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San Diego Employment

Employment and Industries in the San Diego, California Area

Located in Southern California, the San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos metropolitan area has a robust business environment. There are five Fortune 1000 company headquarters located in the San Diego area, and numerous others throughout Southern California. The largest company headquartered in the San Diego area is Sempra Energy. The most famous are probably Jack in the Box, Petco Animal Supplies, and Qualcomm.

The San Diego area is home to many world renowned research centers, including the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the Salk Institute, the Scripps Research Institute, and the Burnham Research Institute. In addition, many major corporations also have research and development labs in San Diego, including Ericsson, Motorola, Nokia, and Texas Instruments.

The San Diego area has one of the most highly educated work forces in the United States. According to the United States Census Bureau, San Diego ranked as the tenth best educated city in the United States with 39% of the population holding a college degree or higher. In 2005, Central Connecticut State University ranked San Diego as one of the forty most literate cities in America.

In its 2006 list of "Best Cities for Doing Business" in the United States, Inc. magazine ranked the San Diego metropolitan area twentieth in the large cities category. Inc. has ranked San Diego in the top 20 for all three years of the survey (2004-2006). The criteria used for the list emphasizes regional growth. San Diego was also well ranked on Forbes magazine's 2005 list of "Best Places For Business and Careers". Forbes ranked San Diego twenty-fifth out of the 150 largest metropolitan areas in the United States. In the same survey, Forbes also ranked San Diego twenty-first for job growth. The San Diego metropolitan area also achieved a "5-Star Business Opportunity Metro" ranking from Expansion Management's 2005 Mayor's Challenge ranking of the "Top Business Opportunity Metros." Ranking criteria used in the survey include business climate, transportation and logistics infrastructure, quality of life, public education, and other areas important for corporate site selection.

San Diego's economy was traditionally heavily dependent on tourism and defense. Initiatives by public officials in the 1980s have helped to diversify the San Diego area economy and make it less dependent on its traditional base. The San Diego metropolitan area has become a center for biotechnology, communications, computer and electronics manufacturing, medical equipment manufacturing, pharmaceutical development, and software development and computer services. In 2004, the Milken Institute ranked San Diego as the number one biotech cluster in the United States.

The United States Military has a major presence and impact on the San Diego area economy. There is a major Navy and Marines Corps presence in and around San Diego. San Diego is the home port of the largest naval fleet in the world, including the carriers USS Nimitz and the USS Ronald Reagan, and many other navy ships.

Another major influence on the San Diego area's economy is the Port of San Diego. Not only is the port home to a major U.S. Navy presence, it is also a major port of embarkation for cruise ships, as well as home to the largest ship building plant on the west coast, General Dynamics NASSCO. It is the only shipyard on the west coast capable of building and repairing large ocean-going vessels.

For business travelers, the San Diego metropolitan area is served by the San Diego International Airport (SAN). SAN is the thirtieth busiest airport in the United States.

Notable companies in the San Diego metropolitan area include:

  • Edison International
  • General Dynamics NASSCO
  • Jack in the Box
  • Kyocera
  • Petco Animal Supplies
  • Qualcomm
  • Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC)
  • Sempra Energy

Major business organizations in the San Diego area include:

The San Diego Business Journal, and the San Diego Daily Transcript are both good sources of information on business and economy in the San Diego area.

