Top 12 Boise Careers for High School and College Students to Aim For

If you’re a high school or college student in Boise, Idaho, this list is for you! I used Emsi data (the same data that powers Find Your Calling) to find the 12 best occupations for 15-25-year-olds. These occupations would make fantastic careers for several reasons.

Not only do they pay well (realistic starting salaries range from $31K to $100K), but they’re also popular for young college graduates and they’re in high demand—in Boise especially. Each of these careers has a high concentration in Idaho’s capital; in other words, these jobs help make Boise unique. So when you train and educate for these careers, you know you’re making yourself valuable to many businesses in the area! Bonus: Some of them don’t require a college degree.

Big Takeaways

You can’t go wrong with jobs in construction (Doers, pay attention!) or finance (especially well-suited to Thinkers and Organizers). There are also a number of managerial positions (Persuaders and Helpers, that’s you). Don’t know your career personality yet? Take our free Discovery Questionnaire to find out.

I’ve ranked the 12 careers from lowest to highest starting salaries.

Top 12 Careers

1. building-1080596_1920Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers. There are 800 of these important mechanics in Boise, with 280 new jobs since 2011 (56% growth, very strong). Starting salary is $31K per year but you can make closer to $50K with more experience. Typical entry-level education is a certificate from a program at a technical or trade school.

2. Operating Engineers. Bulldozers, scrapers, compressors, pumps, derricks, shovels, tractors, front-end loaders—these engineers operate them all in order to grade earth, erect structures, or pour concrete. There are 900 operating engineers in Boise, including 200 new jobs (29% growth). Starting salary is $35K per year, with $47K potentially in your future. You need only a high school diploma for this job.

3. Claims Adjusters, Examiners, and Investigators. Get out that analytical thinking cap! These guys evaluate insurance claims. They decide whether an insurance company must pay a claim and, if so, how much. There are 800 of them in Boise—130 new jobs in the past five years. You would make around $41K starting out, possibly $72K later in your career. Though a bachelor’s degree would give you a boost towards higher positions, you need only a high school diploma starting out.

4. Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters. There are over 1,000 folks who fix plumbing and fit pipes in Boise. They’ve added 400 new jobs—nearly doubling their number in the past five years! You could earn $43K as a beginner and $60K later on. A high school diploma is enough to get your foot in the door, though more education and training would help with promotions.

5. calculator-385506_1280Personal Finance Advisors. Especially after the 2008 recession, people want to handle their money well, and you’d be helping them if you became a personal advisor. From 2011 to 2016, they adding 190 new jobs (50% growth) to make a total of 560 in Boise now. $54K is a realistic salary for beginner advisors, but $96K is possible as you gain experience. You would need a bachelor’s degree.

6. Construction Managers. Do you like building stuff but also planning, coordinating, budgeting, and overseeing large projects? You could make a good construction supervisor. There are 640 in Boise, with 160 new jobs (33% growth) since 2011. They make between $58K a year (starting salary) and $97K (with experience). A bachelor’s degree is usually required.

7. Medical and Health Services Managers. These managers are in charge of planning, directing, and coordinating medical and health services. They might manage an entire facility, a specific clinical area or department, or a medical practice for a group of physicians. There are 840 in Boise, with 121 jobs added since 2011 (17% growth). You would earn about $60K at first and more like $99K later in your career. And yes, as you’ve started to notice with careers that offer higher salaries, you need a bachelor’s degree.

8. Sales Managers. They don’t like just sales, they also like managing teams! There are almost 1,000 sales managers in Boise: 130 new jobs (15% growth). Starting salary is $62K; more experienced  managers could earn upwards of $123K. A bachelor’s degree is what employers are looking for when hiring for these crucial team leaders.

9. Dental Hygienists. Cleaning other people’s teeth is a compelling career in Boise. Not only have hygienists grown pretty well (75 new jobs, total of 740 now, 11% growth since 2011), but they also offer great salaries for a job that requires only an associate’s degree! You could earn anywhere between $67K and $78K.

10. yamaha-1653663_640Electrical Engineers. These engineers design and develop electrical electrical equipment like electric motors, radar and navigation systems, communications systems, and power generation equipment. There are 900 in Boise: 130 new jobs since 2011 (16% growth). Wages are very high, anywhere between $71K for beginners to $108K for engineers more skilled and experienced. You’d need a bachelor’s degree.

11. Electronics Engineers (except computer engineers). Similar but different to electrical engineers! Electronics engineers design and develop electronic equipment, such as broadcast and communications systems—from portable music players to global positioning systems (GPSs). There are over 1,100 in Boise, including 150 new jobs since 2011 (15% growth). Beginners earn $82K while more advanced engineers earn more like $121K. Electronics engineers need a bachelor’s degree.

12. Architectural and Engineering Managers. This is a smaller occupation: only 570 total in Boise, counting 52 new jobs since 2011 (10% growth). But since they’re in charge of all the planning, directing, and coordinating of activities in architectural and engineering companies, they have a pretty compelling career. They earn the most of anyone on the list: between $111K and $166K. Not bad for a job that doesn’t require anything beyond a bachelor’s degree!

Wondering if any of these careers are right for you? Find out by taking our free Discovery Questionnaire on Find Your Calling. You’ll learn whether you’re a creator, doer, helper, organizer, persuader, or thinker, and discover tons of amazing careers that match your interests! Want me to write about the top careers in your city or state? Contact me at

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