Read About Federal Protective Service Officer Careers

An officer in federal protective services has a wide array of career options to choose from.

plain clothes federal protective services officer holding badge

Federal Protective Service (FPS) police officers are strategic and excel in advanced planning.

If you're interested in joining the agency that provides security to approximately 9,000 federal facilities, you'll need to be ready for anything.

What is a Federal Protective Service Officer?

The Federal Protective Service (FPS) falls under the Department of Homeland Security and is one of the organizations in the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency. The Federal Protective Service provides law enforcement, emergency response and security for the federally leased and owned buildings throughout the United States. The Federal Protective Service provides all aspects of security and emergency response in federal buildings including:

  • HAZMAT
  • Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Canines
  • Emergency response program
  • State-of-the-art communication and dispatch Mega centers

Federal Protective Service officers are uniformed law enforcement agents with all the jurisdiction a sheriff has minus the civil responsibilities.

FPS officers are responsible for:

  • Interrogating suspects
  • Preventing crimes
  • Arresting offenders
  • Assisting police during emergency situations

There is also a small elite force of plain clothes special agents, a physical security force and a support services divisions. All sectors of the FPS focus on the nation's interior security and prevention of crime and terrorism.

FPS Police Officer Education

As with many high profile agencies the federal protective service is a very competitive organization to join. One of the best ways to set yourself apart as a job candidate is to earn a bachelor's or master's degree.

Bachelor's degree: This can sometimes substitute for general experience when qualifying for a criminal investigator or officer position.

Master's degree: This can sometimes substitute for the required specialized experience to become a criminal investigator at the FPS. An advanced education does not guarantee you a position, but may increase your chances and pay scale.

Salary and Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2014-15 Occupational Outlook Handbook, the median national annual salary for police and detectives is $56,980. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors. National long-term projections of employment growth may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.

The job growth for police and detectives is expected to be slower than average through 2022. However, as homeland security efforts continue to grow and evolve, federal protection will always be needed.