Coolest North County and San Diego Companies

  • Candace Stadelmann
  • 06/29/18
Posted by Candace Stadelmann on June 29, 2018

In an age where desks are treadmills, executives sit in cubicles and virtual workspaces are the new normal, work expectations are changing. Thanks to a combination of top-notch universities and world-renowned research institutes, places like San Diego County are leading the charge in developing a wide variety of dynamic corporate cultures that cater to a new generation of workers.

So, if you’re thinking of moving to the San Diego area, but are worried about the city’s job market, you can rest easy. We’ve compiled a list of some incredible companies headquartered in America’s Finest City to keep on your radar.

Biggest Employers of San Diego

While small companies dominate the business landscape in San Diego, there are also a few major ones in the mix, including the University of California San Diego, the San Diego Unified School District, and the San Diego Naval Base, which is home to the largest naval fleet in the world. Combined, all three of these entities employ more than 72,000 workers.

San Diego Healthcare Companies and Biotechnology Companies

For the past 30 years, the medical device and biotech industries in San Diego have also been growing and expanding their workforce. One such employer is Sharp Healthcare—one of the largest healthcare companies in San Diego with just over 18,000 employees and 2,600 physicians. Sharp is based out of San Diego, but also has multiple locations throughout North County, with four acute-care hospitals, three specialty hospitals, three affiliated medical groups, and a health plan.

Venturing a little north of La Jolla is Scripps Health, a nationally ranked nonprofit health care system that treats nearly a half-million patients annually and is comprised of five hospitals, 19 outpatient facilities, and 2,600 physicians.

With an ambitious objective of commercializing antisense therapy, Ionis Pharmaceuticals is also making waves on the medicinal front. Ionis is a publicly-traded pharmaceutical company headquartered in Carlsbad that has developed an efficient and broadly applicable drug discovery platform.

Fortune 500 Companies in San Diego

Similarly, Illumina manufactures and markets integrated systems for the analysis of genetic variation and biological function. But, unlike its counterparts, Illumina is considered a Fortune 500 company, as is AMN Healthcare Services, Sempra Energy, and WD-40.

According to the San Diego Business Journal, AMN is the largest health care and nurse staffing company in the United States. Since its inception in 1985, the company has continued to give healthcare professionals the tools and opportunities needed to do their best work and foster a culture built on innovation.

Sempra Energy is another Fortune 500 powerhouse, located in Downtown San Diego, with nearly 20,000 employees and serves more than 40 million consumers worldwide.

WD-40 has more of a unique story. Named after its flagship product, WD-40 started off as a rust-prevention solution designed to protect the outer skin of the Atlas Missile from corrosion. Nearly 60 years after its founding, the uses include everything from silencing squeaky hinges and extricating jammed screws and bolts to protecting tools from rust and loosening zippers.

San Diego Telecommunication Companies

Telecommunications also play a role in shaping San Diego’s corporate ethos. Companies like Qualcomm, a multinational semiconductor and telecommunications equipment company founded by San Diego State University alumnus Franklin Antonio, are reinventing how business is conducted via artificial intelligence.

Like its predecessor, Carlsbad-based telecommunications company, Viasat, was founded by a UC San Diego alumnus and currently services about 500 commercial aircraft for airlines like United Airlines, Israel’s El Al, and Australia’s Qantas, plus 600 private jets. But, Viasat is first and foremost a bandwidth provider, delivering internet access to nearly 700,000 people. Plus, employees can enjoy two beach volleyball courts and a basketball court onsite.

San Diego Beach Ready Companies and Apparel Companies

They may work hard, but San Diegans are also known to play hard, always making time for the sun and surf. And luckily, the city is chock full of trendy apparel companies that’ll help you get beach-ready in no time.

Companies like Neso Tents in Encinitas help beach-goers extend the amount of time they can spend at the beach by shielding skin from harmful sun rays. The tents are free of stakes, easy to assemble, durable in wind, and machine washable. The best part—the tent is less than four pounds and the fabric is SPF 50.

Speaking of SPF, Coola Sunscreen jam packs as many ingredients as possible that are natural, organic, sustainable, and locally sourced, into one bottle. As expected, the sunscreen is also free of parabens, petroleum, and phthalates. Coola Sunscreen is based in Carlsbad.

Once your skin is protected, it’s time to adorn it with luxury swimwear, dresses, and lifestyle wear by V i X and SOFIA by V i X. This Carlsbad-based clothing company takes the best of Brazilian fashion and modifies it to fit the Southern California lifestyle.

GRACEDBYGRIT is another noteworthy apparel company that produces versatile activewear that is both flattering and functional whether you’re in the sea or on land. They are headquartered in Solana Beach.

San Diego Food Companies

While at the beach sporting your new clothes, you’re bound to get a little hungry. Feel free to grab a bite at Carlsbad’s very own “fresh mex” restaurant chain—Rubio’s Coastal Grill.

Or, maybe you’re in the mood for something that has a drive-thru like Jack in the Box? Founded by Robert O. Peterson in 1951 in San Diego, Jack in the Box is a fan favorite among locals and offers everything from chicken tenders to french fries and hamburgers to milkshakes.

First established in Santa Monica in 1946 by selling hot dogs and lemonade on the beach, Hot Dog on a Stick is another fast-food chain now headquartered in Carlsbad with several locations in malls and shopping centers. They also have some internationally franchised headquarters in South Korea.

If you want to go the healthier route, you might want to chow down on some Kashi, products. Headquartered in Solana Beach, Kashi makes whole grain cereals and other plant-based foods. We suggest washing it down with some Suja Juice, the largest independent producer of cold-pressed juice sold in the country and headquartered in Oceanside. Or, if you’re looking for something stronger, San Diego is home to plenty of amazing breweries.

San Diego Breweries and North County Breweries

Green Flash Brewing Co. specializes in IPAs and is perfectly situated in the business hub of Mira Mesa. But, Escondido’s  Stone Brewing and Carlsbad’s  Karl Strauss Brewing Company are often credited with launching San Diego’s rise to prominence in the craft brewing industry. Other North County breweries include Iron Fist, Belching Beaver, Latitude 33 Brewing Company, and Mother Earth Brewing Company are all based in Vista, while Culver Brewing Company is located in Carlsbad and the ever-popular AleSmith Brewing Company is in San Diego.

San Diego Engineering Companies and Aerospace Companies

Contrary to popular belief, there are also plenty of engineering and aerospace companies in North County, mainly in Poway.

SpaceDev has been recognized mainly for its mission to make routine commercial spaceflight possible and to help open space for all of humanity. This Poway-based subsidiary is a part of Sierra Nevada Corporation. Contrastingly, Ocean Aero offers a mix of ocean experience and world-class engineering innovation.

Although there are many notable companies deserving of recognition, we’ve singled out the stand-out pillars—the ones that continue to produce innovative solutions that impact the lives of so many around the world.
As you can see, whichever field you are interested in, there will be a job that you will enjoy. So, if you’re thinking of moving to North County, contact us today to find your next San Diego home.

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