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Degree Overview: Bachelor’s Degrees in Public Safety Administration

Majors Overview August 22, 2014

Receive information about bachelor’s degree programs in public safety administration and their educational requirements, coursework, career choices, and job and wage outlook.

Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Public Safety Administration

First responders, such as firefighters and police, enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program in public safety administration gain the education necessary for career-boosting opportunities within organizations responsible for public safety. Students gain a strong grasp of the management of public safety, with an emphasis on leadership practices, research and planning. Schools offer programs devised to admit those with prior associate’s degrees and employed in careers in criminal justice, firefighting, emergency management, law enforcement or a related job.
These degree programs also provide students without any previous public safety work experience with the education necessary to seek careers within these fields.

Educational Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold an associate’s degree; students are required to have attended a regionally accredited institution to complete a minimum of 60 college-level credits before they are allowed to enter the program. Additional requirements could vary by the location of the school.


Classes in fiscal management, leadership and business are combined with general management courses. Students learn methods of applying their training to disaster relief, homeland security, fire science, corrections, or law enforcement. Core coursework may include:

•Hazardous materials management
•Ethics in the justice system
•Effective communication
•Disaster preparedness
•Business management
•Homeland security
•State and local government operations
•Public relations
•Organizational behavior
•Public administration

Career Choices

Federal law enforcement positions, such as homeland security, are available to those who successfully graduate from a bachelor’s degree program in public safety administration or a similar program. Additionally, holders of a bachelor’s degree that seek career advancement into management roles may be preferred by employers among other security and law enforcement organizations. They may choose from career options such as:

•Fire chief
•Patrol officer or supervisor
•Federal agent
•Emergency management coordinator

Job and Wage Outlook

A job growth rate of 5% has been predicted for police and detectives, including federal law enforcement agents, over the 2012 – 2022 decade. Over the same period, firefighters are expected to see a 7% growth (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In 2012, patrol officers brought in an average annual wage of $58,720, while emergency management directors earned $64,730 on average per year.

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