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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

Rank Title Total Employees Local Mean Salary (Per Year) Local Mean Salary (Per hour) National Growth % 2014-2024
1 All Occupations 1387120 $55480 $26.68 100
2 Office and Administrative Support Occupations 215970 $39820 $19.15 14.8
3 Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations 149680 $28130 $13.52 8.3
4 Sales and Related Occupations 140650 $41120 $19.77 10.15
5 Education, Training, and Library Occupations 86160 $61420 $29.53 6.15
6 Business and Financial Operations Occupations 82950 $79030 $37.99 5.05
7 Management Occupations 81820 $124220 $59.72 6.05
8 Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations 71210 $93030 $44.73 5.75
9 Production Occupations 67970 $38220 $18.38 5.85
10 Transportation and Material Moving Occupations 65050 $33670 $16.19 6.45
11 Construction and Extraction Occupations 58880 $54860 $26.37 4.4
12 Computer and Mathematical Occupations 49360 $93770 $45.08 2.8
13 Personal Care and Service Occupations 47070 $29120 $14 4.1
14 Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance Occupations 46970 $29870 $14.36 3.7
15 Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Occupations 42360 $48970 $23.54 3.8
16 Architecture and Engineering Occupations 41190 $93680 $45.04 1.65
17 Retail Salespersons 39720 $29970 $14.41 3.1
18 Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, Including Fast Food 36040 $23790 $11.44 2.15
19 Protective Service Occupations 33790 $54240 $26.08 2.25
20 Healthcare Support Occupations 33090 $36520 $17.56 3.05
21 Cashiers 32820 $24560 $11.81 2.25
22 Waiters and Waitresses 29010 $35010 $16.83 1.6
23 Office Clerks, General 25650 $34530 $16.6 2
24 Registered Nurses 23340 $92480 $44.46 1.9
25 General and Operations Managers 23300 $125860 $60.51 1.4
26 Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations 21620 $81750 $39.3 0.9
27 Customer Service Representatives 19800 $38280 $18.41 1.75
28 Stock Clerks and Order Fillers 19560 $27550 $13.25 1.2
29 Janitors and Cleaners, Except Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners 19270 $28900 $13.9 1.6
30 Secretaries and Administrative Assistants, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive 19020 $40920 $19.67 1.6
31 Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media Occupations 18610 $58240 $28 1.7
32 Community and Social Service Occupations 17780 $52620 $25.3 1.65
33 Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Hand 17240 $28510 $13.71 1.6
34 Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks 15840 $44640 $21.46 1.1
35 Cooks, Restaurant 14760 $27410 $13.18 0.75
36 First-Line Supervisors of Office and Administrative Support Workers 14540 $58080 $27.93 1
37 Business Operations Specialists, All Other 13730 $78650 $37.81 0.7
38 Security Guards 13410 $30820 $14.82 0.7
39 Legal Occupations 12530 $113690 $54.66 0.8
40 Sales Representatives, Services, All Other 11530 $59410 $28.56 0.6
41 Landscaping and Groundskeeping Workers 11370 $30220 $14.53 0.8
42 Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners 11300 $26030 $12.51 1
43 Accountants and Auditors 10900 $77990 $37.49 0.9
44 Food Preparation Workers 10450 $24210 $11.64 0.6
45 First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers 10440 $49070 $23.59 1
46 Software Developers, Applications 10350 $105030 $50.5 0.5
