25 Jobs Employing the Most Immigrants in America

Immigrants undergoing naturalization at the Department of Justice in Washington, DC

The current job market in the United States holds vast opportunities for immigrants | Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Immigration and policy concerning immigrants has never been a hotter topic in the United States. While there are reasons to be concerned about immigration, it’s largely a net positive for the American economy. But that doesn’t dispel the concern many Americans feel as it relates to jobs and national security.

So the question then is: Is immigration really a threat to your job? Unless your employer is working the H1-B visa system over, or looking to pay below legal wages by hiring undocumented workers, it’s probably not. Still, it’s an issue that needs to be discussed and addressed.

When it comes down to the subject of what jobs and occupations are attracting the most immigrants, some are obviously more saturated than others. Typically, newcomers (especially undocumented workers) gravitate toward low-wage, unskilled labor. This can stem from a lack of skills, education, or experience, as well as language barriers or fear of deportation, among other factors. But educated, experienced, and driven people are coming to the U.S. as well, making jobs all across the economy more competitive. Ultimately, this benefits us and the job market. Though, in the short term, it can also make people fear for the jobs they do have.

Immigrants and the most popular jobs

A new report from Indeed outlines which sectors and jobs contain the highest share of immigrant workers. That is, the industries in which the highest percentage of employees are foreign-born.

“To identify these jobs, we used the Census’s American Community Survey (ACS), which asks respondents about their employment status, occupation, birthplace, and citizenship, among many other topics. We analyzed the data for all immigrants in the U.S., and then focused on those who have been in the country less than five years,” the report said.”

And interestingly enough, there’s this little tidbit: “The punchline is that compared with earlier immigrants, recent immigrants are more educated, more likely to come from Asia rather than Latin America, and less likely to work in occupations where they might compete directly with the native-born workers who were most supportive of Trump.”

Based on our findings from Indeed’s report, here are the 25 jobs currently employing the most foreign-born workers.

25. Military

Military service members stand in a line

Military specific roles in the U.S. are often held by immigrants | Thinkstock

Kicking things off is the military. Approximately 5% of military-specific jobs in the U.S. are filled by immigrants. This often refers to civilian careers in the military industry, such as managerial roles. However, it is also possible for non-citizen immigrants to join the armed forces, provided they meet certain requirements.

24. Protective service

A TSA security employee assists a passenger

Protective services, including TSA security, see impressive numbers among immigrants | Win McNamee/Getty Images

Indeed’s study shows that around 8% of the economy’s protective service jobs are filled by new Americans. This includes security guards and related occupations.

23. Legal

A judge gavel with the scales of justice

The legal sector is just one of the industries open to immigrant workers | iStock.com/BrianAJackson

Roughly 8% of the jobs in the legal sector are filled by immigrants. Specific job roles in this category include, but are not limited to, clerks and attorneys.

22. Community and social service

A man is seen mapping social structures

Immigrants can find job opportunities in community organizations | iStock.com

When it comes to jobs in the community and social service sector, 10% are filled by immigrants. Though this particular category is quite broad in scope, occupations can include anyone that’s working for a relief agency or community organization.

21. Education

A teacher captivating his students

For those who are just coming to the U.S., teaching can be a wonderful opportunity | iStock.com

One sector benefiting from immigration is education, where roughly 11% of jobs are filled by newcomers. This includes administrative roles, teachers, librarians, and more.

20. Office and administrative work

A young woman working on her laptop

Office jobs are open to people with various experiences and from diverse countries | iStock.com/nensuria

Mind-numbing office work may be dull, but it often pays fairly well and provides a predictable schedule. These are probably just some of the reasons why immigrants make up 11% of office-related roles.

19. Business operations

A business team made up of people from around the world is solving tough problems in an open office space

A business team made up of people from around the world is solving tough problems | iStock.com/Rawpixel

Indeed refers to this category as “business operations specialists,” which can mean an awful lot of things. Typically, though, you can think of it as someone working in business with some sort of specialization, such as analysis, or as having expertise in a specific software. Eleven percent of these jobs are filled by immigrants.

18. Extraction

Oil pump at south end of California's Central Valley

Oil extraction is one of the many things immigrants can do when looking for work | iStock.com/Nancy Nehring

The extraction industry — businesses that typically specialize in extracting natural resources like oil — hires approximately 11% of the immigrant workforce.

17. Art, media, and sports

The sports industry is full of opportunities for immigrants, including coaching and playing baseball

The sports industry is full of opportunities for immigrants, including coaching and playing baseball | iStock.com/poetic_disorder

Indeed reports that “art, design, entertainment, sports, media” are all one big field, with 13% of it occupied by immigrant workers.

16. Management

The business sector is always looking for worldwide employees to fill management roles

The business sector is always looking for worldwide employees to fill management roles | iStock.com

If it hasn’t become clear yet, immigrants occupy roles all across the job spectrum — going all the way to the top. In fact, many of them grow into, or are qualified right off the bat, for management positions. And the figures clearly reflect this fact, with 13% of the country’s management positions being currently held by immigrants.

