News: 15 In-Demand Jobs Available in California

Jennifer Herrity

Updated June 21, 2021

Published January 20, 2021

Jennifer Herrity is a seasoned career services professional with 12+ years of experience in career coaching, recruiting and leadership roles with the purpose of helping others to find their best-fit jobs. She helps people navigate the job search process through one-on-one career coaching, webinars, workshops, articles and career advice videos on Indeed's YouTube channel.

Job searching in California can be easier when you know which jobs are currently available. Looking for a new role is competitive enough, but it can feel even more daunting when unemployment is high. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, California has the seventh-highest state unemployment rate of 8.2% as of December 18, 2020. But with the help of Indeed, it doesn’t need to be. In this article, we’ll review 15 of the most in-demand jobs available in California in 2021.

Jobs available now in California

Methodology: We’ve identified the job titles that have been posted most frequently by employers in the state of California on Indeed from December 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020. The skills and attributes come from Indeed’s taxonomy team and may not include all possible skills. Skills are in order of most to least common within the specific time range examined.

To find all jobs available in the state of California, start your search on Indeed.com to find openings by job title, company and city. You can also filter by job type, salary, experience level and remote. Healthcare roles can also filter by specialty, license and shift. Make your job application process even easier by uploading your resume to Indeed and set it to "public" for employers to be able to search, find your profile and contact you with relevant opportunities.

Here are some of the available roles in California you can apply for now:

1. Retail sales associate

State average salary: $14.99/hr
Primary duties: When not assisting customers to pay for their purchases, retail sales associates are often responsible for restocking shelves, ordering inventory, walking the sales floor to answer customer questions and setting displays. In California, some of the highest-paying cities for retail sales associates include San Francisco, Pasadena, San Jose, Sacramento and Los Angeles.

Top skills:

  • Customer service

  • Communication skills

  • Retail sales

  • Sales

  • English

Read more: Learn About Being a Retail Sales Associate

2. Truck driver

State average salary: $68,158/yr
Primary duties: Truck drivers are responsible for ensuring the safe and timely delivery of a company’s goods to their customers. As a truck driver, you will often be responsible for loading, unloading and counting truck inventory. While CDL licenses are not always required, it’s common for companies to have specific requirements like a Class A, B or C driver's license and a clean driving record. In California, some of the highest-paying cities for truck drivers are Sacramento, Riverside, Bakersfield, Fresno and Stockton.

Top skills:

  • Commercial driving

  • Driving

  • Flatbed

  • Tractor trailer

  • Truck driving

Read more: How to Become a Truck Driver

3. Customer service representative

State average salary: $15.74/hr
Primary duties: As a customer service representative, you’ll help customers by addressing their concerns, troubleshooting issues and solving other problems. Depending on the company, these responsibilities can be delivered over the phone, online, face-to-face or a combination of each. Previous experience in a customer-facing role can qualify you for the role, but effective verbal and written communication skills are essential to provide a positive customer service experience. Some of the highest-paying cities for customer service representatives in California are San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles, Irvine and Rancho Cordova.

Top skills:

  • Customer service

  • English

  • Communication skills

  • Cashiering

  • Spanish

Read more: Learn About Being a Customer Service Representative

4. Shift manager

State average salary: $15.51/hr
Primary duties: Shift managers are responsible for supervising and motivating employees during a specific work shift. Shifts can vary from morning, evening, overnight etc. Read the job postings thoroughly as it will often specify the specific shift the role will supervise. In California, some of the highest-paying cities for shift managers include Oakland, San Jose, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Stockton.

Top skills:

  • Customer service

  • Communication skills

  • Restaurant experience

  • Leadership

  • Shift management

5. Delivery driver

State average salary: $17.44/hr
Primary duties: The role of a delivery driver can be good if you’re looking for a role that offers a flexible schedule. Gig and full-time positions are available for this role, and previous experience is not always required. What is necessary is a customer service-minded mentality and high attention to detail. It may also be required for you to have your own reliable mode of transportation and a clean driving record. Some of the highest-paying cities for delivery drivers in California include San Jose, San Francisco, Sacramento, Stockton and San Diego.

Top skills:

  • Customer service

  • Driving

  • Communication skills

  • Basic math

  • Delivery driver experience

Read more: 10 Best Paying Delivery Jobs

6. Registered nurse

State average salary: $44.29/hr
Primary duties: Registered nurses in California can work in a variety of environments including but not limited to hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, correctional institutions and doctor’s offices. They assess a patient’s health, symptoms and healing progress. This highly technical role requires soft skills that are equally important including empathy, patience and emotional intelligence. Some of the highest-paying cities in California for registered nurses are San Francisco, Riverside, San Jose, San Diego and Los Angeles.

Top skills:

  • Nursing

  • Communication skills

  • Care plans

  • Critical intensive care

  • Documentation review

Read more: Tips from a Nurse Coach: Highlighting Your Soft Skills as a Nursing Professional

7. Licensed vocational nurse

State average salary: $28.72/hr
Primary duties: Licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) provide bedside care to patients. As an LVN, you perform medical duties under the supervision of doctors, nurse practitioners and registered nurses. Because of this, effective communication skills are needed to speak with patients and healthcare professionals. LVNs can be responsible for assisting patients with daily activities like feeding, bathing and dressing as well as performing basic treatments like administering medication. Some of the highest-paying cities for LVNs include San Jose, Sacramento, Pasadena, Los Angeles and Glendale.

