Skip to main content

Mathematical technicians add up to Minnesota's most distinct job


North Dakota has its oil workers, Wisconsin its animal breeders and Minnesota has its mathematical technicians.

Those are the most distinct jobs in each state – or the most disproportionately popular job in each state, according to a new map by Vox.

Vox used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to come up with the job in each state that's more common there than in the nation as a whole.

In Minnesota, there are only 200 mathematical technician jobs, but the job is nearly nine times more common in this state than in the rest of the nation, according to the BLS. It accounts for more than one-fifth of the 1,080 mathematical technician jobs in the United States.

So what does a mathematical technician do? They "apply standardized mathematical formulas, principles and methodology to technological problems in engineering and physical sciences," the BLS notes.

The Pioneer Press says the job is found in many specialties, but most commonly in state government, scientific research and insurance industries. The other leading states for mathematical technicians are Georgia, New Jersey, Tennessee and California.

Below is a look at the most distinct jobs in the rest of the country, some aren't so surprising (oil related jobs in Texas and North Dakota) but some seem quite unusual (forest fire prevention in New Hampshire, rock splitters in Missouri):

Earlier this year, Business Insider published a "most popular job by state map" which has Minnesota's job listed as food scientists.

Like Vox, it doesn't list the most common job in each state – the most common job in 42 states is retail salesperson, though it's No. 2 in Minnesota behind office administrative support occupations – but the jobs that are disproportionately concentrated in each state.

Business Insider also looked at the same BLS data, focusing on jobs with at least 1,000 people employed. There are over 15,000 food scientists and technician jobs in the United States, with 2,060 such jobs in Minnesota, making it almost seven times more common in Minnesota than the rest of the nation, the BLS says.

But if Business Insider and Vox both used the same data, why is the job for Minnesota and several other states different? Vox addresses this, but says it doesn't have an answer.

Our only guess is that when Business Insider referred to jobs that employed at least 1,000 people, it meant jobs that employed at least that many in individual states, and not nationwide as appears the case with the Vox article.

This hypothesis checks out for both Minnesota and Wisconsin's top jobs, where more than 1,000 people are employed as food scientists and foundry casters, per Business Insider, and fewer than 1,000 are employed as mathematical technicians and animal breeders, as stated by Vox.

Next Up

Flickr - face masks covid pole - Ivan Radic

'Everyone should really be masking up' in public, Malcolm says

The health commissioner said residents have gotten "a little bit lax" with these protective measures.

Byron Buxton

Byron Buxton believes he's the best player in baseball

"Nobody [does] the things that I do. I know that."

unsplash medical marijuana

Edibles coming to Minnesota's medical marijuana program

MDH also announced it will not add anxiety as qualifying condition.

plow, snowplow, snow

Plowable snow possible this weekend in Minnesota

Up to half a foot of snow could fall within the heaviest band.

Best Buy - jjbers, Flickr

Police reveal new details about 'coordinated' Best Buy thefts

A large group stole thousands of dollars in merchandise from three Twin Cities Best Buy stores.

Seven Points exterior - 2

New tenant revealed for former Libertine spot in Uptown

The space will combine playful art offerings with a restaurant.

white Christmas

What are Minnesota's chances of a white Christmas this year?

The Twin Cities averages a white Christmas about 3 out of every 4 years.

ilhan omar press conference voicemail screengrab 11.30.21

'You will not live much longer b***': Rep. Omar shares threatening voicemail

Omar's office received the call hours after Rep. Boebert posted her video about the MN congresswoman.

Screen Shot 2021-12-01 at 11.24.09 AM

ESPN's 'Booger' makes fun of Wild fans' record cup snake

He's the same guy who thought the "Minneapolis Miracle" was bad for the Vikings.

brian ingram

Woodfired Cantina closes at Keg and Case in St. Paul

Restaurateur Brian Ingram is focusing on growing his other concepts.

giant bear

Video: 'THE fattest bear we have ever seen' spotted on MN trail camera

"This might be THE fattest bear we have ever seen in our area," researchers said.