30 Secure Jobs for Skilled Workers in Atlanta

Posted on March 24th, 2023
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Beautiful sunset view of Atlanta skyline as seen from the Jackson Street bridge near Freedom Parkway
Beautiful sunset is a backdrop for the Atlanta downtown skyline

By Sarah Hicks

In Atlanta, there’s always opportunity, even when the job market feels unpredictable.

The data backs this up, painting a promising picture for skilled workers in Atlanta, particularly those without a bachelor's degree.

What does a secure job look like in Atlanta?

We define a secure job as one that’s stable despite turbulence in the economy. To be considered, a job must be in demand and earn a minimum salary of $40,000, though many bring in much more. We include only skilled jobs, meaning those that require a hands-on approach to work and do not necessarily require a four-year college education.

As with our national list of recession-proof jobs, we used Lightcast and Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data to guide our list.

We looked at Atlanta salaries and Atlanta job openings over the next five years. We weighted these two factors, with job demand making up 75% of the score and earnings making up 25%.

The result is a list of 30 secure jobs in Atlanta for skilled workers in a variety of careers from construction and public safety to information technology and transportation. It’s proof that in the unofficial capital of the New South, there’s always a chance for success.

#1. Software Developer                     

  • Weighted Median Salary in Atlanta: $115,350
  • Annual Atlanta openings, 2023-2027: 18,401
Tech Tower at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia
Georgia Tech jump-started Atlanta’s tech revolution. The city is now considered a major technology hub. (Credit: Rob Hainer/Shutterstock)

 

Atlanta’s employment recovery from the "pandemic plunge" has been one of the strongest in the nation, with nearly 6% job growth since before the pandemic, according to a March 2023 snapshot from the Atlanta Regional Commission.

Software developer leads the way. The median salary of more than $115,000 combined with robust 10% job growth puts this job firmly at the top of our list.

That placement may surprise anyone who hasn’t been keeping up with Atlanta’s tech scene. Georgia Tech is the well-known cornerstone of a tech hub that includes many innovation centers, incubators and a growing list of major tech companies opening offices in the area, including Apple, Alphabet and Visa.

That tech effect spills over to other jobs in this list, but software developer wins this perch because a developer’s skills are needed in so many different industries.

#2. Office Manager

  • Weighted Median Salary in Atlanta: $60,400
  • Annual Atlanta openings, 2023-2027: 11,387
An airplane seen from the ground in between skyscrapers in Midtown Atlanta, one of Atlanta's key business areas
A plane flies over Midtown, one of three major business districts in the city of Atlanta.  (Credit: ladyphoto89/Shutterstock)

Here’s another job that ranks high on our list for the same reason: an office manager’s specialized skills are needed everywhere.

Office managers make sure everything runs smoothly. They fill a critical need in many different businesses, providing administrative support and organizational skills for Fortune 500 companies such as Delta Air Lines and Home Depot and providing that same expertise to the many small and midsize companies that call Atlanta home.

It’s one of the most stable jobs in Atlanta with more than 11,000 job openings each year.

#3. Truck Driver

  • Weighted Median Salary in Atlanta: $44,939
  • Annual Atlanta openings, 2023-2027: 29,573
Busy Atlanta interstates seen at night with a view of downtown Atlanta
Atlanta’s bustling roadways are a symbol of the area’s success — and at times, a headache for drivers. (Credit: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock)

Transportation has always been a driver of Atlanta’s growth. Even the city’s name comes from its location at the end of the Western & Atlantic Railroad line.

That prime location and a diverse economy are two of the reasons why truck driving continues to be a secure job. Many big trucking companies, such as Southeastern Freight Lines, are based in the Atlanta area. For other companies, Atlanta is a key transportation hub.

It doesn’t hurt that one of the world’s busiest airports for both people and cargo, Hartsfield-Jackson, lies 10 miles south of the city center or that logistics giant United Parcel Service has its headquarters here.

Other brands with headquarters in Atlanta include The Coca-Cola Company, Home Depot and Newell Brands. These consumer goods companies need their products moved constantly. That creates an opportunity for experienced short-haul and long-haul drivers.

In fact, truck drivers in Atlanta have the most job openings of any other career on our list, with almost 30,000 openings each year.

