Associate in Security and Protective Services

Security and protective services involve the protection of individuals, groups, and the public in general.   Jobs in this field broadly include investigative, security, and law enforcement related positions. The predominant objective of such positions is to protect and serve the public.

Security and Protective Services Education:

Although many entry level jobs only require a high school diploma, earning an associate in security and protective services or a related field may enhance the job prospects and provide you with a competitive edge in the market. The duration and cost of the degree varies depending on the institute that you decide to get enrolled in. The associate degree can usually be completed in two years. Employers view relevant work experience favorably too.

Many schools offer variations or sub-specialty degrees in the field of security and protective services. These include criminal justice, homeland security, security management etc.  The one that you choose should depend on your interests and career objectives.

As far as the curriculum of physical security and protective services degree is concerned, it will typically vary across institutes. Generally the coursework is intended to provide knowledge and training related to the assessment of risk and security threats, security systems analysis and evaluation, loss prevention, and security ethics and the regulatory environment. Some examples of the types of courses that you may come across include:

  • Introduction to Security
  • Security and the Law
  • Physical Security
  • Protective Intelligence
  • Information Systems Security
  • Investigations
  • Threat and Vulnerability Assessments

Online Education:

Since a continually increasing number of people are turning to online education, many institutes offer distance learning courses related to security and protective services. Online programs typically make no sacrifice as far as quality of instruction and curriculum is concerned. They prove cost effective and enable you to hold down a job and earn a degree within the comfort and convenience of your home. Before you get enrolled in an online school, you should ensure that it has accreditation from a state or national body.

Employment Outlook:

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), some of the positions related to protective service include:

  • Correctional Officers
  • Fire Inspectors and Investigators
  • Firefighters
  • Police and Detectives
  • Private Detectives and Investigators
  • Security guards and gaming Surveillance Officers

Protective services personnel are usually employed by local governments, investigation and security services, state government, federal executive branch, and elementary and secondary schools.  

BLS estimates suggest that, in 2012, those who held protective service jobs could earn a median annual wage of $43,050. The exact amount of money that you can make, however, will depend on a number of factors including your level of education, prior work experience and personal skills and attributes.

Students may decide to further their education and pursue a bachelor’s or master’s degree in a field related to security and protective services. An advanced degree may help you find a managerial or leadership position in the protective services. 


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