Public safety is complex and requires advanced coordination and planning skills. Professionals in public safety management have been trained to ensure public safety in more ways than one.
While most people know that law enforcement officers keep us safe, there are many professionals that work behind the scenes. Public safety professionals create and implement plans that ensure that the public is safe while they live their regular lives.
If you are planning to change your career, consider a degree in public safety. This is a broad field, so you will be able to easily find job opportunities in a number of interesting fields, such as inspection, event coordination, and security.
A degree in public safety can help you learn skills that you will need to pursue management positions in police and fire departments, public safety organizations, and corporations.
Why consider a degree in public safety
Whether you are currently a public safety professional or are interested in changing your career from an unrelated field, pursuing a specialized degree can help you. Going back to school to pursue an advanced degree will give you the opportunity to climb up the ladder and apply for management positions.
With so many degree programs from accredited universities available online, you can complete your coursework while you continue with your full-time job. You no longer have to quit your job to graduate.
A public safety degree will help you oversee safety in large organizations and different settings. You will learn skills to recognize threats and create plans for any challenges that may arise. Public safety professionals need to know how to tweak their plans and continue to adjust based on ever-changing scenarios. They use advanced strategies and the latest technology to ensure the effectiveness of their plans.
A degree in public safety will provide you with the skills you need to manage large safety teams, create budgets for your organization, communicate effectively, and contribute to the mission of the organization. Degree programs will combine multiple fields of communications, management, finance, criminal justice, law enforcement, and business so you can be successful in your career.
To be a public safety manager, you will need to be very organized and have keen attention to detail. You will also need to be passionate about the welfare and safety of others so you can apply them to your job. If you already have a degree in a field like law enforcement or criminal justice, an Online Master of Public Safety from Wilfried Laurier University will be right for you.
This degree is unique and is the only one that is created to match the requirements of Public Safety Canada. An advanced master’s degree will also allow you to advance in your organization or find a job in this field that pays you more. There are several different types of degree programs and certificates that you can pursue to start a career in public safety.
To excel in this field, you will also need to have certain skills, such as troubleshooting, the ability to foresee challenges, and leadership skills.
Types of public safety degrees
There are several different types of degrees and programs offered by accredited universities and colleges offline and online. The type of degree you choose should depend on your career goals, your current education level, and the particular kind of employment you want to pursue. Here are the most common degrees you can enroll in.
Certificate programs are usually suitable for those who are currently working in public safety and want to learn specialized skills for career advancement. Most certificate programs will require a bachelor’s or an associate degree in a related field or work experience.
Certificate programs are usually intensive and will require you to have some level of expertise in public safety. Most programs are specialized, so they will typically focus on a specific public safety aspect, such as terrorism prevention or disaster preparation.
Bachelor’s and master’s degree programs
When you enroll in a bachelor’s degree program, you will be able to get a broad general knowledge of the field of public safety. You will also be able to learn concepts and skills that are relevant to the field. These professional programs are designed to help you learn leadership, business skills, and technical and communication skills.
The coursework may differ for each institution but will generally require a basic understanding of a few subjects, such as social science and English composition. With a degree like this, you will be a well-rounded professional who can think critically and deliver the results that organizations want from employees.
Bachelor’s and master’s degrees in public safety will also have several specialized courses as a part of their program. You will learn effective safety techniques and may learn about a number of business skills, such as management principles, leadership, project management, administrative law, public administration, strategy, presentation, motivational strategies, and more.
While the curriculum is extensive, one of the benefits of pursuing an online degree is that you will be able to study at your time and pace so you can manage your job and family responsibilities.
Responsibilities of public safety professionals
Depending on the specific job title and organization, the responsibilities and roles of a public safety professional may differ considerably. In a leadership role, you may have to develop emergency preparedness programs, response programs, and more.
You may also have to create public safety campaigns to enforce regulations. You may also be able to work in law enforcement and create budgets for your department. Depending on your role, you will need advanced skills such as research, risk assessment, decision-making, strategic planning, and policy analysis.
Some of the common responsibilities of public safety professionals include the following:
- Preparing and reviewing budgets
- Training staff members
- Reviewing incident reports
- Damage assessments after incidents
- Coordinating with other organizations and agencies
- Applying for funding
- Reviewing plans for emergency management
- Assessing potential threats and hazards
- Simulating disaster scenarios
- Measuring the effectiveness of programs
- Identifying new programs and services
- Maintaining public safety features and facilities
- Managing and planning public outreach campaigns
Career options after a degree in public safety
Having a degree in public safety can open the doors to a lot of different opportunities. From police and fire departments to disaster relief, you will be able to find many rewarding careers. Given below are some of the most common career options to consider.
