How Do I Get Into a Public Security Career?

A career in public security can mean anything from mall security to homeland security. You can begin a public security career through postsecondary schooling, training and job experience. Schools offering Criminal Justice & Security degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Education Requirements

To gain entry into most public security career fields, aspiring public security workers must first complete postsecondary education if they wish to work at the supervisory level. There are several public security education options at 2-year community colleges or at 4-year colleges and universities. Some specific degree programs include the Certificate of Homeland Security, an Associate in Public Security Management or a Master of Public Administration. Entry-level careers in public security require on-the-job training or a 2-year college degree. Advanced positions and careers in public security administration require, at minimum, a 4-year bachelor's degree.

Important Facts about Public Security

Required Education High school diploma or GED
Key Skills Observation, patience, physical strength, decision making
Work Environment Investigation, guard, and armored car services; government agencies; educational institutions; health care and social assistance locations, public buildings
Similar Occupations Correctional officer, police officer, public and private detective

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Description

Individuals who work in the public security field are charged with protecting individuals, companies and the country against terrorism, theft, vandalism or illegal activity. Administrators of public security may also develop security policies and manage employees and resources specific to these policies.

Skills and Job Duties

Some skills are necessary to obtain a public security career. Job candidates need the ability to communicate effectively with diverse populations. They should have experience managing people and should be detail-oriented. Public security professionals often work under stressful situations and need to keep emotions at bay. Additional job duties include:

  • Writing observation reports
  • Interviewing victims or witnesses of a security breach
  • Monitoring visitors, entries and exit points

Career Outlook and Salary Information

The career outlook for public security jobs is projected to be about average, with the number of available jobs growing by about 12% from 2012 to 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, In May 2014, the median annual wage for a security guard was $24,410, according to the BLS. Gaming surveillance officers and investigators, who work in casinos, earned a median of $29,840 in that same year. Job opportunities in public security include:

  • Security special agents
  • Security guard
  • Public security administrator

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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