6 Career Options with a Public Safety Degree

Public safety is a broad field that concentrates on keeping citizens safe from threats, such as natural disasters, crime, and terrorism. Many students who obtain a public safety degree have aspirations to work with federal, state, or local law enforcement agencies. 

Whatever role interests you most, once you’ve got your qualifications, a public safety degree can provide more job opportunities. There are an array of career options at your disposal with a public safety degree, such as those listed below.

Law Enforcement Officer

The primary role of a law enforcement (police) officer is to arrest criminals, detect and prevent crime, and protect their community. A law enforcement officer must enforce the law, provide support services, and respond to emergencies. This role isn’t for the faint-hearted, and you will be put in potentially dangerous situations on a daily basis. If you are already in law enforcement and want to propel your career forward, you can obtain a master of public safety from Wilfried Laurier University.

Obtaining a public safety degree can set you up for a successful career in law enforcement. If you have dreams of becoming a police officer, there are certain characteristics you must possess to do your job correctly. These include being able to communicate effectively, active listening, patience, and making tough decisions. 


As a firefighter, you will respond to fires and accidents where there are dangers to life and property. Firefighters can also respond to other calls, such as chemical spills, car accidents, and water and flooding rescue. Firefighters put out fires, rescue, and care for the sick and injured, as well as work to stop future fires from happening by investigating the source of the fire. 

Understandably, working as a firefighter isn’t easy. If you undertake a public safety degree, you will be equipped with the key skills needed to work in this field. These can include being able to work well under pressure, stay calm in stressful situations and environments, as well as be thorough and pay close attention to detail. No two days are the same as a firefighter, and your physical and mental wellbeing will be tested.

Parole Officer

A parole officer is responsible for helping offenders integrate back into the community. Simultaneously, parole officers must protect the community by overseeing offenders. The daily duties of a parole officer can vary. One day you may be helping an offender find work, the next you could be helping an offender stay drug-free. Parole officers are instrumental throughout the rehabilitation process. 

As you will be usually in charge of a number of cases at any given time, parole officers must have exceptional time management skills and know how to prioritize their workload. Throughout your public safety degree, you will be taught the importance of time management, and know what areas to put your focus in. Parole officers spend a large chunk of their time behind a desk, as well as traveling to the job sites of parolees or to their home. Each day will vary, so if you would prefer to be doing something different every day, this role may be best suited to you. 

Border Services Officer

A border services officer is responsible for protecting public safety and security, while ensuring the country’s prosperity. A border services officer establishes the admissibility of visitors coming into the country, as well as Canadians returning home. Your primary role as a border services officer is to maintain the flow of goods across the border and look out for illegal substances and items.

Throughout your public safety degree, you will be taught the art of patience, how to remain calm in stressful environments and situations, as well as the importance of attention to detail. Border services officers must have excellent communication skills and always remain professional. A border service officer must be able to work as part of a team and on their own.

Intelligence Analyst

An intelligence analyst is responsible for evaluating data and information to identify and alleviate security threats. Intelligence analysts work for the government and piece information together from a list of sources to assess threats and stop attacks from happening. As an intelligence analyst, you will work both in an office and in the field working with public and classified data and information to finalize investigations. There are typical daily duties you will be expected to perform as an intelligence analyst, such as questioning witnesses, working out in the field, as well as conducting specific searches. 

Understandably, an intelligence analyst must have an excellent aptitude for analysis and be great at problem-solving. Intelligence analysts must know how to work well as part of a team and have excellent report-drafting skills too. 

Correctional Officer

A correctional officer oversees monitoring prisons and jail inmates. Daily tasks of a correctional officer include always maintaining peace and security, putting a stop to disputes, responding to emergencies, and keeping a record of inmate counts. As a correctional officer, you must be always fully aware of your surroundings. Correctional officers must be able to keep their cool, be confident in their abilities, and know how to engage with fellow professionals and inmates.

Correctional officers must also have personal integrity and resilience and be able to take responsibility. There are unique challenges you will face as a correctional officer. As well as working with some very difficult members of society who could be intent on causing harm to you, themselves, or those around them, you must do your best to stay positive and upbeat and help change prisoner’s lives for the better. Your public safety degree will teach you invaluable skills and attributes needed to flourish in this role. Being patient with inmates is a must if you choose this position.

During your public safety degree, there will be a range of skills and attributes you’ll learn which are mandatory for any of the roles above. If you are a public safety professional and want to take your career to the next level, obtaining a master of public safety degree can qualify you for higher-paid, senior positions.