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Pittsburgh’s workforce is changing. WQED wants to help students and job-seekers to discover new, promising career options when they start their job search, plus raise awareness about the workforce development that is already underway, helping the economy grow as workers find fulfilling careers and thrive in the Pittsburgh region.

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Explore In-Demand Careers

Advanced Manufacturing

Demand for production work is shifting toward roles that support advanced manufacturing and away from those that have traditionally employed people in the Pittsburgh region. Advanced manufacturing, leads to a smaller number of higher skilled jobs. Automation controls and increased robotics expertise are now more sought after than in the past. About 6,000 production workers and engineering technicians who are unemployed are estimated to need more skills. Community members can help address the stigma with production and manufacturing jobs. Continued research in the field can also lead to more innovation here in the Pittsburgh region.

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Example Career Ladder: Advanced Manufacturing

Follow an example a career pathway in manufacturing from the core skills of Skilled and Technical Sciences into a career path.

An example career path in the field of manufacturing.

Machine Operators

  • Use of hand tools
  • Interpreting blueprints
  • Basic machine operation
  • Responsible for lceaning and maintaining manufacturing floor



  • Operate specialized machine tools to perform precision operations
  • Fabricate, inspect, and modify machinery parts

CNC Programmers

  • Prepare machinery for operation using numerical computer programming techniques and CAD software


  • Coordinate and assess the operations of the manufacturing team
  • Manage manufacturing floor for efficient operation

Autonomous Vehicles

Companies like Uber, Argo AI, Delphi and Aurora are all researching autonomous vehicles in Pittsburgh. To remain at the forefront of the industry, the region has to supply a talented workforce has to support it. There were twice as many jobs related to autonomous vehicles in the region than there were on average in the U.S. Software developers are the most in-demand role, while mechanical engineers are a close second. Once further developed, autonomous vehicle companies will also require more roles to support the operation and maintenance of self-driving cars. Training providers must continue to supply workers with the right skills in order for the industry to continue to thrive.

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Related to autonomous vehicles, Pittsburgh sees a year-over-year job growth of

This is six times faster than growth in the sector nationally and significantly faster than other autonomous vehicle hubs in the U.S.

Key Technical Jobs in the Autonomous Vehicle Industry

  • Engineering Manager
  • Network Engineer
  • Electrical Engineer
  • Computer Scientist
  • UI/UX Designer/Developer
  • Software QA Engineer
  • Civil Engineer

The three largest roles in Pittsburgh's autonomous vehicle sector are

As more companies in Pittsburgh build self-driving fleets, their hiring needs will expand to include more roles supporting the maintenance and operation of self-driving cars.
Key autonomous downstream jobs include:

  • Sales Representative
  • Automotive Service Technician
  • Recruiter
  • Accountant
  • Marketing Manager
  • Technical Writer

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Business and Finance

Finance and insurance is among the top five industries for job growth in both the U.S. and Pittsburgh. Online and mobile transactional banking are among the ways the business and finance industry is changing. Workers with strong customer service skills are vital to build relationships, while those with strong technical and analytical skills are also in high demand. While some roles are being taken over by automation, more jobs in business and finance are available than the average supply of workers. Strengthening partnerships between universities and employers could better prepare students for these jobs.

Jobs in Business and Finance

  • office clerk
  • customer service representative
  • administrative support worker
  • bill and account collectors
  • data entry keyers

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Jobs in construction are a set of skilled trades that work building structures, highways and utility systems, among other things. Each role related to construction involves a specialized skill, like masons who lay bricks or plumbers who deal with water systems. Construction managers oversee teams involved in each process of building, especially on very large projects. Construction also includes architects and industrial designers who develop the plans that other workers follow. Some roles require on-the-job training, while others may require an associate or bachelor’s degree.

Formal technical training through apprenticeship programs benefit the construction industry, but workers are also needed for more specialized roles. Apprenticeships in the field benefit construction workers not just after high school, but well into someone’s career. Supervisory roles in the construction industry now may include more technology and advanced mathematics.


