One question we see all the time about moving to Bend is where to start looking for jobs, if you need to have a job set up before you move to Bend, and what sort of industries do the most hiring in Central Oregon. Great questions! We offer a number of resources for finding a job or starting a business in Bend, but for a broad overview, let’s go over the top industries in the area that are popular options for new employees.
1. Healthcare and Medicine
Healthcare is responsible for some of the largest employment numbers in Central Oregon, and St. Charles Health System on its own is one of the biggest employers in the area around 5,000 employees, plus many additional medical clinics and specialists that may be looking for hires. This makes St. Charles and others a great spot to start looking for a job, but it can also be a competitive field (made all the more complex by long-lasting reworks due to the 2020 pandemic). Training and qualifications are very important when considering healthcare or adjacent positions!
A special mention should also go out to Central Oregon veterinarians: Bend and the surrounding areas love animals, from dogs to horses, and there are a high number of vet clinics that may also be looking for help.
Bend has developed into a hotbed for technology startups and incubation, with a mix of content creation studios like Sony Bend to spice things up. Incubators like FoundersPad and EDCO can help new tech ventures find ways to thrive in the area, but it’s certainly an industry for those with big ideas. Alternatively, telecom also has a strong employment history in the city thanks to groups like Bend Broadband/TDS Telecom and Consumer Cellular.
3. Tourism, Recreation, and Hospitality
These three industries broadly blend together when it comes to Bend’s employment options, and skillsets in any category will be very useful in finding jobs across Bend. That can include major resorts here like Mt. Bachelor, Eagle Crest, Sunriver Resorts, or Black Butte Ranch, which are closely connected to recreational opportunities and classes offered throughout the area. Other businesses may be looking for those with experience in specific types of recreation or sports equipment to help with sales and maintenance.
Then you have hospitality options from lodges and dining at the resorts to a wide array of popular breweries, starting with Deschutes Brewery but also filled with smaller employees looking for those who know their hops or can offer food with a smile.
4. Automotive and Construction
Central Oregon’s high desert weather provides plenty of work opportunities whether you are changing seasonal tires at an employer like Les Schwab, helping the city fill in potholes, or updating local construction to make sure it’s ready for the elements. Bend has a lot of development projects currently ongoing that can provide temporary construction opportunities for experienced workers.
Special mention: If automotive isn’t quite for you, look into local grocery stores. Brands like Safeway, Fred Meyer, Costco, Whole Foods, and Market of Choice are big employers in the city and excellent places to look for employment opportunities.
Bend is one of the entrepreneur capitals of the country, so it’s no surprise that one of the most important industries are the self-employed and those starting their own businesses in the city. That means starting a venture of your own is always an option or joining a new venture with like-minded people could be a possibility. There’s also a network of experienced entrepreneurs across Bend that can help you get started and understand what you need to succeed in the business of your choice.
If you are looking for other business resources in Bend to help you find the job you need while you focus on other life matters as well, we recommend stopping by our working in Bend page to find more info.