If you would like to start a rewarding career, get the skills employers demand by attending one of the many four-year colleges or trade schools in California. Programs at CA colleges typically range from one to five years in length, and some can be completed in as little as eight months. Culminating in a diploma, certificate, associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree or graduate degree, areas of study that students may pursue include dental and medical assisting, criminal justice, nursing, business administration, computer technology, and culinary arts, among others.
California was originally claimed as part of the Spanish Empire until Mexico’s independence from Spain in 1821. In 1848, it was ceded to the US during the Mexican-American War, becoming the 31st state. If California were a country, it would be the 35th most populous in the world. It is home to eight of the nation’s 50 most populated cities, including Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Fresno, Sacramento, Long Beach, and Oakland. With an impressive Pacific coastline, the fertile Central Valley at its center, and the Mohave Dessert in the southeast, California has a diverse geography. The third largest state in the US, about 45% of California is covered by forestry, most notably the Redwood Forest in the northwest.
California has one of the largest economies across the globe, with agriculture among its major industries. The Golden State is the world’s fifth largest supplier of food in the world, leading in production of fruits, vegetables, wines, and nuts. Other notable areas of economic success in California exist in Hollywood and Burbank, which are major centers in the entertainment industry; the Silicon Valley, which remains a leader in the field of information technology; and across the state, from Yosemite National Park to Disneyland, where tourism is prevalent.
According to Inc.com, the top grossing companies in California are Restoration Hardware, Blackhawk Network Holdings, Quinn Emanuel, Universal Services of America, Pacific Dental Services, and Westlake Financial Services. On Fortune’s list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For, there were 18 companies headquartered in California including Google, Cisco, Adobe, DreamWorks Animation, Nordstrom, Zappos.com, Salesforce.com, Scripps Health, Marriott International, Intel, American Fidelity Insurance, and the Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, among others.
There are 18,617,300, 000 people in the California labor force. The unemployment rate in California is 9.1%, which is 1.6% greater than the national average.
|California Employment in Thousands|
|Civilian Labor Force (1)||18,617,300|
|Civilian Unemployment Rate||9.1%|
|(U.S. Unemployment Rate)||7.5%|
The industries with the highest employment in California include trade, transportation and utilities; the government; professional and business services; and educational and healthcare services. The state also has a strong goods producing industry, particularly in manufacturing, as well as a large leisure and hospitality industry, particularly in the sub-industry of accommodation and food services.
|California Industry Employment in Thousands||April 2013|
|Mining and Logging||31,000|
|Trade, Transportation & Utilities||2,789,800|
|Finance & Insurance||526,600|
|Real Estate & Rental & Leasing||258,000|
|Professional & Business Services||2,319,400|
|Professional, Scientific & Technical Services||1,132,300|
|Management of Companies & Enterprises||216,200|
|Administrative & Support & Waste Services||970,900|
|Educational & Health Services||2,287,900|
|Health Care & Social Assistance||1,943,800|
|Leisure & Hospitality||1,662,300|
|Arts, Entertainment & Recreation||265,500|
|Accommodation & Food Services||1,396,800|
In 2012, the highest paying occupation types in California were management; legal; architecture and engineering; computer and mathematical; and healthcare practitioner occupations. The occupation types with the most employees were office and administrative support; sales; food preparation; transportation; and education occupations.
