Career Paths with a Master’s in Public Safety

There are a variety of different career paths with a master’s in public safety. These jobs may include, but are not limited to:

  • Firefighter
  • Police officer
  • Homeland security
  • Emergency medical services
  • Public transportation official
  • Public safety manager
  • Correctional officer
  • Fire inspector
  • Hazardous materials removal worker
  • Animal control
  • Criminal investigator
  • Police detective
  • Recreational protective worker
  • Security manager

Public safety offices can be found on the local, state, and federal levels. A career in public safety requires strong leadership abilities and great organizational skills. You must be able to multi-task, know how to do creative problem solving, and consistently plan ahead for unknown crises. With a master’s degree in public safety you will most likely have a higher position, such as manager or director. Strong communication skills are therefore essential.

Most Common Career Path Descriptions

The following are some of the most common areas that master in public safety graduate may work in:

  • Police, Fire, and Ambulance Dispatchers: The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that dispatchers answer emergency and non-emergency calls, taking information from the caller and sending the appropriate type and number of units of public safety vehicles. In 2010 the median pay was $35,370 per year or $17 per hour. Typically a master’s degree will qualify you to direct or manage dispatch units.
  • Police and Detectives: According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, police and detectives have an array of job duties involving protecting lives and property. Detectives, criminal investigators, or special agents gather facts and evidence of crimes. The more education you receive, the higher position you’ll have in this field. For example, you could become director of a police department with a master’s degree in public safety. The median annual pay for in this career field is $55,010 per year or $26.45 per hour.
  • Fire Inspectors and Investigators: Within this position you would visit and inspect buildings and other structures for fire hazards, according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics. You also must ensure that federal, state, and local fire codes are met, and that fire extinguishing equipment is in working order. Determining the origin and cause of fires are also job duties. The mean annual wage is $52,230 per year or $25.11 per hour.

See the Occupational Outlook Handbook for a full list of careers in the protective services.

Online Masters in Public Safety Degrees

Grand Canyon University MS: Leadership - Disaster Prep & Exec. Fire Grand Canyon University › Grand Canyon University is a private, Christian school based out of Arizona founded in 1949. Their online MS Leadership in Disaster Preparedness and Executive Fire Safety readies students to take on the challenges that today's first responders face each day. GCU offers over 130 programs with several distance learning option available.
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