Law Enforcement officials keep the streets clean for residents. They come to the scene of a crime, investigate those who committed the crime and take statements from witnesses. Some officers travel on foot, but officers may also travel on horseback, in a police cruiser, in an unmarked police car or by bicycle. Police officers patrol streets and look for signs of potential crimes, and they also come directly to scenes after receiving an emergency call from the dispatch department. Officers must be in good physical condition, have the ability to work with different groups and types of people and have strong decision making skills.
Law Enforcement Job Education Requirements
Most police departments have a long list of rules that those applying for an open position most meet. Most states and local jurisdictions require that applicants are at least 21 years old, and some jurisdictions have a maximum age limit that prevents those over the age of 35 or 40 from applying. Many officers attended a criminal justice program or a police training program at a university or a community college. Even those who attended a training program will still need to go through the police academy before gaining employment. Most departments require that officers live within the jurisdiction as well.
Law Enforcement Job Market
The number of Law Enforcement jobs will increase by 5 percent between 2012 and 2022. Though this is a slower than average rate of growth, it still represents an increase of more than 41,000 jobs. Cities and rural communities need new police officers to take over for those who retire or move through the ranks into higher level positions.
Law Enforcement Job Salary Information
Police officers and Law Enforcement specialists report earning between $36,000 and $88,000 a year. The median wage among all officers is $55,000 a year. Those living in larger cities with a higher cost of living usually earn more than those living in smaller towns. Similar security jobs open to those with a high school degree or its equivalent include Security Guard jobs and Probation Officer jobs.