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To the average worker in Southern California, want to double your salary? Consider aerospace

By in Press Enterprise on December 5, 2017

By Kevin Smith

Southern California’s aerospace industry has experienced robust job growth in recent years and the region is well positioned for that growth to continue, according to an analysis released Monday.

Data compiled by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. show direct payroll employment in the Southland’s aerospace industry increased from 85,500 jobs in 2014 to 90,100 jobs in 2016. The overall aerospace industry, including suppliers, vendors and others who contribute to the sector, supported a total of 268,100 Southern California jobs last year, an increase of 22,330 from 2014, and employment among businesses that produce space vehicles, parts and guided missiles has risen 62 percent since 2004, the report said.

The analysis further notes that wages among aerospace workers average $106,200, nearly double the region’s overall average of $56,600. Wages among workers that produce space vehicles, parts and guided missiles have risen 24 percent since 2004, while those working in instrumentation have seen their pay increase by 7 percent.

Southern California has a “deep ecosystem” of highly-skilled talent, the report said, including thousands of suppliers, specialized service providers and a legacy of engineering and R&D prowess — factors that are further bolstered by the region’s culture of innovation, risk-taking and entrepreneurship.

High profile innovation

Southern California’s aerospace industry is known for Mars landings, the Space Shuttle, the B-2 Stealth Bomber, development of GPS systems and its visionary entrepreneurs ranging from Howard Hughes to Elon Musk, founder and CEO of SpaceX and CEO and product architect of Tesla Inc.

Hawthorne-based SpaceX has been at the forefront of the innovation boom. In October, the company delivered an 8,100-pound South Korean communications satellite into orbit from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Less than 10 minutes later, the first-stage rocket landed on a robotic barge some 340 nautical miles from the Cape Canaveral Air […]    

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