Protective Service Occupation Profiles


The Protective Service occupation profiles compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in May 2016 and modified in March 2017) include specific information about 22 distinct occupational job types.

Explore the qualifications and nature of each job type through links on this page and throughout the site.

Fast Facts: The Bureau of Labor Statistics (“BLS”) estimates that 3,386,360 are employed in this occupational group earning the “mean annual wage” (as defined below) of $45,810.

If you are interested in assessing long-term trends and comparing the Bureau’s annual surveys beginning in 1988 see here

In general, the “mean” is the sum of the total values (e.g., wages) in the data set or survey divided by number of values (while the “median” is the middle value in same the sequence. The term “mean annual wage” (or “MAW”) is calculated by multiplying the mean hourly wage as determined by the BLS by a “year-round, full-time” hours figure of 2,080 hours. So, for example, the Protective Service group’s mean hourly wage of $22.024, multiplied by 2,080, results in the mean annual wage of $45,810.

Distinct Occupational Types (by size):
Largest Employment Category--Security Guards—1,103,120
Smallest Employment Category—Forest Fire Inspectors and Prevention Specialists—1,650

Highest Paid (mean annual wage)

Lowest Paid (from the lowest)

What’s Hot: Capt. Ed Murphy, Lt. Anita Van Buren and Lt. Arthur Tragg…would be proud. Although just fictional characters in the movie Lethal Weapon and the television series Law and Order and Perry Mason, respectively, they have helped pave the way for police supervisors to step to the head of the Protective Service group. First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Police and Detectives ($88,400), Detectives and Criminal Investigators ($81,490) and First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Fire Fighting and Prevention Workers ($77,050) and are the Best Paid of this occupation group.

What’s Not: In contrast, the attention-getting Baywatch apparently still does not resonate on the pay scale as Lifeguards, Ski Patrol, and Other Recreational Protective Service Workers Recreational Protective Service Workers (at $22,640) are the Least Paid in this group, followed by Crossing Guards at ($29,190). Although the largest single job title in this group at 1,103,120 strong, Security Guards seem to protect everyone’s well-being but their own as they still hold down third on the Least Paid list, with a mean annual wage of $29,730.

Wage Estimates for the entire group can be found here.

Sources: In addition to specific citations noted, supplementary source materials include the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.