Protective Service Occupations in the Metro

Minnesota regional map with metro area highlighted and words Metro Regional Labor Market Information Blog

Fittingly firefighters, police officers, correctional officers, security guards, detectives and investigators are all found within the protective services occupational group. According to DEED’s Employment Outlook tool, occupations within protective services are anticipated to grow by 5.8% between 2016 and 2026 in the Twin Cities metro region. While that is equivalent to more than 1,600 net new jobs, additionally there will also be nearly 15,000 labor market exit openings in protective services during this time, as current workers retire or otherwise leave their current positions. The Metro Area is going to need people interested in working in protective services occupations both today and in the near future.

According to DEED’s Occupational Employment Statistics (OES), there are currently an estimated 27,110 protective services jobs in the Twin Cities Metro Area. This represents current filled jobs, whether they are full-time positions or part-time positions. As such, the Metro Area accounts for 61.1% of Minnesota’s 44,390 protective services jobs. The vast majority of these jobs are in the public sector, with smaller employment numbers found in the Professional and Business Services; Leisure and Hospitality; Education and Health Services; Trade, Transportation, and Utilities; and Other Services industries.

Table 1 highlights the top-employing occupations within protective services in the Metro Area. At the very top is Security Guards, with over 8,450 current jobs in the Metro Area. Typically this occupation requires a high school diploma or equivalent, with some jobs requiring experience with video surveillance technology. The median hourly wage for security guards in the Metro Area is $16.11, varying from $14.81 per hour while working in Leisure and Hospitality establishments to over $19.00 per hour for the same work in Public Administration and Financial Activities.

With over 5,000 jobs in the Metro Area, Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers make a median hourly wage of $38.87. In Minnesota, many agencies and departments require a college degree in law enforcement or criminal justice and a peace officer license.

For those interested in pursuing a career as a security guard, a police officer, a fire fighter, a correctional officer, or any other protective service occupation, there is high demand for such workers in the Metro Area. You can visit to search for job openings in this field, learn more about various positions on the occupation pages plus watch short career overview videos. Visit DEED’s numerous labor market tools to discover more about these occupations. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also has national level information on protective service occupations.


Table 1. Protective Services Occupations in the Metro Area


Current Employment

Median Hourly Wage

2016 – 2026 Employment Projections

Net New Openings

Labor Market Exit Openings

Security Guards



+454 (+5.1%)


Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers



+480 (+9.2%)


Fire Fighters



+288 (+8.1%)


Lifeguards, Ski Patrol, and Other Recreational Protective Service Workers



+177 (+8.8%)


Correctional Officers and Jailers



-160 (-7.5%)


Protective Services Workers, All Other



+94 (+8.8%)


Detectives and Criminal Investigators



+67 (+7.2%)


First-Line Supervisors and Managers of Protective Service Workers, All Other



+39 (+4.0%)


First-Line Supervisors and Managers of Police and Detectives



+113 (+9.1%)


First-Line Supervisors and Managers of Fire Fighting and Prevention Workers



+42 (+8.8%)


Source: MN DEED Occupational Employment Statistics, Employment Outlook



To discover more about the Twin Cities Metro Area,

Contact Tim O’Neill at 651-259-7401.