The public safety profession is broad and ever-increasing. Due to this, many people are unaware of what a career in public safety can offer. As one of the biggest employers, however, it’s likely you interact with public safety professionals on a daily basis.
Concerned with all aspects of public safety, these professionals protect communities, safeguard properties, and respond to emergency situations. From police officers and firefighters to event managers and building inspectors, all of these roles are concerned with public safety.
However, there are plenty of other industries and job roles which are focused on public safety. If you’re looking for a way to enhance your own career path, read on to find out exactly what a career in public safety can offer.
What is Public Safety Administration?
Everyone who works to protect public safety can be said to work in the profession. However, leadership roles within the industry are usually centered around public safety administration. Again, this has a broad and varied definition. In most cases, public safety administration is concerned with the strategic management of public safety departments, teams and staff.
A top-level professional working in public safety administration may hold any of these job roles:
- Chief of Police
- Health and Safety Manager
- Intelligence Analyst
- Fire Inspectors
- Fire Investigators
- Warden or Prison Governor
- Head of Border Control
- Chief Medical Officer
- Hospital Director
- Emergency Room Manager
As you can see, high-ranking public safety officials are responsible for the management and operations of major organizations, such as police forces, fire stations and hospitals and emergency responders. However, not all public safety professionals work directly for public bodies. While government organizations do employ large numbers of public safety officers, there are many private firms that also require the expertise of a public safety administrator.
Due to this, people working within the public safety sector have a wide range of careers open to them. In addition to working for a government organization, you will have the choice to enter the private sector and work for a corporation or conglomerate. Alternatively, you may choose to launch your own public safety organization or work on a freelance basis. By building a career as a Public Safety Consultant, for example, you can share your knowledge with a range of other professionals, work on innovative new projects and reap the benefits of working for yourself as a freelancer.
Will a Public Safety Role Match Your Lifestyle?
When you’re choosing a career path or deciding to enter another sector, it’s essential that your role will complement your lifestyle. If you have other responsibilities, such as raising children or caring for family members, you’ll want to ensure that your career enables you to undertake these additional demands.
Fortunately, the broad nature of public safety means there are numerous roles which are suitable for parents or for people with extra-curricular responsibilities. In fact, the public safety industry is one of the most family-friendly employers in the country.
Depending on the specific niche you choose to work in, you’ll find that many public safety job roles offer flexible working hours and/or shift work. For many people, these atypical working patterns work well with their lifestyle and enable them to complement a partner’s working hours. If you want to ensure that one person is at home to facilitate childcare, for example, working shifts in a public safety role could be an ideal option.
Alternatively, if you don’t have additional responsibilities, you may wish to undertake a role which involves national and international travel. With many public safety positions involving regular travel, last-minute schedule changes and new intelligence, your career can be as fast paced as you choose.
Another aspect to consider when determining whether a public safety job role will match your lifestyle is the type of salary you can earn in the industry. Read on to find out more about the level of remuneration you can expect to receive as a public safety worker.
What Salary Does a Public Safety Official Earn?
As a public safety professional, your salary will be commensurate to your experience and responsibilities. As you might expect, starting in an entry level position and working your way up through the ranks will enable you to increase your salary on a regular basis. Entry level positions within the public safety sector can attract the following types of salaries:
- Animal Control Worker – $24,000 – $36,000
- Corrections Officer – $27,000 – $48,000
- Emergency Medical Technician – $32,000 – $40,000
- Police Officer – $36,000 – $89,000
As you can see, the range of starting salaries is variable. This often depends on what area you work in and the level of experience you bring to the role. When you begin to progress through your career and take on leadership roles, you can expect to earn a much higher salary. Top-ranking public safety officials routinely earn $90,000 – $200,000 per year but it’s not unusual to earn more than this.
To rise to the top of the industry, however, you’ll need to showcase a range of skills, as well as in-depth theoretical knowledge of public safety strategies. In addition to this, you’ll need to be confident undertaking additional responsibilities in a leadership role.
Developing a Career in Public Safety
One of the most effective ways to build a career within the public safety industry is to undertake further study at postgraduate level. With a Master’s in Public Safety from an institution like Wilfrid Laurier University, for example, you can attain the knowledge and skills you need to succeed in a top-level public safety role. Furthermore, you’ll be able to formalize your experience thus far and highlight your professional achievements within the sector.
Although postgraduate study can fast-track your career, many people worry about taking time off work to complement the relevant courses. Fortunately, studying for a Mater’s in Public Safety doesn’t require you to take a career break or sabbatical. In fact, you can graduate successfully without taking any time off work at all!
When you enroll in a respected online program, you can combine your current work responsibilities with your studies. This will enable you to continue in your current position, while enhancing your public safety skills and knowledge. In the vast majority of cases, employers are thrilled when their staff undertake this type of study, as it enables them to use their newly developed skills in the workplace straight away.
Of course, there are numerous benefits associated with studying online, such as:
- The ability to retain your current job role
- Flexible study schedules
- The opportunity to use the latest technology to complete your studies
- Networking within the industry
- Numerous communication routes to lecturers and mentors
- Ability to study at your own pace
- Easy to stagger your studies around extra-curricular responsibilities
- No need to take a career break and experience a loss of income
For most professionals who want to enhance their career options, online study is the perfect way to achieve their ambitions. Indeed, within the public safety sector, it can be a fast-track to success.
Is a Career in Public Safety Right for You?
Working in the public safety industry offers a high level of job satisfaction, as well as secure job prospects and high salaries. No matter what role you undertake, you will be working for the good of your community and the wider area. When your role is focused on maintaining the safety of the public, you will have the knowledge that your day-to-day duties have a major impact on the lives of those around you.
Furthermore, the broad scope of the public safety industry ensures you can put your natural talents to good use. If you are interested in joining the medical profession, for example, you may want to combine your role with public safety administration responsibilities, such as hospital management or emergency preparedness.
Alternatively, if you are analytically minded, you may want to focus on public safety research. This type of role requires you to undertake in-depth study of sociological issues to determine where public safety resources should be allocated. For people with an interest in advanced technology, you may choose to be involved with developing the latest the software to prevent public safety disasters. With facial recognition technology, for example, public safety officials are able to locate and detect people who may pose a threat to public safety.
From roles on the frontline to positions in strategic management, the public safety profession is one of the most varied industries out there. Despite this, everyone who works within the sector is primarily focused on one thing – making the nation safer.
With so many career opportunities under the umbrella of public safety, it’s easy to see why so many people enjoy working in the industry. Whether you choose to work for a government organization, a private firm or as a self-employed consultant, you can look forward to an interesting and varied career as a public safety official. What’s more is that public safety professionals are highly sought after, which means you will have the opportunity to undertake challenging and rewarding roles across a range of areas.