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Health

Students interested in making a difference in people’s lives and seeking to secure “recession-resilient” careers should consider exploring health-related occupations. It is projected that jobs in the health field will continue to increase due to the aging and growing population. The medical and health industry is one of the fastest growing economic industry sectors in California, employing nearly 1.7 million professionals across a wide range of well-paying career opportunities. Surprisingly, doctors and nurses comprise less than 40% of health professionals, while allied health professionals make up an estimated 60% of the national health care workforce. While many of the careers in this sector require advanced-level preparation, there are plenty of options available for students of various aptitudes, interests, abilities and degree levels.

There are over 30 health care occupations and different specialties including nursing, research, diagnostic services, support services, physical therapy, and health informatics (using cutting-edge technology to store and retrieve medical data). While significant expansion will continue across all occupational segments, the Health Workforce Initiative notes especially strong growth opportunities for Certified Nursing Assistants, Home Health Aides, Licensed Vocational Nurses and Registered Nurses.

San Diego County Career Pathways & Salary Info - Hourly Rate (Salary)*

HS Diploma + Postsecondary Training (e.g., Certificate)

  • Home Health and Personal Care Aides $13 ($27K)
  • Dental Assistants $17 ($35K)
  • Phlebotomists $21 ($44K)
  • Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses $27 ($56K)

Associate Degree or Higher

  • Physical Therapist Assistants $29 ($60K)
  • Respiratory Therapists $33 ($69K)
  • Registered Nurses $43 ($89K)
  • Dental Hygienists $45 ($94K)

*Entry-level hourly rates have been rounded up and salaries are provided as examples of what workers would make if they worked full-time (2080 hours a year)

Sample of Local Employers

  • AccentCare
  • Family Health Centers of San Diego
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • Mental Health Systems
  • Rady Children’s Hospital
  • Scripps Health System
  • Seaport Home Health & Hospice
  • Sharp Health System
  • San Ysidro Health
  • UC San Diego Health System

Imperial County Career Pathways & Salary Info - Hourly Rate (Salary)*

HS Diploma + Postsecondary Training (e.g., Certificate)

  • Medical Assistants $14 ($29K)
  • Phlebotomists $16 ($33K)
  • Dental Assistants $17 ($35K)
  • Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses $20 ($42K)

Associate Degree or Higher

  • Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians $20 ($42K)
  • Respiratory Therapists $29 ($60K)
  • Registered Nurses $35 ($73K)
  • Dental Hygienists $30 ($62K)

*Entry-level hourly rates have been rounded up and salaries are provided as examples of what workers would make if they worked full-time (2080 hours a year)

Sample of Local Employers

  • El Centro Regional Medical Center
  • AccentCare Home Health
  • Imperial Valley Family Care Medical Group
  • Spine & Sport Physical Therapy-El Centro
  • Fresenius Medical Care
  • Western Dental & Orthodontics
  • El Centro Medical - Clinicas de Salud del Pueblo
  • Pioneers Memorial Healthcare

Fast Facts

  • 139,195 people employed
  • 12% (16,440) 5-year projected job growth
  • 8,721 businesses
  • 8% of the sector's employment in California
  • $84,335 average earnings per job
  • 9% of the sector's businesses in California
Source: Labor market data derived from EMSI 2021.03; QCEW, Non-QCEW, Self-Employed; 2020-2025 projections.

Programs & Schools

Grossmont College

APPLY
  • Adult Echocardiography
  • Cardiovascular Technology
  • Invasive
  • Nursing
  • Occupational Therapy Assistant
  • Orthopedic Technology
  • Respiratory Therapy
  • Telemetry/ECG Technician
  • Vascular Technology
MORE INFORMATION

Imperial Valley College

APPLY
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Fire Technology
  • Firefighter I
  • Medical Assistant
  • Nursing RN
  • Nursing VN
MORE INFORMATION

MiraCosta College

APPLY
  • Certified Nursing Assistant
  • Fitness Nutrition Specialist
  • Gerontology
  • Home Health Aide
  • Introduction to Healthcare and Careers *
  • Licensed Vocational Nursing
  • Medical Insurance and Coding Specialist
  • Medical Office Clinical and Administrative Professional
  • Medical Office Clinical Professional
  • Medical Office Professional
  • Medical Office Specialist
  • Optimal Aging and Older Adulthood
  • Personal Fitness Trainer
  • Registered Nursing (ADN)
  • Registered Nursing (LVN-to-RN)
  • Yoga Instructor (200 Hours)
  • Yoga Instructor (300 Hours)
  • * Designates noncredit classes
MORE INFORMATION

Palomar College

APPLY
  • Adult Fitness and Health
  • Alcohol and Other Drug Studies
  • Community Emergency Response Team *
  • EMT Basic
  • Medical Office Specialist
  • Nursing
  • Nursing (LVN-RN)
  • Paramedic Training
  • Registered Dental Assisting
  • Red Cross Adult First Aid/CPR/AED *
  • * Designates noncredit classes
MORE INFORMATION

San Diego City College

APPLY
  • Fitness Specialist
  • Human Services - Community Health Work
  • Human Services - Gerontology
  • Mental Health Work
  • Nursing
  • Nursing Education - Registered Nurse Generic
MORE INFORMATION

SD College of Continuing Education

APPLY
  • Health Unit Coordinator *
  • Nurse Assistant in Behavioral Health Aide *
  • Nurse Assistant (Acute Care) *
  • Nurse Assistant (Rehabilitative) *
  • Nursing Assistant Training *
  • Personal Care Assistant/Caregiver *
  • * Designates noncredit classes
MORE INFORMATION

San Diego Mesa College

APPLY
  • Aquatics
  • Dental Assisting
  • Dental Office Administration
  • Health and Wellness Coaching
  • Health Information Management
  • Health Information Technology
  • Health Information Technology: Coding Specialist
  • Medical Assisting
  • Neurodiagnostic Technology
  • Nutrition
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Nutrition and Fitness
  • Personal Trainer
  • Phlebotomy Training Program
  • Physical Therapist Assistant
  • Radiologic Technology
  • Veterinary Technology
MORE INFORMATION

San Diego Miramar College

APPLY
  • Biology/Allied Health Track
  • Emergency Medical Technician
  • Medical Laboratory Technology
  • Medical Laboratory Technology Technician
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Personal Training
  • Yoga Teacher
MORE INFORMATION

Southwestern College

APPLY
  • Central Service Technology
  • Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
  • Dental Hygiene
  • Emergency Medical Technology
  • Emergency Medical Technology and Paramedic
  • Fitness Specialist Certification - Advanced
  • Fitness Specialist Certification - Basic
  • Medical Assistant: Administrative
  • Medical Assistant: Clinical
  • Medical Assisting
  • Medical Assisting-Medical Insurance Billing and Coding
  • Medical Laboratory Technician
  • Nursing
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Operating Room Nursing
  • Optical Technician I *
  • Optical Technician II *
  • Preparation for Allied Health Programs
  • Surgical Technology
  • Vocational Nursing
  • Yoga Teacher Training - 200 Hours
  • * Designates noncredit classes
MORE INFORMATION

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

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student success story

Student Story: Sara Novasky

Since childhood, Sara has been passionate about helping others. This was especially apparent when she became her grandmother’s caregiver. To better provide the help and expertise needed, Sara got career training in occupational therapy. Now, Sara’s grandma is doing better, and Sara is fielding job offers in the health and medical industries. Watch now to hear why Sara is such an advocate for others.

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