Advanced Manufacturing

Imagine designing a fleet of automated drones or building a naval ship. Advanced manufacturing combines fields like engineering, computer drafting, biotech and more to design and build our future—everything from medical devices to the thermostat in your smart home. 

Illustration of three advanced manufacturing workers

Why It’s Important to San Diego 

The advanced manufacturing sector employs nearly 100,000 San Diegans. Outpacing statewide and national trends, advanced manufacturing is growing in San Diego and has rebounded since the Great Recession. Companies in this sector make an astounding variety of products, from cutting-edge military tech to life-saving medical devices. According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, San Diego is one of the top 10 patent-generating regions in the country. 


People Employed


of all San Diego County jobs


Number of Businesses


  • Aircraft & ship manufacturing
  • Life sciences manufacturing
  • Computer, communications & electronics manufacturing
  • Other advanced manufacturing

The following three sections are available as interactive charts on desktop and tablet devices.

Sector Job Growth

Wp Sectorcharts Advman Rev

What Are the Largest Occupations in This Sector? 

Hover over the bars to see RIASEC interests and typical training and experience, then visit Career Coach to learn more about any of the occupations below.

  • Assembler and Fabricators, All Other, Including Team Assemblers: 4,806
  • Electrical, Electronic, and Electromechanical Assemblers, Except Coil Winders, Tapers, and Finishers: 4,047
  • Machinists: 3,157
  • Software Developers, Systems Software: 2,691
  • Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers: 2,532
  • Electronics Engineers, Except Computer: 2,386
  • Industrial Engineers: 2,375
  • First-line Supervisors of Production and Operating Workers: 2,223
  • Welders, Cutters, and Solderers, and Brazers: 2,143
  • General and Operations Managers: 1,627

How Do I Start My Career in Advanced Manufacturing? 

 Do Some Research  

  • Use Career Coach to explore which occupations align with your interests, get a behind-the-scenes peek at careers and discover local companies

Expand Your Network  

  • Use social media tools like LinkedIn to network with professionals and request informational interviews to ask people about their career path, education and job responsibilities. Check out this video for help getting started. 
  • Attend an event hosted by an industry organization like the San Diego Makers Guild. 

Get Hands-on Experience  

Get Training  

Posters and Printouts

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Data source: Emsi Labor Market Analytics, 2020 –