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Careers in Southwest Minnesota.

The Southwest Region includes Big Stone, Blue Earth, Brown, Chippewa, Cottonwood, Faribault, Jackson, Lac qui Parle, Le Sueur, Lincoln, Lyon, Martin, Murray, Nicollet, Nobles, Pipestone, Redwood, Rock, Sibley, Swift, Waseca, Watonwan, and Yellow Medicine County.

Do you want to live and work in Southwest 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 Southwest Minnesota?

The tools below can help you understand how much it costs to live in Southwest 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 Southwest 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 Southwest Minnesota for a Typical Family
Yearly Cost $45,852
Hourly Wage $14.70
Child Care $220
Food $757
Health Care $417
Housing $748
Transportation $786
Other $440
Taxes $453

Source: Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), Labor Market Information, 2018

From the table you can see that in Southwest Minnesota, in order to meet basic needs like housing, transportation, and healthcare a typical family would have to earn $14.70/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 Southwest Minnesota select "Get a Reality Check" and choose either Marshall or Granite Falls 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 Southwest Minnesota

The median wage for all occupations in Southwest Minnesota is $17.14/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 2018, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development

Find salaries for specific occupations.

Hot Industries and Jobs in Southwest Minnesota

Top Industries

  • Other Support Activities for Transportation
  • General Freight Trucking
  • Restaurants and Other Eating Places
  • General Medical and Surgical Hospitals
  • Department Stores
  • Freight Transportation Arrangement
  • Business Support Services
  • Nursing Care Facilities
  • Elementary and Secondary Schools
  • Offices of Physicians

Source: CEB TalentNeuron Recruit, 2017 First Quarter

Current Hot Jobs

Select which part of Southwest Minnesota you're interested in to see in demand occupations.

  • Southwest (Big Stone, Chippewa, Cottonwood, Jackson, LacQui Parle, Lincoln, Lyon, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, Redwood, Rock, Swift, and Yellow Medicine County)
  • South Central (Blue Earth, Brown, Faribault, Le Seuer, Martin, Nicollet, Sibley, Waseca, and Watonwan County)

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

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 the first quarter of 2017.

Source: CEB TalentNeuron Recruit, 2017 First Quarter

Plan Your Education in Southwest Minnesota

Find Adult Basic Education providers in Southwest Minnesota. 

Search for Minnesota State Colleges and Universities in Southwest Minnesota. Or locate on the map below. You can also search programs, short-term training, and courses in Southwest Minnesota.


Find an Apprenticeship Sponsor in Southwest 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 Southwest Minnesota.

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