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Public safety career training through online courses and community college programs can prepare you for a challenging and rewarding career in public safety. Employment opportunities include working in emergency medical services (paramedic and emergency medical technician), firefighting, and law enforcement agencies at the local, state, or federal levels. You can also work as a dispatcher for these services. Jobs occur within various jurisdictions including local, state, and federal park service, wildlife management, and more.

Career Training Can Improve Job Prospects

Many of these jobs attract more applicants than there are vacancies, and having more than the minimum job requirements can help get you noticed among a sea of applicants. Although a high school diploma is the minimum requirement for many entry level public safety positions, applicants with college degrees in fields such as law enforcement, EMT training, and public safety are likely to have the best opportunities for employment.

Public Safety or criminal justice programs typically require completion of core courses including math, physical and social sciences, English, and the humanities. Additionally, you must complete coursework required for your major. Examples of these courses include communications, criminal justice, public administration, wild lands management, and health sciences. Some positions require completing a series of career training courses specifically related to the field you choose. These certification courses are often used by candidates who've already completed associate's or bachelor's degrees.

Public Safety Jobs: Protecting and Serving

Whether you choose to work as a local police officer or a ranger in a national park, public safety jobs typically involve public contact. You may be required to deal with people under hazardous and stressful conditions. Knowing how to relate to people under these difficult circumstances, using clear communication techniques, and understanding the behavior of individuals and crowds undergoing stress, are a few of the skills you may need for most public safety jobs. Although you typically work about forty hours a week, some positions require working longer hours when necessary. Firefighters can be deployed to remote locations and work away from home for extended periods of time. First responders such as emergency medical technicians, (EMTs), paramedics, police, and firefighters must be able to perform their jobs efficiently under stressful conditions. Organizational and leadership skills and the ability to follow directions and work as a team member are essential to succeeding in most public safety positions.

Competition Likely for Public Safety Jobs

Most public safety positions occur in local, state, or federal government agencies that provide excellent benefits including health insurance and personal and medical leave. Paid holidays and tuition reimbursement and incentive pay packages also contribute to the appeal of public service jobs. Salary schedules vary widely according to positions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics published in May 2006 indicates salary ranges for firefighters ranged between $43,232 and $95,271. Public safety jobs are desirable among people who want to serve their communities and because they generally provide excellent benefits and pensions. In addition, candidates with military training often fill public safety positions.

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