Are you ready for a career that is challenging, absolutely essential to society, and sometimes under-appreciated? Law enforcement officials fill many important roles, making our communities safe, and helping to maintain American freedom. Like many other career fields, law enforcement has become specialized, involving much more than the most obvious than the "how-to's" of becoming a police officer. read more »
Some of the careers in law enforcement that most people don’t think about include detectives, FBI officials , US Marshals, Customs inspectors, homeland security authorities, and US Secret Service. Some law enforcement positions require more education than others, but all require college education. Today, you can get the needed education entirely online, usually without quitting your current job.
In addition to the education, individuals in law enforcement need to have a strong sense of integrity and responsibility. Depending on the particular position and geographic location, pay ranges from low 30s to six figures, with plenty of opportunity for advancement and promotions.
Depending on the type of position you are interested in, you may need a degree at any level from associate to masters’ degrees or even a doctoral degree. The degree most often obtained, however, is the Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice. The Bachelor’s Degree will qualify you for a variety of higher-level jobs such as secret service agent, sheriff, warden and various supervisory positions. You will also be much more likely to find a position with a salary in at least the $70,000 range. However, if you are just getting started, the Associate Degree in Criminal Justice will enable you to obtain a position as a local police officer, corrections officer or private security guard. The Associate degree is likely to include courses such as Introduction to Criminal Justice, Report Writing, Juvenile Justice and Security Management.
If you have already been in a law enforcement field and simply want to climb the employment ladder and increase your pay, you may want to earn one of the many Master’s Degrees available in the criminal justice field. If you already have a Bachelor’s degree, a Master’s can be completed in about two years. At this level , you might work as a homicide investigator, an explosives specialist, a drug enforcement or homeland security supervisor or even with a government organization such as the FBI or CIA.
In addition to learning about law enforcement, a degree in criminal justice will help you identify patterns of behavior that effect crime, crime control and delinquency. You will study criminals, types of crimes, and human psychology. You will also learn about the legal and correction systems in the United States and will be able to understand how the system is supposed to work in the challenge of protecting American citizens. You will also learn the less glamorous aspect of law-enforcement—the importance of being able to write accurate reports that will stand up in court.
A career in law enforcement is not without danger. In addition to the expected dangers associated with preventing crime, concerns about terrorism have brought an increased need for skilled law enforcement officials. Thus positions are usually plentiful, although sometimes a high paying position can mean relocating. Still, the increased need for individuals in law enforcement and criminal justice also means that the expected pay levels are increasing. You should have no trouble finding the position of your dreams once your degree is completed.