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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.

What does it cost to live in Central Minnesota?

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.

Cost of Living in Central Minnesota for a Typical Family
Yearly Cost $57,072
Hourly Wage $18.29
Child Care $417
Food $801
Health Care $555
Housing $1,066
Transportation $859
Other $511
Taxes $547

Source: Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), Labor Market Information, 2021

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 $18.29/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.

Salaries in Central Minnesota

The median wage for all occupations in Central Minnesota is $20.66/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 2021, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development

Find salaries for specific occupations.

Hot Jobs in Central Minnesota

Learn about job availability and wages for careers in Central Minnesota.

Current Hot Jobs

Find in-demand careers in Central Minnesota.  Sort by education required or wages and find detailed information for any career.  

To find out which jobs will be available in the future check out Employment Outlook data for the Central region.

Job Vacancies

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.

Find Jobs

Job Search Tools

Use the tools below to find employers and jobs in your region.

Job Search
Search and apply for jobs in Central Minnesota.

Business Finder
Use the Business Finder to find local businesses that may be hiring in your field.

Top Employers in the Region

The following employers posted the highest number of classified ads in the region during 2021.

  • CentraCare Health
  • FedEx Ground
  • CareInHomes
  • Kwik Trip
  • Robert Half International
  • UberEATS
  • Home Depot
  • Great Clips
  • Coborn's Incorporated
  • Fairview Health Services

Source: Gartner TalentNeuron 2021

Get Training in Central Minnesota

Find Adult Basic Education providers in Central Minnesota. 

Search for campuses and programs in Central Minnesota. 

Find short-term training 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.

Find registered apprenticeship sponsors in Central Minnesota.


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