Industry Strengths

Arizona’s manufacturing strengths have long included semiconductors, aerospace and defense and optics and photonics. The state’s manufacturers power high tech devices, sustainable materials and medical devices.

Home to Global Semiconductor Giants

Semiconductor manufacturers from around the world come to Arizona to develop innovations that power the next generation of devices. With a pro-business environment and competitive ecosystem, semiconductor manufacturers in Arizona produce technological breakthroughs that are shaping the future.


Semiconductor Advantages


#5 aerospace & defense manufacturing employment in the nation

Emsi, 2020

Aerospace & Defense

Arizona’s soaring aerospace & defense industry is supported by its broad set of manufacturing suppliers. Arizona ranks fifth in the nation for employment in aerospace and defense manufacturing and has the second highest employment in guided missiles and space vehicle manufacturing. Raytheon Missile Systems, headquartered in Tucson, employs nearly 13,000 people and has a $2.6 billion impact on the state’s economy. Honeywell Aerospace, the world’s largest manufacturer of aircraft engines and avionics, is headquartered in Phoenix. Boeing manufactures helicopters in Mesa, making $1.4 billion worth of supply purchases in 2018 from 316 Arizona suppliers and vendors.


#2 bioscience manufacturing job growth in the nation

Emsi, 2020


Arizona saw a 41 percent increase in employment in bioscience manufacturing from 2015 to 2019, which is the second highest growth rate in the U.S. Bioscience manufacturing advances made in Arizona include new electromedical devices, implantable medical devices and pharmaceuticals. Arizona saw a 39% increase in employment in medical equipment, pharmaceuticals and chemicals manufacturing from 2015 to 2019, which is the highest growth rate in the U.S. Accelerate Diagnostics in Tucson is a publicly-traded diagnostics and medical device company that uses its technology to identify bacteria and the antibiotics that will combat them. Stryker provides medical reprocessing and remanufacturing services from its Tempe facility.


#1 Arizona was the first state in the nation to support the testing and operation of automated vehicles by executive order in 2015

Electric car and automated vehicle manufacturers rely on Arizona’s strong manufacturing foundation. Ranging from self-driving trucks to electric luxury cars, vehicle manufacturers are driving their operations to Arizona. Electric car manufacturer Lucid Motors recently broke ground on a large factory in Casa Grande, Arizona, and intends to produce cars by the end of 2020. Phoenix-based Nikola Motor Company, the first publicly-traded hydrogen fuel cell and battery-electric heavy-duty truck manufacturer, will begin manufacturing its trucks in nearby Coolidge, Arizona, beginning in 2022. TuSimple, a global self-driving truck solutions company in Tucson, recently partnered with shipping giant UPS to make autonomous trips between Phoenix and Tucson, and Phoenix and El Paso, Texas.


#1 optics and photonics manufacturing job growth in the nation

Emsi, 2020

Optics and Photonics

Optics technology crosses industry lines and is critical to many of Arizona’s manufacturing industries, such as precision missile guidance systems, medical imaging and autonomous and unmanned aerial vehicles. Optics and photonics manufacturing employment in Arizona increased 47% percent from 2015 to 2019, more than six times the national average of 7 percent.


#2 concentration of materials engineers in the nation

Emsi, 2020


Companies in Arizona supply specialized composite materials to other industries, particularly to companies in the aerospace and defense industry, including Honeywell, Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems, Boeing and UTC Aerospace Systems. Hexcel in Coolidge manufactures composite materials used in commercial aircraft structures and interiors, defense aircraft, helicopters and other industrial applications. HJ3 Composite Technologies manufactures carbon fiber repair systems that fortify and protect structures against earthquakes, blasts and environmental damage.