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School Safety Agent's Starting Salary

by Rick Suttle

School safety agents patrol school buildings and grounds, overseeing the safety of students, teachers and administrators. These safety agents also ensure all students and faculty adhere to rules and regulations of schools, whether related to fighting, parking, speeding or sports activities. Most are employed by local police departments. If you want to become a school safety officer, your salary will average between $35,000 and $40,000 annually.

Salary Over $35,000

The average starting salary of a school safety agent was $36,000 as of 2013, according to the job site Simply Hired. To become a school safety agent, you need to be at least 21 years old, have a high school diploma and pass a civil service examination. Other important qualifications are physical strength and stamina, perceptiveness, and good judgment and interpersonal and multitasking skills.

Top Pay in D.C.

In 2013, average starting salaries for school safety agents varied the most within the South region, according to Simply Hired, where they made the least in Mississippi and the most in Washington, D.C., at $28,000 and $56,000, respectively. If you worked as a school safety agent in South Dakota or Minnesota, you'd earn an average of $28,000 or $38,000, respectively -- the lowest and highest starting salaries in the Midwest. In the Northeast, you'd make $32,000 to $43,000 per year in Maine or Massachusetts, respectively. Safety agents earned $28,000 to $40,000 in the West, with the highest salaries in Alaska and California and the lowest in Montana.

Earn More Than Security Guards

While starting salaries for school safety agents were $36,000 in 2013, Simply Hired reported average annual salaries of $39,000 for all school safety agents the same year. In comparison, security guards, who may work at schools, earned average salaries of $27,240 per year as of May 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Police officers earned approximately $20,000 more than school safety agents, at $57,770 annually in 2012, the BLS reports.

Below-Average Job Growth

The BLS doesn't forecast jobs for school safety agents. It estimates a 7 percent increase in employment for police officers and detectives between 2010 and 2020 -- a below-average growth rate. Because of recent school shootings, more schools and parents want police officers, security guards or school safety agents in their children's schools. These jobs are contingent on school or local government budgets, which are typically higher when the economy is strong.

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