15. Sales

Jobs in sales are open to individuals with excellent people skill

Jobs in sales are open to individuals with excellent people skills | Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Sales is a huge field, filled with all sorts of people. Like management roles, 13% of the country’s sales jobs are held by newcomers.

14. Maintenance

A maintenance worker fixes electronics

If “repair” is your middle name, you’ll find work in maintenance | iStock.com

Installation, maintenance, or “repair” as Indeed calls it, is an occupational field composed of 14% immigrants. This includes a wide range of roles having to do with fixing or installing just about anything.

13. Finance

For immigrants who wish to work in finance, selling insurance is a great way to start

For immigrants who wish to work in finance, selling insurance is a great way to start | iStock.com/utah778

Around 14% of our financial specialists are from other countries, according to Indeed. These roles include people who sell insurance, investments, or anyone who works with money.

12. Health care practitioners

The health care industry employs people from around the world

The health care industry employs people from around the world | Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images

America needs doctors, and many immigrants are stepping into the role. Indeed’s research says that 15% of the country’s healthcare practitioners and technicians are from other countries.

11. Architecture and engineering

Technician engineer checking wires

If you’re an immigrant and you possess technical skills, then engineering might be the right career path for you | iStock.com

Architects and engineers hold fairly valuable and prestigious positions. According to Indeed, 19% of them are immigrants.

10. Transportation

The trucking industry is one of the most popular career paths among immigrants

The trucking industry is one of the most popular career paths among immigrants | iStock.com/IPGGutenbergUKLtd

Transportation is an immense industry, employing huge numbers of people. This includes taxi and personal drivers, delivery drivers, and truckers, who have the pleasure of holding America’s most common job. Indeed says 19% of the jobs in transportation are held by immigrants.

9. Health care support

Nurses from around the world work in the U.S. health care sector

Nurses from around the world work in the U.S. health care sector | iStock.com/monkeybusinessimages

Health care practitioners need support from people like nurses and administrators. In these fields, 19% of the workers don’t originate from the States.

8. Personal care and service

The beauty industry employs a lot of immigrant workers, including hairdressers and nail salon workers

The beauty industry employs a lot of immigrant workers, including hairdressers and nail salon workers | Fox Photos/Getty Images

Another extremely broad category is the personal care and service sector, which holds more than 20% of immigrant workers. This includes jobs like hairdressers, concierges, childcare workers, among others.

7. Life, physical, and social sciences

Scientists from around the world are making strides in the U.S. job market

Scientists from around the world are making strides in the U.S. job market | Luis Robayo/AFP/Getty Images

Scientists are increasingly coming from other countries. In the life, physical, and social sciences fields specifically, 21% of the work force is composed of immigrants.

6. Food and beverage

Bringing us exotic flavors, immigrants often join the food sector in the U.S. as chefs and labor workers

Bringing us exotic flavors, immigrants often join the food sector in the U.S. as chefs and labor workers | iStock.com

Twenty-two percent of workers in the food and beverage sector — ranging from work in restaurants to food production — are immigrants. This is a good thing, as we generally reap the benefits by trying all sorts of delicious foods from around the world.

5. Production

Working in a production plant is just one of the opportunities that awaits those entering the job force from overseas

Working in a production plant is just one of the opportunities that awaits those entering the job force from overseas | iStock.com/Harald Richter

Production is as broad a descriptor as you can find. For our purposes, we’ll assume this includes manufacturing jobs and other related occupations. According to Indeed, immigrants hold 23% of these positions.

4. Computing and mathematics

Individuals who have computer and programming skills can easily find work in the U.S.

Individuals who have computer and programming skills can easily find work in the U.S. | iStock.com/Rawpixel Ltd

When it comes to anything involving computing and math, other countries are emerging as a valuable source of talent. In this sector, 24% of workers are newcomers.

3. Construction

You'll often find immigrants working on construction sites across the U.S.

You’ll often find immigrants working on construction sites across the U.S. | iStock.com/dpproductions

Folks from other countries make up more than a quarter of the workforce in the construction industry. Twenty-seven percent of the workers in the industry are immigrants.

2. Building and maintenance

If you love tinkering with pipes and wires, the U.S. job market will have something for you

If you love tinkering with pipes and wires, the U.S. job market will have something for you | Gary Williams/Getty Images

It feels like we’ve already covered both building and maintenance, but Indeed has it listed as a separate category. Newcomers hold 35% of these jobs.

1. Farming, fishing, forestry

Harvesting strawberries is just one of the things immigrants can find themselves doing in the farming, fishing and forestry sector

Harvesting strawberries is just one of the things immigrants can find themselves doing in the farming, fishing and forestry sector | Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images

Farming, fishing, and forestry is the sector with the highest share of immigrant workers. Immigrants make up 46% of the workforce in this industry.

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