47 Maintenance and Repair Workers, General 10100 $41070 $19.75 0.9
48 First-Line Supervisors of Food Preparation and Serving Workers 9700 $36130 $17.37 0.6
49 Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Except Technical and Scientific Products 9520 $63250 $30.41 1
50 Receptionists and Information Clerks 9320 $31890 $15.33 0.7
51 Counter and Rental Clerks 9010 $32290 $15.52 0.3
52 Nursing Assistants 8850 $32170 $15.47 1.05
53 Construction Laborers 8850 $39610 $19.04 0.8
54 Management Analysts 8770 $88390 $42.5 0.5
55 Software Developers, Systems Software 8280 $117270 $56.38 0.3
56 Dishwashers 8030 $22790 $10.96 0.3
57 Shipping, Receiving, and Traffic Clerks 7910 $33790 $16.25 0.4
58 Personal Care Aides 7830 $24330 $11.7 1.3
59 Dining Room and Cafeteria Attendants and Bartender Helpers 7770 $24520 $11.79 0.3
60 Cooks, Fast Food 7650 $23520 $11.31 0.3
61 Carpenters 7570 $50910 $24.48 0.6
62 Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists 7540 $71520 $34.39 0.35
63 Lawyers 7350 $145990 $70.19 0.5
64 Team Assemblers 7290 $30730 $14.77 0.75
65 Medical Assistants 7270 $37190 $17.88 0.45
66 Light Truck or Delivery Services Drivers 7260 $34310 $16.49 0.6
67 Medical Secretaries 7030 $40090 $19.27 0.4
68 Amusement and Recreation Attendants 6960 $23450 $11.28 0.2
69 Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants 6950 $60960 $29.31 0.5
70 Substitute Teachers 6930 $38090 $18.31 0
71 Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers 6770 $41660 $20.03 1.2
72 Electricians 6420 $68060 $32.72 0.4
73 Bartenders 6420 $34640 $16.65 0.4
74 Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics 6080 $45020 $21.65 0.5
75 Financial Managers 5780 $142770 $68.64 0.4
76 Hosts and Hostesses, Restaurant, Lounge, and Coffee Shop 5680 $23410 $11.26 0.25
77 Sales Managers 5670 $122090 $58.7 0.2
78 Childcare Workers 5530 $27160 $13.06 0.8
79 Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents 5520 $67070 $32.24 0.2
80 Packers and Packagers, Hand 5470 $26530 $12.75 0.45
81 Computer User Support Specialists 5450 $59190 $28.46 0.4
82 Computer Systems Analysts 5340 $95670 $46 0.4
83 Office and Administrative Support Workers, All Other 5330 $29200 $14.04 0.2
84 First-Line Supervisors of Construction Trades and Extraction Workers 5300 $80590 $38.75 0.4
85 Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses 5180 $54460 $26.19 0.5
86 Human Resources Specialists 5150 $71580 $34.41 0.3
87 Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters 5120 $54840 $26.36 0.3
88 Billing and Posting Clerks 5080 $39560 $19.02 0.35
89 Managers, All Other 4970 $134550 $64.69 0.65
90 Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers 4840 $42480 $20.43 0.3
91 Civil Engineers 4800 $92760 $44.59 0.2
92 Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers 4720 $82280 $39.56 0.45
93 Parking Lot Attendants 4700 $24470 $11.77 0.1
94 Tellers 4470 $28500 $13.7 0.3
95 Production, Planning, and Expediting Clerks 4390 $48960 $23.54 0.2
96 Compliance Officers 4320 $78650 $37.81 0.2
97 First-Line Supervisors of Production and Operating Workers 4260 $63520 $30.54 0.4
98 Electrical Engineers 4240 $115040 $55.31 0.1
99 Computer Occupations, All Other 4180 $87190 $41.92 0.2
100 Counter Attendants, Cafeteria, Food Concession, and Coffee Shop 4180 $25830 $12.42 0.3
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Additional Details

