If you’ve always had a passion for protecting others in your life and community, you might be considering a Law Enforcement Career. While you know every role matters and is vital to the process, you’re interested in exploring various law enforcement careers and what it takes to accomplish those roles and work in them effectively.
No matter how you start your career, there are many ways you can advance through the system and up the ladder.
Ways to Advance Your Law Enforcement Career
Work Your Way Up the Chain of Command
Working as a police officer, sheriff’s deputy or state trooper is a great place to start. The great thing about working as a uniformed officer is that you can work your way up the chain of command. You can learn more about the command structure and what you need to do to move into roles such as homicide, narcotics, cybercrime or cold case detective. While working, try to connect or even network with members of your law enforcement organization who perform those jobs, such as talking to homicide detectives about their work.
Ensure That Your Personal Life Is Suited to a Law Enforcement Career
The Balance Careers options that you to examine your past associations and behaviors before applying for a job in law enforcement, especially for your local police force. As you might imagine, your personal behaviors will be placed under a microscope since you will serve the public as a member of the police.
It’s important to confront any skeletons in your closet that might arise during a background check before anyone starts digging into your past. Some of those behaviors could prevent you from being hired, and with proactive discussion, you might find that you can explain things. A few things uniformed officer hiring teams will look at include your past work history, criminal history, driving records and psychological evaluations.
Expand Your Knowledge With Additional Training and Education
Whether you’re still in undergraduate studies and wondering what the next step is to finding top-paying law enforcement careers or you want to take your current position to the next level, you can’t lose when investing in your knowledge and skills base. You might start by researching criminal justice degree programs that lead to better-paying positions in your field.
Regardless of your starting point, the right education and training can help you work toward your ideal career. For instance, you can add focus to your criminal justice studies by taking additional forensic courses to become a forensic analyst or work in social justice to work as a victim advocate.
Get Ready to Advance Your Law Enforcement Career on Your Terms
There are several ways to pursue a career in law enforcement that offers you meaning, job security, and an appealing salary. By ensuring that your background is in order and that you find work in the field, even at a lower tier than you’d like, and pursuing additional education, you’ll find that forging your ideal career path in law enforcement is easier than you might imagine.