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California’s Top Jobs for 2012

May 14, 2012 by Gwen Burrow

See our other posts on the top jobs in various states.

In this post we explore some of the top jobs in California for 2012. We’ll begin our analysis in 2008 so that we can cover the recession, and filter through California’s 13 million jobs using Analyst, EMSI’s web-based labor market analysis tool. Our study is based solely on labor market data from EMSI’s 2012.1 Covered Employment release, which is drawn from 80+ state and federal data sources.

ECONOMIC SUMMARY

Since 2008, jobs have declined by 4.2%, which is the loss of about 700,000 jobs in four years. Current calculations put unemployment at just over 2 million. Average annual earnings are $54.5K.

HIGHEST-PAYING

Our first table shows the jobs that pay over $70 per hour (2011 median wage). What jumps out?

  • A lot of healthcare jobs (SOC code 29).
  • Judges, magistrate judges, & magistrates ($94.89) make quite a bit more in California than they do in, say, Texas ($36.91), Virginia ($48.69), New York ($60.98), and even Washington D.C. ($75.41).
  • All the healthcare jobs are growing. The only non-healthcare occupations are in decline: judges (-24%) and chief executives (-12%).
SOC CodeDescription2008 Jobs2012 JobsChange% Change2012 National Location Quotient2011 Median Hourly WageEducation Level
29-1022Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons50679929358%0.71$96.87First professional degree
29-1029Dentists, All Other Specialists684711274%1.05$95.38First professional degree
23-1023Judges, Magistrate Judges, and Magistrates1,7781,343(435)(24%)0.51$94.89Bachelor's or higher degree, plus work experience
29-1067Surgeons4,1754,79562015%0.92$94.68First professional degree
29-1061Anesthesiologists3,3013,98868721%0.89$93.38First professional degree
29-1066Psychiatrists3,2303,4422127%1.32$93.15First professional degree
11-1011Chief Executives36,90932,539 (4,370)(12%)1.02$92.23Bachelor's or higher degree, plus work experience
29-1069Physicians and Surgeons, All Other21,11824,0202,90214%0.74$92.16First professional degree
29-1064Obstetricians and Gynecologists2,2393,07183237%1.24$86.46First professional degree
29-1063Internists, General6,6897,43774811%1.31$79.97First professional degree
29-1023Orthodontists59660151%0.95$79.34First professional degree
29-1065Pediatricians, General4,6005,10050011%1.46$74.98First professional degree
29-1062Family and General Practitioners8,81610,6831,86721%0.86$74.53First professional degree
Source: EMSI Covered Employment - 2012.1

BEST GROWTH

To better understand which jobs are experiencing the best growth, we will look at both the number of new jobs added as well as the fastest growth (measured by percent) since 2008. NOTE: We are limiting ourselves to occupations that employ at least 1000 people and pay at least $25/hour, and we are excluding educational jobs.

  • Registered nurses (surprise, surprise) added the most—over 18,000 jobs. In addition, there are quite a few other healthcare occupations adding substantial numbers of jobs.
  • Computer and mathematical occupations (SOC code 15) also show good growth.

SOC CodeDescription2008 Jobs2012 JobsChange% Change2012 National Location Quotient2011 Median Hourly WageEducation Level
29-1111Registered Nurses223,857242,27418,4178%0.80$39.86Associate's degree
47-4011Construction and Building Inspectors10,80616,5465,74053%1.00$32.82Work experience in a related occupation
21-1029Social Workers, All Other12,53716,9654,42835%1.62$26.79Bachelor's degree
15-1081Network Systems and Data Communications Analysts26,74129,8283,08712%1.05$38.59Bachelor's degree
15-1031Computer Software Engineers, Applications77,58580,5252,9404%1.36$48.32Bachelor's degree
13-1041Compliance Officers, Except Agriculture, Construction, Health and Safety, and Transportation30,03932,9582,91910%1.10$26.71Long-term on-the-job training
29-1069Physicians and Surgeons, All Other21,11824,0202,90214%0.74$92.16First professional degree
19-1042Medical Scientists, Except Epidemiologists24,73326,8042,0718%2.20$38.56Doctoral degree
15-1032Computer Software Engineers, Systems Software70,33172,3472,0163%1.58$51.50Bachelor's degree
29-1062Family and General Practitioners8,81610,6831,86721%0.86$74.53First professional degree
11-9111Medical and Health Services Managers26,27228,1131,8417%0.90$44.92Bachelor's or higher degree, plus work experience
29-1031Dietitians and Nutritionists5,6867,4881,80232%0.94$30.88Bachelor's degree
29-2011Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists12,39913,7611,36211%0.72$36.10Bachelor's degree
29-2034Radiologic Technologists and Technicians15,06116,3711,3109%0.66$30.16Associate's degree
29-1071Physician Assistants7,6888,9811,29317%0.95$43.21Master's degree
29-1123Physical Therapists13,38314,5151,1328%0.70$39.20Master's degree
Source: EMSI Covered Employment - 2012.1

Switching to the occupations that have grown the quickest:

