Key Industries in North Carolina

You’re in good company in North Carolina

Many of the world’s best-known brands across a range of future-focused industries call North Carolina home. We’ve grown far beyond our legacy industries of textiles, tobacco and furniture to address the world’s biggest challenges with companies that are inventing the future. From biotechnology to aerospace, transportation to information technology, you’ll find the people and infrastructure in North Carolina to take your company to the forefront of your industry.

Key Industries: Get to know some the major business sectors in the state

Aerospace & Defense

With our history of being first in flight, it’s no wonder leader aerospace, defense and security companies like Honda Jet, GE Aviation, Lockheed Martin and UTC Aerospace Systems call N.C. home.

Automotive, Truck & Heavy Machinery

From Freightliner and Daimler Trucks to Caterpillar and Bridgestone, North Carolina touts the 10th-largest automotive sector employment in the country.

Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals

The largest research park in the U.S. and three Tier 1 research universities attract biotech and pharma companies like Novo Nordisk, Merck and FUJIFILM Diosynth.

Business & Financial Services

As the third-largest U.S. financial center, companies like AT&T, Bank of America, Microsoft and Wells Fargo enjoy our global connectivity and top-notch talent.

Corporate Headquarters

Low corporate taxes and cost of living make N.C. highly attractive for corporate headquarters—just ask the 14 Fortune 500 and 26 Fortune 1000 companies based here.


Between nuclear energy, cleantech and smart grids, N.C. ranks second in turbine manufacturing, third in fossil fuel power generation and fifth in semiconductor manufacturing in the U.S.  Opportunities for offshore wind energy are also coming into focus.

Food Processing & Manufacturing

In addition to our robust agriculture industry, NC is second-largest in animal processing and manufacturing and home to Tyson, Campbell’s and Smithfield.


As the “Furniture Capital of the World,” it’s not surprising that the world’s largest furniture store, furniture manufacturer and furnishings industry trade show are all in NC.

Information Technology

Having major tech players including Google, Cisco and SAS here is part of the reason North Carolina boasts the second-fastest growing IT industry in the U.S. Semiconductor and other microelectronic manufacturing operations are also growing in the state.

Plastics & Chemicals

Internationally known companies, like Dow, DuPont and PPG, are a big part of why NC holds the title of being the fifth-largest plastics and chemicals workforce in the U.S.


Hanes, Kimberly-Clark and many others enjoy our state’s well-established supply chain partners and skilled labor—and make up the largest textile mill industry in the U.S.


North Carolina is among the top 10 most visited states in the U.S., and we offer a strong infrastructure and network of professionals to support this industry in our state.

Our Workforce

Many industries and sectors choose to do business in North Carolina for our highly skilled and diverse workforce.

See what makes our people so appealing


Woman in factory

Talk to a state business consultant for your industry

Column Paragraph
Indicates required field
Your Industry