The proper and effective management of emergency services at the local, state and federal levels is important in the 21st century. Many dedicated professionals who want to help keep the public safe from man made or natural harm choose to earn a master’s degree in public safety.
A master in public safety degree will teach you to promote a safer and healthier community by preparing you to effectively manage diverse emergency services. These programs contribute to the development and continuance of public safety and emergency preparedness across the country.
This public safety graduate degree will prepare all students to be positive change agents in all relevant public safety agencies, and to boost their capabilities to solve problems. Also, they will be better able to assist in group efforts to improve the overall well being of the public as a whole.
A master’s degree in public safety may lead to these types of job opportunities:
- Fire inspector or investigator: Many with this type of master’s degree may be employed by a city or state fire department, and inspect buildings and structures to ensure that there are no fire hazards. Others with this master’s could work in a fire department leading a team of firefighters in their daily public safety work.
- Police or detective: These law enforcement professionals have very critical roles in protecting the lives and property of the general public. If you have a master’s degree, you are more likely to be promoted into a leadership or administrative role in a local or city police department. Managers and administrators in police departments have critical responsibility for public safety.
- Emergency management director: Establish plans and procedures to deal with natural disasters and various emergencies. They also play very important jobs in leading an effective response during and after various emergencies. You will need to have excellent leadership skills and be able to coordinate with public safety officials and elected officials, as well as other government departments.
Why Earn a Master’s in Public Safety?
A master’s in public safety is an ideal degree for the professional who wants to advance and grow his or her career in the public safety and/or law enforcement field.
Many professionals in this industry work for government agencies, and a likely way to increase your level of responsibility, benefits and pay over time is to earn a graduate degree in a field related to your work.
While many public safety workers are the ground troops that make up many police firefighting and EMT departments, with a master’s degree, you will have the chance to work in administration and management of these organizations. Some of the national agencies that you could possibly work in include:
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
- Food and Drug Administration
- US Consumer Product Safety Commission
- Federal Emergency Management Agency
Working as a public safety official requires high standards and excellent credentials. So you should expect to have to meet high standards to earn your master’s:
- 8 GPA or higher
- Bachelor’s degree in a related field
- Resume that reflects public safety or emergency management experience, possibly as a volunteer
- Statement of purpose
- Three professional or academic recommendations who can describe your skills and dedication to public safety
Curriculum and Courses
For professionals who crave a career in public safety, we recommend the Master of Science in Public Safety Administration from Lewis University. This program is designed to assist those who want a career in management of police, fire, emergency medical and private law enforcement.
This two year, online degree will develop your understanding of the modern practices behind public safety management that is effective and equitable. You will also review new theories and practices that deal with risk management and emergency management. Then, you will learn how to devise new solutions to difficult public safety problems, and make good decisions that are based upon serving the public safely and responsibly.
Students choose this program for these reasons:
- Real world situations and education is provided by faculty who work today in public safety leadership
- Small classes that encourage a high level of group interaction and a learning environment that is dynamic
- Develop strong communication and management skills via best practice training
- Learn how to approach risk and crisis management, along with the critical financial and budgetary issues that accompany them
Most of the graduates of this program work in management in corrections, local law enforcement, federal law enforcement and homeland security.
Required classes are:
- Public Safety Administration and Management
- Fiscal Management for Public Safety Administrators
- Public Safety Leadership – Theory and Practice
- Public Safety Training – Management and Development
- Ethics, Integrity, and Social Responsibility
- Public Safety Law and Civil Liability
- Public Safety Administration Incident Command
- Human Resource Management
- Multicultural Diversity
- Organizational Behavior in Public Safety Systems
- Research Methods 1
Career Outcomes and Job Titles
Some possible job titles in this career include:
- Public safety officer
- Public safety dispatcher
- Campus police officer
- Police officer
- Director of public safety
- Mall public safety manager
- Executive director of public safety
- Emergency management director
Job and Salary Outlook
- Emergency Management Director — This field will see 6% growth by 2024. It is believed by experts in the field that there will be greater growth in emergency management in parts of the country where population growth is strongest. As cities become larger, they are more likely to undergo various public safety emergencies, which include both natural disasters and terrorism, as well as violence. The median pay in this field is $67,000 per year.
- Correctional Officer — Many with a public safety background work in corrections, and those with a master’s degree may eventually work in correctional administration. This profession will see only 4% growth by 2024, however. There will be more criminals and prisoners in some states, but there also are more minor offenders being released into the public, and this could lower demand. Median pay is $41,000 per year.
- Probation and Corrections Officer — This field also will increase by only 4% growth by 2024. Some cities could see more demand for probation officers as more prisoners are being released, such as minor drug offenders. This could lead to more probation officers where the state laws are allowing more convicts to be released early from jail. The median salary is $49,000 per year.
Scholarships and Grants
- Jason M. Baker Foundation: This organization was founded in the honor of a sheriff’s deputy who was killed in the line of duty in 2001. This scholarship offers an award of $5000 per year to a highly deserving student who is studying public safety. Past recipients have become police officers, FBI agents and public safety officials.
- Richard L. Resurreccion Public Safety Scholarship: This public safety scholarship is given to Phi Theta Kappa members who show strong potential for a public safety career and are studying that or a related topic in college.
- International Public Safety Association: This group was established in 2014, and it wants to see a more integrated and stronger public safety community around the world with the ability to be a strong joint responder to public emergencies. This group’s membership consists of many types of public safety stakeholders in more than a dozen nations, including correctional, police, fire and other law enforcement.
- International Association of Campus Law Enforcement: This organization is a strong advocate and voice for strong public safety of educational institutions across the world.