Jobs in San Diego

RankTitleTotal EmployeesLocal Mean Salary (Per Year)Local Mean Salary (Per hour)National Growth % 2014-2024
1All Occupations1433340$56,410$27.12100
2Office and Administrative Support Occupations213340$40,710$19.5714.35
3Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations153540$28,840$13.878.55
4Sales and Related Occupations142090$41,910$20.159.9
5Education, Training, and Library Occupations88370$61,610$29.626.05
6Business and Financial Operations Occupations87590$80,020$38.475.25
7Management Occupations83420$125,420$60.36.15
8Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations72020$96,780$46.535.8
9Transportation and Material Moving Occupations69430$35,380$17.016.55
10Personal Care and Service Occupations67080$29,390$14.134.3
11Production Occupations65180$39,000$18.755.7
12Construction and Extraction Occupations61410$56,060$26.954.45
13Computer and Mathematical Occupations52200$96,710$46.492.9
14Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance Occupations47480$31,830$15.33.65
15Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Occupations45720$49,960$24.023.8
16Architecture and Engineering Occupations42820$95,350$45.841.7
17Retail Salespersons39980$31,170$14.992.85
18Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, Including Fast Food36620$24,890$11.972.3
19Healthcare Support Occupations34660$36,260$17.433
20Cashiers34570$25,730$12.372.2
21Protective Service Occupations33940$55,890$26.872.2
22Waiters and Waitresses29700$34,050$16.371.7
23Personal Care Aides27550$26,570$12.771.5
24Office Clerks, General27400$33,550$16.131.9
25Registered Nurses23100$94,740$45.551.95
26General and Operations Managers22080$129,580$62.31.5
27Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations21630$84,100$40.430.8
28Janitors and Cleaners, Except Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners20240$31,300$15.051.55
29Secretaries and Administrative Assistants, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive20040$41,980$20.181.5
30Customer Service Representatives19790$38,820$18.661.75
31Stock Clerks and Order Fillers19570$28,820$13.851.3
32Community and Social Service Occupations18750$54,000$25.961.65
33Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Hand18750$30,290$14.561.7
34Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media Occupations18160$58,790$28.261.8
35Business Operations Specialists, All Other16460$84,330$40.540.7
36Cooks, Restaurant16110$29,480$14.170.8
37Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks15620$45,480$21.861.05
38First-Line Supervisors of Office and Administrative Support Workers14000$59,470$28.590.95
39Security Guards13560$31,640$15.210.7
40Legal Occupations11910$121,490$58.410.8
41Food Preparation Workers11880$25,500$12.260.6
42Landscaping and Groundskeeping Workers11540$32,340$15.550.8
43Sales Representatives, Services, All Other11250$57,230$27.510.6
44Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners10970$27,950$13.440.9
45Maintenance and Repair Workers, General10920$41,440$19.930.9
46First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers10840$48,840$23.481
47Software Developers, Applications10730$104,770$50.370.55
48Accountants and Auditors10610$81,110$38.990.9
49Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Except Technical and Scientific Products9250$66,180$31.820.9
50Assemblers and Fabricators, All Other, Including Team Assemblers9200$32,270$15.510
51First-Line Supervisors of Food Preparation and Serving Workers9190$37,650$18.10.6
52Construction Laborers8920$44,100$21.20.8
53Nursing Assistants8920$33,260$15.991
54Receptionists and Information Clerks8820$32,490$15.620.7
55Dishwashers8640$24,330$11.70.3
56Counter and Rental Clerks8560$34,120$16.410.3
57Cooks, Fast Food8390$24,960$120.3
58Management Analysts8320$89,510$43.030.5
59Carpenters8230$52,150$25.070.7
60Light Truck or Delivery Services Drivers8120$37,010$17.80.6
61Medical Assistants8120$37,100$17.830.45
62Dining Room and Cafeteria Attendants and Bartender Helpers8090$25,520$12.270.3
63Substitute Teachers8000$39,260$18.880
64Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists7810$70,130$33.720.4
65Software Developers, Systems Software7620$117,080$56.290.3
66Medical Secretaries7420$40,300$19.380.4
67Lawyers7330$153,480$73.790.5
68Shipping, Receiving, and Traffic Clerks7130$34,660$16.660.4
69Electricians7070$63,330$30.450.4
70Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers6910$42,530$20.441.2
71Bartenders6560$34,730$16.70.4
72Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants6380$63,330$30.450.35
73Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics6150$45,620$21.930.5
74Financial Managers6140$144,170$69.310.4
75Amusement and Recreation Attendants6120$24,500$11.780.2
76Electronics Engineers, Except Computer6080$126,020$60.590.1
77Sales Managers6050$128,080$61.580.2
78Hosts and Hostesses, Restaurant, Lounge, and Coffee Shop5970$24,510$11.790.3
79Computer Systems Analysts5730$100,990$48.550.4
80Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents5700$64,480$310.2
81Packers and Packagers, Hand5690$26,700$12.840.45
82Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses5600$54,260$26.090.5
83First-Line Supervisors of Construction Trades and Extraction Workers5590$83,130$39.970.4
84Managers, All Other5560$133,200$64.040.6
85Computer Occupations, All Other5550$90,000$43.270.2
86Billing and Posting Clerks5510$43,540$20.930.3
87Human Resources Specialists5170$67,470$32.440.35
88Childcare Workers5120$27,540$13.240.8
89Computer User Support Specialists5010$59,240$28.480.4
90Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters4930$52,590$25.280.3
91Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers4860$85,960$41.330.4
92Parking Lot Attendants4810$25,070$12.050.1
93Civil Engineers4780$90,890$43.70.2
94Computer Programmers4700$97,150$46.710.2
95Computer and Information Systems Managers4650$155,020$74.530.2
96Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers4620$42,460$20.410.3
97Production, Planning, and Expediting Clerks4510$50,070$24.070.2
98Tellers4390$29,710$14.280.3
99Compliance Officers4350$80,150$38.530.2
100Insurance Claims and Policy Processing Clerks4200$41,270$19.840.2
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Additional Details

San Diego Colleges
San Diego colleges and trade schools.

