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Nursing assistants was the largest occupation in nursing care facilities in May 2020

June 01, 2021

Nursing care facilities had about 1.5 million jobs in May 2020. Healthcare support occupations (630,550) made up 41 percent of jobs in this industry, and healthcare practitioners and technical occupations (408,450) made up an additional 27 percent. Outside of the two healthcare groups, the largest occupational groups in nursing care facilities were food preparation and serving related (149,350), building and grounds cleaning and maintenance (83,880), and office and administrative support occupations (69,130).

Employment in nursing care facilities by occupational group, May 2020
Occupational group Employment Percent of total industry employment

Total industry employment

1,534,120 100%

Healthcare support

630,550 41

Healthcare practitioners and technical

408,450 27

Food preparation and serving related

149,350 10

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

83,880 5

Office and administrative support

69,130 5

Personal care and service

47,070 3

Management

43,420 3

Installation, maintenance, and repair

26,000 2

Community and social service

25,070 2

Production

21,100 1

Business and financial operations

16,750 1

All other occupational groups

13,350 1

Nursing assistants (527,480) was the largest occupation in nursing care facilities, followed by licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses (199,760) and registered nurses (143,250). After these three healthcare occupations, the largest occupations were maids and housekeeping cleaners (68,850), nonrestaurant food servers (54,120), and institution and cafeteria cooks (46,850).

Employment and annual mean wages for the largest occupations in nursing care facilities, May 2020
Occupation Employment Annual mean wage

Management

Medical and health services managers

25,380 $100,160

Community and social service

Healthcare social workers

13,680 56,640

Healthcare practitioners and technical

Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses

199,760 51,200

Registered nurses

143,250 72,090

Physical therapists

12,190 97,390

Occupational therapists

11,370 91,810

Medical dosimetrists, medical records specialists, and health technologists and technicians, all other

9,330 42,810

Dietetic technicians

8,280 30,570

Healthcare support

Nursing assistants

527,480 31,000

Medical assistants

10,190 31,620

Physical therapist assistants

9,190 66,620

Occupational therapy assistants

7,510 67,300

Food preparation and serving related

Food servers, nonrestaurant

54,120 26,820

Cooks, institution and cafeteria

46,850 29,270

Food preparation workers

17,610 25,450

Fast food and counter workers

10,320 25,780

First-line supervisors of food preparation and serving workers

9,010 45,500

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

Maids and housekeeping cleaners

68,850 26,310

Janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners

9,100 28,280

Personal care and service

Recreation workers

36,650 30,840

Office and administrative support

Receptionists and information clerks

15,580 29,460

Office clerks, general

11,450 36,760

Medical secretaries and administrative assistants

7,960 38,000

Installation, maintenance, and repair

Maintenance and repair workers, general

22,070 39,590

Production

Laundry and dry-cleaning workers

20,500 25,440

Five of the 6 largest occupations in nursing care facilities had annual mean wages below the U.S. average of $56,310. Registered nurses had an annual mean wage of $72,090 in this industry. Nursing assistants ($31,000), licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses ($51,200), maids and housekeeping cleaners ($26,310), nonrestaurant food servers ($26,820), and institution and cafeteria cooks ($29,270) all had below-average wages.

These data are from the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program. To learn more, see the May 2020 OEWS data for nursing care facilities. Also see "Occupational Employment and Wages—May 2020." May 2020 OEWS estimates do not fully reflect the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, see the OEWS COVID-19 impact statement.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Nursing assistants was the largest occupation in nursing care facilities in May 2020 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2021/nursing-assistants-was-the-largest-occupation-in-nursing-care-facilities-in-may-2020.htm (visited September 17, 2021).

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