#4. Systems Analyst

  • Weighted Median Salary in Atlanta: $100,232
  • Annual Atlanta openings, 2023-2027: 3,624
The letters ATL seen on a bridge over the Downtown Connector in Atlanta
Atlanta’s tech industry weathered the pandemic better than other industries, and the trend continues as remote and hybrid work have become more mainstream. Insider tip: The ATL is acceptable shorthand for Atlanta, but Hotlanta is not. (Credit: TuckerBlade/Shutterstock)

Systems analyst is another secure career path for Atlantans. These digital detectives study computer systems and make them more efficient. As with the other IT roles on this list, their skills are needed at companies large and small.

With more than 3,500 annual job openings in Atlanta, systems analysts have plenty of opportunities with companies like Honeywell, AT&T and NCR.

On top of that, Atlanta's tech talent pool is one of the most diverse in the nation, according to Scoring Tech Talent, a report from CBRE Research. Talented diverse candidates can expect more job offers and possibly a bump to an already robust $100,000 median salary.

#5. IT Support Specialist

  • Weighted Median Salary in Atlanta:  $60,593
  • Annual Atlanta openings, 2023-2027: 6,502
State Farm Arena with the Westin in the background of downtown Atlanta with construction activity
State Farm Arena and other entertainment venues attract visitors and residents, and these arenas need IT professionals to keep things running smoothly. (Credit: Erik Gonzalez/Shutterstock)

Everyone needs IT support, which is why IT consulting is one of the largest industries by revenue in the state of Georgia, according to industry researcher IBISWorld. Atlanta takes the lion’s share of that work.

IT support specialists earn a comfortable salary for an entry-level role, and there are plenty of job openings at local companies, from universities such as Georgia State and Emory to heavyweight businesses such as Delta and Equifax. Remote work may have dwindled since the pandemic has eased, but it’s here to stay — another plus for IT support techs.

For support specialists who want to grow, this role offers opportunities to learn other aspects of the industry.

#6. Bookkeeper

  • Weighted Median Salary in Atlanta: $44,779
  • Annual Atlanta openings, 2023-2027: 10,972
Young people walk around the shops and bars of Little Five Points, a fun, funky business district in Atlanta
Even small businesses like the ones that line the streets of Little Five Points need a bookkeeper’s skills. (Credit: ESB Professional/Shutterstock)

All types of businesses need to keep their accounts in good order. Bookkeepers offer essential skills that become even more important when the economy falters.

With almost 11,000 annual openings, bookkeepers are in demand in many different settings. Some work remotely for staffing agencies, while many go into the office, serving healthcare providers, trucking companies and consulting groups.

This career provides a bird’s-eye view of how a business works and offers room to grow through certification and continuing education.

#7. Police Officer

  • Weighted Median Salary in Atlanta: $58,590
  • Annual Atlanta openings, 2023-2027: 5,461
An Atlanta police car parked near the Capital in downtown Atlanta
The core values of the Atlanta Police Department include professionalism, integrity, commitment and courage. (Credit: Billy F Blume Jr/Shutterstock)

It takes a special person to become a police officer. But for those who do, this is a career with plenty of job openings, a solid starting salary and great benefits.

It’s also a career where you can make a difference, as Atlanta Police Officer Angelina Singh can attest. This working mom patrols Little Five Points on foot and on a bicycle, which gives her a chance to connect with the community. "I'm able to be more personable with the customers and the business owners out there," she told Fox 5 Atlanta.

Police departments all around the metro area are hiring, creating even more job security for a career that offers day-to-day variety and a chance to serve the community.

#8. Electrician

  • Weighted Median Salary in Atlanta: $55,366
  • Annual Atlanta openings, 2023-2027: 5,406
Mercedes-Benz Stadium lit up at night in Atlanta for a Falcons or Atlanta United game
Mercedes-Benz Stadium is the home stadium of the Falcons and Atlanta United. It’s also mere blocks away from a massive redevelopment project that will create new housing, restaurants and shops. (Credit: Revel Pix LLC/Shutterstock)

Construction is a constant of the Atlanta economy, creating jobs for electricians and other skilled tradespeople while also creating income and tax revenue for the area. One of the biggest current projects is the redevelopment of the Gulch into Centennial Yards, a residential and entertainment district downtown within walking distance of Mercedes-Benz Stadium, where football, soccer and Beyoncé bring in the fans.

