Home > CA > Education, Careers & Opportunity > Top Industries in California

Top Industries in California

Agriculture, tourism, technology are major economic contributors.

By Kevin Litwin on April 8, 2018

California / courtesy of https://www.flickr.com/photos/archer10/

If California was its own country, it would have the sixth largest economy in the world (larger than countries like Mexico, Spain, Canada, South Korea and Saudi Arabia), and some top industries in California are agriculture, education, finance, government, healthcare, manufacturing, technology, transportation and utilities. Here is some background on some top industries in this beautiful state: A freewheeling, fun-loving lifestyle is often associated with the state of California, nicknamed The Golden State and featuring a diverse geography that ranges from the Mojave Desert and Pacific Ocean to redwood trees and the Sierra Nevada mountains.


The Central Valley in the center of California is a major agriculture region, and it helps The Golden State yield more crops and farm-based goods than any other U.S. state. Some of the main food items produced are asparagus, grapes, lettuce, oranges, rice, shelled almonds, tomatoes and milk and cream.


There are so many tourism sites in California that it’s nearly impossible to list them all, but the state is running a TV commercial throughout 2017 called “Living the Dream†that showcases some of the most popular tourism destinations. Those hotspots include Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Disneyland, Napa Valley, Pebble Beach, Lake Tahoe, San Francisco, Yosemite, Venice Beach and Laguna Beach – and so forth and so forth.

California’s Top Employers


In the northern part of California is Silicon Valley, which employs about 250,000 people in the information technology sector. Many of the world’s largest high-tech companies are headquartered in Silicon Valley, including 40 of the Fortune 1000 corporations.


Many top-notch colleges and universities are in California, including 112 community colleges. Some of the more famous four-year public institutions are UCLA and the University of California, while well-known private institutions include Stanford and the University of Southern California.


Forests cover more than 45 percent of the land in California, and only the state of Alaska contains more forestland. Researchers point out that the California White Mountains contain some of the oldest trees in the world, including a bristlecone pine tree more than 5,000 years old.

Top 10 Things to Do in California

Pro Sports

A total of 20 professional sports teams are based in California, which is much more than any other state. Some of the more famous franchises are the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants in Major League Baseball; the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors in the NBA; the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Ram in the NFL; and the San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks in the NHL.

Airports and Seaports

The sixth busiest airport in the world is Los Angeles International Airport, and the 23rd busiest is San Francisco International Airport. Meanwhile, tons of cargo freight are loaded and unloaded each day at major seaports at Los Angeles, Long Beach, Oakland and Stockton.

Newsletter Sign Up

Keep up to date with our latest rankings and articles!
Enter your email to be added to our mailing list.