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Working at SANDAG  |  Job Openings  |  Email Notification  |  How to Apply  |  FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Whether you’re applying to SANDAG for the first time, or have previously contacted us about a job, here are a few answers to frequently asked questions about our recruiting program.

Job Opportunities

What positions are you currently recruiting for?

All SANDAG external job openings are posted to this website - the Job Openings page lists current vacancies. We prepare a detailed Job Announcement for each position; this contains an overview, outlines the duties, responsibilities, and qualifications, and provides information about application requirements.

Can I apply for jobs that are not currently open for recruitment?

While we appreciate your interest in working for SANDAG, we only accept applications for current vacancies.

How often do you advertise new job openings?

SANDAG only posts announcements for job openings when there is a current vacancy.

How can I be notified when a job I’m interested in becomes available?

You can subscribe to our Email Notification system. By request, we contact our subscribers each time we start a new recruitment. You have the option of receiving notification for all our job openings or only those in specific categories.

How can I get more information about a job opening I'm interested in?

We try to anticipate your questions about vacancies by preparing detailed Job Announcements and providing answers to commonly asked questions on this Web page. If, after reading through these resources, you still have questions about a job you’d like to apply for, you may contact HR staff at (619) 699-1900 or

Does SANDAG have educational requirements for its positions?

There are educational and experience requirements for all jobs at SANDAG; these are clearly outlined in any job announcement we post. The core positions at the agency do require college/university-level education. Many of our staff have bachelor’s and/or master’s degrees in the following or related disciplines: Accounting, Business Management, Communications, Computer Science, Economics, Engineering, Finance, Geography, Information Technology, Law, Marketing, Planning, Public Administration, Social Sciences. We consider equivalent amounts of experience in lieu of education for many positions.

What is the salary range for the position I'm interested in?

You’ll see that the annual salary range is listed on the Job Announcement for all open positions. Upon being selected for a position with SANDAG, candidates are offered a salary that is commensurate with their experience and qualifications. SANDAG salaries are benchmarked frequently and are industry-competitive. In addition, employees in eligible positions receive a benefits package that increases annual total compensation.

Does SANDAG have an internship program?

Yes we do. We believe that internships offer valuable experience during the development stages of a career and many of our departments offer these opportunities. Internships are for undergraduate or graduate students. Most intern positions are paid, are usually part-time (20 to 25 hours per week) for up to 12 months, and can become available at any time of the year. Intern opportunities are listed with the other job openings on this website.

Application Process

How can I obtain an Employment Application?

There are two different ways: You can download the Employment Application in PDF format from this website. Alternatively, call us at (619) 699-1900 or email to request an application package for any of the job openings currently listed.

What program is recommended to fill out the Employment Application?

It is highly recommended that you use Adobe Reader to fill out SANDAG’s Employment Application. While PDFs are commonly used, Adobe reports that there are known compatibility issues with Adobe Acrobat when using other readers such as Preview. Adobe Reader can be downloaded for free by visiting Adobe's website. SANDAG’s Employment Application can also be completed by hand and submitted via fax, regular mail, courier, or hand delivery.

I am a Mac user. Are there any particular tips I should consider using?

While PDFs are commonly used, Adobe reports that there is a known problem of compatibility between Preview (Mac OS X’s application for displaying images and PDF documents) and Adobe Acrobat. PDF forms filled out in Preview do not display all form data when opened in Acrobat. To ensure that your data will be properly saved, it is highly recommended that you use Adobe Reader to fill out SANDAG’s Employment Application. Adobe Reader can be downloaded for free by visiting Adobe's website.

How do I submit my application?

SANDAG accepts application materials via email, fax, regular mail, courier, or hand delivery. Applications are usually due by 5 p.m. on the filing deadline shown on the job announcement.

Can I send my application via email?

The PDF version of our Employment Application contains fill-in fields that allow you to complete the form electronically. You can then email your application along with any other relevant attachments (for example, a cover letter, resume, writing/work samples) to

What is the deadline for applications?

For many positions, applications are due by 5 p.m. on the date shown on the job announcement. From time to time we have positions where we continue to accept applications on an ongoing basis until the position is filled.

How do I apply for more than one position?

Our recommendation is that you submit a separate application for each position you are interested in. This gives you the opportunity to emphasize the skills and experience that uniquely qualify you for each role.  

Who has access to the information in my Employment Application?

Any details you provide to us in consideration for employment will be treated in the most confidential manner possible. Only Human Resources staff and the team making the selection for the position are given access to your information.

Do you accept resumes instead of applications?

