If you live in or are thinking about moving to the Grand Rapids, MI area, then you might want to know what the job market looks like.
The good news is that Grand Rapids is home to some of the best-paying jobs in Michigan, and is the second-largest job market in the Detroit Metro area.
Grand Rapids is also close to many educational institutions ready to prepare you for these high paying jobs regardless of where you settle down.
Average income in Grand Rapids: People living in Grand Rapids are earning more than the average Michigander with an average income of $93,778 and a median of $72,021.
Grand Rapids highest paying jobs: As with the state overall, Grand Rapids has many its best paying jobs in STEM-related fields such as computers and engineering.
Grand Rapids degree levels compared to pay: Bachelor’s degrees accounted for 45% of the highest paying jobs, but 30% only require an associates degree or less.
The mean (average) household income in Grand Rapids as of 2021 was $93,778 while the median income was $72,021.
Because average incomes can be skewed higher by a low number of very higher earners, we use median figures throughout most of our analysis.
The numbers above are household incomes. The median incomes of nonfamily households were $42,673.
Here’s a look at the different income brackets and the percentage of people earning at that level.
|Income||Households||Families||Married-couple families||Nonfamily households|
|Less than $10,000||4.7%||3.1%||0.7%||8.5%|
|$10,000 to $14,999||3.8%||1.5%||0.6%||8.3%|
|$15,000 to $24,999||5.7%||3.1%||1.6%||11.4%|
|$25,000 to $34,999||7.0%||4.8%||3.0%||12.5%|
|$35,000 to $49,999||11.9%||11.0%||8.0%||14.9%|
|$50,000 to $74,999||18.9%||17.6%||17.3%||19.9%|
|$75,000 to $99,999||15.2%||17.1%||17.8%||12.0%|
|$100,000 to $149,999||17.5%||21.8%||25.7%||7.8%|
|$150,000 to $199,999||7.3%||9.3%||11.7%||2.3%|
|$200,000 or more||8.0%||10.8%||13.5%||2.2%|
Similar to the overall Michigan breakdown, many of the high-paying jobs in Grand Rapids are found in the Healthcare, STEM and Business functions according to the BLS data.
The top of the detailed occupations is dominated by healthcare jobs, but keep in mind most of those require a master’s degree. Many of the jobs just below the top ten require much less school.
|General Internal Medicine Physicians||$ 190,000|
|Obstetricians and Gynecologists||$ 169,660|
|Nurse Anesthetists||$ 168,090|
|Dentists, General||$ 165,060|
|Pediatricians, General||$ 164,530|
|Physical Scientists, All Other||$ 130,010|
|Architectural and Engineering Managers||$ 127,140|
|Nurse Midwives||$ 127,110|
|Computer and Information Systems Managers||$ 126,500|
|Marketing Managers||$ 126,500|
|Natural Sciences Managers||$ 126,500|
|Financial Managers||$ 123,390|
|Sales Managers||$ 122,390|
|Purchasing Managers||$ 120,680|
|Public Relations Managers||$ 119,830|
|Commercial Pilots||$ 104,770|
|Chemical Engineers||$ 102,080|
|Physician Assistants||$ 101,680|
|Healthcare Diagnosing or Treating Practitioners, All Other||$ 100,390|
Bachelor’s degrees comprise the largest percentage of high-paying jobs, but those with an associate’s degree or less make up 30%.
We expect to see the list of occupations requiring less than a bachelor’s to grow and alternatives to 4-year universities continue to grow.
Bachelor’s degree – If you’re sure of the direction you want to go and have the financing, then a university is a great choice that will typically pay off in the long run.
Community Colleges – These schools are where you can find many associate degree programs and other programs intended to get workers out of school faster. Community colleges are also a great place to start if you’re unsure of what career you’re interested in. You can take a broad curriculum and earn credits towards a bachelor’s degree at a larger university in the process. Just be sure to check the classes and understand if they transfer to your desired university.
Apprenticeships – These programs are a fantastic way to get training and prepare for a high-paying career. An apprenticeship is typically run through an employer, combining on-the-job and classroom training. This allows participants to earn money while completing the program, which typically takes only 12-24 months.
The downside of apprenticeships is they don’t give as broad an education as a community college or university. But if you’re certain the path you’d like to take, then an apprenticeship can be one of your best options.
Technology Bootcamps – Bootcamps have been on the rise for the past decade and are similar to trade schools, where you receive training in a specific area, typically related to technology. Areas of focus have been on coding, data science, UX design, and cybersecurity, as these are all fast-growing areas within tech.
Similar to apprenticeships or certification programs, bootcamps typically last from 6-18 months and cost far less than a university.