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Careers, Jobs and Education Resources for: Iowa


Fast Facts: Iowa is often referred to as the “American Heartland.” Des Moines is the capital and largest city, followed by Cedar Rapids.

Iowa Careers: The 2008 U.S. Census data estimated Iowa’s population at approximately 3 million. Forbes recently ranked Iowa as the 22nd “Best State for Business.”

Iowa Career Education: Iowa ranked 20th in a 2009 K-12 “Academic Achievement” study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Iowa Economy: Known for its farming, Iowa is the third largest national producer of food, leads in corn production and is a primary producer of soybeans. Unsurprisingly, the first gasoline-powered tractor was invented in Iowa in 1892.

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



Iowa Fast Facts:

Location, Location, Location...:  Iowa is located in the midwestern region of the United States in the area often referred to as the “American Hearland.”

Cities:  Des Moines is Iowa’s capital and largest city, followed by Cedar Rapids and Davenport, respectively.

Behind the Name:  Iowa is officially nicknamed the “Hawkeye State.”

A Closer Look:  On December 28, 1846, Iowa became the 29th state in the Union.

Did You Know?  In the spirit of Iowa’s countless farms it produced the first tractor in 1892; today the state claims the largest tractor manufacturing plant in the nation.

Iowa Careers and Employment:

Population:  3,002,555 (2.6% increase since 2000) – 50.7% Female, 49.3% Male (2008 U.S. Census Bureau).

Business Environment:  Ranked 22nd 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) manufacturing; (2) health care and social assistance; (3) retail trade; (4) accommodation and food services; and (5) finance and insurance.

Taxes:  Income Tax, 0.36% to 8.98% and Sales Tax, 5% (Federation of Tax Administrators).

Cost of Living 93.4 in relation to the “National Average” of 100 (Federal Cost of Living Index).

Quality of Life:  Ranked 20th of 50 states by CNBC, 2009.

Weather:  Average Temperature (In °F) – Jan: 17.84; Apr: 48.53; July: 73.78; Oct: 50.95 (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).

K-12  Ranked 20th of 50 states in “Academic Achievement” by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 2009.

Iowa Economics:

In General:  In the mid and late 20th century, Iowa’s historic agricultural economy transitioned to a diversified economy of advanced manufacturing, processing, financial services, biotechnology and green energy production.

Service Industry:  Iowa’s leading service industry is wholesale (automobiles, farm machinery, farm products) and retail (automobile dealerships, grocery stores, restaurants) trade.

Agriculture:  While Iowa’s economy provides opportunities for those who work in a variety of fields, the state is best known for its farming industry. Iowa is the third largest producer of food for the U.S, and is often called the “Food Capital of the World.” Iowa leads the states in the production of corn and ranks among the leaders in production of soybeans.

Manufacturing:  Not surprisingly, the largest manufacturing industry in Iowa is the food processing industry.  Meatpacking plants producing canned hams and breakfast sausages are important, along with other plants that produce corn oil, cornstarch, corn sugar and glucose.

A Closer Look:  Des Moines serves as a national center of the insurance industry and the state also boasts a considerable finance and real estate industry.

Did You Know?  One of the largest cereal mills in the United States and the country’s largest popcorn-processing plant are both located in Iowa. [Ed. Note: What’s next is perhaps a new kind of snap, crackle and pop.]

Iowa Education:

Find Colleges and Universities in Iowa, 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; Netstate.com; Education-Portal.com; USCollegeSearch.org; and Wikipedia.com.


General Information
2,926,041 Population (as of 2000)2.0 Average Persons Per Household (as of 2000)
2,799,132 Population (current)$60,866 Average House Value (as of 2000)
55,664.2 Square Miles of Land$36,924 Average House Income (as of 2000)
145.0 Square Miles of Water

Business Information
80,851 Number of Businesses (as of 2003)$8,022,516,000 Total First Quarter Payroll (as of 2003)
1,172,275 Number of Employees (as of 2003)$33,435,885,000 Total Annual Payroll (as of 2003)

Gender (as of 2000)
Ethnicity (as of 2000)
Median Ages (as of 2000)
Featured Online Colleges
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Colleges in the State of Iowa
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