On top of a healthy residential building market, commercial construction in the metro Atlanta area continues to be robust, with major companies such as Facebook, Google and Amazon expanding operations here.

All this to say, electricians in Atlanta are in demand now and will continue to be for years.

#9. Training and Development Specialist

  • Weighted Median Salary in Atlanta: $64,126
  • Annual Atlanta openings, 2023-2027: 3,412
Famous MLK Jr. mural at Peace Plaza at the national historic site in Atlanta
The life and work of Martin Luther King Jr. continue to influence how business is done in Atlanta. The MLK Jr. National Historic Park includes several buildings, including the visitor center where this famous mural in the Peace Plaza can be found. (Credit: Forty3Zero/Shutterstock)

Home to some of the most well-known brands and hundreds of startups, Atlanta needs plenty of training and development specialists to help their teams succeed.

Like other jobs on this list, training specialist is a secure job simply because so many industries need these skills. Top employers such as Emory University, The Coca-Cola Company, Northside Hospital and Delta need specialized training and development specialists who are good teachers and understand each company’s mission, structure and needs.

#10. Fiber Optics Technician or Cable Technician                  

  • Weighted Median Salary in Atlanta: $60,373
  • Annual Atlanta openings, 2023-2027: 3,299
Visitors watch the whale shark and fish at Georgia Aquarium, one of Atlanta's biggest attractions
Internet service is needed everywhere in the state, from the busy Georgia Aquarium to more rural areas. (Credit: f11photo/Shutterstock)

Money from the Infrastructure, Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) funds more than transportation projects. In metro Atlanta, the money also expands broadband access and shores up cybersecurity infrastructure.

For fiber optics technicians, that creates job opportunities. Internet access isn’t an issue in metro Atlanta, but technicians are needed to provide broadband service to rural areas of the state. (And if you question the need, check out this Georgia broadband availability map, and the vast unserved areas it highlights.)

We’ve spelled out why the top 10 secure jobs in Atlanta matter — but there’s more. No matter what industry you’re interested in, opportunity is the name of the game in Atlanta.

The next 20 secure jobs in Atlanta with local salary and job opening information*:

11. Auto MechanicWeighted median salary: $45,659; annual openings, 2023-2027: 6,092
12. Paralegal and Legal Assistant: Weighted median salary: $48,562; annual openings, 2023-2027: 5,137
13. Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN): Weighted median salary: $51,291; annual openings, 2023-2027: 3,777
14. Industrial Machinery Mechanic: Weighted median salary: $57,765; annual openings, 2023-2027: 3,482
15. Network and Computer Systems Administrator: Weighted median salary: $99,260; annual openings, 2023-2027: 2,096
16. Food Service Manager: Weighted median salary: $61,268; annual openings, 2023-2027: 2,327
17. Dental Assistant: Weighted median salary: $40,071; annual openings, 2023-2027: 3,490
18. Data Security Management Analyst: Weighted median salary: $103,432; annual openings, 2023-2027: 1,781
19. Machinist: Weighted median salary: $42,259; annual openings, 2023-2027: 3,109
20. HVAC Technician: Weighted median salary: $48,977; annual openings, 2023-2027: 2,765
21. Welder: Weighted median salary: $43,781; annual openings, 2023-2027: 3,208
22. Diesel Mechanic: Weighted median salary: $48,245; annual openings, 2023-2027: 2,407
23. Construction Equipment Operator: Weighted median salary: $43,825; annual openings, 2023-2027: 2,891
24. Plumber: Weighted median salary: $55,648; annual openings, 2023-2027: 2,230
25. Database Administrator: Weighted median salary: $106,459; annual openings, 2023-2027: 1,545
26. Firefighter: Weighted median salary: $47,819; annual openings, 2023-2027: 2,779
27. Logistician: Weighted median salary: $99,131; annual openings, 2023-2027: 1,382
28. Laboratory Technician: Weighted median salary: $57,058; annual openings, 2023-2027: 1,885
29. Aircraft Mechanic: Weighted median salary: $79,088; annual openings, 2023-2027: 1,335
30. Medical Records and Health Information Technician: Weighted median salary: $45,008; annual openings, 2023-2027: 2,338

Sarah Hicks is an editor and writer with expertise in workforce training and sustainability.

*All linked job names in this article will take you to a page with more detailed information about the career.