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Top industries and employers in the Tampa Bay area

The economic landscape of Tampa Bay, who’s hiring, and who’s most likely to expand investments into our community.

Bull statues at the University of South Florida. They are in a fountain, in front of the Marshall Student Center in the middle of the Tampa campus. Cloudy skies are ahead.

USF is one of our area’s biggest employers.

Photo by TBAYtoday

Table of Contents

More than 1.6 million people (and thousands of businesses) contribute to the Tampa Bay metropolitan area’s economy. But have you ever wondered about our heaviest hitters?

Consider this Tampa Bay Business 101 — your guide to our region’s key industries and major employers. Class is in session.

Note: This article was compiled using information from the Tampa Bay Economic Development Council, the St. Petersburg Area Economic Development Corporation, and the Tampa Bay Business Journal.

The key industries

Here are six of the main industries in our area:

Defense and security

Tampa Bay is a defense hub, offering tons of access to chief military assets and a military-friendly business community. MacDill Air Force Base is one of the area’s largest employers with 30,000+ workers.

Information technology

Tech in TBAY has been on the up for the past 10+ years, with the addition of thousands of jobs. With 3,700 more jobs expected by 2027, the industry’s local growth is set to continue. St. Pete’s data analytics scene is also set to increase its number of jobs by 40% year over year.

Financial and professional services

Did you know Tampa is widely considered the Wall Street of the South? Nearly one in four business and information services firms in Florida are right here. It’s a sector growing yearly in our workforce scene.

Life sciences and health care

The Tampa metro area boasts ~3,200 businesses in this industry, with 74% growth since 2020. With the likes of Tampa General Hospital and Moffitt Cancer Center calling the Cigar City home, and Baycare’s Clearwater headquarters, this industry shows no signs of slowing down. In St. Pete, marine and life sciences factor into the equation too.

Manufacturing, distribution and logistics

The strength of the twelfth largest port in the country, Port Tampa Bay, and Tampa International Airport propel TBAY to its position as a national leader in supply chain management. On the other side of the Bay, the Sunshine City boasts $843 million annually in exports, with a heavy focus on electronics manufacturing and medical devices manufacturing.

Creative arts and design

St. Pete has a wealth of opportunity for artists + creatives to thrive. World class museums and galleries are surrounded by theaters, studios, and there’s an emphasis on small business across the city.

The iconic Dalí Museum shown at a distance with blue skies ahead. Its iconic round exterior is flanked by palm trees, and the sun shines on the glass.

The Dalí gives employment opportunities to a wealth of creative types.

Photo by @dalimuseum

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 some of the companies with the most Tampa Bay area employees:

Government

State of Florida
34,700 employees | Government | Search jobs
About 15% of the state’s employees are located in the Tampa Bay area. Tens of thousands work for the Sunshine State across a wide range of fields, like public safety, community programs, administrative work, construction, planning, and health care.

Hillsborough County
~11,100 employees | Government | Search jobs
Tampa Bay’s largest county has no shortage of job opportunities. From librarians to social workers, and engineers to sheriff’s deputies, the county relies on TBAY workers to run smoothly. They have internships too.

Pinellas County
6,200 employees | Government | Search jobs
Pinellas relies on its locals to keep the county running. There are roles in HR, engineering, planning, development, maintenance, utilities services, and even park ranger positions up for grabs.

City of Tampa
4,889 employees | Government | Search jobs
Whether it’s Parks and Recreation or a desk job in Old City Hall, the Cigar City needs its employees. Those parades don’t organize themselves, after all.

City of St. Petersburg
3,556 employees | Government | Search jobs
St. Pete is one of the hottest destinations for travelers in the country, according to Tripadvisor. The Burg employs law enforcement, officials, street crews, admin workers, and many others to help keep it spick and span.

City Hall in Tampa is lit up in green for St. Patrick's Day. The surrounding buildings tower over it and the sky is black at night time.

Tampa City Hall is home to the Big Guava’s local employees.

Photo by TBAYtoday

Health care

BayCare Health System
~29,500 employees | Health care | Search jobs
The health care system is based in Clearwater, and has 16 hospitals under its name. BayCare has a wide array of treatment options, and was founded in 1997.

HCA West Florida Division
~17,000 employees | Health care | Search jobs
The local branch of the Sunshine State health care system is based in Tampa. HCA helps connect Tampa Bay residents with health care providers, doctors, surgeons, and other appropriate medical care.

