A record number of Americans quit their jobs last year, and a lot of them started working in cannabis. Between 2020 and 2021 there was a 32% employment increase in the cannabis industry, which now employs nearly 321,000 Americans according to the Washington Post.
Cannabis is one of the fastest growing employment sectors. In fact, according to WaPo, the U.S. now has more legal cannabis workers than dentists, paramedics or electrical engineers.
Sure, 321,000 jobs looks like a drop in a bucket compared to the 11.3 million natural gas jobs, or 1.6 million Walmart employees. Still, the 32% employment increase means cannabis is creeping up rather quickly on these juggernaut industries that fuel the economy and hold strong influence in turn.
Even with this massive increase in employment there are still a growing number of available jobs in weed. This boom of employment opportunity, in a time when a large segment of the population is looking for a fresh start, leaves us with a big question mark: What are the hottest jobs in cannabis right now?
Top Paying Jobs
People are flocking to careers in weed for many reasons. And money is at the top of that list. Here are some of the top paying jobs in cannabis that are in demand as the market continues to expand.
A master grower is a job for someone who is wizards at making the best marijuana on the market. “They are responsible for cultivating the strains of marijuana plants which will later be sold to clients. The best grow masters are in high demand. And, they can earn upwards of $100,000 per year,” according to CNBC.
Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
Every good business needs a top notch Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to maximize its profitability and efficiency. With cannabis companies and dispensaries being such new enterprises, it is often wise to choose a seasoned and talented CFO to help guide the way to financial success.
Since this position requires many credentials, and often years of experience as a CFO, it is no surprise that annual salaries can be upwards of $260,000-$330,000.
Extraction Lab Manager
A large amount of marijuana is not smoked. THC must be extracted in order to turn marijuana into tinctures, oils or edibles. The need for extraction continues to grow, but it is not easy work. “This involves the extraction technician to work closely with flammable, explosive and dangerous substances like butane, ethanol and carbon dioxide,” according to Indeed. This complex and hazardous work is why these jobs come with a hefty salary.
Entry Level Opportunities
The highest paying jobs in cannabis are not the only hot jobs in the market. According to glassdoor, there are several entry level jobs in cannabis that are enticing and in high demand.
As the demand for marijuana increases, so does the need for trimmers. It is the trimmer’s job to cut around the leaves and thick stems in order to get to the “heart” of the precious flower, or “nug.” Trimmer jobs can pay hourly or by the pound. They are another good position for those looking to get their foot in the door, especially those who are not big on retail or customer service.
Dispensaries were declared an “essential business” throughout the pandemic. A budtender position is great for someone who has a bit of retail experience and is looking to get a foot in the door in the cannabis industry. You can learn a great deal about strains, brands and marijuana culture as a budtender.
Delivery driving was a huge job throughout the pandemic, and the new for recreational marijuana delivery drivers still persists today. According to Glassdoor, delivery drivers still rank among the hottest jobs in cannabis right now.
Careers On The Rise
From marketing to culinary, nearly every career specialty can find a home in weed. Some such jobs are quite interesting, on the rise and highly desirable.
Just because marijuana is booming does not mean it has gotten less competitive. All brands in this industry are fighting for the top spot. This is where marketing comes in.
Great marketing can make or break a brand. Since recreational cannabis is still new and many brands are still very young, it is an exciting time to join or create a marketing team from the ground up.
The marijuana edibles market continues to grow in the recreational marijuana world, and they don’t cook themselves. Edibles chefs are growing as the market expands. What once was pot brownies served at festivals has turned into a menu that would test even the limits of even Willy Wonka’s imagination.
Cannabis Sales Reps
Once marketing is created, a brand needs someone to get the product into the buyer’s hands. Cannabis sales reps act like many other sales reps, as they work to build the critical partnership between buyers and growers.
Sales rep jobs are almost always commission-based, and can be a great opportunity for a social and eager individual who has a passion for spreading the word about good weed.
If you recently left your job or have become interested in a career in the realm of cannabis, you will want to know the best way to get noticed and hired.
“Showing up at cannabis-industry conferences and events, which are easy to find online, is ‘crucial,’” Karson Humiston, CEO of Vangst, told Fortune. “Job seekers can get right in front of the leading companies, which can drastically cut down on the time it takes to find a job.”
So there you have it. Put yourself out there and get noticed! With massive continued growth on the horizon, now is a great time to snag one of the many exciting careers in the cannabis industry.