If you'd like to dedicate your career to protecting and serving others then consider a law enforcement or security job

Armed forces

You'll need to decide whether you'd prefer to join the British Army, Royal Air Force (RAF) or Royal Navy.

Within each of the armed forces there are many roles available - from frontline combat, engineering and medical specialists to those working in intelligence, logistics and education.

Once you've started your career and passed your training, you'll find opportunities to progress through the armed forces ranking structures.

Explore our armed forces job profiles:

Consider an armed forces career.

Border Force officer

It's your job to ensure the UK's borders are secure 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

You'll do this by patrolling the coastline, rail services and airports, monitoring people and items and detecting risks. You'll report concerns to organisations such as the police, the National Crime Agency (NCA) and UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), which is part of the Home Office.

Border Force officers need to be diligent, have strong observational skills and the ability to remain calm under pressure. This is a physically demanding role, and you'll be required to work long, irregular shifts.

At entry level expect to earn around £22,400.

Learn more about becoming a Border Force officer.

Bomb disposal technician

Otherwise known as explosive ordnance disposal (EOD), bomb disposal involves identifying, making safe and disposing of explosive devices.

You'll work with the police to evacuate dangerous areas, using metal detectors and remote-controlled robots to ensure disposal is carried out safely. Bomb disposal technicians work in a range of outdoor environments, including warzones, underwater or in civilian areas.

For entry, you'll need to demonstrate a good level of physical fitness, pass a medical check and hold the appropriate citizenship.

A degree isn't essential - the majority of bomb disposal technicians move into this work through the armed forces. However, you'll typically need good GCSE and A-level (or equivalent) qualifications.


It's your job to manage criminal investigations, from robbery and domestic violence through to fraud, cybercrime and homicide. Detective is not a rank, but a description of your role, as you work alongside uniformed colleagues on an equal basis.

You'll gather, verify and assess information to gain an understanding of a case, analyse and interpret data, use cutting-edge technology, prepare accurate case papers, deal with forensic material, participate in searches and arrests, and liaise with internal and external agencies.

With experience you can move up the defined promotion structure from detective constable to detective sergeant, detective inspector and detective chief inspector - all the way through to chief constable.

Get more information on how to become a detective.

Emergency planning/management officer 

Tasked with protecting and maintaining public safety, emergency planning/management officers plan for major incidents and respond to threats to public safety.

Roles are available in central and local government, as well as public bodies and agencies.

Your responsibilities include analysing and planning for risks like disease outbreaks, technical failures or severe weather conditions, responding to incidents, communicating with emergency services and coordinating the response, completing risk assessments for a range of locations, writing safety plans and reports and raising awareness of public safety issues.

Typical starting salaries range between £22,000 and  £28,000.

Find out more about the role of an emergency planning/management officer.

Environmental health practitioner

Developing, implementing and enforcing health policies is central to your role. You’ll work across a range of fields or specialise in areas such as environmental protection, food safety, noise control, public health or waste management. It's likely you'll work closely with relevant council departments and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Responsibilities include carrying out site visits to ensure compliance, taking photos, producing drawings and removing samples following inspections, investigating complaints from the public and giving talks at public enquiries and meetings.

Starting salaries fall between £25,000 and £40,000.

Discover what's involved with being an environmental health practitioner.


You'll respond to emergency situations and help to protect life and property. You'll also be involved in advising the local community on fire and accident prevention and promoting safe practices.

The role is varied, as work includes attending incidents such as fires, road accidents, floods and terrorist attacks, to rescuing trapped people and animals, providing first aid, undertaking drills and training, and maintaining a high level of physical fitness.

There's a well-structured career path of crew manager, watch manager, station manager and chief fire officer. The starting salary for a fully-trained firefighter is £32,244.

Explore what attributes you'll need to be a firefighter.

Fire risk assessor

It's your job to identify fire hazards and risks, evaluate, remove or reduce these risks and advise on fire prevention.

As fire risk assessment is a legal requirement for workplaces that give access to members of the public, you can work for a variety of different employers, or in a consultancy capacity on a self-employed basis.

Additional responsibilities include writing emergency plans, training staff and updating fire risk assessment regulations.

Starting salaries are in the region of £27,000 to £35,000.

Learn more about the qualifications and skills you need as a fire risk assessor.

Health and safety adviser

You'll need an investigative mind, negotiation skills, the ability to understand complex information, an interest in the law and excellent attention to detail to work as a health and safety adviser.

It's your job to develop a positive health and safety culture within the workplace, as well as ensure that both employers and staff comply with safety legislation.

Positions are available in a range of organisations from large multinationals to small and medium sized enterprises.

At the beginning of your career in assistant/coordinator roles expect to earn between £22,000 and £32,000.

Gain an insight into the role of a health and safety adviser.

Health and safety inspector

Working primarily for the HSE or local authorities, you'll ensure that employers are complying with health and safety laws so that workplaces don't cause ill health, injury or death.

Visiting business premises to carry out inspections, investigating accidents to find out whether health and safety laws have been breached, keeping up to date with relevant legislation, and appearing in court or at an employment tribunal as a witness will all be among your responsibilities.

Discover more about becoming a health and safety inspector.

Intelligence analyst

As an intelligence analyst (or intelligence officer) your employer will be one of the UK's secret services - GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters), MI6 (Secret Intelligence Service) and MI5. However, you may also be able to find work with the NCA or one of the armed forces. Your job will be to help protect national security and its economic wellbeing, as well as detecting serious organised crime.

Activities include identifying potential agents and targets, collating and validating intelligence information, evaluating the reliability of sources, delivering formal reports and presentations, and liaising with colleagues in other departments.

Explore working as an intelligence analyst and get information on other intelligence services careers for graduates.


Responding to emergency medical 999 and 111 calls, you'll be the first healthcare professional on the scene, and you'll deal with everything from life-threatening injuries to minor illnesses.

It will be up to you to provide immediate treatment, monitor the patient's condition on the way to hospital, brief doctors and nurses on the situation, produce thorough case notes and supervise new staff.

Starting salaries fall in the region of £25,655 to £31,534.

Learn about the role of a paramedic.

Police officer

It's your job to maintain law and order, protect the public and their property, and prevent crime and anti-social behaviour. You'll also work with community organisations and groups to provide advice and assistance to those who want to reduce crime or have been affected by it.

Your job will include conducting patrols, responding to emergency calls, taking statements, preparing crime reports and giving evidence in court.

Once you've completed your training and passed the probationary period, there's a clearly defined ranking structure for career progression - from police constable all the way up to chief constable.

Explore the police officer job profile and discover the different ways to join the police.

Prison officer

You'll be responsible for the security, supervision, training and rehabilitation of prisoners. This involves building positive working relationships with them and showing compassion, while maintaining authority.

Typical tasks include performing security checks, maintaining order, escorting prisoners, being aware of prisoners' rights, promoting anti-bullying and suicide prevention policies, and preparing reports and documentation for managers.

Read more on becoming a prison officer, consider other jobs in the prison and probation service.

Trading standards officer

Most trading standards officers (TSOs) work for local councils to enforce rules on the buying, selling and hiring of goods and services. This includes being involved in the prevention, detection and prosecution of offences, as well as offering advice on consumer law.

Responsibilities include visiting trade premises to carry out checks or responding to complaints, identifying potential hazards, investigating suspected offences, presenting evidence in court and giving legal advice to the public about consumer rights.

Trainee salaries start at £25,000.

See what else is involved with the role of a trading standards officer.

Find out more

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