Public Safety & Government

Public safety and government are always in need of qualified candidates. Many employers in this industry have a list of skills in demand which include communication skills, creativity, critical thinking, detail-oriented, leadership, multitasking, organizational skills, planning, positive disposition, problem-solving, and teamwork/collaboration. Public safety is also categorized as a recession-resilient job, which has annual openings at or above the regional average, a median hourly at or above the living wage for San Diego County and has less than six percent employment decline between 2007 and 2010.

However, public safety and government is not limited to only first responders. Pursuing a public safety and government job includes other career possibilities in related fields such as the security industry, law enforcement, custody & corrections (probation & parole), court systems, animal control, postal service, private investigation, public safety dispatch, to name a few.

San Diego County Career Pathways & Salary Info - Hourly Rate (Salary)*

HS Diploma + Postsecondary Training (e.g., Certificate)

  • Lifeguards, Ski Patrol, and Other Recreational Protective Service Workers $15 ($31K)
  • Court, Municipal, and License Clerks $18 ($37K)
  • Postal Service Mail Carriers $20 ($42K)
  • Firefighters $28 ($58K)

Associate Degree or Higher

  • Cartographers and Photogrammetrists $29 ($60K)
  • Political Scientists $32 ($67K)
  • Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists $35 ($73K)
  • Surveyors $38 ($79K)

*Entry-level hourly rates have been rounded up and salaries are provided as examples of what workers would make if they worked full-time (2080 hours a year)

Sample of Local Employers

  • City of San Diego Fire and Rescue
  • United States Postal Service
  • Superior Court South County Division
  • San Diego County Sheriff
  • San Diego Central Library
  • City of Poway
  • National City Police Department
  • Superior Court of California
  • County Surveyor

Imperial County Career Pathways & Salary Info - Hourly Rate (Salary)*

HS Diploma + Postsecondary Training (e.g., Certificate)

  • Firefighters $15 ($31K)
  • Court, Municipal, and License Clerks $17 ($35K)
  • Postal Service Mail Carriers $19 ($40K)
  • Public Safety Telecommunicators $21 ($44K)
  • Police and Sheriffs Patrol Officers $27 ($56K)

Associate Degree or Higher

  • Legislators $18 ($37K)
  • Cartographers and Photogrammetrists $26 ($54K)
  • Arbitrators, Mediators, and Conciliators $41 ($85K)

*Entry-level hourly rates have been rounded up and salaries are provided as examples of what workers would make if they worked full-time (2080 hours a year)

Sample of Local Employers

  • Imperial County Health Department
  • California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection
  • Imperial Code Enforcement Department
  • U.S Department of Homeland Security
  • The Imperial County Sheriff’s Office
  • Naval Air Facility El Centro

Fast Facts

  • 339,084 people employed
  • 1% (2,387) 5-year projected job growth
  • 1,969 businesses
  • 12% of the sector’s employment in California
  • $96,622 average earnings per job
  • 5% of the sector’s businesses in California
Source: Labor market data derived from EMSI 2021.03; QCEW, Non-QCEW, Self-Employed; 2020-2025 projections.

Grossmont College

  • Administration of Justice-Corrections
  • Administration of Justice-Forensic Technology
  • Administration of Justice-Law Enforcement
  • Administration of Justice-Legal Systems/Court Management
  • Administration of Justice-Security Management

Imperial Valley College

  • Administration of Justice
  • Administration of Justice: Law Enforcement
  • Correctional Science
  • Correctional Science: Corrections Officer
  • Cybersecurity
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Fire Technology
  • Firefighter

MiraCosta College

  • Administration of Justice for Transfer
  • Law Enforcement

Palomar College

  • Administration of Justice
  • Administration of Justice - General
  • Administration of Justice - Homeland Security
  • Administration of Justice - Investigations
  • Administration of Justice - Law Enforcement
  • Basic Police Academy
  • Drone Applications and Technologies
  • Drone Operator 1
  • Fire Academy
  • Fire Technology - Emergency Management
  • Fire Technology - General

San Diego City College

  • Alcohol and Other Drugs Studies
  • Human Services - Community Health Work
  • Human Services - Gerontology
  • Mental Health Work
  • Social Work - Social Work

San Diego Miramar College

  • Administration of Justice
  • Advanced Traffic Accident Investigation
  • Contemporary Police Technologies
  • Correctional Technologies
  • Emergency Medical Technician
  • Fire Protection Technology Company Officer Certification
  • Fire Prevention
  • Fire Technology
  • Investigations Specialization
  • Law Enforcement
  • Law Enforcement Supervision
  • Law Enforcement Technologies
  • Open Water Lifeguard Professional
  • P.C. 832 Laws of Arrest
  • Public Safety Administration
  • Law, Public Policy, and Society
  • Seasonal Ocean Lifeguard
  • Technical Achievement for Field Training Officers

Southwestern College

  • Admin. of Justice (SB1440)
  • Admin. of Justice - Law Enforcement Emphasis
  • Administration of Justice - Corrections Emphasis
  • Basic First Aid and Adult CPR *
  • CPR for the Professional Rescuer *
  • Criminal Justice
  • Cyber-Forensic
  • Fire Science Technology
  • First Aid for Public Safety Personnel - Title 22 *
  • Forensic Studies
  • Law Enforcement Training Academy
  • Legal Interpretation - Basic (Engl/Span)
  • Legal Interpretation/Trans-Intermediate Eng/Span
  • Lifeguard Training *
  • Occupational Health and Safety
  • Oxygen Administration for the Professional *
  • Paralegal Studies
  • Paralegal Studies: Bilingual (english/Spanish)
  • Public Administration
  • Social Work and Human Services (SB1440)
  • * Designates noncredit classes

student success story

Student Story: Carlos Andres Barajas

As a child, Carlos witnessed an accident that sparked his passion for helping others. Carlos wanted to work in a field where he could be the difference between someone’s life and death. He started taking career education classes and is on track to achieving his dream of becoming a structural firefighter. Watch now to hear what Carlos finds most rewarding about this career path.




Career videos