H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute
8,135 employees | Cancer research | Search jobs
Moffitt boasts cancer survival rates up to four times the national average, and has been accredited annually since 1989 for its work in the field. The institution has received ample awards and recognition since its 1981 founding, and thousands now contribute toward the company’s shared curative goal.

Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital
3,467 employees | Health care | Search jobs
The pediatric hospital in the heart of the Burg helps thousands of patients every year, and provides thousands of people with employment. With jobs across the medical field and hospital at-large, there’s spots for those with all sorts of skills.

Education

Hillsborough County Public Schools
23,750 employees | Education | Search jobs
The seventh-largest school district in the country needs a big workforce. With 300+ schools, and 220,000+ students, there’s always a need for more teachers, custodians, bus drivers, and security personnel.

University of South Florida
~15,000 employees | Education | Search jobs
Tens of thousands of students need guidance and assistance from employees at multiple Tampa Bay area campuses. The university’s employees help students with housing, financial aid, athletics, food + drink, transportation, security, and research.

Pinellas County Schools
12,865 employees | Education | Search jobs
The public school district has 140+ schools and 90,000+ students. There’s a wealth of roles with PCS, from instructional + educator roles, to coaching, bus drivers, janitors, and food staff.

Financial services

JPMorgan Chase & Co.
5,700 employees | Financial services | Search jobs
The world’s largest bank by market capitalization (as of 2023) has offices across the globe, including one in the Cigar City. This company offers a range of financial services, including asset management, commercial banking, small business financial advice, and investment banking.

Progressive Insurance
5,350 employees | Insurance | Search jobs
Progressive has insurance options for cars, homes, apartments, and personal belongings. Thousands of workers in our area consider the Riverview campus their employment base for the company, ranked among the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For.

Raymond James Financial
~5,200 employees | Finance | Search jobs
RJF offers financial guidance and planning to individual investors and families. In 2024, the company hit $1.37 trillion in assets, with St. Pete as its headquarters. Raymond James is ingrained in our area, also having purchased the naming rights to the Bucs stadium back in 1998.

United Services Automobile Association (USAA)
~3,900 | Financial services | Search jobs
With insurance options, banking support, financial advice, and retirement plans for veterans, USAA has helped retired service members for over a century. There are multiple company outposts in the Tampa Bay area.

Suncoast Credit Union
2,470 employees | Credit union | Search jobs
The Tampa Bay area credit union provides checking + savings options, as well as mortgage opportunities. Their careers site provides guidance on how to join their award-winning team.

A helicopter flies over Raymond James Stadium before Super Bowl LV. Tampa's skyline is visible in the background.

R.O.C. the Block takes over Raymond James in June.

Other

MacDill Air Force Base
~31,000 employees | Security and defense | Search jobs
South of South Tampa lies the storied base, which was first activated during World War II in 1941. The strategic center houses military personnel from every branch of the armed forces. There are also jobs in food + beverage, admin, guest services, and childcare.

Bloomin’ Brands
~5,000 employees | Food + beverage | Search jobs
Established in 1988 in Tampa, Bloomin’ Brands now employs ~87,000 people nationwide. The thousands of local employees are split across various establishments, including Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, and Bonefish Grill.

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino
~4,500 employees | Hotel and casino | Search jobs
The multifaceted venue doesn’t just offer gambling + hotel rooms, but it also has an events center with a 1,500-seat venue, and a range of dining choices. It’s hard to miss with the huge neon guitar next to I-4.

Tampa Electric Company
2,500 employees | Utilities | Search jobs
The company has helped keep the lights on in the Big Guava for over a hundred years. On top of that, you can catch manatees outside their power station down in Apollo Beach during the colder months — we already did.

Jabil
2,000 employees | Manufacturing | Search jobs
Jabil is a global manufacturing company that creates semiconductors and other tech components for devices including mobile phones and automotive safety technology. The St. Pete headquarters are at the center of 100 plants across 30 countries worldwide.

Rooms To Go Furniture
2,000 employees | Retail | Search jobs
It’s hard to miss their huge warehouse by I-4. RTG has roles in corporate, distribution, IT, retail, and customer service at their Seffner location.

Test your business knowledge with our quiz.


City Guides are presented by Water Street Tampa.

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