Skip to main content

Mathematical technicians add up to Minnesota's most distinct job

  • Author:
  • Updated:

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

Screen Shot 2022-12-04 at 9.16.52 AM

Responding to Twitter release, former Minnesota GOP candidate calls for 'bullets'

It was in response to a thread on Twitter concerning the social media giant's moderation efforts regarding political issues.


NWS: 'Safe to say' more active weather is ahead

Three rounds of light snow around Minnesota before more substantial precipitation becomes a possibility.


Hero dad who stopped carjacker who fled with his kids identified

A GoFundMe has been set up to support Derek Gotchie and his family following the incident.

Screen Shot 2022-12-03 at 4.35.18 PM

Watch: New London-Spicer wins 3A championship on incredible walk-off TD

New London-Spicer defeated the unbeaten Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton in remarkable circumstances.


Suspect in woman's killing in Moorhead is arrested

James Kollie Jr. was arrested Friday evening.

Jennifer Carnahan

Former chair Jennifer Carnahan sues Minnesota GOP, which is suing her back

Carnahan stepped down under a cloud of controversy in August 2021.

Minneapolis Fire Department

One injured after leaping from burning vacant building in Minneapolis

Authorities say the building is known to be used by squatters.


Head-on crash leaves two drivers dead in southeastern Minnesota

The crash happened in Houston County just before 4 p.m. Friday.


Charges: Armed man made death threats at Minneapolis LGBTQ bar

The man allegedly used derogatory terms while threatening to kill someone.


FDA pulls last COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatment as new variants rise

A therapy used to treat more than 11,000 Minnesotans is no longer authorized amid a surge in the latest COVID-19 variants.

Austin Robert LeClaire

Charges: Plymouth man shot girlfriend in head after birthday party

The 23-year-old victim is in critical condition as of Friday.