<< Back to 'Law Enforcement Schools'

Law Enforcement Schools

Which types of jobs are available for those interested in law enforcement?

Though there are a number of law enforcement fields one can pursue, police officers and detectives are the most common and are responsible for protecting their communities and reducing civil disorder. Being active in law enforcement research, along with the completion of proper education and training, can lead to a successful and rewarding career.

The main purpose of jobs in law enforcement is to uphold the law of a community and protect the citizens and property within that community. The daily activities depend greatly on the type of specialty the law enforcement officer has or whether the position is within a local, state or federal agency. Though most law enforcement jobs require important and, sometimes, dangerous tasks, most of the day-to-day responsibilities include patrolling their jurisdictions, responding to calls and writing reports.

Law enforcement careers are both exciting and stimulating. A law enforcement career requires someone to deal with a wide variety of people, environments and situations. In addition, it can be a rewarding profession as the work done can make for a better and safer community. However, many of the responsibilities of law enforcement can also be stressful, dangerous and even life-threatening.

Formal training required to work in a career related to law enforcement

Law enforcement jobs will require at least a high school diploma. Some departments also call for the completion of a law enforcement degree program. Most applicants for an entry-level law enforcement job will have a high school diploma and some type of postsecondary education. Some applicants will have received a college degree or one of the specific degrees in law enforcement.

Many universities, colleges and junior colleges will offer specific programs in administrative justice and law enforcement, as well as criminal justice, police science, administration of justice and public administration. One of these law enforcement degrees will typically result in a higher salary and can sometimes be paid for if the student is already employed through a law enforcement agency.

Police officers must complete training at a police academy for 12-14 weeks before beginning actual law enforcement duties. This training session includes lessons in self-defense, emergency response, traffic control and use of firearms, as well as classroom lessons on civil rights and constitutional law. Federal law enforcement agency employees must undergo extensive training that is usually conducted at a federal law enforcement-training center or a U.S. Marine Corps base.

The typical career path of someone interested in law enforcement

Since the law enforcement field encompasses anyone who enforces the rules and laws of government, there are a wide variety of law enforcement positions in this category. However, police officers and detectives are the most common professions employed by state and local government. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2008, police and detectives held roughly 883,600 jobs in the United States. About 11 percent were employed by state police agencies, while approximately 79 percent were employed by local government.

The advancement of a police officer often depends on the needs of the community her or she is serving. Police that become detectives work primarily in cities with populations over 25,000 people. In the thousands of small communities in the United States, police officers can advance to a deputy or sheriff position.

The amount of law enforcement positions in a specific community will depend on the amount of government spending. Due to this, advancement opportunities can vary greatly from year-to-year.

Job outlook and salary information for those interested in law enforcement

Since law enforcement positions are vital for any type of government, there will always be a need for this field. Though a law enforcement position in state and federal agencies can be competitive, opportunities in most local law enforcement departments can be advantageous for qualified individuals. Many new positions are created by the need to replace those who move up or retire. Applicants with special skills or experience, such as college training in law enforcement, military experience or knowledge of multiple languages, will have the best opportunities.

The salary of a police officer or detective will depend on the specific field or industry one pursues. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2009, the mean annual salary of police and sheriff patrol officers was $55,180 a year. However, higher positions in a police force, such as a police lieutenant, captain or chief, can earn as much as $116,340 a year. In 2009, the most common fields included police officers and detectives, as well as first-line supervisors/managers of police and detectives, criminal investigators, and fish and game wardens.

Which types of jobs are available for those interested in law enforcement?

Though there are a number of law enforcement fields one can pursue, police officers and detectives are the most common and are responsible for protecting their communities and reducing civil disorder. Being active in law enforcement research, along with the completion of proper education and training, can lead to a successful and rewarding career.

The main purpose of jobs in law enforcement is to uphold the law of a community and protect the citizens and property within that community. The daily activities depend greatly on the type of specialty the law enforcement officer has or whether the position is within a local, state or federal agency.

Searching Searching ...

Prefer exploring school options talking to our staff? Call toll free now: 1.855.816.4004
Call toll free now
Matching School Ads
Program

Law Enforcement

Change
  • All Law & Criminal Justice
  • Corrections
  • Court Reporting
  • Crime Scene & Forensics
  • Criminal Justice
  • Homeland Security
  • Investigation
  • Law Enforcement
  • Public Safety
  • Security & Loss Prevention
Degree/Diploma Offered
  • All
  • Associate Degree
  • Bachelor Degree
  • Certificate Program
  • Coursework Program
  • Diploma Program
  • Doctoral Program
  • Master Degree
Location Type
  • Both
  • Online
  • Campus
Zip/Postal Code
  • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition. 
  • 84% of students surveyed would recommend the university to others. 
  • Average class sizes: 21 for undergraduate, 15 for graduate-level courses.
  • 2,149 scholarships awarded in the 2011-2012 academic year.
  • 1,033,436 transfer credits awarded during the 2011-2012 academic year.
  • Recognized in the first Best for Vets: Business Schools list in Military Times Edge magazine’s 2013 “Best for Vets” edition.
  • Offers MUSE (My Unique Student Experience), a content delivery system that gives students the option to watch, view, read or listen to required course materials. 
  • Allows students to complete courses at whatever pace they want. 
  • A DANTES-affiliated university and member of the Service Members Opportunity Colleges. 
  • Accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association. 
  • Regionally accredited private Christian university.
  • Founded in 1949 on four pillars: academic advancement, Christian camaraderie, extracurricular excellence, and wellness and well-being.
  • Offers experiences to help strengthen the faith of students like worship services, bible study groups, and more.
  • Values spiritual growth and holds many core beliefs including, “God has a purpose for our lives…He calls us to that purpose.”
  • Offers programs in business, education, nursing, theology, and more.
  • A private career college with regional accreditation, providing students with transferrable credits. 
  • Offers career-focused programs in healthcare, business, legal, and technology.
  • Students can complete an associate degree or diploma in 12-24 months and a certification in 6-12 months.
  • Provides a personalized student plan from orientation to graduation.
  • There are 100 campuses in the Everest Career Education Network, many of which are on or near public transportation routes.
  • Trained Student Finance Planners are available to assist students searching for financial aid.
  • Each campus has a Career Placement Office that can help students with interviewing skills, resume writing, and more.
  • Classes are built around small teams, so students get personal, one-on-one skills training.
  • Day, evening, and weekend  classes are available, depending on location.
  • Offers several business, healthcare, criminal justice, computer systems technician, automotive technician programs.
  • Offers job placement assistance to students and graduates.
  • Campus-specific accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET), Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).
  • 13 campuses across California, with an additional UEI campus in Morrow, Georgia.
  • Part of the Kaplan Higher Education Campuses (KHEC).
  • Approved A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 1976.
  • Some campuses host low-cost medical and dental clinics, where students can get real-world experience.
  • Campus-specific accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS), Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), and the Council on Occupational Education (COE).
  • 16 campus locations across the United States.
Matching School Ads