The study of public safety administration is often pursued by professionals who are already working in the public services. This might include law enforcement, the fire department, emergency medical responders, or professionals who are in charge of security and safety in their organization. To ensure that they can maximize their potential and realize their professional ambitions, many people choose to pursue further study in public safety. They can then take on more senior roles such as managers, directors, and more. This article explores the field of public safety, related degrees, as well as the most popular careers in the sector.
Public safety administration explained
Public safety administration is often confused with public administration, but they are not the same fields. While public administration involves the writing of policies and applies to civil servants in various sectors, public safety administration is the study of public safety infrastructure and systems as well as the skills needed to maintain them.
The public safety sector needs to attract ethical and conscientious individuals who have the skills and desire to make a difference in their society and the wider world. They should also be highly driven and ambitious. Of course, people do not start out with all the necessary skills and qualities, but experience and study will help professionals to build a safer world for everyone.
You might be someone who is already working in public safety, you might be a recent public safety graduate, or you might be considering furthering your education with a master of public safety degree. Whatever your situation, if you are considering pursuing or furthering a career in public safety, here are some of the most popular careers in the public safety sector.
Emergency or disaster management directors
An emergency management director will prepare plans, systems, and procedures so that should a natural disaster or another national emergency occur (e.g., a terrorist attack), the response will be swift and effective to minimize its impact. Emergency management directors will also play a big part in leading the nation’s response during the emergency and will be involved in any recovery operation.
A law enforcement officer faces danger every day to protect the people in their community by preventing crime and arresting people who break the law. There are many roles within the field of law enforcement and plenty of opportunities for progression. Detectives will work to gather evidence for criminal prosecutions, while general police officers will spend time in the community keeping law and order.
Firefighters put their own safety in danger to respond not only to fire-related emergencies but to any situation where people or the physical environment (natural or manmade) are at risk. The firefighters not only regain control of the dangerous situation, but they also provide medical treatment as needed and will attend events to ensure safety regulations are adhered to.
Paramedics and emergency medical professionals
Paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) are usually the first responders on the scene of an accident or disaster. They will respond to the emergency call, carry out medical procedures at the site and then transport the patients to an appropriate medical facility. Click here for more on the skills needed to be an EMT.
Correctional officers and prison wardens
Prisons are complex environments, and it is vital that the incarcerated people are not only secure but also safe. A correctional officer will take on the responsibility of providing prisoners with a secure place to serve their sentence as well as educational programs, exercise routines, and other facilities.
Occupational health and safety managers
Occupational health and safety managers and specialists focus on ensuring working environments are secure and safe for people. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this role has become even more important as everyone continues to adapt to the new working conditions that are needed to keep people healthy. The role involves the collection of data, analysis, and making recommendations.
Community service managers and social service directors
Social service directors and community service managers are integral to the safety and security of the communities in which we live. They often act as an intermediary between several different organizations and programs to ensure that all members of the community are represented and catered for. It can also mean conducting research into what provisions need to be made to improve a community’s quality of life and taking action to make sure it is provided.
A security guard can be found on a private or public property carrying out surveillance and investigating potential security threats. They can also be retained by the government or private individuals to deter, prevent, and reduce the impact of illegal and dangerous activity.
When someone calls for an emergency service like the police, ambulance, or fire department, the person they speak to is a dispatcher. They have to work quickly under pressure to ascertain all the relevant information and get the right service out to the situation. In these roles, seconds can be the difference between life and death, making it extremely pressured.
Chief security officers
When aiming for the top of the field, you cannot go far wrong by aiming for the position of chief security officer or CSO. Chief security officers are in charge of the security of an organization, from the safety of staff to cybersecurity and physically protecting the premises. It is a position of incredible responsibility, can unlock high-earning potential, and can be found in just about every sector.
Picking Your Career
Working in public safety is one of the most challenging yet rewarding ways to spend your career. You will be making a significant difference to the lives of the people in your community as well as your wider country. Of course, this degree of responsibility carries downsides, such as potential stress and long working hours, but if you have the personal qualities, it is possible to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Whatever career path you choose to pursue, a degree in public safety administration will significantly improve your career prospects and earning potential.
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