Education Requirements for Metro Area Jobs

To approximate education requirements for jobs within each metro area, Governing compiled occupational employment estimates from the Labor Department's May 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics data. Job totals for each occupation were then compared with national Census estimates on percentages of all workers within an occupation attaining each level of education.

By this measure, metro areas with the most stringent education requirements include Durham-Chapel Hill, N.C., San Jose, Calif., and metropolitan Washington, D.C. Areas where jobs are least likely to require college degrees tend to be found in the Sun Belt and regions with industries more tied to tourism or manufacturing.

Select a metro area to view its approximate education requirements, along with job totals and wage estimates for each occupation:

Data Notes:

  • Estimated education requirements do not reflect regional variations in typical requirements for the same occupations.
  • The Labor Department does not publish employment and wage estimates for a limited number of occupations (not listed) within metro areas.
  • For educational attainment for all adults within metro areas, see this table from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.