A career in law enforcement could be one of the most rewarding professions you can choose to pursue, but also consider that this job comes with a high degree of stress and even danger. As you get into the more specialized fields, expect to work long hours, weekends and holidays, and be prepared to leave your home immediately if called in on a case. This could wreck a marriage and certainly, a relationship that is not that solidified. Be very sure a career in law enforcement is right for you.
1. Crime Scene Investigator
CSIs have to work in less than ideal conditions. You’ll be tasked with collecting evidence, which could include blood and fingerprints. You might be asked to testify in a courtroom about your findings. If analyzing a crime scene is intriguing to you, this specialty might provide a fulfilling career in law enforcement to pursue.
2. FBI Agent
The life of an agent could be very exciting and demanding. The FBI governs counterterrorism, fugitives of the law, gang related crimes, organized crime and many other programs. The age requirement is 23 to 36 years of age at application. A bachelor’s degree and some law enforcement experience is required. If there’s anything shady in your past, you’re not encouraged to apply.
3. Criminal Profiler
As a behavioral profiler, you’ll develop profiles for violent criminals and brief law enforcement agencies about your findings. To qualify for this position, a criminal justice background and a degree in psychology are required. The profiler is typically an FBI special agent.
4. Police Detective
Unlike uniformed police officers, detectives wear plain clothes and conduct investigations. Detectives usually specialize in a particular type of crime, such as homicide, vice or robbery. To become a detective you’ll have to put in your time as a uniformed officer. The best detectives are observant and have great communication skills.
5. Crime Laboratory Analyst
If you choose to work in this field, the majority of your time will be in the lab and not at the crime scene. You might decide to specialize in DNA or some other form of analysis, but in general, analysts examine all evidence found at crime scenes. You’ll be required to provide expert testimony in court.
6. 911 Emergency Dispatcher
If you can remain calm under stressful situations, this might be the job for you. Excellent verbal skills and the ability to multitask are crucial requirements. Under certain circumstances, you might need to give first-aid instructions to the caller. You’ll handle a specific geographical area that you are expected to be familiar with and you will need to possess the ability to read a map.
7. Airport Security Screener
Your job is to provide security and protection for air travelers and airports. You’ll conduct screenings of property and of persons with equipment such as x-ray machines and hand-wanding. Because this is a homeland security job, be prepared for invasive security clearance type questioning. You’ll need a high school diploma or GED and a year or two in security or x-ray work to qualify.
All of these positions are solid, worthwhile careers to consider. Your emotional makeup will determine which of these you are best suited for and then you can begin the process of obtaining the correct education. Have you ever considered law enforcement as a career?