To ensure that we have all your pertinent information and in order to best evaluate your suitability for a position with us, we ask that you complete our Employment Application. You’re welcome to supplement your application with a cover letter, resume, and/or writing sample but these items cannot substitute for the application.

Do you set a quota for the number of applications you’ll accept for any posted job?

No, we don’t. You’ll see that we include an application close date on most job announcements. All fully completed applications submitted by this deadline will be evaluated.

I can’t get my application to you by the deadline. What should I do?

Contact us right away. From time to time we may be able to offer a few days grace period on the deadline, but please understand this flexibility cannot be guaranteed.

Do you require references? How many?

We don’t ask for references on the application. If you’re selected to interview, and we subsequently decide to move forward with your application, we'll contact you about the next step in the process. This usually includes supplying the names and contact information for three professional references.

Do you have any tips or hints for my application?

  • Your application is our first impression of you – make sure it counts! Consider using the PDF fill-in application form, or typing your information, so it’s clearer for us to read. The quality of your application package is a reflection of the quality of work we can expect from you.
  • Read the instructions carefully and follow them exactly.
  • Ensure that your contact information (mailing address, telephone numbers, and email address) is current and complete.
  • Respond as thoroughly as possible to each section of the application. Don’t take short-cuts by writing “See Resume” or leaving questions unanswered. Remember, you’re trying to impress us and make your application stand out from the rest.
  • Refer to the job announcement as you put together your application. Show us how your skills and experience are relevant to the position you are applying for.

How do I know that you have my application?

We’ll send you an email within a few days of receiving your application for an open position.

Evaluation and Interview Process

How long before I can expect to hear from you?

That’s a hard question to answer. Because hiring the right people is important to us, we invest the time upfront to thoroughly review each application – including the cover letters, resumes, writing samples, and other materials you may be asked to provide. Having said this, we do make the effort to complete every recruitment as expeditiously as possible. If you need a number – let’s say four to six weeks from the application close date.

How do you determine if I qualify for the position I applied for?

SANDAG staff use the criteria described in the job announcement along with a quantitative scoring method to determine each candidate’s suitability for a position. So you can see why it’s important to focus the content of your application on the key qualifications and skills that we outline for the job.

If you like my application, what happens next?

After we’ve evaluated each application, we invite those candidates whose skills and experience are a close match to what we’re looking for to interview with us. If you’re selected to be interviewed, HR staff will call to set-up the appointment and provide details about your interview. We usually try to give four to seven days advance notice of an interview.

Candidate Notification

Will I be notified if the position is filled?

It’s important to us that we contact every candidate to let them know the final outcome oftheir application. Interviewed candidates will be contacted by phone; applicants not selected for an interview can expect a thank you email at the end of the recruitment.

If I’m not selected on this occasion, will SANDAG keep my application on file?

We keep applications for about a year and if a similar position becomes available during that time, we have the option to reconsider previously submitted applications.

I haven't heard from you yet - and my contact information has changed. What should I do?

Let HR staff know; send an email to

SANDAG Policies and Information

Does SANDAG have an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Policy?

Yes. SANDAG is an equal employment opportunity employer. The SANDAG EEO policy describes the agency’s commitment to actively recruit, hire, train, promote, and make all other employment decisions without regard to any category protected under federal or state law.

What steps can I take if I feel SANDAG has discriminated against me regarding my application for employment?

As an applicant for employment, it is your right to file a complaint with the SANDAG EEO Program Officer if you feel you have been discriminated against on the basis of any category protected under federal or state law. The SANDAG EEO Program Officer is Melissa Coffelt, Director of Organization Effectiveness; she can be reached at or (619) 699-1955.

What is the SANDAG work visa policy?

Applicants hired by SANDAG must show acceptable proof of identity and evidence of authorization to work in the United States. It is not our practice to sponsor work visas for employees.

Are SANDAG employees covered by FMLA?

Yes, SANDAG provides Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) benefits to eligible employees. The benefit allows qualified employees to take up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave, per rolling calendar year, for the birth or adoption of a child, for the care of a child, spouse or parent with a serious health condition, for the employee’s own serious health condition, or for the care of a covered military service member.

Can I schedule an informational meeting to learn more about the agency?

In order to be fair to all candidates, we don't schedule informational interviews. However, you may have noticed we have a pretty extensive website containing a wealth of information about our agency. Start at the About SANDAG page to learn who we are and what we do, then perhaps browse to our recent News or Program pages for more in-depth information about your field of interest.

Where is SANDAG located?

We have one main office. For the most part, all SANDAG staff work at 401 B Street in downtown San Diego. Some of our staff is also located at 1129 La Media Road, the headquarters of the South Bay Expressway (SR 125).