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This group includes workers who provide public safety.

Overall employment in protective service occupations is projected to grow 2 percent from 2021 to 2031, slower than the average for all occupations; though slow, the increase is expected to result in about 72,600 new jobs over the decade. In addition to new jobs from growth, opportunities arise from the need to replace workers who leave their occupations permanently. About 421,500 openings each year, on average, are projected to come from growth and replacement needs.

The median annual wage for this group was $46,590 in May 2021, which was slightly higher than the median annual wage for all occupations of $45,760.

BLS employment projections, wage, and other data for related occupations not shown in the following table are available on the Data for Occupations Not Covered in Detail page. Information highlighting physical demands, cognitive and mental requirements, and other qualifications for workers in this group are available in a BLS Occupational Requirements Survey (ORS) profile.

  OCCUPATION JOB SUMMARY ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION Help 2021 MEDIAN PAY Help
Correctional officers Correctional Officers and Bailiffs

Correctional officers oversee those who have been arrested and are awaiting trial or who have been sentenced to serve time in jail or prison. Bailiffs are law enforcement officers who maintain safety and order in courtrooms.

High school diploma or equivalent $47,920
Firefighters Firefighters

Firefighters control and put out fires and respond to emergencies involving life, property, or the environment.

Postsecondary nondegree award $50,700
Fire inspectors and investigators Fire Inspectors

Fire inspectors examine buildings in order to detect fire hazards and ensure that federal, state, and local fire codes are met.

See How to Become One $63,080
Police and detectives Police and Detectives

Police officers protect lives and property. Detectives and criminal investigators gather facts and collect evidence of possible crimes.

See How to Become One $66,020
Private detectives and investigators Private Detectives and Investigators

Private detectives and investigators search for information about legal, financial, and personal matters.

High school diploma or equivalent $59,380
Security guards and gaming surveillance officers Security Guards and Gambling Surveillance Officers

Security guards and gambling surveillance officers protect property from illegal activity.

High school diploma or equivalent $31,470

Last Modified Date: Thursday, September 8, 2022