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California’s Top Employers

California's top employers include UCLA and Disney. Can you guess how many employees they have?

By Kevin Litwin on April 26, 2018

Courtesy of Tjflex2 under a CC 4.0 license.

Welcome to The Golden State, where the state song is “I Love You, California.†The Pacific Ocean lines the entire western coast, and the diverse economy of California is led by sectors like technology, government, tourism, finance and education. Here are 10 of Cali’s largest employers:

1. 32nd Street Naval Station

In San Diego is the  32nd Street Naval Station, the principal seaport of the U.S. Navy Pacific Fleet. The base has 13 piers, and its workforce includes 20,000 military personnel and 5,000 civilians.

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2. UCLA Health System

More than 200 physicians in the Los Angeles-based UCLA Health System are ranked among the Best Doctors in America, and the system’s facilities include the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA, and UCLA Medical Center-Santa Monica.

3. Walt Disney Parks & Resorts

Headquartered in Anaheim, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts oversees the management of the company’s theme parks and resorts around the world. Those theme parks welcome more than 130 million global visitors annually.


With an annual budget of about $7 billion, the University of California, Los Angeles is in the Westwood district of Los Angeles and accommodates 30,000 undergraduate and 12,000 graduate students. UCLA offers 330 academic programs.

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5. Disneyland Park

More than 20,000 employees work either part-time or full-time at Disneyland Park, located in Anaheim and open since 1955. The tourism destination hosts more than 15 million fun-seeking visitors every year.

6. University of California, Davis

Commonly referred to as UC Davis, the University of California, Davis is just west of Sacramento and often compared to Ivy League universities due to its quality of education. The Davis campus has 90 research programs in its graduate studies curriculum.

7. California Department of Transportation

Also known as Caltrans, the California Department of Transportation is based in Sacramento and has more than 15,000 employees who monitor the state’s highways and public transportation systems. The agency operates on a $14 billion annual budget.

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8. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

The fourth largest policing agency in America is the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, with more than 15,000 employees and headquartered in Monterey Park. About 40 of Los Angeles County’s 88 municipalities contract with the Sheriff’s Department to receive police protection.

9. Nestle USA

With offices in Glendale, the 13,000 employees at Nestle USA strive to incorporate nutrition, health and wellness into its products and overall mission. Water is currently a major environmental focus at the company, especially since California is in the midst of a multi-year drought.

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10. University of California, San Francisco

Known mostly as UCSF, the University of California, San Francisco is devoted solely to graduate education and ranked among the top research-oriented universities in the nation. The San Francisco campus is also known for its natural beauty.

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