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Public Safety Job & Career Guide
Police, Fire, Corrections, and EMT

CORRECTIONS

Over 300,000 corrections officers staff the nation's correctional facilities.  Correctional officers oversee individuals who have been arrested, are awaiting trial or other hearing, or who have been convicted of a crime and sentenced to serve time in a jail, reformatory, or penitentiary. Oversight duties include maintaining security and observing inmate conduct and behavior to prevent disturbances and escapes.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics produces an annual overview of corrections.  The overview covers the nature of the work, working conditions, training, job outlook and a salary survey.

Qualified corrections officers may promote to correctional sergeant or other supervisory or administrative positions or ultimately to the position of warden.  Officers may also transfer to related areas, such as parole officer.

EMERGENCY MEDICAL TECHNICIAN

The over 150,000 Emergency Medical Technicians in the United States respond to automobile accident injuries, heart attacks, near drownings, unscheduled childbirths, poisonings, gunshot wounds, and all situations that demand urgent medical attention.  EMT's provide immediate care and may transport the sick or injured to medical facilities.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics produces an annual overview of emergency medical technicians.  The overview covers the nature of the work, working conditions, training, job outlook and a salary survey.

Promotion typically means leaving and becoming a supervisor, operations manager, administrative director, or executive director of emergency services. EMT's also promote to EMT instructor, firefighter, dispatcher, or physicians assistant.

For more information on a career as an EMT, check EMT Career Starter by Cheryl Hancock.

FIREFIGHTING

Firefighting professionals include approximately 300,000 firefighters throughout the United States.  Firefighters are often the first to respond to a variety of emergency situations in which life, property, or the environment are at risk as a result of either natural or man-made forces.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics produces an annual overview of firefighting.  The overview covers the nature of the work, working conditions, training, job outlook and a salary survey.

The typical line of promotion is to engineer, lieutenant, captain, battalion chief, assistant chief, deputy chief, and chief.

For more information on a firefighting career, check Firefighter Career Starter by Mary Masi.

LAW ENFORCEMENT

There are over 750,000 law enforcement employees at the Federal, State and local level. These individuals are multifaceted with extensive training in a number of areas including community relations, investigation, crime prevention, narcotics enforcement, forensic science, law, and youth relations. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics produces an annual overview of   law enforcement.   The overview covers the nature of the work, working conditions, training, job outlook and a salary survey.  The overview provides tips to Federal law enforcement career resources.  For information about State and local law enforcement careers, call up the agency that you're interested in or visit their website.  Employment Mega Links in Criminal Justice offers a State-by-State breakdown of police agencies with employment links.

Once hired, individuals undergo academy training.  The training continues on the job with potential career opportunities in such diverse specialties as:

Motorcycle Officer Canine Unit Academy Staff
Recruitment Air Operations Dignitary Protection
Drug Enforcement Mounted Patrol Weapons
Safety Services Bicycle Patrol Community Relations
Investigator Field Training  

Law enforcement is a career perfectly suited for the individual who has the highest integrity and honesty and seeks to serve and protect the public.  A large number of people leaving the military find law enforcement to be a natural career transition in civilian life.

Promotion is restricted to those with law enforcement experience and is typically from within except for the highest levels of the agency.   In a large department, promotion usually enables an officer to become a detective or specialize in one type of police work such. Higher promotional opportunties include corporal, sergeant, lieutenant, captain, assistant chief and chief.

Click here to learn about finding a law enforcement job, getting hired, and succeeding on the job.

 

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