Public Administration

What does a city do if there’s a sudden disease outbreak? Who decides between building a new highway or adding a railroad? People in public administration are the ones who hold the answers through their research, analysis, leadership and public service. They listen to concerns, collaborate with others and respond to the community to improve people’s lives.

Illustration of 3 workers in public administration

Why It’s Important to San Diego

The public administration sector includes work in local, state and federal government. San Diego County is home to more than 3 million people, living across 19 local governments. San Diego also shares an international border and is home to many federal agencies, making public service work an especially important part of our economy. 


People Employed


of all San Diego County jobs


Number of Businesses


  • Local (city/county) government
  • State government
  • Federal government
  • U.S. Postal Service

The following three sections are available as interactive charts on desktop and tablet devices.

Sector Job Growth 

Wp Sectorcharts Pubadmin Rev

What Are the Largest Occupations in This Sector? 

Hover over the bars to see RIASEC interests and typical training and experience, then visit Career Coach to learn more about any of the occupations below.

  • Business and Operations Specialists, All Other: 6,038
  • Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers: 4,711
  • Firefighters: 3,075
  • Detectives and Criminal Investigators: 3,016
  • Postal Service Mail Carriers: 2,861
  • Computer Occupations, All Other: 2,532
  • Office Clerks, General: 2,430
  • Correctional Officers and Jailers: 2,271
  • Registered Nurses: 2,196
  • Compliance Officers: 2,131

How Do I Start My Career in Public Administration?

Do Some Research

  • Use Career Coach to explore which occupations align with your interests, get a behind-the-scenes peek at careers and discover local companies

Expand Your Network

  • Use social media tools like LinkedIn to network with professionals and request informational interviews to ask people about their career path, education and job responsibilities. Check out this video for help getting started. 
  • Go to local public council and committee meetings to network with city professionals

Get Hands-on Experience

  • Visit to learn about internships, mentorships and job shadowing opportunities with the City of San Diego
  • Volunteer to be a poll worker on election days for San Diego County at

Get Training

Posters and Printers

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Data source: Emsi Labor Market Analytics, 2020 –