2018 Talent Integration: California Workforce Trends in the Life Science Industry


Job Postings

Quantitative data from ~9,900 job postings for California life science technical jobs from representative industry NAICS codes, utilizing Burning Glass Technologies (Jan-Dec 2017). Non-technical positions in the industry, such as those in sales, accounting, purchasing, etc. are not included in this sample.

Burning Glass Technologies delivers job market analytics that empower employers, workers, and educators to make data-driven decisions. The company’s artificial intelligence technology analyzes hundreds of millions of job postings and real-life career transitions to provide insight into labor market patterns. This real-time strategic intelligence offers crucial insights, such as which jobs are most in demand, the specific skills employers need, and the career directions that offer the highest potential for workers.

The Burning Glass data was filtered for following technical occupation and life science NAICs industry codes resulting in the.

Occupation:Manufacturing Production Technicians (17-3029.09)
Occupation:Quality Control Analysts (19-4099.01)
Occupation:Clinical Data Managers (15-2041.02)
Occupation:Regulatory Affairs Managers (11-9199.01)
Occupation:Regulatory Affairs Specialists (13-1041.07)
Occupation:Validation Engineers (17-2199.02)
Occupation:Biostatisticians (15-2041.01)
Occupation:Manufacturing Engineers (17-2199.04)
Occupation:Quality Control Systems Managers (11-3051.01)
Occupation:Clinical Research Coordinators (11-9121.01)
SOC:Biological Technicians (19-4021)
SOC:Chemical Technicians (19-4031)
SOC:Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technicians (29-2012)
SOC:Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers (51-9061)
SOC:Compliance Officers (13-1041)
SOC:Chemists (19-2031)
SOC:Biologists (19-1020)
SOC:Biochemists and Biophysicists (19-1021)
SOC:Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists (29-2011)
SOC:Medical Scientists, Except Epidemiologists (19-1042)
SOC:Microbiologists (19-1022)
Industry:Medical and Diagnostic Laboratories (6215)
Industry:Scientific Research and Development Services (5417)
Industry:Navigational, Measuring, Electromedical, and Control Instruments Manufacturing (3345)
Industry:Pharmaceutical and Medicine Manufacturing (3254)
Industry:Medical Equipment and Supplies Manufacturing (3391)

Survey Responses

Survey Responses

Survey responses from human resource representatives in 117 California life science companies on recent hiring, workforce composition and hiring challenges. Participating companies span industry sectors and sizes, although representation is skewed more toward drugs and pharmaceutical companies (36%). Participants also include medical device and equipment (21%) and research testing and medical lab (21%) companies. 67% of respondents were from small to mid-size companies (11-150 employees) followed by 31% of companies with 11-50 employees.


To understand the drivers of the life science industry’s hiring decisions and its future talent pipeline in more depth, 41 California life science executives were interviewed in early 2018. Their companies range from startups to emerging and multinational companies, and encompass the range of industry sectors, including drugs & pharmaceuticals, medical device & equipment, research testing & medical laboratories, industrial biotech and bioscience-related distribution.

Leaders shared their views on hiring entry-level talent, how externalities are shaping their needs for talent, their experiences with academic partnerships and the role of diversity in the workplace. These rich discussions were distilled into 5 key workforce trends that are shaping the talent demands of California’s life science industry.

California Life Science Sector Distribution as Compared to both the Survey Responses and Interviews in this report.

 Executive Interviews (n=41)HR Survey (n=117)Bio/TEConomy (n=8,762)*
Biopharma manufacturing56%36%5%
Medical Device & Diagnostics22%21%13%
Research & Lab Services7%21%40%
Industrial Biotech12%11%2%

*TEConomy/BIO The Value of Bioscience Innovation in Growing Jobs and Improving Quality of Life, 2016