Emergency services manager
Emergency services directors and managers are responsible for overseeing the operations of their organization’s emergency department. A community’s emergency department may include fire, police, and other departments. The manager is responsible for developing goals for the department, supervising the work of other public safety professionals, and coordinating safety activities and programs.
They may also have to create disaster relief and emergency preparedness plans and serve as safety advisors. They also must conduct safety training and provide the necessary education to members of the community and staff members.
Professionals working in the anti-terrorism department have to use data, security, and intelligence to prevent terrorist attacks. These professionals need to have a number of advanced skills, such as interrogation, data collection, and critical thinking. They need to collect data and determine the threat level for a particular area.
They must also coordinate with other professionals and organizations, such as local police, public administration, and airlines, to ensure that suspicious activities are reported and analyzed to see if they are related to terrorism. Anti-terrorism professionals need to put together intelligence at a national and local level to identify and prevent terrorist attacks such as hijackings and bombings.
They also need to use their resources and workforce wisely. Some of their duties may include creating and tracking budgets and ensuring they get the funding they need from the government.
Public events security
Public events security professionals can work with private security agencies or police departments. These professionals have to ensure that public events like parades, festivals, and fairs are safe for the public. Professionals in this field need to create emergency plans and foresee challenges that may arise.
They need to know how to act quickly in the face of a threat and tackle it before it becomes serious. Public events security professionals also need to prevent problems whenever possible rather than just controlling them. They need to create plans of the venue for patrol routes and decide where to place security forces for maximum effectiveness. These professionals are often trained in emergency medicine and law enforcement.
They must create budgets and work within them when deciding on resources and personnel for each event they manage.
Corporate security professionals are responsible for managing the security force of an organization. They need to interview, hire, and train security personnel for their team. These professionals are also responsible for planning and executing various security measures like installing cameras and alarms, guarding entrances, and assigning personnel to various duties.
Like other public security professionals, corporate security managers also need to create and stick to a budget. They also need to work with other professionals in the organization and provide suggestions and feedback about security measures.
Graduates with a degree in public safety can also work as fire chiefs. To be successful in this role, you will need to have strong administration and management skills as well as be an experienced firefighter. Fire chiefs are responsible for ensuring the safety of their firefighters while working within the restrictions of staffing and budget.
An important job for these professionals is ensuring that funding is available for the department so firefighters can continue to do their jobs effectively and safely. Fire chiefs also need to keep up with new regulations and technology that may help their teams improve their performance. They need to create budgets, petition, and apply for funding when needed.
Fire chiefs are responsible for training, supporting, and promoting their team members. They need to be skilled at judging character, recognizing the achievements of team members, and resolving conflicts within the team.
Chief of police
When you work as a chief of police, you will be responsible for the entire department. The chief will be responsible for ensuring that the department has a sufficient budget to meet all the needs of the department. Having enough funds ensures that everyone in the department can continue to do their job protecting the community and ensuring the safety of the citizens.
The police chief also needs to ensure that their officers are safe on the job. They need to help officers perform their jobs safely and keep up with new technological advancements. They also need to create safety plans based on crime trends and criminal activities in the city.
Emergency dispatchers are employed in emergency service departments. They are responsible for receiving emergency calls and allocating services accordingly. Emergency dispatchers may also be known as public safety telecommunicators.
When they receive emergency calls, they prioritize calls by urgency and provide callers with life-saving interventions and support while waiting for response providers to reach them. These professionals are also responsible for maintaining records and documenting incidents and calls.
They have to coordinate with various emergency departments as needed and may often have to coordinate for large events.
Emergency medical technicians
EMTs, or emergency medical technicians, are public safety and medical professionals. These individuals are responsible for providing emergency care and services. Emergency medical technicians are trained to respond to incidents such as natural disasters and accidents. They arrive on the scene promptly and offer support for illnesses and injuries.
These professionals are employed by emergency service organizations and hospitals. Depending on the degree program you select, you may choose an emergency services track if you are interested in pursuing this profession. These professionals are responsible for stabilizing patients and transporting them for treatment to hospitals.
A career in public safety will allow you to make a real difference in people’s lives by ensuring their safety and security.