Jobs More Common Near San Diego Than Most Other Cities

* Average job popularity for metro areas = 1.0

TitleMean Local SalaryLocal Jobs
All Occupations$56,4101,433,340
Office and Administrative Support Occupations$40,710213,340
Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations$28,840153,540
Sales and Related Occupations$41,910142,090
Education, Training, and Library Occupations$61,61088,370
Business and Financial Operations Occupations$80,02087,590
Management Occupations$125,42083,420
Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations$96,78072,020
Transportation and Material Moving Occupations$35,38069,430
Personal Care and Service Occupations$29,39067,080
Production Occupations$39,00065,180
Construction and Extraction Occupations$56,06061,410
Computer and Mathematical Occupations$96,71052,200
Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance Occupations$31,83047,480
Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Occupations$49,96045,720
Architecture and Engineering Occupations$95,35042,820
Retail Salespersons$31,17039,980
Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, Including Fast Food$24,89036,620
Healthcare Support Occupations$36,26034,660
Cashiers$25,73034,570
Protective Service Occupations$55,89033,940
Waiters and Waitresses$34,05029,700
Personal Care Aides$26,57027,550
Office Clerks, General$33,55027,400
Registered Nurses$94,74023,100
General and Operations Managers$129,58022,080
Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations$84,10021,630
Janitors and Cleaners, Except Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners$31,30020,240
Secretaries and Administrative Assistants, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive$41,98020,040
Customer Service Representatives$38,82019,790
Stock Clerks and Order Fillers$28,82019,570
Community and Social Service Occupations$54,00018,750
Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Hand$30,29018,750
Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media Occupations$58,79018,160
Business Operations Specialists, All Other$84,33016,460
Cooks, Restaurant$29,48016,110
Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks$45,48015,620
First-Line Supervisors of Office and Administrative Support Workers$59,47014,000
Security Guards$31,64013,560
Legal Occupations$121,49011,910
Food Preparation Workers$25,50011,880
Landscaping and Groundskeeping Workers$32,34011,540
Sales Representatives, Services, All Other$57,23011,250
Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners$27,95010,970
Maintenance and Repair Workers, General$41,44010,920
First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers$48,84010,840
Software Developers, Applications$104,77010,730
Accountants and Auditors$81,11010,610
Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Except Technical and Scientific Products$66,1809,250
Assemblers and Fabricators, All Other, Including Team Assemblers$32,2709,200

Work Paying Relatively Well in the San Diego, California Metro Area (2008 data)

* Average Salary Index for metro areas = 1.0

TitleMean Local SalaryLocal Jobs
All Occupations$56,4101,433,340
Office and Administrative Support Occupations$40,710213,340
Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations$28,840153,540
Sales and Related Occupations$41,910142,090
Education, Training, and Library Occupations$61,61088,370
Business and Financial Operations Occupations$80,02087,590
Management Occupations$125,42083,420
Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations$96,78072,020
Transportation and Material Moving Occupations$35,38069,430
Personal Care and Service Occupations$29,39067,080
Production Occupations$39,00065,180
Construction and Extraction Occupations$56,06061,410
Computer and Mathematical Occupations$96,71052,200
Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance Occupations$31,83047,480
Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Occupations$49,96045,720
Architecture and Engineering Occupations$95,35042,820
Retail Salespersons$31,17039,980
Healthcare Support Occupations$36,26034,660
Cashiers$25,73034,570
Protective Service Occupations$55,89033,940
Waiters and Waitresses$34,05029,700
Personal Care Aides$26,57027,550
Office Clerks, General$33,55027,400
Registered Nurses$94,74023,100
General and Operations Managers$129,58022,080
Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations$84,10021,630
Janitors and Cleaners, Except Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners$31,30020,240
Secretaries and Administrative Assistants, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive$41,98020,040
Customer Service Representatives$38,82019,790
Stock Clerks and Order Fillers$28,82019,570
Community and Social Service Occupations$54,00018,750
Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Hand$30,29018,750
Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media Occupations$58,79018,160
Business Operations Specialists, All Other$84,33016,460
Cooks, Restaurant$29,48016,110
Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks$45,48015,620
First-Line Supervisors of Office and Administrative Support Workers$59,47014,000
Security Guards$31,64013,560
Legal Occupations$121,49011,910
Food Preparation Workers$25,50011,880
Landscaping and Groundskeeping Workers$32,34011,540
Sales Representatives, Services, All Other$57,23011,250
Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners$27,95010,970
Maintenance and Repair Workers, General$41,44010,920
First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers$48,84010,840
Software Developers, Applications$104,77010,730
Accountants and Auditors$81,11010,610
Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Except Technical and Scientific Products$66,1809,250
Assemblers and Fabricators, All Other, Including Team Assemblers$32,2709,200
First-Line Supervisors of Food Preparation and Serving Workers$37,6509,190

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