Education relating to private security may be part of a degree program in criminal justice or safety, security and emergency services management. These programs train students to identify potential security risks, assess threat levels, implement security policies and lead people out of danger. Students learn to follow crisis protocols, conduct surveillance and handle intruders. Background checks, security technology, law enforcement and legal issues related to the security industry could also be addressed. Programs could prepare graduates to pursue required licensure and voluntary certification in this field.
Bachelor of Science in Public Safety
To enter a bachelor's program in public safety, a high school diploma or equivalent and college entrance exam scores are required. Most programs cover a range of topics related to public safety, government security, crisis prevention, emergency services and policing strategies. Coursework may include:
- Organizational behavior
- Security ethics and leadership
- Emergency management planning
- Security operations theory
- Homeland security
- Safety and security law and management
Possible Career Options
Graduates may pursue employment in the private security industry, which usually involves working for private corporations or individuals, instead of government agencies. Possible job titles may include:
- Private detective
- Legal investigator
- Hotel detective
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Private detectives and investigators earned an annual average salary of $52,880 in 2015, according to the BLS. Those working in technical consulting services, electric power companies, navigational instruments manufacturing, computer systems design and aerospace products manufacturing earned significantly higher wages at that time. Jobs for these detectives and investigators were predicted by the BLS to expand at an average rate, with 5% growth from 2014-2024.
Continuing Education Information
Professionals may need to earn a graduate degree or other training to work for private security within certain industries. For example, investment firms may prefer applicants who hold degrees related to business administration or finance, and not just private security.
Licensure may be required for some private security careers, including private detectives and some types of investigators. License requirements will vary by state, but usually includes meeting educational requirements, passing criminal background checks and passing licensing exams.
Certification is not required, although it may help individuals become more marketable. Several trade organizations offer certification programs. ASIS International offers the certified protection professional (CPP), the physical security professional (PSP) and the professional certified investigator (PCI) designations. Certification requirements include passing written or practical exams, with re-certification needed every few years through approved coursework or trade seminars.
Students can earn a Bachelor of Science in Public Safety to pursue positions such as private detective, and hotel detective. It is important that students are aware of licensing requirements in their own state as this may be a requirement for a security career.