levels of education.

The methodologies for selecting occupations for inclusion in the Top 100 Critical Occupation List are designed to emphasize the state’s desire to meet labor demands so that businesses and entrepreneurs can grow and prosper and Oklahoma citizens can maintain wealth-generating occupations. Factors included in the selection process demonstrate the values of job growth, wealth generation, and education, and are outlined below. Adjustments to the data may be made to address known industry-coding inconsistencies.

  1. Occupations are limited to those vital to the success of Oklahoma’s ecosystems. Ecosystems — or economic systems — are demand
    industry sectors/clusters identified as giving Oklahoma a competitive advantage in a global economy. Five key statewide ecosystems have been identified including Aerospace and Defense;
    Agriculture and Biosciences; Energy; Information and Finance; and, Transportation and Distribution. In addition to the five statewide ecosystems, four complementary ecosystems have been identified including Healthcare, Education, Construction, and Manufacturing.
  2. Job growth: those occupations with projected negative growth (overall job loss) are eliminated from the list.
  3. Wealth Generation: those occupations with median hourly salaries below $12.00 per hour are eliminated from the list.
  4. Education: those occupations requiring “no formal education” are eliminated from the list unless the occupation earns a median salary above $20.00 per hour.
  5. The occupations remaining on the list are sorted based on greatest job growth and stratified by education.
  6. To ensure representation of occupations from all educational levels, the top ranked occupations are selected from each educational group.