Federal Protective Service Officer Description & Career Outlook

The US Federal Protective Service (FPS) is a branch of the Department of Homeland Security, and is one of the organizations of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The job of the FPS Police Officer is to provide protection for more than 8,000 federal buildings and the employees that work there. In fact, the FPS provides security in all types of situations, including HAZMAT, weapons of mass destruction, and emergency response. Most FPS officers are uniformed law enforcement agents whose job it is to question criminal suspects, prevent crimes if possible, arrest offenders, and assist police. In addition to the uniformed officers, there is also a small group of plainclothes special agents, a physical security force, and a support services division.

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Specific services of FPS officers include providing a visible law enforcement presence in Federal buildings, monitoring security devices and systems, conducting physical security surveys, and presenting formal crime prevention and security awareness programs.

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Become a Federal Protective Service Officer: Requirements

To become a Federal Protective Service Officer, there are a number of eligibility requirements. An applicant must be an American citizen, be at least 21 years old, have a driver’s license, pass a physical exam, and qualify with a service revolver once a year. An applicant must also successfully complete training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center.

Employment with the FPS is very competitive. In fact, most FPS employees have at least a bachelor’s degree, and some have master’s degrees or doctorates.

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Federal Protective Service Salary

FPS officers participate in the government’s salary structure; FPS officers may be hired at the GS-4 level to GS-7 level depending on prior experience and education. Officers at the GS-4 level earn a salary between $21,840 to $28,392, and those at the GS-7 level make $33,979 to $44,176 according to the 2012 general schedule pay tables.1 There is potential for career advancement, and there are FPS positions across the nation.

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References:
1. US Office of Personnel Management: http://www.opm.gov/oca/12tables/pdf/gs.pdf

Page Edited by Charles Sipe.