Employment in Maine
Earning a college degree can help Mainers increase their earning potential and qualify for more jobs. Maine's fastest-growing industries include management careers, educational services, and professional and technical services. The state also reports growth in the finance industry. These fields generally require a bachelor's degree, and yet in July 2019, only 31.8% of Maine's population held a bachelor's degree.
Maine benefits from a lower-than-average cost of living and a below-average unemployment rate. In Maine, the cost of living index sits at 96.5 when measured against the national rate of 100. In Feb. 2021, the state's 4.8% unemployment rate sat below the 6.2% national average.
Many careers offer above-average salaries in Maine. In May 2020, the state's mean annual wage exceeded $51,000. However, Mainers working as computer and information systems managers, financial managers, nurse practitioners, and sales managers all earned salaries more than double that average annual wage. Several of these career paths require a bachelor's degree and work experience for entry-level employment.
The following information explores some of the highest-paying roles employing more than 1,000 individuals in Maine. Salary information applies specifically to Maine, while job growth data pertains to the entire United States.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
||Annual Mean Salary (2020)
||Projected Job Growth (2019-2029)
|Computer and Information Systems Managers
Online Associate and Graduate Degrees
In addition to bachelor's programs, many online colleges in Maine offer associate and graduate degrees. The switch to online-only education during the COVID-19 pandemic increased dependence on hybrid and fully online programs. As a result, students now have many options when choosing online associate degrees, master's programs, and doctorates.
At the undergraduate level, the University of Maine at Augusta offers associate degrees in business administration, computer information systems, and justice studies. The university's liberal studies major meets general education requirements for a bachelor's degree.
Online graduate programs offer flexible formats for professionals seeking career advancement or changes. At St. Joseph's College of Maine, master's enrollees can study business administration, education, health administration, and nursing online. The college also offers online master's programs in theology and divinity. Meanwhile, the University of Southern Maine offers online master's degrees in nursing, education, and cybersecurity.
During an online degree, learners complete coursework through a distance learning platform. Online colleges offer both synchronous and asynchronous schedules, and most accept transfer credits. Programs that require in-person components, such as student teaching or clinical practicums, work with students to meet the requirement in their local areas.