Bureau of Labor Statistics

Protective Service Occupations

Employment in protective service occupations is projected to grow 3 percent from 2019 to 2029, about as fast as the average, and will result in about 95,200 new jobs.

Protective service occupations had a median annual wage of $43,710 in May 2020, which was slightly higher than the median annual wage for all occupations of $41,950.

BLS provides summary data, including employment projections, for protective service occupations not shown in the table on this page. That information is available on the Data for Occupations Not Covered in Detail page.

  Occupation Job Summary Entry-Level Education 2020 MEDIAN PAY
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 $47,440
Firefighters Firefighters

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

Postsecondary nondegree award $52,500
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 $62,120
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 $67,290
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 $53,320
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 $31,080
Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Protective Service Occupations,
at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/protective-service/home.htm (visited July 14, 2021).

Last Modified Date: Friday, May 14, 2021

Telephone: 1-202-691-5700 www.bls.gov/ooh Contact OOH

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