Careers, Jobs and Education Resources for: West Virginia

West Virginia

Fast Facts: The “Mountain State” boasts the highest mean altitude of any state east of the Mississippi River. West Virginia’s capital and largest city is Charleston.

West Virginia Careers: The 2008 U.S. Census data estimated West Virginia’s population at nearly 2 million. West Virginia ranked 50th in a recent Forbes “Best State for Business” ranking.

West Virginia Career Education: West Virginia ranked 44th in a K-12 “Academic Achievement” study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in 2009.

West Virginia Economy: With over three-fourths of the state’s mining income coming from coal, West Virginia stands as a national leader in coal production.

For details and sources, click the “Career Information” tab below.



West Virginia Fast Facts:

Location, Location, Location…:  The state is located in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States.

Cities:  The capital and largest city in West Virginia is Charleston. (1-CB)

Behind the Name:  West Virginia is nicknamed the “Mountain State,” with the highest mean altitude east of the Mississippi River.

A Closer Look:  West Virginia is known for offering a breadth of outdoor recreational opportunities, including skiing, whitewater rafting, rock climbing, hiking, fishing and hunting.

Did You Know?  West Virginia broke away from Virginia during the American Civil War and was admitted to the Union as a separate state on June 20, 1863. It is the only state to form by seceding from the Confederacy.

West Virginia Careers and Employment:

Population:  1,814,468 (0.3% increase since 2000) - 51.0% Female, 49.0% Male (2008 U.S. Census Bureau).

Business Environment:  Ranked 50th in Forbes Magazine’s “Best States for Business,” 2008.

Top Industries:  In terms of paid employees, according to a 2008 U.S. Census Bureau study: (1) health care and social assistance; (2) retail trade; (3) manufacturing; (4) accommodation and food services; and (5) construction.

Taxes:  Income Tax, 3.0% to 6.5% and Sales Tax, 6% (Federation of Tax Administrators).

Cost of Living:  94.6 in relation to the “National Average” of 100 (Federal Cost of Living Index).

Quality of Life:  Ranked 39th of 50 states by CNBC, 2009.

Weather:  Average Temperature (In °F) – Jan: 30.21; Apr: 50.92; July: 71.95; Oct: 52.70 (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).

K-12:  Ranked 44th of 50 states in “Academic Achievement” by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 2009.

West Virginia Economics:

In General:  West Virginia’s economy depends a great deal upon manufacturing and mining, while agriculture and the service industry are also major contributors.

Service Industry:  The majority of West Virginia’s workforce is employed in the service industry, driven by tourist activities and a growing information technology sector.

Agriculture:  Over three-fourths of West Virginia’s total agricultural production is in livestock products. In terms of revenue generated West Virginia’s top five agricultural products are broilers (young chickens), cattle and calves, chicken eggs, dairy products, and turkeys.

Manufacturing:  Chemicals (adhesives, industrial chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and plastics) are West Virginia’s most valuable manufactured product.

Did You Know?  West Virginia is a national leader in coal production, as over three-fourths of the state’s mining income is derived from coal.

West Virginia Education:

Find Colleges and Universities in West Virginia, here.


Sources:  In addition to specific citations noted in this “Career Information” section, supplementary source materials include:  the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service;;;; and


General Information
1,794,787 Population (as of 2000)2.0 Average Persons Per Household (as of 2000)
1,577,305 Population (current)$63,797 Average House Value (as of 2000)
23,055.6 Square Miles of Land$28,063 Average House Income (as of 2000)
22.4 Square Miles of Water

Business Information
40,103 Number of Businesses (as of 2003)$3,184,612,000 Total First Quarter Payroll (as of 2003)
496,518 Number of Employees (as of 2003)$13,199,449,000 Total Annual Payroll (as of 2003)

Gender (as of 2000)
Ethnicity (as of 2000)
Median Ages (as of 2000)
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Colleges in the State of West Virginia
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