2021 Edition — California’s Health Care Workforce

Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, physician assistants, health diagnostic and treatment therapists, clinical laboratory scientists and technicians, imaging professionals, and mental health professionals

Timothy Bates, Healthforce Center at UCSF
Amber R. Rose, Healthforce Center at UCSF


Downloads

California’s health care industry employed more than 1.7 million people in 2019. Among these workers, nearly 50% were employed in ambulatory settings, 32% in hospitals, and 18% in nursing or residential care facilities. An aging population and population growth will likely contribute to increased demand.

This series of quick reference guides from the CHCF California Health Care Almanac examines the state’s health care workforce, focusing on pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, physician assistants, health diagnostic and treatment therapists, clinical laboratory scientists and technicians, imaging professionals, and mental health professionals.

Among the trends:

  • California’s supply of pharmacists grew 30% between 2012 and 2019, while the supply of pharmacy technicians increased by 20%. About half of the state’s pharmacists were trained in California.
  • The number of physician assistants (PAs) in California grew 10% between 2012 and 2019. Orange County had more licensed PAs per capita than the rest of the state.
  • The supply of health diagnostic and treatment therapists increased between 2012 and 2019.
  • Between 2012 and 2019, California’s supply of clinical laboratory scientists and technicians remained stable.
  • The supply of mental health professionals varied by region.

Additional data and analysis on this topic are available from Healthforce Center at UCSF, the National Center for Education Statistics, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The quick reference guides are available for download below. These materials are part of CHCF’s California Health Care Almanac, an online clearinghouse for key data and analyses describing the state’s health care landscape. See our entire collection of current and past editions of California’s Health Care Workforce.