Have you thought about a career in law enforcement? There are many reasons why you should. Becoming a law enforcement officer is one of the most rewarding and challenging careers you could pursue. You’ll make a difference daily, help keep your community safe and develop skills applicable to other fields.
Becoming an officer isn’t easy. It requires dedication and perseverance. It’s challenging, but well worth it in the end. If you’re already in law enforcement, perhaps the time has arrived to get that Master’s degree in Law Enforcement. Doing so could open even more opportunities in a field rich with job prospects.
Not everyone can be a law enforcement officer. It takes certain traits to succeed as one. Still, if you think this might be the right career for you, read on to discover the types of jobs and why you should consider a career in law enforcement.
Types of jobs available in law enforcement
There are many law enforcement jobs, and the opportunities vary depending on where you live and your education level. Becoming a police officer is an often-discussed career option for those interested in hands-on work that makes a difference. For instance, becoming a lawyer could be a career in law enforcement. As you know, they can work within the law enforcement criminal justice system.
If you’re interested in getting started with law enforcement as a career, this article will help you learn about the available jobs and choose the one that best suits your interests and strengths. The following five general job types stand out as being particularly common across agencies at all levels of government. Read on to learn more about these different job paths. We will also cover pointers on getting started in your law enforcement career.
Police officers are responsible for keeping the public safe and upholding the law. They respond to calls, conduct investigations and respond to other public safety issues such as traffic accidents.They often work in teams with other officers and supervisors to solve crimes and keep their communities safe. Most police officers work in local law enforcement at departments that serve a single city or county. They may also work for provincial or state police agencies that enforce laws on state highways, such as the California Highway Patrol.
To become a police officer, youneed to meet specific requirements. The minimum age to become an officer is between 19 and 21, and you need a high school diploma or GED. You also need to pass a series of tests, including a physical fitness test, a written exam and a psychological exam. Some agencies also require you have a certain amount of community service experience.
Detectivesand federal investigators
Local police detectives are responsible for conducting investigations into criminal cases, usually to collect evidence and find witnesses. Detectives work in local towns, cities and communities within city or provincial or state law enforcement agencies. If you’re interested in becoming a detective, youneed to work your way up through the ranks. Doing so allows departments to promote from within and find new leaders from a pool of qualified candidates.
However, the federal government also has investigators. In the US, they may work with the Department of Homeland Security or the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), while in Canada they frequently work for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). The investigators who work in the federal government may be responsible for investigating cases that involve immigration violations, terrorism, drug trafficking or other cross-border crimes. They’re also responsible for investigating so-called ‘white-collar crimes’ such as financial fraud.
Corrections and security guards
Corrections officers, also known as correctional officers, supervise incarcerated people. They monitor inmates to ensure they are safe and follow the facility’s rules. Corrections officers work in local, state or provincial, and federal correctional facilities. To become a corrections officer, you should have a high school diploma or GED and be 18 or older. You may also need a certain amount of experience in law enforcement, for example through the military or as a police officer.
Security guards protect people and property from crime and disruption. They patrol facilities such as commercial buildings, airports and museums. They may also secure events such as concerts, sports events and political rallies. Security guards work for many different types of organizations, including private companies and government agencies. They may work for law enforcement or other government agencies.
Emergency response teams
Specially trained police officers make up emergency response teams and respond to hazardous situations, such as active shooters, hostages or natural disasters. Some teams specialize in medical responses, while others focus on technical rescue and law enforcement tasks. To become an emergency response team member, you need to apply to a specific team through your local government. The application process varies based on the team you’d like to join.
Police may call ERTs when a situation escalates between the police and the public. Depending on the situation, the teams that may respond may be SWAT or plain clothes officers. ERT members may be called to assist in executing a search warrant or responding to a hostage situation. They may also be called when someone is making threats against the public or themselves or when someone is resisting arrest. If there is a natural disaster, ERTs are often the first people on the scene, providing aid to citizens and helping with rescues.
Police officers with advanced training
Some law enforcement jobs are highly specialized, requiring intensive training and education. These jobs often pay more than regular police officer positions and have more job openings. Examples include:
- Firearms instructors: These professionals teach people how to handle and use firearms safely and help others become police officers.
