Associate Degree in Security Program Guide

April 19, 2021

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While jobs in protective services do not always require a degree, higher education can lead to more opportunities, better positions, and greater rewards for professionals. With an associate degree in security, graduates can pursue a variety of promising positions in the field.

Demand in this sector depends on local government budgets, but the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the addition of more than 95,000 jobs between 2019 and 2029. In addition to qualifying for entry-level careers, associate degree-holders can pursue advanced degrees in security and law enforcement.

Read on for more information about online associate degrees in security, along with the most popular career paths.

Should I Get an Associate in Security?

For learners who wish to pursue a bachelor's degree in protective services or criminal justice, an associate degree in security can be a valuable first step.

An associate degree in security can lead to many educational and career pathways. These programs typically require approximately 60 credits, allowing full-time students to graduate and enter the workforce in about two years.

Between 2019 and 2029, the BLS projects 3% job growth for protective service occupations, 3% growth for security guards, and 5% growth for police and detectives. While some employers hire applicants with no formal education, many agencies and departments seek out candidates with at least some higher education for these positions.

Even with an associate degree in security, many protective services occupations require applicants to complete an academy program, licensure, or formal on-the-job training. These additional requirements may discourage some candidates from pursuing a degree.

For learners who wish to pursue a bachelor's degree in protective services or criminal justice, an associate degree in security can be a valuable first step. Associate degrees often feature lower tuition prices than bachelor's programs, and credits usually transfer.

Check out the Best Online Associate in Security Programs

What Will I Learn in a Security Associate Program?

Depending on the school, program focus, and each student's academic choices, curricula in an associate degree in security vary. Most programs provide learners with foundational criminal justice knowledge and basic law enforcement training, but some degrees emphasize specific aspects of the field.

For example, programs may focus on private security, security management, or security investigation. The curriculum may cover investigative techniques, loss prevention strategies, and security technologies.

Students should choose the program that best matches their educational and professional interests and goals.

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What Can I Do With an Associate in Security?

Most graduates with an associate degree in security can pursue careers as security guards, police officers, and corrections officers. Protective services professions may require additional training, so associate degree-holders can begin programs faster after having already covered some of the material.

Many graduates choose to move on to a bachelor's program in a related field after completing an associate degree in security.

Popular Career Paths

Popular Continued Education Paths

How Much Money Can I Make With an Associate in Security?

Salary potential for graduates with an associate degree in security depends on experience, employer, and location. According to the BLS, protective services professionals earn a median annual salary of $41,580. At the higher end of the scale, police and detectives earn a median annual salary of $65,170.

Frequently Asked Questions About Associate in Security Programs

What is an associate in security?

An associate degree in security teaches students about the fundamentals of security while also touching on law enforcement and criminal justice. Students learn investigative and analytical skills, along with protective techniques for people and property.

How much does it cost to get an associate in security?

Each school and program features different tuition costs. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average yearly tuition rate for two-year programs is about $3,310 for in-state students and $7,920 for out-of-state students.

Is an associate in security worth it?

An associate degree in security can lead to various protective service careers, a sector offering strong employment opportunities and financial rewards. The degree also provides a solid educational foundation for graduates to pursue further training in security or a related field.

What can you do with an associate degree in security?

After completing an associate degree in security, graduates can enter the workforce in a security position or another protective service profession, such as law enforcement or corrections. Graduates may also continue their education by pursuing a bachelor's degree in security or a related subject.

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