|2012 Employment and Salary in California By Occupational Groupings|
|Occupational Title||May 2012 Employment Estimates||Mean Annual Wage||25th Percentile Hourly Wage||50th Percentile (Median) Hourly Wage||75th Percentile Hourly Wage|
|Total all occupations||14303630||$52,978||$11.60||$18.86||$32.47|
|Office and Administrative Support Occupations||2403360||$38,728||$12.79||$17.31||$22.88|
|Sales and Related Occupations||1475050||$41,300||$9.66||$13.64||$22.40|
|Food Preparation and Serving-Related Occupations||1297190||$22,623||$8.81||$9.37||$11.51|
|Transportation and Material Moving Occupations||906690||$34,768||$10.16||$14.20||$20.54|
|Education, Training, and Library Occupations||895710||$58,821||$17.04||$25.90||$36.85|
|Business and Financial Operations Occupations||790660||$76,821||$25.09||$33.36||$44.50|
|Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations||721930||$89,821||$25.74||$38.55||$53.88|
|Computer and Mathematical Occupations||471890||$93,062||$31.94||$43.02||$56.31|
|Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Occupations||465740||$49,268||$15.95||$22.34||$30.13|
|Construction and Extraction Occupations||459670||$54,328||$17.19||$24.63||$33.71|
|Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance Occupations||452020||$28,347||$9.58||$11.74||$16.33|
|Healthcare Support Occupations||361930||$32,482||$11.44||$14.39||$18.39|
|Personal Care and Service Occupations||353930||$27,427||$9.24||$11.02||$14.37|
|Protective Service Occupations||348950||$53,650||$12.03||$21.76||$37.58|
|Architecture and Engineering Occupations||315670||$92,840||$31.63||$43.08||$55.89|
|Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media Occupations||283510||$73,919||$17.74||$27.33||$42.20|
|Community and Social Services Occupations||218510||$51,596||$16.18||$22.64||$31.92|
|Farming, Fishing, and Forestry Occupations||197210||$20,799||$8.60||$9.04||$9.64|
|Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations||171200||$77,473||$23.87||$34.88||$46.60|
Fastest Growing Careers
With home health aides holding the number one slot for fasting growing careers, 12 of the projected top 30 fastest growing occupations in California pertain to the healthcare industry. The second fastest growing career goes to market research analysts and marketing specialists, with an anticipated employment increase of 45.8% from 2010 to 2020. Due to California’s thriving trade and transportation industry, jobs for logisticians are expected to increase at a rate of 33.8% from 2010 to 2020. Also, notable are the IT positions of database administrators and systems software developers, which are expected to grow at a rate of 32.1% and 31.9% respectively. Although positions for food service mangers across the country are expected to show little change, employment for this role in California is projected to increase by 30.3% in the coming decade.
|Fastest Growing Occupations in California from 2010-2020|
|Occupational Title||Annual Average Employment in Thousands
||Employment Change||2012 First Quarter Wages|
|2010||2020||Percent||Median Hourly||Median Annual|
|Home Health Aides||61,100||93,100||52.4||$10.44||$21,712|
|Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists||53,700||78,300||45.8||$32.74||$68,104|
|Personal Care Aides||324,700||462,900||42.6||$10.34||$21,510|
|Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics||15,900||22,600||42.1||$15.19||$31,578|
|Medical Scientists, Except Epidemiologists||27,800||39,300||41.4||$40.12||$83,430|
|Marriage and Family Therapists||10,700||14,900||39.3||$22.27||$46,311|
|Diagnostic Medical Sonographers||5,300||7,300||37.7||$40.17||$83,540|
|Biochemists and Biophysicists||6,400||8,800||37.5||$39.19||$81,515|
|Software Developers, Systems Software||75,500||99,600||31.9||$55.19||$114,795|
|Training and Development Specialists||18,800||24,800||31.9||$31.00||$64,471|
|Nonfarm Animal Caretakers||19,600||25,700||31.1||$10.13||$21,070|
|Healthcare Social Workers||12,600||16,500||31.0||$29.22||$60,777|
|Veterinary Technologists and Technicians||8,400||11,000||31.0||$16.77||$34,876|
|First-Line Supervisors of Helpers, Laborers, and Material Movers, Hand||21,100||27,500||30.3||$22.07||$45,907|
|Food Service Managers||48,200||62,800||30.3||$23.59||$49,058|
|Personal Financial Advisors||30,100||39,100||29.9||$29.62||$61,610|
|Cooks, Fast Food||103,600||134,400||29.7||$9.00||$18,738|
|Physical Therapist Aides||6,400||8,300||29.7||$12.58||$26,165|
|Interpreters and Translators||8,900||11,500||29.2||$21.88||$45,510|
|Pest Control Workers||9,000||11,600||28.9||$15.75||$32,773|
Colleges in California can train you to work in skills-based careers, allowing you to dive straight into your coursework. Join the thriving economy of California armed with a degree or certificate in the field of your choice by exploring the trade schools and colleges featured below.
- United States University is a private university located at 830 Bay Blvd in Chula Vista, California. It offers graduate and undergraduate degrees in health sciences, business, and nursing as well as California Teaching Credentials.