- Underwater recovery specialists:These underwater law enforcement specialists help find and identify bodies underwater and recover stolen boats and vehicles.
- Cybersecurity experts: Cybersecurity experts help defend computer networks against attacks by hackers and investigate crimes that involve the internet.
- Explosives technicians: Explosives technicians respond to bomb threats and help investigate explosions.
Pursuing a career in law enforcement
Now that we have explored the types of jobs available in law enforcement, it’s time to shift gears. Careers in law enforcement offer hands-on, meaningful work and the opportunity to impact the community positively.So, let’s look into the seven top reasons to consider a career in law enforcement.
1. You want to make a difference in your community
First and foremost, you want to make sure you want to make a difference in your community. Law enforcement isn’t a job where you sit behind a desk all day and still expect to feel fulfilled. Law enforcement officers are on the front lines of keeping their communities safe. As someone in law enforcement, you face long shifts, high stress and a lot of public interaction, so you need to meet these challenges head-on. If you’re prepared to make a difference in your community, you have the chance to do it daily as a law enforcement officer. You’ll help keep people safe, protect them and use your skills to make a real difference.
2. You’re physically fit for law enforcement
Becoming a law enforcement officer requires a certain level of physical fitness. While the specifics depend on which department you work for, you should always prepare for the physical challenges of the job. You often need to be able to run long distances, lift heavy objects and climb obstacles. Also, you may need to fight in dangerous situations or help control combative suspects. You may need to respond to emergencies such as car accidents or fires, where you need to move quickly and decisively. All this is to say you need to be physically fit to succeed as an officer. If you’re not in good shape, you may not even make it through the hiring phase.
3. You have good communication skills
Law enforcement requires good communication skills, and you should demonstrate this ability during the application process. Communication is essential for any law enforcement officer since much of the job involves interacting with the public. As a result, you should be able to communicate in writing and verbally with people of all different backgrounds. You may need to interview people, give warnings or provide information to the public. You may also need to communicate with other officers during a dangerous situation. You will need to communicate with supervisors and other officers regularly.
4. Law enforcement is an asset for other jobs
Becoming a law enforcement officer can help you gain the skills and experience needed to succeed in a law school program. Obtaining a law enforcement background is an asset for many other jobs. In this career, yougain strong communication skills, a thorough knowledge of the law and experience working in public service. Law enforcement experience is cited as an asset in jobs such as social work, teaching and even politics. It can also be a good steppingstone if you attend law school. It’s a job that is likely to pay well as you move up the career ladder.
5. Law enforcement officers are paid well
Aside from the satisfaction you get from helping your community, you can also expect a decent salary. Officers generally get paid well, and many departments offer competitive pay rates, benefits and overtime opportunities. The exact amount you earn depends on your department, location and your experience level. However, the average police officer’s salary is around $55,500 annually in the US. It can significantly increase if you work in a high-risk area or qualify for overtime. It’s essential to remember that average salaries may not reflect what you make in your specific area.
6. Law enforcement training is difficult but rewarding
Becoming a law enforcement officer isn’t easy. The training and application process may seem daunting, but if you stick with it, then you’llbe rewarded for your efforts. If you’d like to advance in your career, it’s advisable to finish a course of study at a minimum college level. As mentioned, you also need to pass physical and psychological fitness tests. You may also have to pass a polygraph exam. In short, you need to put in a lot of hard work and effort. Becoming a law enforcement officer is rewarding and challenging, but it’s not for everyone. However, this could be the perfect career if youput in the effort and have a passion for helping others.
7. It’s not boring
Nothing is boring about this career. For instance, you may be on your feet for most of your shift and never know what’s coming next. You need to prepare for anything and everything, and you can expect your shift to be mentally and physically challenging. You may get asked to work overtime or to deal with a dangerous crisis. You can also expect some long nights. Regardless, it’s a career where you won’t know what’s coming next, and each shift is likely different from the last. It helps to stay mentally and physically ready for the challenges that come with this career.
The rewarding challenge in law enforcement
Becoming a law enforcement officer is challenging, but it’s also gratifying. You have the opportunity to help keep your community safe, work in a constantly changing career and earn a decent salary. If you have a passion for helping others, are physically fit and have strong communication skills, you may be ready to pursue a career in law enforcement.