According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, California outpaced the entire nation by adding 90,000 jobs last November, with nearly 20 percent of all jobs in the state coming from San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo counties. While nearly all major sectors in San Francisco enjoyed robust gains, one sector that often goes overlooked is Investigation and Security Services.

The Investigation and Security sector enjoyed a modest gain of one percent in November over the previous month, but over the course of the previous 12 months, saw an increase of 5.3 percent. And over the 10-year period between 2010 and 2020, the Investigation and Security sector is expected to see an increase of 16 percent in employment. However, this estimate does not take into account the current construction boom in San Francisco. With several major construction projects already in some form of development, security companies are actively seeking more officers to cover new high-rise developments, in addition to newly occupied apartment buildings, special events and protective services for other businesses.

Entry-level security jobs only require a high school diploma but those employed in the sector with a bachelor’s degree or higher tend to occupy supervisor or top-level management positions. Additionally, a career in Investigation and Security services coupled with a solid college education can often lead to a rewarding career as a law enforcement officer. Locally, City College of San Francisco (CCSF) offers an associate of science program in Administration of Justice (AJ), which can be completed in two years, based upon full-time attendance, whereas a certificate of completion can be completed in one year. San Francisco State University (SFSU) also offers an undergraduate program in Criminal Justice. Additionally, students can gain valuable work experience by participating in an unpaid internship program from either the San Francisco Police Department or the San Francisco County Sheriff’s Department.

Although the present job outlook in San Francisco for law enforcement professionals is about the average of all other local jobs, there will be a continuing need for public safety, especially as the economic boom continues. Currently, the San Francisco Police Department is taking applications for entry-level police officers and the San Francisco County Sheriff’s Office also has job openings.

Randy Yagi is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. In 2012, he was awarded a Media Fellowship from Stanford University. His work can be found on

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