What You Can Do with a Public Safety Degree

By Guest Author | safety | February 2, 2021

Whether you are considering a degree in public safety or you are already enrolled in your studies, you may be wondering which career paths may be available to you. A Public Safety Degree opens up a vast scope of opportunities which enable you to help people from a range of potential natural and man-made threats and is an incredibly worthwhile and versatile degree to possess. Depending on which specific degree you complete, here are some of the possible careers you could choose from on completion, all of which are both important and rewarding, and you are sure to find something to suit you.

Law Enforcement

Police officers are employed across the whole of Canada to help keep people safe, reduce and solve crime. Known for its efficient police force, Canada has a range of policing roles, including the famous Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Police officers need to have great interpersonal skills, as they will be working in the community with al types of people, including the vulnerable and hostile. Working all and any hours, they need to be physically fit, have good attention to detail, and know details of the law. There is a good scope for progression within the police force for those willing to put in the work, including positions such as corporal, sergeant, inspector, and more. Generally, the higher your progression, the more academic work is required, and you may find that less time is spent in the field. The average police salary in Canada is around $81,000. Visit this site to find out which public safety degree would be best for a police career, and the other roles listed here.

If you enjoy spending time outdoors, then a park ranger career could be a good option for you. Park rangers dedicate their time to the protection of the environment and wildlife, as well as visitors to their parks. Obviously, a good level of fitness is required, as are good people and communication skills. Other skills and qualifications may vary by territory or park but could also include a level of education in Natural Resource Management, a driving license, or being able to swim. Park ranger positions are often seasonal and involve a range of responsibilities, such as conservation, education, peacekeeping, and law enforcement. The average hourly rate for a Canadian park ranger is around $23.

Emergency Response

Like police officers, firefighters work around the clock to keep people safe and provide help in emergencies. The most obvious work performed by firefighters is to help extinguish fires, saving lives and property in the process, but their role is actually incredibly varied. Being members of the Air Force, firefighters are often called upon to assist other departments, including the Canadian Army, Navy, and Air Force. This career requires high levels of fitness, as well as good communication skills and the ability to make quick judgements. The median salary for firefighters in Canada is $69,000.

There are numerous types of career in public safety education. All of them, however, aim to increase awareness of potential hazards in the community, enabling citizens to avoid danger, decreasing the risk of injuries, deaths, and damage, and thereby relieving some of the pressure on emergency services and other organizations. Public safety educators can work in fire safety, educating people on how to avoid fires, and what they should do in case of fire. They can also work alongside law enforcement, increasing public awareness around firearms, drugs, and gang involvement, with the aim of reducing civilian involvement and reducing the number of people affected by these.

There is a lot of variety in disaster and emergency management careers, including those involving security threats, public health, and natural hazards. No matter which area is worked in, working in these roles involves both the prevention of potential disasters and emergencies, and management of them should they happen. After an event, strategies are discussed to understand what happened, why, and how to reduce the likelihood of them happening again. Attention to detail, being able to think on your feet, and excellent interpersonal skills are vital, and for some roles, you can be expected to work long, antisocial hours in potentially dangerous situations. Specialists in emergency management can earn an average of $76,000 a year.

National Security and Border Security

Customs and border officers are very similar, and work in various places around the country, from airports to postal facilities. It is their job to identify and intercept threats such as weapons, inadmissible people, drugs, and biohazards, in order to keep the people, flora, and fauna of Canada safe. Like police officers, they need to have good knowledge of the law, and should also have good attention to detail. Customs officers tend to spend more time working with packages and paperwork, whereas border officers spend more time working with people. Once trained, a border officer can earn a salary of up to $82,411.

To work as a data analyst, attention to detail and technical skills are paramount. Their job is to recognize trends and patterns in data and to create reports based on their findings. In a public safety setting, this would involve recognizing potential threats to local or national security by analyzing data involved in transactions, mobile phones, and telemetry, and then presenting those findings to the appropriate authorities, who can then investigate further and potentially avoid public safety issues. The average salary for a data analyst in Canada is around $57,000.

Citizenship and immigration officers determine the eligibility of those applying for immigration, citizenship, and visas. Although most of these applications probably wouldn’t pose a threat, officers need to check suitability by examining applications to check for discrepancies such as outstanding criminal charges, to avoid illegal or potentially dangerous people from entering the country. Immigration officers earn an average of $64,225 annually.

The role of a behaviour profiler is embedded in psychology. Often used in law enforcement, a profiler analyses the behaviour of suspects or criminals to understand their motivations, how they are likely to act, and to find patterns in criminal activity. Similar to behaviour profilers, behaviour analysts are often employed by businesses, schools or hospitals to assess behaviour and develop strategies to improve outcomes – for example with children with behavioural issues or people struggling with addiction. Behaviour analysts earn, on average, $59,447 a year in Canada.

Working in public event organization and management is another area which a degree in public safety would be useful. When planning large scale events which host a lot of people, public safety is paramount. Extensive planning is required to ensure that events are performed safely, in safe environments, with risk assessments and plans in place for if anything should go wrong. Examples of events where public event management and safety would be required include sports events, music concerts, and parades.

Being a facility officer involves evaluating and analyzing building system services and maintenance. Knowledge of building codes, industry standards, and safety guidelines are important, to be able to recommend and co-ordinate repairs and improvements to ensure the safety and efficiency of buildings. Problem-solving, communication, and project management skills are all important to do well in this career.  $56,149 is the average salary of a facility manager.

For animal lovers, an ideal career path to follow with a degree in public safety is that of a detector dog handler. Often positioned in places such as airports, detector dogs and their handlers are primarily charged with detecting drugs and other illegal substances. The ability to remain calm in any circumstance, good people skills and a working knowledge of the law are all necessary for this role.


Formally known as prison guards, correctional officers are responsible for inmates in correctional institutions such as prisons. It is their job to ensure the safety and manage the behaviour of those serving sentences in these institutions. They liaise with other relevant organizations, write reports, and assist offenders with preparations to return to the community. They also continue to work with those who are in rehabilitation. Correctional officers need excellent communication and interpersonal skills, a good level of fitness, and good observational skills. Corrections officers have a median salary of around $68,000.

Parole officers may work within correctional facilities or out in the community. Working as part of a multi-organizational team with professionals such as social workers, psychologists, and correctional officers, it is their job to supervise offenders by maintaining regular contact and working with them to ultimately reduce the likelihood of them re-offending. On average, parole officers earn around $64,000 a year.

Probation officers are similar to parole officers, the difference being that probation officers work with those given a probationary sentence, rather than having served time in prison. Good communication and people skills are of utmost importance, as is patience, as the main part of the role involves helping these people from resuming the behaviours that got them into trouble with the law. The average salary for a probation officer is $60,527.

While some of these careers will need specific degrees, some do not require a degree at all, particularly for entry-level positions. However, having a Public Safety Degree will give you an edge over other applicants, and will come in useful if you wish to progress, giving you more options in the future.