Top 10 Law Enforcement Careers

There is a wide variety of job opportunities for people interested a career in law enforcement. Individuals who want to change their career path by earning an online college degree should determine which kind of job suits their needs and lifestyle. Here are the top 10 law enforcement careers you should consider:

1. Supervisors – The people who manage police officers and detectives have the difficult task of being both administrator and law enforcer. Based on the information provided by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, supervisors earn a mean annual wage of $82,060 with the top 10 percent earning over $125,000 per year.

2. Forensic psychologists – Psychologists involved in law enforcement agencies study human behavior and mental processes by interpreting and recording people in a variety of environments. Overall, projected career outlooks estimate that the need for criminal psychologists will increase by up to 22 percent over the next few years, with these professionals earning a median annual wage of about $68,000.

3. Police officers – Officers in the police and sheriff’s departments are public servants who protect the lives and property of the people in their city or county. Typical duties are determined by the size and scope of their organization, and often include checking parking meters, initial investigation and traffic regulation. These men and women receive a median pay of $55,010 a year, or about $26.50 an hour. Projected job growth is on par with the national average of 7 to 9 percent.

4. Detectives – These specialized law enforcement agents have moved beyond the role of regular police and the duties of patrol, traffic regulation and other routine tasks. Detectives must always be on alert and ready to deal with threatening situations. Some scenarios these men and women have to deal with are stressful, as they work with people every day who were affected by some form of crime or accident. Detectives and criminal investigators earn a median annual wage of $74,300, with the top 10 percent in the United States earning over $120,000 each year.

5. Prison wardens – Wardens are the chief administrative officers of any correctional facility, from state prisons to federal penitentiaries. As head of staff, they delegate assignments, are in charge of hiring.

6. Fish and game wardens – Tasks include the investigation of damage to crops and property by local wildlife. They earn a mean hourly pay of $23.75, or about $49,000 a year. The highest paid fish and wildlife officers earn close to $75,000 a year.

7. Corrections – Correctional officers employed by state and federal prisons are responsible for overseeing individuals who have been arrested and are in custody or have been sentenced to jail, reformatory, or prison. These men and women deal with inmates on a daily basis. They build platonic relationships with the people under their care and get to know the prisoners’ families and friends. Correctional officers tend to work 8 hour shifts, 5 days a week, with rotating shifts. They are earning a median pay of $39,020 annually, which is about $18 an hour. Projected job outlooks forecast a growth of at 5 percent over the next few years.

8. Forensic science technician – These men and women are specialists who are commonly found investigating crime scenes and look for clues using laboratory analysis. The average forensic technician earns $51,570 each year. The top 10 percent earned over $82,000. Projected growth in the field is close to 19 percent until 2020.

9. Bailiff – Bailiffs are responsible for the safety of individuals within courtrooms. They oversee the courts for security threats, weapons and explosive devices. Responsibilities include instruction of court procedures, enforcement of court rules and assisting sheriffs and medical personnel when required. Average pay is about $19.00 an hour or $39,840 a year.

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