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POLICE EMPLOYMENT
Criminal Justice Colleges By State

Protective Services Training & Degree Programs

Protective services encompass a broad range of law enforcement, investigative, and security jobs whose primary goal is to protect and serve the public. Though the term can include services such as fire fighters, forest service fire prevention officers, and others, the most common use of the term is directed towards those in the criminal justice field.

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Earn a Protective Services Degree

State and local law enforcement agencies often choose candidates with a criminal justice degree. Students may pursue a degree from an online criminal justice college or university as well as from traditional on-site schools. The best jobs tend to go to those candidates who have earned a criminal justice degree or a degree in a related field such as finance, security, and psychology. Federal agencies prefer to hire candidates who have earned a bachelor's or master's degree in a variety of applicable majors.

Protective Services Degree Requirements

Students in protective services degree programs must successfully pass extensive coursework relating to law enforcement and security management.

The subjects normally studied include the following:

  • Criminal law and legal issues
  • Use of force, self-defense, and firearms
  • Government studies
  • Evidence collection and storage
  • Human relations and interpersonal communication skills

Graduates of protective services degrees find themselves in challenging careers in law enforcement, security management, and national security. The federal government's Department of Homeland Security is actively hiring border patrol agents, investigators, and police and security officers.

Job Prospects for Protective Services Officers

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the estimated mean annual wage for protective services personnel was $41,740 in 2009. The growth of protective services is expected to be consistent with the growth of all other occupations. The major employers of protective services officers are federal, state, and local governments, and private security guard and VIP protection services.

Law Enforcement Jobs

Protective services officer jobs include:

  • Police officers and sheriff's deputies
  • Corrections officers
  • Security guards
  • Investigators and detectives
  • Parole and probation officers
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Protective Services Colleges


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