dcsimg
Table of Contents

U.S. citizens depend on police officers and other law enforcement professionals to protect their lives and property. Although careers in law enforcement are frequently stressful and sometimes dangerous, law enforcement officers and agents are typically motivated by a desire to apprehend criminals and to benefit society and their communities.

College Degrees and/or Military Experience Desired by Law Enforcement Agencies

Most law enforcement officers work a forty-hour week, although unusual hours and frequent relocation are common as required by work assignments and to maintain public safety. The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes the following trends for employment in law enforcement:

  • Candidates with college training in police science and/or military experience are expected to enjoy the best employment prospects
  • Local police departments offer excellent prospects for those qualified, while positions in large cities, state, and federal agencies are generally recruited from large pools of candidates
  • Although educational requirements can vary from a high school diploma to graduate degrees from criminal justice programs, achieving higher educational levels can help you land the law enforcement job you want.

Education and career training for law enforcement jobs typically include a combination of formal education, military or other related work experience, and internal training provided by the hiring agency. In addition to career training, law enforcement officers and agents can expect to undergo rigorous physical and psychological training and to serve a probationary employment period. Ongoing career training may be required to learn new policies and procedures. Law enforcement officers who want to advance to careers as detectives, state and federal investigators, and homeland security experts may need graduate degrees in criminal justice, public administration, psychology, or related fields as required by job duties and hiring agencies. Many law enforcement agencies offer tuition assistance for employees seeking advancement.

Law Enforcement Police

Law Enforcement Provides Wide Range of Career Options

Depending on hiring needs and your qualifications, you can work as a local beat cop or an international security expert. Hiring is often subject to municipal, state, and federal budgets but law enforcement programs often receive priority for funding depending on available resources. Employment opportunities in law enforcement include:

  • Local and state law enforcement agencies (uniformed police officers and detectives)
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
  • U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
  • U.S. Marshals and Deputy Marshals
  • State Bureau of Diplomatic Security
  • Department of Homeland Security
  • Customs Inspectors /Border Patrol
  • U.S. Secret Service

If you're interested in a law enforcement career, it's possible to direct your interests and experience toward specialized career opportunities.

Job Outlook is Excellent in Law Enforcement

Job descriptions and salaries in law enforcement vary widely depending on job requirements. Overall, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects excellent employment opportunities for those meeting psychological, physical, educational, and ethical requirements for employment in law enforcement.

Law enforcement salaries range from approximately $27,000 to $131,000 per year not including incentives such as availability pay (depending on your training), location, and rank. Law enforcement agents working for state and federal agencies may enjoy additional benefits. Layoffs are rare as consistent retirement rates among law enforcement personnel typically meet any mandated staff reductions.

Pursue your Law Enforcement major today…

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
 
Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
  • Impact your world with a degree from Walden. Start today!
  • Walden degree and certificate programs are designed for working professionals. Click for more information.
  • Receive personal attention from advisors in enrollment, financial aid, academics, and other support services to make the most of your online program.
  • Study worry-free knowing you have 24/7 access to Walden technical support.
  • Convenient start dates throughout the year
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • There's still time to apply to Grand Canyon University and pursue your education. Learn more today!
  • Study on your schedule - GCU offers many programs 100% online to fit your busy lifestyle.
  • GCU offers a variety of opportunities to reduce the cost of furthering your education. Campus students may qualify for scholarships, while online students can take part in limited special offers.
  • A regionally accredited university, GCU also holds specialized accreditations and approvals for some of our core program offerings.
  • Degrees in business, education, nursing, humanities and social sciences, theology and more. Find the degree that fits you.
  • Talk to us today to learn more about financial aid and start dates!
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
  • Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
  • Offers numerous scholarship opportunities that can help students save up to $750 per term on their tuition.
  • Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
4 Program(s) Found
  • "Regionally Accredited"
  • "Offers a Bachelors for Todays Most Demanding Fields"
  • "100% Online and Flexible to Balance Your Work and Life"
  • "Request Information. Apply Today!"
  • Online Courses
2 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among the Best Grad Schools for Physician Assistants in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Dedicated to delivering quality education and personalized attention to students since 1899
  • Provides a range of campus experiences and services online including advising, tutoring, student community, and career services
  • Offers counseling services and a 24/7 crisis hotline to students at no extra charge.
  • Gives students and alumni access to career assistants who help with resumes, cover letters, job hunting, and more.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
ITT Technical Institute , Online (campus option available)
  • Students who qualify may apply for the Opportunity Scholarship, which can help lower education costs.
  • Offers career-focused, degree programs to over 70,000 students at over 140 ITT Technical Institutes in 35 states.
  • Classes are offered year-round, with day and evening course options.
  • Online courses can be accessed from anywhere, 24 hours a day.
  • Nationally accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
3 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Ranked among the Best Online MBA Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Founded in 1890, it has a campus in Waterbury, CT and offers online degree program in eight-week modules, six times a year.
  • About 800 students are enrolled at the main campus, and about half of them commute.
  • Online courses make it possible for students to earn a bachelor’s degree in as little as 18 months and a master’s degree in 14-24 months.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits