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San Jose Career Guide: Overview of Hot Careers in San Jose, California

In the heart of the Silicon Valley, San Jose has been considered one of the safest cities in America by Forbes Magazine, and it has a low unemployment rate. San Jose is a thriving, culturally diverse area with booming technology and manufacturing industries.

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Overview of Employment in San Jose

The region of San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara had a reported unemployment rate of 2.7% as of March 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which is quite a bit lower than the national average of 4.1%. The BLS reported that the region had an average hourly wage of $37.11 for all occupations. San Jose is an excellent choice for those with education and experience in high-tech computer fields and medical research, among other areas.

Jobs in Technology

According to the State of California Employment Development Department (EDD), there are numerous technology companies in Santa Clara County, which includes San Jose, with some of the largest employers in 2018 listed as follows. Several of these employers, such as Adobe, Cisco and eBay, are located directly in San Jose:

  • Cisco Systems Inc.
  • Intel Corporation
  • Adobe Systems Inc.
  • Apple Incorporated
  • eBay Incorporated
  • HCL Technologies Limited
  • HP Inc.
  • Net App Inc.
  • Microsoft Corporation

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Agriculture
  • Architecture
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • Business
  • Communications and Journalism
  • Computer Sciences
  • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Legal
  • Liberal Arts and Humanities
  • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
  • Medical and Health Professions
  • Physical Sciences
  • Psychology
  • Transportation and Distribution
  • Visual and Performing Arts

Jobs in Medical Research

San Jose is a major center for medical research. Heart transplants were developed in this region, as well as transportable incubators. The Samaritan Center for Medical Research in nearby Los Gatos conducts clinical trials for illnesses such as cancer, osteoarthritis and migraines. Other medical research facilities include Clinimetrics Research Associates, Inc. Some of the jobs with the highest employment related to medical research in the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara region as of May 2017 were as follows, per the BLS:

  • Medical and Health Services Managers
  • Pharmacy Technicians
  • Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians
  • Pharmacists
  • Medical Scientists, except Epidemiologists

According to the EDD, the following jobs in medicine and medical research were projected to have greater than 23% growth between 2014-2024:

  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Physician Assistants
  • Biomedical Engineers
  • Phlebotomists
  • Respiratory Therapists
  • Biochemists and Biophysicists
  • Physical Therapists
  • Postsecondary Biological Science Teachers
  • Medical Assistants
  • Medical Equipment Preparers
  • Healthcare Social Workers

Other Industries

As of March 2018, the industries with the highest employment in the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara region are professional and business services; education and health services; manufacturing; and trade, transportation, and utilities. According to the EDD, as of 2018, the fastest-growing professions in Santa Clara County included the following occupations that represent many of those industries. Each of these jobs has been projected to have greater than 27% growth between 2014-2024:

  • Operations Research Analysts
  • Electricians
  • Bus Drivers, School or Special Client
  • Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters
  • Cabinetmakers and Bench Carpenters
  • Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers
  • Tile and Marble Setters
  • Computer-Controlled Machine Tool Operators, Metal and Plastic
  • Restaurant Cooks
  • Gaming Dealers
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