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Golden State Bounty: The Fastest Growing Careers in California

Updated on March 10, 2012

© 2012 by Aurelio Locsin.

The U.S. Census Bureau projects that California, the nation’s largest state, is going to also be the fastest growing one until 2025. The 2010 population of 37.2 million is predicted to increase to either 49.3 million using a time-based model or 41.5 million using an economics model.

In either case, the fastest growing careers for 2008 to 2018 can depend on either an increase in actual numbers, or a growth in percentage. Information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor, which predicts that the total number of California jobs will increase by 1.65 million or 9 percent.


The following are the fastest growing careers based on actual numbers.

1. Personal and Home Care Aides

Personal and home care aides assist the elderly, disabled or chronically ill with daily tasks either in their own homes or residential facilities. They do not work for government-funded facilities and do not follow any government-mandated standards. Jobs are expected to increase by a total of 158,200 or 45 percent due primarily to a growing elderly population that will need assistance. The career also has a high turnover rate, allowing more opportunities for those entering the field.

2. Registered Nurses

RNs, which form the largest healthcare occupation, educate patients, provide medical treatment and assist physicians. Their numbers will increase by 60,800 or 25 percent. Opportunities will come from a growing population that will demand more health care. Many patients and insurance providers also emphasize preventative care, which RNs can provide in large part. The increasing numbers of elderly will also require nursing care.

3. Retail Salespeople

Though online commerce continues to grow, many consumers still prefer the personal attention and service that only retail salespeople can provide. These workers help customers in finding products to fit their needs, and process buying transactions. Their positions are expected to grow by 59,700 or 12 percent primarily due to a growing population that will demand more goods and services. Many jobs will also come from the growth in superstores and warehouse clubs. Part-time and seasonal work will always be strong for this career.

4. Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, Including Fast Food

Combined food prep and serving workers are most commonly represented by fast food staff who assemble prepared food such as hamburgers and fries, package them, and give them to customers. Though this is not a long term career, it is a common path to management positions in many food service companies. An increasing population that will spend more time at work and less time at home will provide much of the growth. Jobs are going to increase by 48,200 or 18 percent.

5. Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education

Elementary school teachers instruct students from first through eighth grade in multiple subjects such as math, reading and music. A growing population will provide a rise in student enrollments, which in turn will require 35,900 more teachers, an increase of 18 percent. The budgets of individual school districts can affect hiring practices and salaries.


The remaining fastest growing careers by number are as follows. Each job name is followed by the increase in numbers and then the percentage:

  • General Office Clerks: 34,900 or 9%
  • Customer Service Representatives: 34400 or 17%
  • Waiters and Waitresses: 34,300 or 14%
  • Stock Clerks and Order Fillers: 29,400 or 14%
  • Postsecondary Teachers: 28,100 or 16%


In contrast to the previously mentioned jobs, which concentrate on services, the following increases by percentage focus on highly technical positions.

1. Biomedical Engineers

Biomedical engineers combine both mechanics and biology to design and develop products and systems designed to improve health or biological systems. Such items can include prosthetics, medical instruments, health care delivery systems and medical information products. Their numbers will grow by 80 percent or 2,500. This is due to an incresae in the elderly population, who will demand more healthcare products, and a growing general population that is wanting better health care.

2. Network Systems and Data Communications Analysts

These analysts examine, plan and implement products and methods that allow information systems to communicate and function together. They can set up LANs, WANs, Intranets and Internet access, and may also handle system security. Their jobs will increase by 50 percent of 17,600 because of the growing use of computers in business and daily life.

3. Biochemists and Biophysicists

Biochemists research the chemical properties of living things, while biophysicists concentrate on physical properties such as electrical and mechanical energy. Their work affects the production of food, drugs, hormones and other substances necessary to human life. Their positions will increase by 47 percent of 2,300 because a growing and aging population is focusing on healthcare and demanding more sophisticated medical products and systems.

4. Medical Scientists, Except Epidemiologists

Jobs for medical scientists will grow by about 46 percent of 12,300. They research medical conditions with the goal to improving healthcare. Those who study in academia, hospitals or government can concentrate on research, while those in private industry apply their discoveries to new drugs or new treatments. Job increases will stem from the rapid growth of the biomedical industry and the expansion of treatment for such diseases as cancer and AIDs.

5. Others

The remaining fastest growing jobs by percentage are as follows. Beside each job name is the percentage and then the number of the increase.

  • Personal and Home Care Aides: 45% or 158,200
  • Home Health Aides: 43% or 23,700
  • Physician Assistants: 42% or 3,400
  • Separating, Filtering, Clarifying, Precipitating, and Still Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders: 39 percent or 2,900
  • Physical Therapist Aides: 37 percent or 2,200
  • Powerhouse, Substation and Relay Electrical and Electronics Repairers: 36 percent or 400


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    • alocsin profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I also picked the state, phdast7, because it was the most populous. I also have an article on New York, and hope to write one about Texas, all high population states.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Very interesting and very useful. I am curious, why California? Oh, I just looked at your pic - you live in Orange County! :) As a teenager I spent four years living on Travis AFB in northern California. Loved the area, loved the weather, loved the proximity to San Francisco, loved the redwoods. Actually, can't think of anything I didn't like. :)

    • alocsin profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Thanks Brett. Apparently with the graying of America comes the babying of America, hence all the need for teachers.

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 

      6 years ago from Asia

      Interesting hub, good to know that teaching is safe for a while to come ;-).

      I also found it an interesting connection that most is in young education and care giving (or different sorts). I think that care giving increase is definitely directly connected with longer life expectancies! Our bodies just aren't as prepared as we are lol


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