Security and protective services are essentially jobs in law enforcement. However, not all security and protective services jobs will be within a police department. Degree seekers in the field of security and protective services will learn how to enforce laws, monitor video surveillance systems, report on criminal activity, interview witnesses, and patrol certain areas.
Security and Protective Services: Definition
The security and protective services definition is very broad and encompasses numerous positions. Individuals pursuing security jobs may be responsible for providing protective services for a certain population. For instance, a correctional officer will be responsible for guarding inmates. An officer stationed in a juvenile facility is usually responsible for teenagers sentenced to the detention center. A private security officer may only need to protect a single high-profile person.
To pursue careers in security and protective services, the student must be at least 18 years old, have a high school degree, and will have a clear background check. A security and protective services job description will state additional minimal requirements, such as past work experience and an associate degree or higher in a criminal justice related major. Applicants for federal-level jobs will probably need a security clearance. Degree options for those looking for security and protective services jobs include criminal justice, police science, and homeland security. Length of degree programs range from a two-year associate’s degree to a six-year master’s degree.
What are Security and Protective Services Jobs?
Careers in security and protective services are vast. Professionals have a number of pathways to follow and may transfer between industries throughout their careers. Examples of security and protective services jobs include juvenile corrections officer, corrections administration, fire safety officer, police officer, homeland security officer, loss prevention specialist, counter-terrorism officer, and gaming surveillance officer.
Protective services jobs can be separated into two main categories: private sector positions and public sector positions. Public sector jobs are provided through the government and have more regulations regarding minimal qualifications. Examples of public sector jobs are county sheriff, police detective, park ranger, and homeland security officer. The security and protective services job description for a private company will be very different from a public listing. Private security personnel are usually hired to protect an asset and will not be authorized to make arrests. Examples of private sector security and protective services jobs are bodyguard, security officer, security analyst, security consultant, and security manager.
Degrees in law enforcement will usually qualify a person for a private or public sector security job. Work experience for each sector can also be used to switch careers. For instance, retired police officers will frequently pursue careers as private security guards. Private and public employers will give preference to applicants with any type of background in protective services.
What are Typical Security and Protective Services Salary Figures?
An average security and protective services salary is difficult to determine. Jobs in the security field can start at under $29,000 annually, but can also exceed six figures for some positions. Average salaries for the field depend on highest level of education achieved and work experience. Private and public sectors jobs will also have very different ranges. Local, state, and federal governments decide public security job salaries. For instance, a municipal police officer will have a contract from the town with set salary figures. A police officer employed through the local government will have a median salary of $61,590. However, a police officer employed by the federal government has an average salary of $87,130. The type of police work impacts salary too. Investigators and detectives make the highest salary averages exceeding $81,000 per year while fish and game wardens earn the lowest, around $57,000 yearly. Public security employees also have additional benefits besides salary including lower retirement ages, pensions, and comprehensive insurance coverage.
Although a private security guard may have a lower starting salary, the private sector does offer the ability to earn a competitive income. For instance, a private security engineer and security analyst can both make more than $100,000 annually. Benefit packages differ from employer to employer.