SOC CodeDescription2008 Jobs2012 JobsChange% Change2012 National Location Quotient2011 Median Hourly WageEducation Level
47-4011Construction and Building Inspectors10,80616,5465,74053%1.00$32.82Work experience in a related occupation
29-1064Obstetricians and Gynecologists2,2393,07183237%1.24$86.46First professional degree
21-1029Social Workers, All Other12,53716,9654,42835%1.62$26.79Bachelor's degree
29-1031Dietitians and Nutritionists5,6867,4881,80232%0.94$30.88Bachelor's degree
13-1011Agents and Business Managers of Artists, Performers, and Athletes3,2374,11487727%2.65$37.51Bachelor's or higher degree, plus work experience
13-1061Emergency Management Specialists1,0681,33426625%0.77$37.10Work experience in a related occupation
49-2093Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairers, Transportation Equipment2,1332,63650324%1.13$25.98Postsecondary vocational award
29-1062Family and General Practitioners8,81610,6831,86721%0.86$74.53First professional degree
29-1061Anesthesiologists3,3013,98868721%0.89$93.38First professional degree
17-2031Biomedical Engineers2,9163,51359720%1.72$42.87Bachelor's degree
17-1021Cartographers and Photogrammetrists1,0521,24619418%0.83$29.39Bachelor's degree
29-1071Physician Assistants7,6888,9811,29317%0.95$43.21Master's degree
49-2095Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Powerhouse, Substation, and Relay1,4511,69424317%0.60$38.04Postsecondary vocational award
19-1021Biochemists and Biophysicists4,5125,19968715%1.85$40.60Doctoral degree
31-2011Occupational Therapist Assistants1,9022,18828615%0.67$28.38Associate's degree
29-1067Surgeons4,1754,79562015%0.92$94.68First professional degree
29-1069Physicians and Surgeons, All Other21,11824,0202,90214%0.74$92.16First professional degree
31-2021Physical Therapist Assistants4,0724,62655414%0.59$27.66Associate's degree
15-1081Network Systems and Data Communications Analysts26,74129,8283,08712%1.05$38.59Bachelor's degree
Source: EMSI Covered Employment - 2012.1

  • Construction & building inspectors grew by 50%. What’s most surprising is that in a crowd of higher-ed-level jobs, this job requires only work experience in a related occupation.
  • Emergency management specialists (25%) is the only other job here that takes merely work experience in a related occupation.
  • Obstetricians & gynecologists (37%), dietitians & nutritionists (32%), family & general practitioners (21%), and anesthesiologists (21%) are among the several healthcare jobs with the best proportionate growth.

COMPELLING FOR CALIFORNIA

When we talk concentration, we’re basically talking specialization. Measured by location quotient (LQ), concentration tells us how unique and compelling a job is for that particular region.

  • Quite predictably, the most concentrated job is entertainers & performers, sports & related workers (4.21 LQ).
  • Four of the jobs are related to arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media (SOC code 27). Costume attendants and agents & business managers of artists, performers, and athletes could also join the group hug, though they are from different occupational categories.
  • Most of the highly concentrated jobs in California are in decline. Take a look at plasterers & stucco masons, down almost 4,000 jobs (-31%).
  • The best-performing job on this list is agents & business managers of artists, performers, and athletes with $37.51/hour wages, 27% growth (877 new jobs), and 2.65 LQ.
SOC CodeDescription2008 Jobs2012 JobsChange% Change2012 National Location Quotient2011 Median Hourly WageEducation Level
27-2099Entertainers and Performers, Sports and Related Workers, All Other11,98611,663(323)(3%)4.21$13.50Long-term on-the-job training
53-7071Gas Compressor and Gas Pumping Station Operators2,0412,44540420%3.61$13.63Moderate-term on-the-job training
51-6092Fabric and Apparel Patternmakers2,9712,306(665)(22%)3.57$21.95Long-term on-the-job training
45-2092Farmworkers and Laborers, Crop, Nursery, and Greenhouse252,778248,760 (4,018)(2%)3.55$8.89Short-term on-the-job training
15-2099Mathematical Science Occupations, All Other1,1241,050(74)(7%)3.24$27.47Master's degree
27-4032Film and Video Editors6,5386,320(218)(3%)3.16$31.67Bachelor's degree
39-3019Gaming Service Workers, All Other4,3614,029(332)(8%)3.11$11.94Moderate-term on-the-job training
27-1014Multi-Media Artists and Animators9,8609,642(218)(2%)2.80$33.86Bachelor's degree
39-3092Costume Attendants1,5961,632362%2.77$10.63Short-term on-the-job training
51-6061Textile Bleaching and Dyeing Machine Operators and Tenders3,7553,230(525)(14%)2.66$9.22Moderate-term on-the-job training
13-1011Agents and Business Managers of Artists, Performers, and Athletes3,2374,11487727%2.65$37.51Bachelor's or higher degree, plus work experience
47-2161Plasterers and Stucco Masons12,2418,424 (3,817)(31%)2.63$21.20Long-term on-the-job training
27-4099Media and Communication Equipment Workers, All Other5,6665,546(120)(2%)2.58$25.58Moderate-term on-the-job training
47-2142Paperhangers1,9021,230(672)(35%)2.52$20.34Moderate-term on-the-job training
19-3041Sociologists1,1941,221272%2.41$34.82Master's degree
45-1011First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Farming, Fishing, and Forestry Workers12,36212,095(267)(2%)2.41$16.46N/A
Source: EMSI Covered Employment - 2012.1

Conclusion

As far as wages and growth are concerned, most of California’s top jobs are in healthcare — particularly physicians & surgeons, family & general practitioners, and obstetricians & gynecologists. Non-healthcare jobs with growth and decent money on their side are construction & building inspectors and network systems & data communications analysts. As for concentration, it probably isn’t a good time to be an entertainer or performer, but it might be fun to find one and become their agent or business manager.

If you would like to learn more, please contact us. Find out more about EMSI and our data here. You can reach us via Twitter @DesktopEcon or by emailing Rob Sentz (rob@economicmodeling.com).

 

Gwen Burrow

Reach out at gburrow@economicmodeling.com

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