Check out this awesome list of law enforcement jobs available in the criminal justice system. There are many paths to a career in law enforcement across local, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies.
Fresh off the press: NSA Police Officer Career
Find out info on requirements, salary, education and training, and more on these jobs in law enforcement:
Federal Law Enforcement Careers
- FBI Special Agent
- DEA Special Agent
- ATF Special Agent
- ICE HSI Special Agent
- Secret Service Special Agent
- Diplomatic Security Special Agent
- Customs and Border Protection Officer (CBP)
- Border Patrol Agent
- Immigration Officer (FDNS)
- Deputy US Marshal
- Federal Air Marshal (FAM)
- US Postal Service Inspector
Also, don’t forget the Park Ranger careers under the umbrella of the National Park Service.
State Law Enforcement Careers
Each US State has their own policing agency, better known as State Police, State Troopers or State Highway Patrol. Most popular State law enforcement jobs include the position of a State Police Officer, which is not limited to chasing down cars on the Interstate… There are also State Investigative Bureaus (in some States) that are working directly or indirectly in a law enforcement capacity with the State Police.
As with the federal law enforcement careers, Park Rangers are also hired to oversee State Parks and natural resources of the State.
County Law Enforcement Careers
Most counties in the US have a dedicated team of Sheriff’s Deputies who work for the elected Sheriff. Some counties staff hundreds of Sheriff’s Deputies, while others have only the Sheriff performing law enforcement duties. It all depends on the population of the county and financial resources available to the Sheriff’s Department.
Local Law Enforcement Careers
Most cities, towns and villages have Police Officers present in the neighborhoods which they serve and protect.
Military Law Enforcement Jobs
- Air Force Security Forces Specialist
- Army Criminal Investigations (CID) Special Agent
- NCIS Special Agent
- More Military careers to come soon…
Common Law Enforcement Jobs
Agencies large and small have different departments within its organization. So there are common careers that go across most levels:
Police Officers – even though they have different titles across the different levels (Police Officer / Sheriff’s Deputy / State Police Officer), those who enforce laws and put their lives on the line do so across all law enforcement levels.
K9 Officers – these are specially trained police officers who work with their dog partners at agencies large and small.
Detectives – there are many different variations, including “Investigator,” “Agent,” and “Special Agent,” but the mission is the same: solve the crime.
SWAT – is an essential part of law enforcement within cities, counties, states, and Federal levels.
Crime Scene Investigator (CSI) – often a law enforcement position which has an important role in today’s criminal justice system.
Check out more criminal justice careers that cover sub-fields like corrections, forensics, law enforcement, and others.
Law Enforcement Career Resources
- Federal – USAJobs.gov is probably your best source for Federal law enforcement job listings. Also, in your search, don’t forget to check out each Federal agency’s website for more Federal law enforcement career info.
- State – each state has an official home for the State Police and/or the State Investigative Bureau on the Internet.
- County – similarly, each county should have their own website.
- Local – not all local police departments have websites, but the trend is changing, and medium/larger cities do have fairly robust websites.
Most of the time you will be able to easily find information on requirements to become a law enforcement officer within a given jurisdiction right on the agency’s website. Lately I’ve been seeing very thorough description of positions, salary and benefit info, requirements (health, education, licensing, etc.), and robust FAQ sections on many official law enforcement websites. Also consider calling the agency you’re interested in or attend a job fair / seminar that the law enforcement agency participates in.