Top skills:

  • Home health

  • Communication skills

  • Care plans

  • Home care

  • Nursing

Read more: What Is The Difference Between an LVN and an RN?

8. Sales associate

State average salary: $13.93/hr
Primary duties: Similar to a retail sales associate, this role is dedicated to offering superior customer service to customers. You will act as a subject matter expert on the products you sell and will need strong communication and interpersonal skills to understand the needs of your customers. Some of the highest-paying cities in California for sales associates are San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles, Ontario and Roseville.

Top skills:

  • Communication skills

  • Cash handling

  • Planograms

  • Customer service

  • Supervising experience

Read more: Learn About Being a Sales Associate

9. Team member

State average salary: Not available
Primary duties: Team member roles can be found in a variety of environments including retail, warehouses, restaurants and grocery stores. While you might not always be customer-facing, you should always have a customer-centric mindset. Your work directly impacts the customer experience. Team members in a restaurant setting can be in front of the house with responsibilities like taking customer orders and processing payment transactions or back of the house with duties like food preparation.

Top skills:

  • Communication skills

  • Customer service

  • Restaurant experience

  • Computer skills

  • English

10. Crew member

State average salary: Not available
Primary duties: Crew members are similar to team members. You work as part of a team to provide support to customers in different settings including retail, grocery stores, restaurants, utility services and warehouses. These positions offer you the opportunity for part-time, temporary or full-time work. Working as a crew member allows you to gain skills like customer service, communication and subject matter expertise that can prepare you for internal promotions or can be transferred to new opportunities later in your career.

Top skills:

  • English

  • Communication skills

  • Restaurant experience

  • Basic math

  • Customer service

11. Cashier

State average salary: $13.51/hr
Primary duties: California has a diverse set of industries throughout the state which leads to cashiering opportunities available in a variety of settings including casinos, amusement parks and wineries. Some of the highest-paying cities for cashiers in California are San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles, Anaheim and Sacramento. While the setting may vary, experience with cash handling, processing credit card payments and sales experience are often valued in these roles.

Top skills:

  • Customer service

  • Communication skills

  • Cashiering

  • Cash handling

  • Guest services

Read more: Learn About Being a Cashier

12. Nursing assistant

State average salary: $17.83/hr
Primary duties: Nursing assistants assist other professional healthcare providers in providing basic patient care and treatments. Patients cared for can vary depending on the setting. Nursing assistant opportunities can be found in various settings including, but not limited to hospitals, rehabilitation centers, home care and correctional facilities in California. Some of the highest-paying cities for nursing assistants in California include San Francisco, Sacramento, Modesto, Long Beach and San Bernardino.

Top skills:

  • Home health

  • Geriatrics

  • English

  • Communication skills

  • Care plans

Read more: How to Become a Nursing Assistant

13. Caregiver

State average salary: $14.83/hr
Primary duties: Caregivers can work with a variety of patients including the elderly, those living with a disability, or who need extra care due to an illness or other disorder. As a caregiver, you assist individuals with daily living activities like housekeeping, meal preparation and providing transportation to medical appointments. You also serve as a companion, a role that can be equally important. This makes soft skills like empathy, communication and patience valuable. In the state of California, some of the highest paying cities for caregivers include San Jose, Oakland, Los Angeles, Long Beach and Modesto.

Top skills:

  • Home health

  • Caregiving

  • Geriatrics

  • Senior care

  • Communication skills

Read more: What Is a Caregiver?

14. Security officer

State average salary: $15.80/hr
Primary duties: Security officers maintain a safe environment by ensuring the staff, customers, visitors and premises of the business are secure. Methods for ensuring security include patrolling perimeters, using surveillance equipment and performing security checks at the points of entry.

Strong communication skills, attention to detail, record keeping and a keen sense of observation are essential skills for the role. Some of the highest paying cities for security guards in California include San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento, Los Angeles and San Diego. Security officer opportunities may be available for a variety of businesses including retail stores, banks, casinos, resorts, amusement parks and sporting arenas.

Top skills:

  • Communication skills

  • Customer service

  • Computer skills

  • Driving

  • Security

15. Sales representative

State average salary: $68,693/yr
Primary duties: The role of a sales representative could be a good fit if you’re organized and have strong interpersonal skills. Sales representatives can have a flexible working environment with opportunities available remotely or onsite. As a sales representative, it’s common to have goals for acquiring and maintaining customers. There may also be additional earning opportunities for exceeding performance metrics. Some of the cities in California with the highest paying salaries for sales representatives include Santa Ana, San Jose, Irvine, Fresno and San Diego.

Top skills:

  • Sales

  • Communication skills

  • Customer service

  • Microsoft Office

  • English

Related: 35 Sales Representative Interview Questions and Answers

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