Careers in Central Minnesota
The Central Region includes Benton, Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Kandiyohi, McLeod, Meeker, Mille Lacs, Pine, Renville, Sherburne, Stearns, and Wright counties.
Do you want to live and work in Central Minnesota?
- Research the cost of living and learn about salaries.
- Find in demand jobs and learn how to find job vacancy data.
- Explore education options.
To determine whether a job you're considering will pay enough to meet your basic expenses start by researching the cost of living in your area. Once you understand the cost of living learn about salaries. Next, research jobs and employers in the region. Finally, you're ready to start planning your education. Find programs and courses that match the occupations you're interested in.
The tools below can help you understand how much it costs to live in Central Minnesota.
Cost of Living
The Cost of Living data tool from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) calculates the basic needs cost of living, including child care, food, health care, housing transportation, and taxes. It allows you to view results by county, region, or statewide. The tool also gives you the option of a variety of family definitions, including one or two adults working either full-time or part-time, and up to four children.
The table below shows the cost of living in Central Minnesota for a typical family, considered to be a 3 person family with 2 adults working a combined 60 hours a week.
From the table you can see that in Central Minnesota, in order to meet basic needs like housing, transportation, and healthcare a typical family would have to earn $16.86/hour. Find the cost of living for other family types.
Reality Check Tool
The Reality Check Tool allows you to compare lifestyle choices and salary. To build a budget for your desired lifestyle based on the cost of living in Central Minnesota select "Get a Reality Check" and choose either St. Cloud or Hutchinson as your city. You'll be able to build a budget by choosing from a variety of lifestyle options for housing, utilities, food, transportation, and more. At the end you'll see the Annual Salary needed to achieve your desired lifestyle and find potential occupations.
The median wage for all occupations in Central Minnesota is $16.90/hour. The median wage indicates that 50% of workers earn more and 50% of workers earn less than this amount.
Source: Occupational Employment Statistics First Quarter 2016, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development
- Restaurants and Other Eating Places
- Offices of Physicians
- General Medical and Surgical Hospitals
- Department Stores
- Elementary and Secondary Schools
- Grocery Stores
- Individual and Family Services
- General Freight Trucking
- Nursing Care Facilities (Skilled Nursing Facilities)
- Gambling Industries
Source: CEB TalentNeuron Recruit, 2016 First Quarter
Current Hot Jobs
Select which part of Central Minnesota you're interested in to see in demand occupations.
- Central (Benton, Sherburne, Stearns, and Wright County)
- East Central (Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Laces, Pine County)
- Southwest Central (Kandiyohi, McLead, Meeker, Renville)
To find out which jobs will be available in the future check out Employment Outlook data for the Central region.
Twice a year, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development conducts a survey to identify the number and location of job vacancies. The survey also collects information about training requirements and starting wages offered by employers for those vacancies.
Use the Job Vacancy Survey Data Tool to view job vacancies. Select the Change Area button to filter the results for the Central Planning Region.
When comparing these occupations you should also consider job quality. Low wage occupations are more likely to be affected by high turnover. This may be the reason why they have so many openings. Some occupations are highly seasonal. The demand for these types of jobs drops in the fall and picks up again in the spring. Some openings are mainly part time and temporary. Consider all of these factors when selecting an occupation to research.
Top Employers in the Region
The following employers posted the highest number of classified ads in the region during the first quarter of 2016.
- Coborn's Incorporated
- St. Cloud Hospital
- Fairview Health Services
- Allina Health
- St. Cloud School District 742
- Minnesota Reading and Math Corps
- Best Version Media
- Department of Veterans Affairs
- Target Corporation
- Pizza Hut
- Grand Casino Hinckley
- Willmar Public Schools
- Rice Memorial Hospital
- DISH Network Corporation
- ISD 728 Elk River Area Schools
- McDonald's Corporation
- ACCURATE HOME CARE, LLC
- Burger King
Source: CEB TalentNeuron Recruit, 2016 First Quarter
Use the tools below to find employers and jobs in your region.
CareerOneStop Business Finder
Use the Business Finder to find local businesses that may be hiring in your field.
Search and apply for jobs on Minnesotaworks.net.
Get Training in Central Minnesota
Find Minnesota State Colleges and Universities in Central Minnesota. Or locate on the map below. You can also search programs, short-term training programs, and courses in Central Minnesota.
Find an Apprenticeship Sponsor in Central Minnesota
Apprenticeship programs are a good way to start a rewarding career. You can earn a salary while gaining marketable skills. In Minnesota, there are two types of state-approved apprenticeship programs. Registered apprenticeships are for Minnesotans age 16 and older. Youth apprenticeships are for high school juniors and seniors.