Orange County’s labor market is booming – and many employers need skilled workers to fill positions that require a two-year degree.  Saddleback’s economic and workforce development team has identified the following occupations that have a good employment outlook.  Many of these careers can be attained with a two-year degree or certificate; others will require transferring to a four-year college or university to earn a bachelor’s degree.

Engineering/Advanced Manufacturing

Occupations: Architectural and Engineering Managers; Cost Estimators; Industrial Engineers; Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technicians; Semiconductor Processors; Industrial Engineering Technicians; Commercial and Industrial Designers; Industrial Engineering Technicians; Engineering Technicians; Computer-Controlled Machine Tool Operators, Metal and Plastic; Computer Numerically Controlled Machine Tool Programmers, Metal and Plastic
Median Hourly Earnings: $42.63 /hour
Students can complete an associate in science degree or certificate in engineering or advanced manufacturing.  The growth of 3-D printers in advanced manufacturing has expanded the field into various industries like medicine, automotive technology, and more.

Child Development and Education

Occupations: Childcare Workers; Preschool Teachers (except Special Education); Social and Human Service Assistants
Median Hourly Earnings: $14.01/hour
The child development and education program offers degrees and certificates in early childhood education, elementary teacher education, infant toddler teacher, master teacher, school age care and recreation, and site supervisor.  Internships and mentor training are an integral component of the program.


Occupations: Architects; Mechanical Drafters; Drafters; Construction Inspectors; Civil Engineers; Sustainable and Solar Energy Engineers
Media Hourly Earnings: $22.99 /hour

Degrees and certificates are offered in architectural drafting and drafting. These occupations are expected to grow by 4.9 percent in our region alone. Architecture students learn the fundamental skills to design and model the interior and exterior of buildings and other structures.  While many students continue their education to earn higher degrees in the area, a successful student can branch out into landscape design, interior design, and other creative fields.  The job outlook projects a 2.7 percent increase in the number of jobs in the field with a median hourly rate of $46.99/hour.

Kinesiology/Athletic Training

Occupations: Physical Therapist; Exercise Physiologists; Athletic Trainers; Physical Therapy Assistants; Physical Therapy Aides
Median Hourly Earnings: $32.70 /hour
Degrees and occupational skills awards are offering in kinesiology, athletic training, coaching, and recreation administrator.  Occupations in this field have grown by 5.8 percent since 2013. The majority of jobs can be found in the offices of physical, occupational and speech therapists, and audiologists, but the following industries also employ individuals from this area of study: general medicine and surgical hospitals; offices of physicians; home health care services; and nursing care facilities.

Computer Information Management/Computer Science

Occupations: Careers in this field include web developers, computer network architects, web designers, computer network architects, and information security analysts.

Median Hourly Earnings: $35.16 /hour

Last year the number of available jobs for these occupations in the region was 20 percent above the national average. Degrees, certificates, and occupational skills awards are offered in computer and information management; computer science applications developer; e-commerce specialist; information security; office and computer skills; network administrator; software specialist; web designer; and webmaster.


Occupations: Credit Analyst; Payroll and Timekeeping Clerk; Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks; Financial Examiners; Accountants and Auditors; Budget Analysts; Brokerage Clerks; Tax Examiners and Collectors; Tax Preparers; and Statistical Assistants.

Median Hourly Earnings: $25.30 /hour

Programs including an associate degree and certificate in accounting; computerized accounting specialist; tax preparation certificate program; and tax preparation. The top earning occupations in this field include budget analysts, financial examiners, credit analysts, tax examiners and collectors, and accountants and auditors.

Fine Arts/Computer Graphic Design

Occupations: Fine Artists (includes painters, sculptors, and illustrators), Set and Exhibit Designers, Designers, Mulitmedia Artists and Animators, Graphic Designers, Art Directors

Median Hourly Earnings: $30.16 /hour
Programs include degrees and certificates in fine arts, computer graphics, graphic communications, graphic design, and illustration/animation.  Jobs in this creative field can be found in many industries including entertainment/theme parks, education, health care, and government.


Source: EMSI, Q4 2015