If you’re looking for work in the life sciences industry, California continues to offer the most biotechnology and medical device industry opportunities – but others are growing too (more on that below). The state has more companies, employees, and research and development in life sciences than any other state in the nation, according to the 2017 California Life Sciences Industry report written by the California Life Sciences Association and consultancy PwC.
At least 3,040 life science companies called California home in 2015, the most recent full year for which statistics are available. The balance of companies tilts slightly in favor of medical devices and equipment manufacturing, but the biotech industry is growing as well. California added 192 more life science companies in 2015 compared to the previous year, the report found. In total, California life science companies attracted more than $4.4 billion in 2015 venture capital investments, the report said. Companies that have brought drugs or devices to market generated more than $147 billion in total revenue for the year. In another crucial metric, these companies continue to be healthy and growing employers.
In total, California life science companies directly employed 287,200 people in 2015. Indirect employment boosts the total to 884,200 jobs. Between 2011 and 2015, life sciences employment in California grew 7 percent. By comparison, New York, the second-ranked state for life sciences employment, saw its employment total decrease by 4 percent in that same period. New Jersey, ranked third, lost 19 percent of its life sciences workforce. Indiana and Pennsylvania round out the top five states. Indiana was the only other state in the top five to show a net increase in life sciences jobs with just a 2 percent gain.
Besides California, Massachusetts and New Jersey have historically been life sciences hot beds. But these states do not have a monopoly on life sciences jobs and the report shows the industry growing in regions that don’t have the same biotech or medical device industry legacies. Florida, ranked 10, Texas, at number 11, and 12th-ranked Michigan all posted life sciences employment gains. My beloved home state of Colorado did not rank in the study, which only included the top 15 states, but it’s continuing to grow and I’m impressed by the efforts of the current flourishing companies and the Colorado BioScience Association. Neighboring state Utah, however, made a strong showing by ranking 13th in the analysis. The Beehive State’s 18,425 jobs in 2015 represented a 25 percent increase from 2011. These states all offer employees a lower cost of living compared to California, and for employers, lower costs of doing business. This alone may help these states continue to grow.
The roots of California’s life sciences strengths lie in academia. The state produces more biology and engineering doctorates than any other state, the report shows. Some of that brain power feeds industry, particularly young startup biotech and medical device companies. Early-stage research is important in California, which tops all states in the number of National Institutes of Health grants and the dollar value of those grants. California built this infrastructure over years and its record of creating life science employment offers examples that other states can follow. The cost of living and quality of life in states like Colorado will continue to intrigue these trained professionals.
Please contact us to learn more about our expertise in Executive Search for Commercial Leadership positions in Medical Device and Biotechnology; including Marketing, Strategy, Sales Leadership, Training, Development, etc. We look forward to the opportunity to help you consistently improve your performance and your business!
Follow me on Twitter @PrimeCoreSearch.