Maryland is home to a highly skilled civilian labor force of over three million workers, and filling this labor pipeline is a network of 57 accredited two-and four-year colleges and universities currently serving over 360,000 students around the state. The highest concentration of professional and technical workers among the states, and the highest proportion of doctoral scientists and engineers in the nation can be found in Maryland. Though the workforce is highly skilled, wages in the state remain competitive, offering employers an exceptional value.
In 2016, the Maryland civilian labor force totaled 3,170,000 workers, with almost 90 percent living within the central Maryland region. The Maryland work force is highly industrious—over 67 percent of those 16 years and older are in the labor force, a significantly higher rate than the U.S. as a whole. During the current decade, Maryland's labor force is projected to increase by nearly 150,000, with participation remaining high. The state boasts a large number of female workers, as well as workers in the experienced 25 to 44 year age group.
Distribution by Industry
While the Maryland economy is rooted in manufacturing, trade and transportation, it has emerged in recent years as a major technology center. A factor in this transition is the presence of key federal research and regulatory agencies in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C. The state's economy is currently dominated by service-producing industries, accounting for 71 percent of the state's employment in 2016.
The following table presents a breakdown of employment and wages by industry in Maryland. Tables containing more detailed industries are available from the Office of Workforce Information and Performance.
Maryland Employment and Wages by Industry
Annual Average – By Place of Work
|Industry Group||Number of Business Establishments||Employment ||Percent of Total Employment||Average Weekly Wage|
|Total Government Sector||3,541||486,101||18.5||$1,317 |
|Total Private Sector||167,939||2,140,409||81.5||$1,072 |
Natural Resources and Mining
Transportation and Warehousing
Professional and Business Services
Education and Health Services
Leisure and Hospitality
Source: Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, Office of Workforce Information and Performance. Date of data: 2016.
Notes: Details may not add to totals due to rounding and exclusion of some industries. The statistics in this table are from Maryland's QCEW Program, which covers over 91 percent of all civilian employment in the state. Data are based on the North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS).
|Major Occupational Group||Median Hourly Wage|
|Management occupations ||$55.15|
|Business and financial operations occupations ||$35.73|
|Computer and mathematical occupations ||$45.22|
|Architecture and engineering occupations ||$42.92|
|Life, physical, and social science occupations ||$38.79|
|Community and social services occupations ||$22.53|
|Legal occupations ||$31.62|
|Education, training and library occupations ||$26.93|
|Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media occupations||$25.52|
|Healthcare practitioners and technical occupations ||$34.48|
|Healthcare support occupations ||$14.14|
|Protective service occupations ||$21.62|
|Food preparation and serving related occupations ||$9.93|
|Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations ||$12.29|
|Personal care and service occupations ||$11.34|
|Sales and related occupations ||$12.98|
|Office and administrative support occupations ||$17.73|
|Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations ||$15.85|
|Construction and extraction occupations ||$21.34|
|Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations||$23.08|
|Transportation and material moving occupations||$16.20|
Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics. Date of data: May 2016.
The minimum wage in Maryland is currently $8.75 per hour for most workers. Recent legislation will increase the minimum wage in the following increments:
- July 1, 2017 - $9.25
- July 1, 2018 - $10.10
Virtually every kind of training and research required by business and industry can be obtained from a higher education institution in Maryland. 57 accredited two- and four-year colleges and universities in the state serve over 360,000 students, together with Maryland campuses of several out-of-state institutions. Further, eight regional higher education centers throughout the state offer coursework and degree programs from consortia of Maryland and out-of-state universities.
Education attainment in Maryland remains above the national average. Among residents 25 years of age or older:
- 38.8 percent of state’s population has bachelor’s degrees or higher, placing Maryland third among the states.
- 17.7 percent have graduate or professional degrees, ranking second among the states.
Outstanding resources include twelve institutions of the University System of Maryland, as well as the Johns Hopkins University, with particular strengths in information sciences and biotechnology. Maryland's sixteen community colleges operate a network of 23 campuses and numerous learning centers throughout the state. Continuing education and workforce training are offered through each college.
Educational links to business include:
- The USM Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research
- The Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute at College Park
- The Fraunhofer Center for Experimental Software Engineering at the University of Maryland
- The UMBC Center for Cybersecurity
- The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
- The Johns Hopkins University Information Security Institute
- University of Maryland School of Medicine Center for Vaccine Development
- Research and scientific facilities at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, which can be made available to industry by special arrangement.
Degrees Awarded by Maryland Colleges and Universities
Source: Maryland Higher Education Commission. Date of data: 2016.
|Agriculture and Natural Resources||349||48||20|
|Architecture and Environment||130||83||3|
|Business and Management||5,998||5,082||59|
Data on specific higher education institutions is available from the Maryland Higher Education Commission or the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation’s Workforce Dashboard (select the Training tab for higher education statistics).