Advanced Manufacturing

A new product is invented every day. And once you know the process of making something, there are rewards waiting for you. Programs in this sector train you in traditional manufacturing processes. Then, you learn how to branch out—things like customization, scalability and specific industry technologies. As California’s entire manufacturing industry expands, more job opportunities go to those who choose this career path.

Career paths & salary info (Median yearly salary)

  • Structural Iron and Steel Workers $63,398
  • Industrial Machinery Mechanics $55,744
  • Machinists $49,332
  • Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technicians $64,026
  • Industrial Production Managers $95,885


  • General Atomics
  • BAE Systems
  • Cymer Incorporated
  • United Technologies Corporation
  • Northrop Grumman
  • GKN Aerospace
  • Teledyne Technologies
  • Orbital ATK
  • UTC Aerospace Systems

Did you know?

  • San Diego County’s Advanced Manufacturing sector includes aerospace, maritime, clean technology, biomedical devices and products, pharmaceuticals, sporting goods, beverage and precision manufacturing.
  • 62% of students who graduated from the San-Diego Imperial community colleges’ Advanced Manufacturing programs in 2016 were employed after a year of exiting post-secondary education.
  • Most employers have difficulty finding qualified candidates for computer numerically controlled machine tool programmers, mechanical engineers and machinists.
  • Because Advanced Manufacturers are small, specialized firms, employers invest significant resources in training their workforce and providing personnel opportunities for job growth.
Source: San Diego-Imperial Center of Excellence for Labor Market Research & San Diego Workforce Partnership

Programs & Schools

Grossmont College

  • Computer Programming
  • Computer Science/Info Systems
  • Info Technology Support Specialist
  • Programmable Logic Controller

Imperial Valley College

  • Diesel Farm Machinery and Heavy Equipment
  • Welding Technology

MiraCosta College

  • 3D Modeling and Prototyping
  • Applied Design
  • AutoCAD Certified User
  • Biomanufacturing
  • Computer-Aided Drafting
  • Computer-Aided Drafting and Design
  • Drafting Fundamentals
  • Engineering Design Graphics
  • Engineering Technology
  • Mechanical Design
  • SolidWorks Certified User

Palomar College

  • Advanced Geographic Information Systems
  • Architectural Drafting
  • Architecture
  • Apprenticeship - Acoustical Installer
  • Apprenticeship - Carpentry
  • Apprenticeship - Drywall/Lather
  • Apprenticeship - Inside Wireman
  • Apprenticeship - Plasterer
  • Apprenticeship - Sheet Metal
  • Apprenticeship - Sound Technician
  • Cabinetmaking and Millwork
  • Case Furniture Construction/Manufacturing
  • Drafting & Design CADD/CAM Technology
  • Drafting & Design Technician - AutoCAD
  • Drafting & Design Technician - Creo
  • Drafting & Design Technician - SolidWorks
  • Drafting Technology: Multimedia
  • Drafting Technology: Technical
  • Drone Applications and Technologies
  • Drone Operations
  • Electrical Engineering Drafting & Design Technology
  • Electronic Tune-Up and Computer Control Systems
  • Entry-Level Gas Tungsten Arc Welding
  • Entry-Level MasterCAM Programmer
  • Entry-Level Shielded Metal Arc Welding
  • Fashion Design
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Guitar Making Technology
  • Lathe Turning Technology
  • Machining Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering Drafting & Design Technology
  • Quality Control/Inspection Technician
  • Table and Chair Manufacturing
  • Veneering Technology
  • Welding Technology
  • Woodworking Fundamentals
  • Woodworking Skills Technology

San Diego City College

  • Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Technology Option
  • Electricity
  • Electricity - Electrical Control Systems Option
  • Electricity - Electrical Recertification Preparation
  • Electricity - Lineman
  • Electronics
  • Electronics Manufacturing
  • Electronic Microprocessor/Microcontroller Design Option
  • Machine Technology - C.N.C Operator
  • Machine Technology - C.N.C Technology
  • Machine Technology - Computer Aided Manufacturing
  • Machine Technology - Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) Option
  • Machine Technology - Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Technology Option
  • Manufacturing Engineering Technology - Advanced Manufacturing
  • Manufacturing Engineering Technology - Advanced Mechanical Design
  • Manufacturing Engineering Technology - Electronics Manufacturing
  • Manufacturing Engineering Technology - Fabrication Manufacturing
  • Manufacturing Engineering Technology - Introduction to Manufacturing
  • Manufacturing Engineering Technology - Lean Six Sigma
  • Manufacturing Engineering Technology - Manufacturing Engineering Technology Option: Electronics
  • Manufacturing Engineering Technology - Manufacturing Engineering Technology Option: Fabrication
  • Manufacturing Engineering Technology - Manufacturing Fundamentals
  • Manufacturing Engineering Technology - Mechanical Design

SD College of Continuing Education

  • Electronics *
  • Gas Metal and Flux Cored Arc Welding *
  • Gas Tungsten Arc Welding *
  • Metal Fabrication I and II *
  • Pipe Welding *
  • Shielded Metal Arc Welding *
  • Structural Welding Program *
  • * Designates noncredit classes

San Diego Mesa College


San Diego Miramar College

  • Airframe
  • Airframe & Powerplant
  • Aviation General Studies
  • Engine Overhaul, Caterpillar
  • Engine Overhaul, Cummins
  • Engine Overhaul, Detroit Diesel
  • Engine Repair, Caterpillar
  • Engine Repair, Cummins
  • Engine Repair, Detroit Diesel
  • Pilot Studies
  • Powerplant

Southwestern College

  • Computer Aided Design and Drafting
  • Computer Aided Design and Drafting - Basic
  • Computer Aided Design and Drafting- Advanced
  • Construction Inspection
  • Construction Management
  • Design Technology
  • Electronics Computer Technician
  • Occupational Health and Safety

Free noncredit classes make it easier to start your new career.

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Want to know more? Find the college and program that fuels your success.


student success story

Student Story: Sondra Winkler

Since Fifth Grade, Sondra has loved fashion and dressing up in fun, original clothing. So much so, she decided to become a fashion designer. Unfortunately, after high school, she and her family realized just how expensive design school would be. That’s when Sondra found career education classes in clothing manufacturing. Now, she is preparing to release her own clothing line featuring her original designs. Watch now to see what Sondra has put together.

Career videos