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Northwest

Careers in Northwest Minnesota.

The Northwest region includes the following counties:

Becker, Beltrami, Cass, Clay, Clearwater, Crow Wing, Douglas, Grant, Hubbard, Kittson, Lake of the Woods, Mahnomen, Marshall, Morrison, Norman, Otter Tail, Pennington, Polk, Pope, Red Lake, Roseau, Stevens, Todd, Traverse, Wadena, Wilkin

Do you want to live and work in Northwest Minnesota?

  • Research the cost of living and learn about salaries.
  • Find in demand jobs and learn how to find job vacancy data.
  • Explore education options.

To determine whether a job you're considering will pay enough to meet your basic expenses start by researching the cost of living in your area. Once you understand the cost of living learn about salaries. Next, research jobs and employers in the region. Finally, you're ready to start planning your education. Find programs and courses that match the occupations you're interested in.

What does it cost to live in Northwest Minnesota?

The tools below can help you understand how much it costs to live in Northwest Minnesota.

Cost of Living
The Cost of Living data tool from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) calculates the basic needs cost of living, including child care, food, health care, housing transportation, and taxes. It allows you to view results by county, region, or statewide. The tool also gives you the option of a variety of family definitions, including one or two adults working either full-time or part-time, and up to four children.

The table below shows the cost of living in Northwest Minnesota for a typical family, considered to be a 3 person family with 2 adults working a combined 60 hours a week.

Cost of Living in Northwest Minnesota for a Typical Family
Yearly Cost $43,464
Hourly Wage $13.93
Child Care $220
Food $760
Health Care $399
Housing $700
Transportation $1,047
Other $204
Taxes $292

Source: Cost of Living data tool, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development

From the table you can see that in Northwest Minnesota, in order to meet basic needs like housing, transportation, and healthcare a typical family would have to earn $13.93/hour. Find the cost of living for other family types.

Reality Check Tool
The Reality Check Tool allows you to compare lifestyle choices and salary. To build a budget for your desired lifestyle based on the cost of living in Northwest Minnesota select "Get a Reality Check" and choose either Bemidji or Moorhead as your city. You'll be able to build a budget by choosing from a variety of lifestyle options for housing, utilities, food, transportation, and more. At the end you'll see the Annual Salary needed to achieve your desired lifestyle and find potential occupations.

Salaries in Northwest Minnesota

The median wage for all occupations in Northwest Minnesota is $15.42/hour. The median wage indicates that 50% of workers earn more and 50% of workers earn less than this amount.

Graph comparing median wages in Northwest Minnesota to wages in other regions across Minnesota

Source: Occupational Employment Statistics First Quarter 2015, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development

Find salaries for specific occupations.

Hot Jobs in the Region

Learn about job availability and wages for careers in Northwest Minnesota.

Current Hot Jobs

Select which part of Northwest Minnesota you're interested in to see in demand occupations.

  • Headwaters (Beltrami, Clearwater, Hubbard, Lake of the Woods, and Mahnomen Counties)
  • North Central (Cass, Crow Wing, Morrison, Todd, and Wadena Counties)
  • Northwest (Kittson, Marshall, Norman, Pennington, Polk, Red Lake, and Roseau Counties)
  • West Central (Becker, Clay, Douglas, Grant, Otter Tail, Pope, Stevens, Traverse, and Wilkin Counties)

To find out which jobs will be available in the future check out Employment Outlook data for the Northwest region.

Job Vacancies

Twice a year, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development conducts a survey to identify the number and location of job vacancies. The survey also collects information about training requirements and starting wages offered by employers for those vacancies.

Use the Job Vacancy Survey Data Tool to view job vacancies. Select the Change Area button to filter the results for the Northwest Planning Region.

When comparing these occupations you should also consider job quality. Low wage occupations are more likely to be affected by high turnover. This may be the reason why they have so many openings. Some occupations are highly seasonal. The demand for these types of jobs drops in the fall and picks up again in the spring. Some openings are mainly part time and temporary. Consider all of these factors when selecting an occupation to research.

Find Employers

Use the tools below to find employers and jobs in your region.

CareerOneStop Business Finder
Use the Business Finder to find local businesses that may be hiring in your field.

Job Search
Search and apply for jobs on Minnesotaworks.net.


Plan Your Education in Northwest Minnesota

Find Minnesota State Colleges and Universities in Northwest Minnesota. Or locate on the map below. You can also find programs, short-term training programs, and courses in Northwest Minnesota.