With a population of 1.37 million, San Diego is the second largest city in California (after LA). Spending time in the beachy, temperate environment can feel like a 24/7 vacation, but San Diego means business. The city hosts the largest U.S. naval base on the West coast, is home to 14 major universities, and ranks as one of the top cities for conventions and conferences.
The base sectors for San Diego’s economy are international trade, manufacturing, military, and tourism. There is also a prominent concentration of research in life sciences and bioscience based around its natural harbor and 1,800-acre wild animal park.
All of these sectors lean on tech workers for innovation and logistical support. Data scientists, web developers, app developers, and cybersecurity professionals are all vital cross-industry workers in San Diego.
Over the past year, jobs in San Diego have grown by 3.8%, with major gains in construction, hospitality, and information technology. The information sector has steadily added jobs over the past couple of years with a 5.6% increase in September 2021 compared to September 2020. These include jobs like information security (InfoSec), data processing, and media. Many of these jobs grow alongside jobs growth in other sectors. For example, as business and professional firms expand, they require information technology pros to build and expand their IT infrastructure, design web pages, and manage large amounts of business data.
Opportunities across these fields are abundant in San Diego. Some of the largest local employers seeking tech workers are Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Qualcomm, General Atomics, Teradata, UC San Diego, Solar Turbines, Sempra Energy, The Fleet Science Center, and Cubic electronics. Other companies that are not based in San Diego still have a strong presence in the form of satellite offices and outshoots. Northrop Grumman, Apple, Sony, and TD Ameritrade all are notable hirers to consider when looking for local jobs in tech. Be sure to browse Glassdoor for the most current postings.
San Diego has a healthy start-up scene as well for job-hunters looking for cutting edge projects to join. San Diego was recently listed as one of 11 Top Rising Cities for entrepreneurial activity.
Awesome startups that recently launched there include:
Cloudbeds, a business management software for hospitality.
LunaDNA, a small genome sequencing firm that is building a reservoir of health data to use for medical research.
Shield AI, a rapidly growing autonomous vehicle developer that’s been highlighted by Forbes.
KNERON, an AI company that develops solutions for a huge range of uses, from vehicles to IoT to security. They count Qualcomm and Alibaba among their investors.
Below we’ve compiled average yearly salary data for some of the top jobs in San Diego using 2020 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The actual yearly salary you are able to make in these roles does depend on other factors such as your experience level and the company you work for but these numbers can be used as a useful framework and comparison.
|Job Title||Average Salary (May 2020)|
|Computer Research Scientist||$128,170|
|Network Support Specialist||$58,740|