Jobs in Construction:

  • carpenters
  • roofers
  • sheet metal workers
  • electricians
  • cement masons and concrete finishers
  • plumbers
  • pipefitters and steamfitters
  • mine cutting and channeling machine operators


An aging population in western Pennsylvania is increasing demand for workers in the Healthcare industry. Not all healthcare workers need bachelor’s degrees, and those with direct training and licensure are needed for practitioner roles. Openings for these medical-related jobs also include those transformed or created by new technologies, like nurses with IT and data analysis skills. Increased management skills are in demand along with customer service skills when it comes to building relationships with healthcare patients.


The following careers require less than a Bachelor's Degree and are projected to see the highest percentage of job growth through 2025 in the Pittsburgh Region:

Physical therapy assistants, 31 percent. Occupational therapy assistants, 30 percent.

Emergency medical techs, paramedics and secretaries, 16 percent. Nurses, 15 percent.

Career outlook for Registered Nurses in the Pittsburgh Area

Annual Median Wage: $65,380
Total Employment (as of 2017): 31,260
Projected Annual Openings through 2025: 1,705

Registered Nurses assess patient health problems and needs, develop and implement nursing care plans, and maintain medical records. Administer nursing care to ill, injured, convalescent, or disabled patients. Licensing or registration required.

Diagnostic medical sonographers, 21 percent. Cardiovascular techs, 19 percent.

More jobs in Healthcare:

  • medical records technicians
  • dental hygienists
  • home health aides
  • physical and occupational therapist assistants
  • clinical analysts
  • medical transcriptionists
  • phlebotomists

Information Technologies

Information technologies jobs will grow more than twice as fast in Pittsburgh over the next decade, but university graduates are leaving to go elsewhere, leaving a supply shortage of workers. If software start-ups like Duolingo and JazzHR and high-profile consumer tech firms like Google and Facebook continue to locate here, the region will draw even more top-tier engineers. Software development has more often followed an agile method that requires greater teamwork, communication and customer service skills in project management roles. Business acumen to understand the implication of technology solutions is also helpful.


Visit The National Cyber Forensics Training Alliance to get a glimpse at the Information Security and Cyber Forensics!

Visit Digital Dream Labs too see how the worlds of computer programming and animation come together to create video games!

Example Career Ladder: Information Technology

Follow one example of a career pathway in information technologies starting from the core skills of IT Support and Administration into a career path.

An example career path in the field of manufacturing.

Computer Repair Technician & Helpdesk

  • Help Desk: In terms of IT, is a department in an organization responsible for answering the technical questions of its users/customers.
  • Set up computer hardware and installing software
  • First-line troubleshooting a variety of computer problems
  • Set up and troubleshoot computer networks

Helpdesk Manager

  • Management skills such as supervision and mentoring of helpdesk staff

Network & Computer Systems Administrators

  • Advanced computer network skills such as network storage and disaster recovery planning
  • Advanced network support and security skills

Computer Network Architects

  • Look for improvments in the efficiency of networks through network modeling and analysis
  • A bachelor's degree is typically needed to advance to this role

More jobs in Information Technologies

  • computer systems analysts
  • support specialists
  • software developers
  • computer programmers
  • database administrators
  • information security analysts
  • web developers


A 59 percent increase in the number of jobs in robotics are a part of the rapidly growing field that would put Pittsburgh at the center of a boom in the industry. Jobs fall into “producer” categories, which design and build the robotics technologies, and “consumer” roles, which determine the application and maintenance of robotics in different industries. Investments in robotics could quadruple by 2025, with high-skill technicians in demand.


Visit HEBI Robotics to learn more about the robots they create to handle everyday tasks.

Meet Pragna Maanam, a CMU student who's found her passion in the field of robotics.

Carnegie Mellon University's SMART program prepares students for real-world robotics careers.

Key 'Producer' Jobs in Robotics 

  • Software Developer
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Electrical Engineer
  • Computer Systems Engineer
  • Software QA Engineer
  • Network Engineer
  • Hardware Engineer
  • Computer Scientist
  • Industrial Engineer
  • IT Project Manager

Key Skills Requested in the Robotics Industry

  • C++
  • Software Engineering
  • Python
  • Software Development
  • Project Management
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Machine Learning
  • Debugging

All of these skills are in greater demand in Pittsburgh than the U.S. overall.