San Diego Colleges
San Diego colleges and trade schools.
San Diego Graduate Schools
San Diego Graduate and Business Schools

Jobs More Common Near San Diego Than Most Other Cities

* Average job popularity for metro areas = 1.0

Title Mean Local Salary Local Jobs
All Occupations 55,480 1,387,120
Office and Administrative Support Occupations 39,820 215,970
Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations 28,130 149,680
Sales and Related Occupations 41,120 140,650
Education, Training, and Library Occupations 61,420 86,160
Business and Financial Operations Occupations 79,030 82,950
Management Occupations 124,220 81,820
Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations 93,030 71,210
Production Occupations 38,220 67,970
Transportation and Material Moving Occupations 33,670 65,050
Construction and Extraction Occupations 54,860 58,880
Computer and Mathematical Occupations 93,770 49,360
Personal Care and Service Occupations 29,120 47,070
Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance Occupations 29,870 46,970
Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Occupations 48,970 42,360
Architecture and Engineering Occupations 93,680 41,190
Retail Salespersons 29,970 39,720
Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, Including Fast Food 23,790 36,040
Protective Service Occupations 54,240 33,790
Healthcare Support Occupations 36,520 33,090
Cashiers 24,560 32,820
Waiters and Waitresses 35,010 29,010
Office Clerks, General 34,530 25,650
Registered Nurses 92,480 23,340
General and Operations Managers 125,860 23,300
Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations 81,750 21,620
Customer Service Representatives 38,280 19,800
Stock Clerks and Order Fillers 27,550 19,560
Janitors and Cleaners, Except Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners 28,900 19,270
Secretaries and Administrative Assistants, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive 40,920 19,020
Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media Occupations 58,240 18,610
Community and Social Service Occupations 52,620 17,780
Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Hand 28,510 17,240
Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks 44,640 15,840
Cooks, Restaurant 27,410 14,760
First-Line Supervisors of Office and Administrative Support Workers 58,080 14,540
Business Operations Specialists, All Other 78,650 13,730
Security Guards 30,820 13,410
Legal Occupations 113,690 12,530
Sales Representatives, Services, All Other 59,410 11,530
Landscaping and Groundskeeping Workers 30,220 11,370
Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners 26,030 11,300
Accountants and Auditors 77,990 10,900
Food Preparation Workers 24,210 10,450
First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers 49,070 10,440
Software Developers, Applications 105,030 10,350
Maintenance and Repair Workers, General 41,070 10,100
First-Line Supervisors of Food Preparation and Serving Workers 36,130 9,700
Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Except Technical and Scientific Products 63,250 9,520
Receptionists and Information Clerks 31,890 9,320

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

* Average Salary Index for metro areas = 1.0

Title Mean Local Salary Local Jobs
All Occupations 55,480 1,387,120
Office and Administrative Support Occupations 39,820 215,970
Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations 28,130 149,680
Sales and Related Occupations 41,120 140,650
Education, Training, and Library Occupations 61,420 86,160
Business and Financial Operations Occupations 79,030 82,950
Management Occupations 124,220 81,820
Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations 93,030 71,210
Production Occupations 38,220 67,970
Transportation and Material Moving Occupations 33,670 65,050
Construction and Extraction Occupations 54,860 58,880
Computer and Mathematical Occupations 93,770 49,360
Personal Care and Service Occupations 29,120 47,070
Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance Occupations 29,870 46,970
Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Occupations 48,970 42,360
Architecture and Engineering Occupations 93,680 41,190
Retail Salespersons 29,970 39,720
Protective Service Occupations 54,240 33,790
Healthcare Support Occupations 36,520 33,090
Waiters and Waitresses 35,010 29,010
Office Clerks, General 34,530 25,650
Registered Nurses 92,480 23,340
General and Operations Managers 125,860 23,300
Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations 81,750 21,620
Customer Service Representatives 38,280 19,800
Stock Clerks and Order Fillers 27,550 19,560
Janitors and Cleaners, Except Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners 28,900 19,270
Secretaries and Administrative Assistants, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive 40,920 19,020
Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media Occupations 58,240 18,610
Community and Social Service Occupations 52,620 17,780
Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Hand 28,510 17,240
Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks 44,640 15,840
Cooks, Restaurant 27,410 14,760
First-Line Supervisors of Office and Administrative Support Workers 58,080 14,540
Business Operations Specialists, All Other 78,650 13,730
Security Guards 30,820 13,410
Legal Occupations 113,690 12,530
Sales Representatives, Services, All Other 59,410 11,530
Landscaping and Groundskeeping Workers 30,220 11,370
Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners 26,030 11,300
Accountants and Auditors 77,990 10,900
First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers 49,070 10,440
Software Developers, Applications 105,030 10,350
Maintenance and Repair Workers, General 41,070 10,100
First-Line Supervisors of Food Preparation and Serving Workers 36,130 9,700
Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Except Technical and Scientific Products 63,250 9,520
Receptionists and Information Clerks 31,890 9,320
Counter and Rental Clerks 32,290 9,010
Nursing Assistants 32,170 8,850
Construction Laborers 39,610 8,850

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