Ottawa County Michigan Works!

West Michigan Regional Career Guide - 2013

To download the entire
Career Guide in .pdf format,
click on the graphic above.


Easy Research Of Different Jobs

This Career Guide is an excellent and easy way of researching the different jobs in the area that are in demand. You can also find out how to become qualified for those jobs.

From the list below, pick a section and research the different jobs that are in demand. Information for each job description includes salary ranges, detailed tasks, education requirements and where to fulfill those requirements.

Section 1

professional technical
Section 2
Professional & Technical

Section 3
Office & Administrative

Section 4
Education & Social Services

Section 5

appendix Trending Up Occupations

Descriptions of
Occupations & Industries

Section 6
Construction & Manufacturing

Statement of Purpose

The West Michigan Regional Career Guide is a tool designed to highlight regional high-growth, high-demand occupations and employment.

The Guide is designed to be used by job seekers and individuals working in workforce development, education and other workforce fields and activities.

The Guide was developed mainly from labor market data reported from a variety of economic and employment databases, and is intended to be used chiefly as an information resource.

It is intended for research and informational purposes, and is not meant to recommend to individuals any specific career path, occupational choice or employment decision.

Printed copies of the Guide are currently distributed internally within the Ottawa County Michigan Works! (OCMW) and select other partners and organizations.

For more information, please contact Mallory Schierbeek, Quality Assurance and Training Coordinator, at (616) 494-3406.


The West Michigan Regional Career Guide is designed to introduce job seekers and individuals working in workforce development, education and other relevant to a set of high–growth, high–demand careers in the West Michigan region. The Guide will be printed as needed and electronically updated quarterly. Due to the frequent updates and changes occurring to labor market data, we recommend looking at the online version.

The Career Guide is a research tool to help find details on specific high–demand, high–growth occupations in the West Michigan region. 

A few notes on the information contained in the Guide:

The data is pulled from a four county region in West Michigan. Data includes Ottawa, Kent, Allegan and Muskegon counties.

The data presented in this guide is strongly empirical, pulled from labor market databases. Over the coming years Ottawa County Michigan Works! will engage in anecdotal data gathering from employers, educators, economic developers and other partners in West Michigan. This anecdotal data will be combined with the empirical data to improve the information available in the guide.

Current anecdotal data gathering has focused on growth in the advanced manufacturing sector of West Michigan. Many of these advanced manufacturing jobs, poised for growth in the next few years, are introduced in the “Up and Coming Careers” section. Updates to these occupations will be provided as data becomes available. 

The Guide is based on data gathered from a variety of sources, including:

  • Chmura

  • The State of Michigan

  • Census Bureau

  • O*Net Online Occupation Database

  • United States Department of Labor

  • Industry and Occupation information from Employers, Economic Developers, Educators and other partners in the West Michigan region.

The West Michigan Regional Career Guide is based on data gathered from a variety of sources. Sources utilized include:

  • Economic Modeling Specialists, Inc.

  • The State of Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth.

  • Census Bureau.

  • O*Net Online Occupation Database.

  • United States Department of Labor.

  • Industry and Occupation information from Employers, Economic Developers, Educators and other Partners in the West Michigan Region.

The high growth, in-demand occupations in this guide were identified utilizing empirical data from a variety of labor market data sources. This list was then vetted by individuals with regional labor market expertise and has been presented in this guide in six different sections. The first five sections represent empirically confirmed high growth, in-demand occupations by sector. These occupations were identified with a combination of projected growth through the next 4 years, wage level, education level, and local knowledge relating to occupation demand.

The guide's high growth occupations have been divided into the sectors of:

Please address any questions related to the Ottawa County Career Guide or its contents to Ottawa County Michigan Works! Administrative Offices at 115 Clover Street in Holland, Michigan or contact the Ottawa County Michigan Works! Workforce Analyst via phone at 616-494-3406 or email at