Law enforcement is a very broad term-it is as broad as the word law. As the name implies, law enforcement typically means a person or group of people (e.g. companies, organizations, and institutions) that are assigned to enforce the law. The jobs are mostly within government institutions, and each job has different job descriptions that depend on the type of agency to which they belong.
There are different jobs waiting for you if you decide to specialize in law enforcement in college. Depending on the position you desire, you should prepare yourself for the requirements and trainings necessary. Even if you're choosing a law enforcement career later in life, you can make a great start by taking online courses in criminal justice.
Here are some law enforcement jobs and their criteria.
- Special Agent. This is a great position, but do you know the rule? Don't apply if you are not the best of the best. This is a very stressful job and once you get in, you will need the continued courage to undertake inside jobs like wire-tapping, surveillance, undercover investigations, and a lot of other private activities. This position requires a bachelor's degree and three-years of work experience, professional or related. You should have a strong background in foreign affairs, political science and/or forensic science. This job pays very well.
- Police Officer. Also termed as trooper, a police officer is required to be alert, energetic and have concern for the welfare of others. The job requires many hours at work, including extra work when called to duty. Qualifications will vary depending on what department a police officer is assigned to. Typically, a high school diploma is enough, but a police officer should have an extensive work background so as not to affect the salary.
- Forensic Scientist. This requires a candidate to have an inborn ability and a scientific mind. A forensic scientist should be a very critical thinker and should pay attention to every detail. His main job is to answer the basic questions like when, what, and how. He will closely investigate the physical aspects of the crime scene. Required training is the same as a police officer. Some departments or agencies may require only a high school diploma, but some departments or agencies will require a bachelor's degree. Learn about political science, criminal justice or public assistance so as to get additional increases in your salary as a forensic scientist.
There are more jobs waiting for you as a law enforcement officer. Take time to decide what academy is best and will offer you better advancements in law enforcement. Along the way, pay attention to learning more about laws; you can do this through online law or criminal justice classes. This will help you determine your state's case laws, including criminal law. As you gain knowledge and experience, your take-home pay will improve.