Life Sciences & Biotechnology

Have you ever dreamed of being a superhero? People in life sciences & biotechnology work daily to save lives and enhance quality of life. By fusing the power of life science and evolving technology, new drugs, medical equipment, and cures to disease are created or discovered. Roles in this sector might involve finding the right molecules to bind together or using technology to re-sequence and edit DNA. 

Illustration of 3 workers in life sciences & biotechnology

Why It’s Important to San Diego

San Diego County is a leader in the medical research and biotechnology sector. We are among the top three life sciences hubs in the world and rank first for the number of genomic patents awarded. San Diego is home to many research institutions, medical labs and pharmaceutical manufacturing companies. For example, the Salk Institute, one of the world’s top biomedical research institutions, leads research in aging, cancer and genetics.


People Employed


of all San Diego County jobs


Number of Businesses


  • Pharmaceutical manufacturing
  • Medical devices and equipment manufacturing
  • Research & testing laboratories, bioscience & biotechnology 

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

Sector Job Growth 

Wp Sectorcharts Lifescience

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.

  • Medical Scientists, Except Epidemiologists: 3,291
  • Management Analysts: 2,113
  • Business Operations Specialists, All Other: 1,689
  • Biological Technicians: 1,682
  • General and Operations Managers: 1,413
  • Biochemists and Biophysicists: 1,385
  • Electronics Engineers, Except Computer: 1,382
  • Software Developers, Systems Software: 1,341
  • Assemblers and Fabricators, All Other, Including Team Assemblers: 1,145
  • Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers: 1,110

How Do I Start My Career in Life Sciences & Biotechnology?

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 a public talk at the Salk Institute to meet professionals and learn more about career paths within the sciences

Get Hands-on Experience

Get Training

  • Check out our On-demand Training Library to build essential and technical skills related to occupations in the field
  • For many careers in this sector you may want to consider bachelor’s and advanced degrees in fields related to biological sciences
  • Some careers require a shorter amount of training. Check out biotechnology programs at MiraCosta College and San Diego Miramar College

Posters and Printers

Visit to download the Life Sciences and Biotechnology poster and 2-pager.

Data source: Emsi Labor Market Analytics, 2020 –