12 Jobs To Explore With a Public Safety Administration Degree

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published November 2, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

If you're interested in protecting other people, you may want to pursue a degree in public safety administration. Professionals in this field help create programs or serve community members directly to preserve their well-being. Learning more about the career options you can attain with this credential can help you determine whether it's a path that aligns with your interests and goals. In this article, we discuss public safety administration degrees and offer a list of 12 jobs for these graduates to consider.

What is a public safety administration degree?

A degree in public safety administration is an academic credential that students can earn at the associate, bachelor's and master's levels. Individuals can get this degree when entering the public safety field or after working in it for several years, including members of law enforcement, fire services or emergency services. The field of public safety involves roles that protect communities from natural disasters, crime and other threats. For students with existing experience, a degree can help them pursue leadership roles and advance their skills.

A public safety administration degree program prepares students for leadership roles in the field. They learn skills, including strategic planning, risk assessment and policy analysis, to help protect and serve communities. After graduation, they may use these skills to develop and implement emergency preparedness or response plans for emergency services departments or government agencies. They can also help manage these departments by overseeing budgets, establishing and enforcing safety regulations and coordinating educational programs for community members.

Related: Law Enforcement Degree: Definition, Skills and Benefits

12 public safety administration degree jobs

If you're thinking about a degree in public safety administration, you may find it helpful to learn about some of the potential career opportunities for graduates. Here's a list of 12 jobs to consider in this field, including their average salaries and typical responsibilities:

1. Correctional officer

National average salary: $32,545 per year

Primary duties: A correctional officer is a law enforcement professional who supervises individuals awaiting trial or in prison or jail. They maintain a safe environment for inmates, colleagues and visitors. Their responsibilities may include monitoring inmates' behavior, transporting individuals to court hearings and inspecting facilities and cells. They may also have administrative duties, such as maintaining accurate records of inmates and facility issues or events. Correctional officers who have a degree in public safety administration may find opportunities to work as federal correctional officers or pursue more advanced roles within their organization.

2. Emergency dispatcher

National average salary: $41,434 per year

Primary duties: An emergency dispatcher works within emergency services departments to receive emergency phone calls and send the appropriate services. These professionals are sometimes called public safety telecommunicators, and earning a degree could help them advance their careers or increase their earning potential. When receiving calls, dispatchers prioritize them by urgency and offer support or life-saving interventions while the caller waits for the response providers to arrive. They also document and maintain records of calls or incidents and coordinate with other emergency services departments as needed for large-scale events.

3. Emergency medical technician

National average salary: $43,882 per year

Primary duties: An emergency medical technician (EMT) is a medical and public safety professional who provides emergency care to individuals. They respond to the scenes of accidents, natural disasters or injuries and illnesses, often employed by hospitals or emergency services departments. Some public safety administration programs offer emergency services tracks, preparing students with the training and skills required for this role. EMTs help stabilize patients before or during transportation to hospitals for further treatment, and the services they provide can vary on their level of training.

4. Public safety officer

National average salary: $45,134 per year

Primary duties: A public safety officer is responsible for protecting people and property. They can find employment at government facilities or college and university campuses, serving similar roles as police officers. These professionals patrol buildings and grounds, monitor surveillance footage and respond to accidents or emergencies. This role often requires law enforcement and medical training, allowing them to provide first aid as needed and make arrests or detain suspects. When responding to crimes, they may write reports or collaborate with local police departments for investigations.

5. Firefighter

National average salary: $48,517 per year

Primary duties: A firefighter is a public safety professional who extinguishes fires and responds to emergencies. They often have first response training, allowing them to provide medical aid to injured individuals at emergency scenes. Firefighters also visit schools and other organizations to provide fire safety and prevention instruction. Those who earn a public safety administration degree may use this credential to gain management roles at the department. In these roles, they may help hire and train fire service staff and develop departmental budgets.

Read more: Learn About Being a Firefighter

6. Security officer

National average salary: $49,751 per year

Primary duties: A security officer is responsible for maintaining a safe environment. These professionals can work for private or public organizations, often patrolling the building and grounds or monitoring surveillance equipment for security issues. They may also check visitors into buildings, inspect and protect entry points and coordinate safety drills. When they apprehend trespassers or suspects, they collaborate with local law enforcement and may assist with investigations. Individuals with a public safety administration degree may advance to management roles where they oversee the operations of an organization's security department.

Read more: Learn About Being a Security Officer

7. Police officer

National average salary: $53,312 per year

Primary duties: A police officer is a law enforcement and public safety professional who prevents and investigates crimes in a community. A degree in public safety administration can help these professionals gain promotions or managerial roles in their department, such as sergeant, lieutenant or captain. Police officers respond to emergencies to help protect lives and property, often gathering evidence about incidents, taking statements or interviewing witnesses. When investigating crimes, they may monitor suspects, obtain warrants, perform searches and write reports about their findings.

Read more: Learn About Being a Police Officer

8. Safety consultant

National average salary: $64,170 per year

Primary duties: A safety consultant provides advice to organizations about safety policies and procedures. Individuals with a degree in public safety administration may focus on offering their services to organizations that serve the public rather than private businesses. For example, they may work with emergency services departments to execute strategies to make their processes and responses more efficient or reduce costs. These consultants may review existing policies and procedures, observe staff members and identify potential issues, then research and develop appropriate solutions. They may also provide training to staff members or help implement new systems.

9. Fire marshal

National average salary: $70,300 per year

Primary duties: A fire marshal works for a fire department and is responsible for inspecting buildings and investigating fires. This professional is often appointed or hired by their municipality or fire chief. When performing building inspections, the fire marshal ensures compliance with relevant state and local fire codes and identifies potential fire hazards. They may test fire alarms and sprinklers and evaluate fire evaluation plans during these inspections. During investigations, the fire marshal gathers and analyzes the evidence and determines the cause of the fire, sometimes providing evidence in court or testimonies to aid legal cases.

10. Emergency services manager

National average salary: $72,266 per year

Primary duties: An emergency services manager oversees the operations within a community's emergency services office. This department may contain police, fire and other public safety departments. The emergency services manager develops departmental goals, supervises the work performed by public safety officials and coordinates emergency services programs and activities. For example, they may develop emergency preparedness and disaster relief plans for their community, often serving as a safety adviser to local leaders. They may also coordinate emergency and safety training and education opportunities for government staffers and community members.

11. Director of security

National average salary: $75,317 per year

Primary duties: A director of security maintains the safety and security of an organization's workforce and assets. They can work for public and private organizations, often overseeing a staff of security professionals. The director of security develops and executes security procedures, delivers and coordinates training and maintains and reviews security records. They may develop reports on their surveillance and records to their organization's management staff and other stakeholders. The director of security may also monitor local and federal regulations, ensuring that the organization's safety and security processes are compliant.

12. Chief of police

National average salary: $96,423 per year

Primary duties: A chief of police is a law enforcement professional who oversees a police department. They're often elected or appointed to this position, and having significant experience and a public safety degree can help them gain promotions toward this role. These professionals hold responsibility for the overall management of the department, including hiring, testing and training police staff. They may collaborate with local politicians, oversee high-level investigations and delegate assignments to the law enforcement officers. As the department's leader, they also monitor performance and implement strategies to keep their community safe.

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