The Law, Public Safety, Corrections and Security cluster uses your love of people and passion for your community to prepare for careers in law, public safety and security. Responsibilities may include protecting people from harm, crime or natural disasters. Job opportunities range from public safety officers to legal services.
Hiring of firefighters is expected to grow. Job prospects will be better for firefighters who have industry certifications and firefighter and paramedic training. The continued need for legal services will mean more lawyers will need to be hired in the next few years. Attorneys may not necessarily work at law firms. Corporations and the federal government sometimes choose to hire lawyers on staff to save money. Security guards will remain an important part of our workforce in the coming years to help protect people and property from criminals, vandalism, and terrorism.
Employment Projections: 2016-2026*
The Law, Public Safety, Corrections & Security cluster is projected to expand by 7 percent between 2016 and 2026. This exceeds the 5 percent expected average growth nationally among all occupations in this cluster, based on Trailblazers analysis of information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2016, this cluster employed over 142,500 workers in the commonwealth. By 2026, that number is projected to be slightly more than 152,600, which represents an increase of nearly 10,100 workers during the decade.
*NOTE: The methodology for classifying occupations within the cluster/pathway system has been updated since the previous data cycle (2014-24), so 2016-26 Trailblazers employment projection data may not be comparable to data from previous cycles.
For more information on occupations in the Law, Public Safety, Corrections & Security Cluster, visit Trailblazers – Career and Technical Education in Virginia (PDF).
|Selected Occupation(s)||Employed in Virginia
|2017 Median Wage||Predominant Level of Education|
|Security Guards||32,797||$32,240||Associate/Some college & Training/Certification|
|Lawyers||21,530||$123,510||Bachelor's or more|
|Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers||18,887||$52,820||Associate/Some college & Training/Certification|
|Correctional Officers and Jailers||14,607||$36,880||Associate/Some college & Training/Certification|
|Firefighters||10,193||$50,160||Associate/Some college & Training/Certification|
|Legal Support Workers, All Other||9,432||$117,210||Bachelor's or more|
|Emergency Medical Technicians and
|5,173||$33,110||Associate/Some college & Training/Certification|
|Detectives and Criminal Investigators||3,623||$88,140||Bachelor's or more & Training/Certification &
|Police, Fire, and Ambulance Dispatchers||3,185||$37,470||Associate/Some college & Training/Certification|
|Protective Service Workers, All Other||3,125||$37,810||Bachelor's or more & Training/Certification|
- Wage data: United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, Virginia Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, May 2017.
- Employment projections data: Virginia Employment Commission, Virginia Long-Term Occupational Projections, 2016-2026.
- Predominant education level: Trailblazers through the Demographics and Workforce Section of the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia.
Career Cluster Planning
A resource for counselors, administrators, and educators
CTE VERSO – includes information to help local school divisions plan and schedule instructional programs. VERSO is organized by program area, with a complete listing of courses, concentration sequences, and credentials available to students as they plan for career entry and continuing education. Users may access course information by cluster or by searching for specific courses or certifications.
Information and tips for instructional leaders, administrators, counselors and teachers/faculty for creating a career pathway academic and career plan of study.
- Law, Public Safety, Corrections & Security Cluster Information
- Checklist for Developing Career Clusters Plans of Study (Word)
Sample Academic and Career Plans of Study
School divisions are asked to develop sample plans of study based on the courses offered within their schools, the employment needs of the region, and the post-high school educational opportunities needed for these careers. Once these sample plans are developed, they can be customized to the needs of individual students so that all students have the opportunity to have an individualized academic and career plan of study.
Sample Pathway Plans of Study for Law, Public Safety, Corrections & Security:
- Correction Services (Word)
- Emergency & Fire Management Services (Word)
- Law Enforcement Services (Word)
- Legal Services (Word)
- Security & Protective Services (Word)
- Blank Plan of Study (with fields) (Word)
Also see Sample Plans of Study for all clusters and pathways.
Report: Education, Employment and Earnings: Analyzing Data from Law, Public Safety, Corrections & Security
Cluster Analysis Document for Virginia
Current research relative to employment sectors and information on occupation supply and demand. The information is presented in two formats: a summary brief and a detailed report.
Nontraditional Careers: Occupational and Employment Information
- Executive Summary – Law, Public Safety, Corrections and Security in Virginia (PDF)
- Law, Public Safety, Corrections and Security in Virginia (PDF)
The Career Clusters logo and its extensions are the property of the National Career Technical Foundation, as managed by NASDCTEc. Some content on this page is from the publication, R U College & Career Ready? - 2017 Edition; and is used here with permission from the Virginia Business Publications LLC and Trailblazers in the Demographics and Workforce Section of the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia.