Core Industry Clusters

In North County,  several specialized industry clusters play a pivotal role in driving regional prosperity. These sectors provide good-paying jobs and bring new dollars into the region by exporting goods and services all over the globe. Key North County industrial clusters include Craft Beer, Aerospace and Communications Manufacturing, Health & Life Sciences, Tourism, and companies with products involving Sports and Active Lifestyle. 

Sports and Active Lifestyle

North County has a very active culture and population.  There are miles of beaches where people go to surf, swim, and just relax.  North County is also home to over 40 golf courses and miles of hiking trails.  The western part of North County is home to some of golf’s biggest manufactures; such as TaylorMade, Callaway, and Ping.

Craft Beer and Beverages

The North County craft brew scene has seen unprecedented growth in the past decade.  The craft beer and beverages industry has seen growth of 89% from 2010 to 2016.  The city of Vista has the highest brewery per capita ratio in the country.  The industry employs about 3,000 people in North County.  North San Diego County is home to over 40 craft breweries, each with its own unique style and taste.

Health & Life Sciences

This cluster includes those firms that are producing pharmaceuticals and related biological products as well as related research services and testing laboratories. In 2016, North County employment for this cluster was 16,284 with average annual pay per worker at $119,364.

Visitor, Attractions, and Accommodations

Tourism is a major part of North County’s economy.  This sector employs over 13,000 people.  Some of North County’s biggest attractions are Legoland, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and Harrah’s Casino.  There are also many popular resorts in the area, which are busy year-round because of San Diego’s moderate climate.

Defense, Aerospace, and Communications Manufacturing (DACM)

Consists of industries involved in the research, design, testing, development and manufacturing of higher value-added products including information technologies, aerospace equipment, and products for the defense and communications industry. From a traditional industry classification perspective, this includes those firms that are manufacturing products as well as those firms that are involved in the research, design, and testing of new and innovative products.


North County is home to a strong education industry cluster including: California State University San Marcos (CSUSM), MiraCosta College, Palomar College and National University.