Protective Service Occupations

Employment of protective service occupations is projected to grow 5 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations, which will result in about 158,200 new jobs.

Protective service occupations had a median annual wage of $39,550 in May 2017, which was slightly higher than the median annual wage for all occupations of $37,690.

Correctional officers

Correctional Officers and Bailiffs

Correctional officers are responsible for overseeing individuals 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 $43,510


Firefighters control and put out fires and respond to emergencies where life, property, or the environment is at risk.

Postsecondary nondegree award $49,080
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. Fire investigators, another type of worker in this field, determine the origin and cause of fires and explosions. Forest fire inspectors and prevention specialists assess outdoor fire hazards in public and residential areas.

See How to Become One $56,670
Police and detectives

Police and Detectives

Police officers protect lives and property. Detectives and criminal investigators, who are sometimes called agents or special agents, gather facts and collect evidence of possible crimes.

See How to Become One $62,960
Private detectives and investigators

Private Detectives and Investigators

Private detectives and investigators search for information about legal, financial, and personal matters. They offer many services, such as verifying people’s backgrounds and statements, finding missing persons, and investigating computer crimes.

High school diploma or equivalent $50,700
Security guards and gaming surveillance officers

Security Guards and Gaming Surveillance Officers

Security guards and gaming surveillance officers patrol and protect property against theft, vandalism, and other illegal activity.

High school diploma or equivalent $26,960

Last Modified Date: Friday, April 13, 2018