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

Zach Parise

Ghosts of Wild's past force split with Sharks

Brent Burns and Ryan Donato thwarted a comeback attempt by the Wild.

Avante Dickerson

Top-ranked recruit Avante Dickerson decommits from Gopher football

The four-star cornerback was the highest-rated recruit in Minnesota's 2021 class.

u.s. district court minnesota - federal court minneapolis

Limits on in-person court activity extended for 45 days

The statewide order extends current limitations through March 15.

D'Angelo Russell / Minnesota Timberwolves

The Timberwolves need more from D'Angelo Russell

The Wolves haven't gotten what they expected since making a blockbuster trade.

oct. 20 snow crash

Spinouts, crashes still happening after snow leaves MN roads a mess

The snow storm caused at least 208 crashes this weekend.


For The Week: Food tips and tricks to get you through the next 7 days

BMTN's food writer Lindsay Guentzel makes life easier for Minnesotans.

snow, plow

Here's how much snow fell in Saturday's storm in Minnesota

MSP Airport had the highest total as of 7 a.m. Sunday with 5.3 inches.

Screen Shot 2021-01-18 at 3.17.49 PM

No KAT? No D'Lo? No problem as Timberwolves defeat Pelicans

The Timberwolves were without Karl-Anthony Towns and D'Angelo Russell, but still picked up a (SCORE) win.

Screen Shot 2021-01-23 at 7.53.44 PM

Spinouts, crashes across Twin Cities as snow gets heavier

There have been multiple incidents across the metro area.

Mason Branstrator

Family, friends raising funds for teen soccer standout with spinal injury

Mason Branstrator of Duluth was injured in a skiing accident.