Deputy Sheriff - Law Enforcement

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department is unusual compared to most other law enforcement agencies in the United States. Few other sheriff’s departments serve an area of 4,200 square miles with a multi-cultural population of 2.5 million residents. The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department serves its residents from 7 stations, 9 substations and 4 rural resident offices with high quality law enforcement service. Law Enforcement Deputy Sheriffs can work in detention facilities, human resources and courts in addition to these locations.

Location Assignments

Initially, as a graduate from the Law Enforcement Academy, you will be assigned to one of the department’s three bureaus: Law Enforcement, Court Services or Detentions. Patrol assignments are generally made to one of seven main patrol stations as follows:

  • North Coastal
  • Alpine
  • Rancho San Diego
  • Poway
  • San Marcos
  • Santee
  • Vista

Specialized Positions

As a Law Enforcement Deputy Sheriff, you may apply for one of the following specialized positions (Note: You must complete two years in patrol before applying for a specialized position):

  • Investigator (Detective)
    Perform follow-up investigations for specialized areas including the following:
    • Area Investigator
    • Arson/Explosives
    • Auto Theft Task Force
    • Backgrounds Investigator
    • Canine
    • Child Abuse
    • Central Investigations Division
    • COPPS
    • Criminal Intelligence
    • Domestic Violence
    • Elder Abuse Investigator
    • Fraud/Forgery Investigator
    • Fugitive Investigations/Extraditions
    • Homicide Investigator
    • Honor Guard
    • International Liaison
    • Internet Crimes
    • Jail Investigator
    • Judge Unit
    • Juvenile Intervention/Investigations
    • Narcotics Task Force
    • Terrorism Early Warning Unit
    • Training Academy
    • Vice Narcotics
    • Weapons Training Unit
  • Helicopter Pilot/Observer
    Pilot the aircraft on routine patrol, monitor radio, and coordinate responding ground units at the scene of crimes and emergencies
  • Personnel/Recruiting/Backgrounds Officer
    Recruit qualified candidates from all segments of the community for a career as a Deputy Sheriff or Deputy Sheriff-Detentions/Courts
  • Special Enforcement Detail Officer
    Specially trained in the area of Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT). Perform high risk warrant service, directed patrol, investigations support, detentions support, and dignitary protection.

Pay Chart

Classification Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 5 Step 6 Step 7 Step 8 Step 9 Step 10
Sheriff’s Cadet $48,308
Deputy Sheriff - Basic POST $56,240 $60,176 $63,186 $66,344 $69,661 $73,144 $80,459 $82,470 $84,532
Deputy Sheriff - Intermediate POST (+5%) $59,051 $63,186 $66,344 $69,661 $73,144 $76,801 $84,483 $86,594 $88,760
Deputy Sheriff - Advanced POST (+7½%) $60,458 $64,691 $67,924 $71,321 $74,885 $78,631 $86,494 $88,656 $90,872

Deputy Sheriff Cadet wage is based on a 40 hour work week. Deputy Sheriff steps two through eight is based on a 42.5 hour work week. Generally, it takes 5½ years from step 2 to step 8.

Upon graduating, you move to step 2. In one year, you move to step 3. Six months after that, you move to step 4. After that, step increases occur yearly.

Advancement from Basic POST to Intermediate and Advanced is based on education, training and experience.

Intermediate POST Requirements

Years Experience College Degree College Units Training Points
2 Years BA/BS
4 Years AA/AS
4 Years 45 45 (900 hrs)
6 Years 30 30 (600 hrs)
8 Years 15 15 (300 hrs)

Advanced POST Requirements

Years Experience College Degree College Units Training Points
4 Years MA/MS
6 Years BA/BS
9 Years AA/AS
9 Years 45 45 (900 hrs)
12 Years 30 30 (600 hrs)
We Are Hiring!
Applications will be accepted from 12:00 a.m. on
June 1 Thursday
through 11:59 p.m. on
June 14Wednesday
Learn How to Apply
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Quick Links

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Sample Schedule

As a Law Enforcement Deputy Sheriff, your patrol schedule will likely involve 12½ hour shifts, with alternating 3 and 4 day periods of work and rest. You will work 7 days or nights in each 14 day pay period. Click the image below for a larger view.