Is Law Enforcement a Good Career?

Is Law Enforcement a Good Career?

A career in Law Enforcement is the future and lifetime commitment in service of others.  Every action of yours establishes faith in justice and touches every aspect of a citizen’s life. The time you’ve decided to choose Law enforcement as your Career is better when you choose to serve humanity, live for others and have not just a job, but a way more than a job. Law Enforcement jobs include Police Officers, Sheriffs, Forensic Science Technicians, Criminal and  Private Investigators, and many more. It doesn’t require heavily formal education, but a Bachelor’s or associate degree or some certificate course may offer your resume away to the top of the applicant pile, as required by some positions. Extensive and specialized training is a must and is provided by the Police Academies at different regional levels and according to the requirements of the field.  

The basics skills you will require as a Law Enforcement Officer are:

  • Leadership and Communication Skills with Convincing Qualities
  • Knowledge of the Criminal Justice System and Criminal Investigations
  • Good Judgement and Perceptiveness
  • Ideologies of Help and Empathy
  • Physical Stamina, and Good Health

 Additional Requirements for becoming a part of the Law Enforcement field in the US are:

  • Required to be of at least 21 years of age.
  • Having citizenship of US, having a valid Driver’s License
  • Ability to Pass Drug Screening Tests
  • Passing Physical and Mental health Check-ups.

Steps to Become a Law Enforcement Officer

  1. Obtain a High School Diploma – The minimum Educational Qualifications for being a Law Enforcement officer is a High School Diploma. With this pursuing some certificate courses related to Communication Skills, Personality Development, Leadership, and Physical grooming may help students to strengthen themselves both mentally and physically. In today’s era, knowledge of Technology and computers is also one of the required skills to develop during High School.
  2. Police Cadet Academies – For High School students, various cities and academies provide Cadet-training Programs. These are designed especially for students younger than 21 years, not fit for Police Training but are interested to keep themselves physically fit. 
  3. Certificate Courses – Many Law Enforcement agencies require a certain specified course or a license to operate a firearm and CPR training. In addition, an aspirant or an officer may apply for several certificate courses to demonstrate specialized skills, which may include, Police K9 certification course (offers focus area in patrol, tracking, explosive and narcotics detention and many more), Certified Homeland Protection Professional Credential (offers expertise in Homeland protection) and many more certificate programs for specified agencies.
  4. Certificate in Law Enforcement – A certificate in Criminology or Criminal Justice is a good opportunity to gain skills. It can also provide a way to start with an associate degree. It may even last for few weeks or few months. Some departments require applicants to have some college credits, instead of a full degree, there a certificate course may prove a boon to you. For example, a course on criminology will teach you the conceptual and theoretical explanations behind Criminal behavior. 
  5. A Bachelor’s Degree – It’s an optional choice and not a requirement. Basically, it depends on whether an aspirant intends to work in a Federal, State, or Municipal capacity.  It usually requires more advanced law enforcement jobs at the federal levels, such as the FBI. 
  6. An Associate Degree – An Associate degree usually takes two years to complete and is well formulated and drafted so as to provide the basic knowledge and prepare graduates to pass the academy entrance exams. Each associated degree is formulated according to the local and regional departmental requirements and may vary by region and department. The curriculum is designed and includes a discussion on crime and its types, strategies, and intelligence to manage and utilize police resources, investigation of crime scenes, and public protection.
  7. Law Enforcement Exams – For admission into a training academy, applicants must achieve a passing score on Entrance Exams such as LEE and Compass. The exact entrance exam and requirements for entry-level positions in the US may differ and depends on the jurisdiction.
  8. Training Academy – The Training Academies are the most important stage where they mold the applicants to serve as Law Enforcement Officers. It can take 3- 6 months depending on department and jurisdiction.  Trainees are taught to handle emergency situations, administer first-aid, and ensure the safety and security of the community covering every aspect. 

What is the Requirement of a Master’s degree in Law Enforcement?

A Master’s degree is advantageous, particularly to those seeking professional growth and advancement. It is tailored in such a manner to provide specific knowledge in a particular area of Research and Intelligence. The course may take around two years to complete. The courses are designed to make students learn the Criminal Statics, the fundamental analysis and techniques methods,  surveillance methods, interpretation of data and its utility, leadership, and management of criminal justice system focuses on risk management and toughness of mind, victim and juvenile care and most importantly community welfare.

What does a Law Enforcement Officer Do? 

US Law Enforcement Officers ensure the safety and security of the public. To protect and serve society is their paramount duty.  Laws are meant to govern and integrate the society, and the administration of laws is under these officer’s job profiles. It may include arresting suspects, investigating the crime, securing crime and accident scenes, and dealing with the criminals/offenders. Officers are also supposed to work extra hours, sometimes with a limited number of leaves. The job is challenging and sometimes dangerous too. 

How Much Does a Law Enforcement Degree Cost?

The cost of a Law Enforcement degree varies according to the program you want to apply for. A few of them require police academy training or an additional course/diploma, or a degree in law enforcement or criminal justice. The minimum requirement for Federal level agencies is a Bachelor’s degree. According to National Centre for Educational Statics, pursuing a law enforcement degree of two years may cost around $ 7000, and a four-year degree may cost around $ 37,000 – $ 125,000. If you want to save thousands of Dollars, pursuing Online Degree can be another good option these days with the benefits of a flexible schedule. For working and earning students, this may help limit loans and better earning at the same time.

How Much Money Does a Law Enforcement Officer Make?

According to PayScale, the average base salary of a Police Officer is $55,000. On the lower end of the pay scale, an officer makes $ 37000, and at the high end of the pay scale, officers make up to $92000  per year. This pay increases by experience level for Police officers. An experienced police officer with 10-19 years of experience earns an average of $63,199, and in their late-career, it reaches $77,000 per year. 

Job Security and Growth 

Law Enforcement Agencies are structured in various levels of authority and hence provide a better opportunity for growth and promotions. Depending upon the department, Promotions or stepping up the rank depends on experience, well scores in promotional exams, performance reviews, and additional training and skills obtained. By this, you may have more salary, more benefits, respect and responsibilities in your pocket. 


The career of the Law Enforcement Officer is a meaningful career where challenges and achievements go hand to hand. Protection of public and community welfare are the underlying principles of the job. The best thing about a Law Enforcement Officers Job is that it’s highly challenging and hence never boring. So if you are not a 9 am-5 pm job person or are interested in Criminology, Computer Crimes, and Investigations, this job is something you should look at. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can you become a Law Enforcement Officer without a Bachelor’s Degree?

Answer:  The minimum educational qualification required for a law enforcement officer is a high school degree/diploma. 

  • Are there any extra benefits to Law Enforcement Officer’s job?

Answer: Good Scale pay is not the only benefit in the job. Along with it, pensions and retirement plans are some of the benefits usually provided by the agencies.  Extra pay for holidays, bonuses and advances, Insurance health plans are some other perks.

  • Is Law Enforcement Job all about the implementation of Laws?

Answer: With the enforcement of laws, the work includes safety and security of the society, to provide first aid and such remedies, and many more to serve the society in a better way.

  • What type of person is good for Law Enforcement jobs?

Answer: People who are creative, flexible, and have good stamina and sensitivity towards humans fit such roles. Adapting to new technology, legal amendments, and changing societal norms upgrade the qualities of being a good Law enforcement officer.

  • Is a Master’s degree in Law Enforcement required for admission to a training academy?

Answer: A Master’s degree is advantageous for professional advancement and growth and is not the requirement for admissions in training academies and departments.

Is Law Enforcement a Good Career?

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