ATXtoday City Guide Work Banner

The top industries and employers in the Austin metro area

Learn about the biggest industries and employers in the Austin metro area with this guide to local business.


Educational hubs like UT Austin support life sciences, creative media, and technology industries in the metro area.

Photo by @swablogguy

More than 2.2 million people (and thousands of businesses) contribute to the Austin metro area’s $216 billion economy. But have you ever wondered about the Capital City’s heaviest hitters?

Consider this Austin Business 101 — your guide to our region’s eight key industries and 10 major employers.

Note: When we say the Austin metro area, that refers to Travis, Williamson, Hays, Bastrop and Caldwell counties.

The key industries

There are eight key industries that represent substantial portions of the Austin metro area’s 1.1 million-person workforce, based on data from the Austin Chamber of Commerce.

Financial Services and Insurance | With a population growing by ~32% each decade, Austin’s booming economy and wide talent base helps employ a fifth of the workforce in management, business, and financial operations.

Advanced Manufacturing | Semiconductor, electronics, automotive technology, and aerospace manufacturing lead the charge in this industry, which currently boasts 62,000 employees — a ~16% increase since 2016.

Clean Technology | Austin is home to more than 200 companies that make wind turbines and solar technology, or research and develop bio fuels and energy storage products.

Corporate HQs and Regional Offices | You probably already know Austin is home to headquarters for Meta, TikTok, Google, Oracle, Apple, Tesla, and Dell — name a big company, and there’s a chance it has an office in ATX.

Creative and Digital Media | Between major events like SXSW and education hubs at UT Austin, Texas State, and St. Edward’s University, Austin’s creative media industry supports 50,000+ local employees.

Data Management | Austin’s infrastructure and low risk of being hit by a natural disaster helps attract data centers to the region.

Life Sciences | Research centers like the Dell Medical School help support the nearly 300 life sciences companies and 18,000 employees in Central Texas.

Space Technology | Driven in part by graduates from UT Austin’s top-10 ranked aerospace engineering programs, Austin’s space tech industry supports ~12,000 employees making satellites, launch providers, and spacecraft components.

Note: Although not considered key industries by the Austin Chamber of Commerce, some of the other largest industries in the city by workforce are government (185,600 employees), educational and health services (133,900 employees), and leisure and hospitality (119,700 employees).

The capitol building, as seen from the grounds

The State of Texas is the largest employer in the Austin metro area, with a local workforce of more than 63,000 people.

Photo by ATXtoday

The major players

Now that we’ve established the major industries, we bet you’re curious for specific names. Whether you’re job hunting (or just “casually prospecting”), here are five major employers — each with more than 15,000 workers on average.

1️⃣ The State of Texas
63,900 employees | Government | Search jobs

No surprise here — with Austin being the capital of the state, the largest employer in the city is Texas itself.

2️⃣ The University of Texas at Austin
23,900 employees | Education | Search jobs

Texas’ flagship university — which enrolls 52,000+ students each year — employs more than 2% of the entire local workforce.

3️⃣ H-E-B
18,000 employees | Retail | Search jobs

The beloved San Antonio-based grocery store employs more than 100,000 people statewide, making it the largest private employer in Texas.

4️⃣ Dell Technologies
15,700 employees | Technology | Search jobs

The international company — which reported an annual revenue of $105 billion this year — makes up a substantial part of Austin’s computer technology and equipment industry.

5️⃣ City of Austin
15,400 | Government | Search jobs

Austin truly is a government town. Employees across dozens of city departments keep the capital running smoothly.

Other top employers include:

  • The Federal Government — 14,600 employees
  • Ascension Seton — 11,200 employees
  • Austin Independent School District — 11,100 employees
  • St. David’s HealthCare Partnership — 10,800 employees
  • Samsung Austin Semiconductor — 8,900 employees

This information is derived from the most recent data published by the Austin Chamber of Commerce.

ATXtoday phone
Good news for Austin.
Get the best local news & events sent to your inbox each morning, for free.