Tactical shields have the same protective structure as bulletproof vests. Most ballistic shields are made of synthetic ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) and/or aramid (usually Kevlar).

Shields that offer better protection are made of ceramic, steel or carbon fiber. These shields are capable of deflecting or even shattering bullets

The outer surface of ballistic shields is often treated with a layer of polyurea. The shield is covered to keep to a minimum  and away splashes, flames, salt, oil, gas and even the elements. Some ballistic shields are coated with NIR treatment to prevent detection by night vision equipment.