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San Diego Vocational & Trade Schools

San Diego is a huge draw for many, and for good reason -- between the near-perfect climate, the multitude of things to do, and the great job outlook, San Diego makes a good place to begin a new career. In fact, a 2014 national poll by the American Planning Association found that San Diego is the top choice for relocation among adults who have at least two years of college education. It's also number one among baby boomers, and number three among Millennials, right behind New York and Los Angeles.

Why attend school in San Diego?

This eighth most populous city in the U.S. is spread out over an ample 325 miles, with the larger county area taking up over 4,000 miles, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The city of San Diego is home to over 1,380,000 people, many of whom take full advantage of the numerous tourist attractions, deep-water harbor and proximity to Mexico for long weekend getaways. But many who come also take advantage of the many schools that offer degrees and certificates in two years of less, allowing students to move directly into the workforce upon graduation. The city boasts eight community colleges and many more vocational and technical schools.

Education is big business in San Diego, where 87 percent hold a bachelor's degree or higher, which is much better than the national average. The large tourism sector, start-ups, high-tech companies, defense industries, and even a booming craft beer industry offer a wide variety of options for those who choose to earn their education through San Diego trade schools. Those who do complete their education and move into entry level jobs should be encouraged by the average hourly wage of $25.49 in 2014, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics -- a number higher than the national average wage of $22.71. In addition, San Diego's unemployment rate is consistently lower than that of the state of California, and in most months dives below the national unemployment rate as well.

Vocational education trends and opportunities in San Diego with Theresa DeCristoforo

To learn even more about San Diego, we turned to an insider. Theresa DeCristoforo has lived in the San Diego area for more than 25 years, and now puts her city knowledge to work as a realtor for Ascent Real Estate. Here is her take on some of the best points of San Diego.

Which industries have the most job growth in San Diego?

Biotech is definitely San Diego's leading industry. Along with environmental health we have tourism and always defense. The hotel and restaurant businesses are generally booming as well. Our "starter" jobs that can move up are Sea World, world-famous San Diego Zoo, Lego Land and many different hotels around the city.

What is the housing outlook in San Diego?

Right now with interest rates in the low four percent, first time home buying is great. First time home buyers might need to start with a condo but San Diego is a lovely city with many areas to start a new life and even raise a family.

How does the cost of living in San Diego rank compared to neighboring cities?

San Diego is definitely one of the higher cost of living cities in the state of California. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, San Diego ranks fourth in the nation. The only cities higher cost of living-wise are New York, Washington DC and San Francisco.

Why would you recommend a student move to San Diego or attend school there?

San Diego is such a diverse city. There are so many cultures and the city has a very international feel. We have every type of food choice from Ethiopian food to Persian. We have hiking, surfing, biking, hot air ballooning, a big running community and of course most days it is sunny and about 75 degrees. One morning you can run in the mountains and that afternoon be at the beach in time for the sunset.

Any other good reasons for a student to pursue education at San Diego vocational schools?

San Diego is not a small town yet it also has a small town feel in comparison to its neighboring city of Los Angeles. In San Diego one does not have the traffic issues of LA. Yet we have many colleges and universities along with many tech schools. Coleman College is just one and so many more.

About the Expert

Theresa Decristoforo works as a realtor for Ascent Real Estate.


  1. Interview with Theresa DiChristoforo, August 24, 2015
  2. Occupational Employment and Wages in San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, May 2014, Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/regions/west/news-release/occupationalemploymentandwages_sandiego.htm
  3. San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, California Unemployment, Department of Numbers, http://www.deptofnumbers.com/unemployment/california/san-diego/
  4. San Diego (city), California Quick Facts, U.S. Census Bureau, http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/06/0666000.html
  5. San Diego (county), California Quick Facts, U.S. Census Bureau, http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/06/06073.html
  6. San Diego Cost of Living, Sperling's Best Places, http://www.bestplaces.net/cost_of_living/city/california/san_diego
  7. "SD: No. 1 place to relocate," The San Diego Union-Tribune, May 2, 2014, Roger Showley, http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2014/may/02/relocation-planning-survey/
Vocational Schools in San Diego, California
Results:  10
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