i agree with alldayrj. around here the cops start in the 60k's and are making 100k within 5 years. also true that most have side landscaping/carpentry/etc businesses because of their compacted work schedule. plus, you get public employee benefits and holidays.
take the perks of the public sector and then start a small side business where you can choose the jobs you want and charge the prices you want rather than taking on work just to keep yourself and your employees busy. lets face it, in most areas of the country, the landscape and construction industries are hurting and the government is certainly not pro-business at the moment.
enjoy your youth. travel. relax. dream.
i went to college and had a landscaping company on the side. when i graduated, i stuck with the business because i was making more than i could working for someone else in an office. what you dont realize at the time is that health insurance costs, no retirement package, etc. take a toll on your wallet and your mental health.
i'd find a good paying public sector job with benefits and run a seasonal side business a few hours each night or on weekends if i could go back in time. (in fact, i am working on that time machine at the moment..)