Last updated: May 18, 2023

The Opportunity Occupations Monitor displays opportunity employment and its prevalence across labor markets. Opportunity employment is an estimate of the number and share of jobs accessible to workers without a bachelor's degree that pay more than the national median wage ($45,760 in 2021). The national median wage is based on estimates from the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics survey. The darker blue areas on the map below represent places with a higher proportion of opportunity employment and therefore a better chance that a worker with less than a bachelor's degree earns a livable wage.

Please read these steps to utilize the information offered by the tool:

  • Step 1: Select a geography—either states or metro areas—above the tool.
  • Step 2: Select a state or metro area by checking its box to the left of the map, or by clicking on one or more states or metro areas on the map. A breakdown of the labor market of the chosen area appears below the map.
  • Step 3: Select a year—between 2012 and 2021—to the left of the map.
  • Step 4: Click on any part of the stacked bar to display a table with data on all occupations in the selected area, below. Click on the arrows to the right of the table’s column headers to sort columns by ascending or descending order. Hover over the data to view wage distributions and trends in employer educational requirements. Click on an occupation title to open its O*NET web page for more information including education and skill requirements and typical work tasks for the occupation. (A pop-up blocker may prevent the O*NET page from loading.)