If you played "cops and robbers" as a child and have always dreamed of a law enforcement career, those dreams can become a reality. Police officers are on the front lines everyday protecting communities and fighting crime, especially at the local level. Police jobs can be stressful and even dangerous but knowing that you're serving the public can make that all worthwhile.
Although police officers learn much of what they need to know through the local police academy or other on-the-job law enforcement training, obtaining a police science or related degree can help to keep your options open. For example, online criminal justice degrees are readily available these days and can be especially helpful for working adults who want to change to a law enforcement career.
Approximately 861,000 individuals worked as police officers in 2006. Although some opportunities are availbale in Federal agencies and private companies, nearly 80 percent of police jobs are with city and local governments.
Job growth for police officers should fall into the average range through 2016 and opportunities will be readily available locally. Individuals with a degree and significant experience will have the best chance of being hired in similar roles at the state or Federal level.
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the following annual wages for police officers. *Salaries can fluctuate based on such factors as location, seniority, assignment, and experience.
Low : $30,070
Sources: United States Department Of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
*Bureau of Labor Statistics