Key 'Consumer' Jobs in Robotics 

  • Field Service Technician
  • Business Intelligence Analyst
  • Electrical Engineering Technician
  • Maintenance Technician
  • Business/Management Technician
  • Data Mining Analyst
  • Physician
  • Welder/Solderer
  • Health Technician/Technologist
  • Security/Defense Intelligence Analyst

In job openings related to robotics, Pittsburgh sees a year-over-year growth of

59 percent

This is almost triple the national average of 22%, and ranks highest among all U.S. cities.

Skilled Trades

Skilled trades are jobs that required on-the-job or vocational training and are often very hands-on, like a mechanic, crane operator or iron worker. The on-the-job training often comes in the form of apprenticeships that have progressive increases in skills and wages. Skilled trade workers, like electricians or protective coating painters, frequently work on projects for different clients and solve problems to repair or upgrade systems or structures. After specialized training prior to employment, some skilled trades also require additional training for specialized certifications.


The following careers require less than a Bachelor's Degree and are projected to see the fastest growth through 2025 in the Pittsburgh Region:

Electrical power-line repair and industrial machinery mechanics are projected 20 percent growth.

Welders, Cutters, Solderers and Brazers  

Industries with high levels of employment:
• Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing
• Machinery Manufacturing
• Motor Vehicle Body and Trailer Manufacturing
• Robotics
• Electrical Power Generation and Distribution*
• Natural Gas Distribution*
  *top paying industries

Transportation and Material Moving  

Employment: 79,485
Annual Openings through 2025: 8,979
• Occupation: Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Driver

Employment, PA: 80,810
Average Annual Wage, Pittsburgh: $46,660
• Occupation: Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators

Employment, PA: 31,580
Average Annual Wage, Pittsburgh: $42,870

Installation, Maintenance and Repair  

Employment: 48,401
Annual Openings through 2025: 3,927
• Occupation: Telecommunications Equipment Installers and Repairers​
Employment, PA: 5,770
Average Annual Wage, Pittsburgh: $54,130
• Occupation: Industrial Machinery Mechanics

Employment, PA: 14,650
Average Annual Wage, Pittsburgh: $49,530


Engineers are in need across several fastest-growing job categories, including autonomous vehicles, robotics, additive manufacturing, petrochemicals and advanced manufacturing. Engineers must earn a bachelor’s or master's degree. Jobs in engineering are projected to grow 5 percent by 2025. However, engineering roles take 20 percent longer to fill in Pittsburgh than nationally, which might be improved by better aligning local programs and local need, (according to the Allegheny Conference’s Inflection Point). Industrial maintenance jobs related to engineering are projected to have a 6 percent growth.


Jobs in Engineering

  • Architect
  • Mechanical Drafter
  • Electronics Technician
  • Electrical Engineer
  • Civil Engineer
  • Industrial Engineer
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Chemical Engineer

Mechanical engineer —designs and builds mechanical and thermal sensors and devices like tools, engines and machines. (source)
JOB GROWTH THROUGH 2025: 10 percent
MEDIAN PAY: $84,190

Civil engineer — designs, builds, supervises and maintains projects like roads, buildings, airports, tunnels, dams, bridges and water and sewage systems. (source)
JOB GROWTH THROUGH 2025: 9 percent
MEDIAN PAY: $76,410

Environmental engineer — develops solutions to environmental problems through chemistry, biology and soil science to improve processes like recycling, waste disposal and water and air pollution control. (source)
JOB GROWTH THROUGH 2025: 7 percent
MEDIAN PAY: $82,940

Industrial engineer — finds ways to design efficient systems in production processes, bringing together workers, machines, materials, information and energy to better produce a product or provide a service. (source)
JOB GROWTH THROUGH 2025: 2 percent
MEDIAN PAY: $81,880

Electrical engineer — designs and supervises the manufacturing of electrical equipment like electric motors, radar and navigation systems, communications systems and power generation equipment. (source)
JOB GROWTH THROUGH 2025: 2 percent
MEDIAN PAY: $85,980

Electronics engineer — designs and develops electronic equipment like broadcast and communications systems from portable music players to GPS (global positioning system) devices. (source)
JOB GROWTH THROUGH 2025: -3 percent
MEDIAN PAY: $74,770

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WQED thanks the following partner organizations for their input and guidance in this project:

Allegheny Conference      Catalyst Connection   Partner 4 Work

WQED thanks the following organizations for their support in 2021: