Wonder where your tax dollars end up going outside of building highways, funding military conflicts, and paying down the national debt?  Well, at least some fraction of them goes into the collection and distribution of occupational data to help Americans make informed career decisions.  The funny thing is, most people don’t even know these resources exist, and unfortunately, the leading website that has organized this data for years (America’s Job Bank) was recently shut down to the expiration of its funding mandate.  This being said, however, most of the valuable data that was collected on the AJB site was passed back to local and state-funded websites for distribution — and a sizeable amount of it can also still be accessed at a new “CareerOneStop” website that you can access by clicking here.

One particularly useful aspect of this site is that you can sort the statistical career data by location.  For example, here are a few links you can click on that profile the growth/decline of certain occupations at the “Bachelors Degree & Higher” throughout Washington State:

Fastest-Growing Occupations in Washington State
Occupations with the Most Openings in Washington State
Occupations with the Largest Employment in Washington State
Occupations with Declining Employment in Washington State
Highest-Paying Occupations in Washington State

Interestingly, upon surveying this data, we noted that the fastest-growing career niche in Washington is a field called “mathematical technicians” that we hadn’t heard of previously, and that the two highest-paying professions, anesthesiologists and chief executives, tend to make exactly the same salary, on average.  Guess there’s a lot of money to be made either by being great at putting people to sleep — or by being equally effective at getting them fired up!