December 8, 2023

How Much Does a Public Safety Professional Make?

Often people wonder: how much does a public safety professional make? This profession covers areas such as Law Enforcement, Fire Fighter, and Emergency Medical Services as well as 911 operators. Each position is responsible for a different aspect of public safety, and the salary is different for each.

Law Enforcement

A high school diploma or GED, is required to begin training as a police officer. Training expectations vary by state. Be prepared to attend anywhere from 12 to 36 weeks of intensive training at a police academy or local college. Further training may be encouraged or required to obtain higher positions and pay. This training might include degrees in Criminal Justice or Police Science.

On average, a police officer can expect to make anywhere from $36,000 to $44,000 per year. The amount made depends on the location the officer is serving in.


A fire fighter doesn’t just fight fires. These professionals are trained to respond to many different emergency situations including car accidents, hazardous materials spills and medical emergencies. A high school diploma or GED is required. Due to the high risk of injury, new candidates are required to go through several weeks of fire service academy. Some also obtain their Fire Science degree from a local college. The majority of departments also require a certification as emergency medical technicians.

Fire fighters must be physically fit and able to withstand wearing heavy protective clothing to reduce or prevent injury. Frequent physical and drug tests are given and must be passed to continue working. Often long hours are required and the ability to be on duty for up to 24 hours at a time is necessary.

The average salary for a firefighter is $45,000 per year. This figure is different based on the location of service.

Emergency Medical Services

Emergency medical technicians respond to medical emergencies such as car accidents, house fires or injury. A high school diploma or GED is required along with a rigorous training program. EMS workers need to have good judgment and respond quickly. They must be able to work in all kinds of weather and locations both inside and out. The job of an EMS worker is stressful and requires patience and understanding when dealing with people who are ill and afraid.

NREMT certification is required along with a certified training program and the passing of the national exam and state license.

The average salary for an EMS worker is $30,000 per year.

911 Operators

A 911 dispatcher answers calls from the public during emergencies and routes calls to law enforcement, fire department or emergency medical services. A high school diploma or GED is required for this position. Good organizational skills, the ability to stay calm and to calm others is necessary. A dispatcher will go through several weeks of intense training. While there is no certification on a national level for dispatchers, some states have their own certifications that must be kept up to date.

On average, the salary for this position is $35,000 per year. Each state is different.

Hopefully the above information was useful in giving information about the different careers available and answers the question: How much does a public safety professional make?