If you want a fast-paced and exciting career choice, you might have considered pursuing a future in law enforcement or security. Law enforcement professionals put their own safety at risk to serve the public, and they are an important part of society to fight crime and make the world a safer place for us all to live.
There are many law enforcement career options to choose from, including police officer, security guard, sheriff, correctional officer, and federal agent to name a few, and there are positions open to a wide variety of people. Those who decide to pursue a career in law enforcement often have a desire to serve the public, contribute to public safety, and do something meaningful with their work.
Here are some great reasons to consider a career in law enforcement:
You Can Do Good Things
A platform working in law enforcement will give you plenty of chances to do something good. And, for those who go into this career field, there are few more compelling reasons than the opportunity to actually save lives. Alongside other emergency service professionals like EMTs, firefighters, doctors and nurses, working as a police officer, federal agent, or sheriff’s deputy often means that the work you do will save people’s lives in many different ways. Whether you save a victim from actual harm or take down a criminal who would have gone on to hurt people, it’s a big part of the job.
You’ll Make an Impact on Your Community
In this line of work, you have the opportunity to have a big impact on the community around you. Many people choose to work in or around the same area that they live in, which can make this kind of career even more meaningful as you’ll be able to have a positive impact on the people that you know and grew up with. Even when you’re not actively saving lives and rescuing people from harm, the work that you do will go towards making your community a more pleasant, safer place.
You’ll Never Get Bored
If the idea of working in a repetitive job where you don’t get to make decisions on your feet or solve problems sounds like the most boring thing on earth to you, law enforcement might be a good fit. When you work in law enforcement, your job is the complete opposite of boring. While slow days do happen and are probably welcomed due to all the work you do at other times, every day that you’re working in this profession has the potential to turn very interesting, exciting and adrenaline-pumping at any second. As a law enforcement professional, you’ll need to be ready for anything to happen at any time on the job, which requires the following skills:
- Ability to make the right decisions quickly
- The ability to adapt quickly under pressure
- Critical thinking
- Good observation
- Strong teamwork
- Good communication skills
Great Salary and Benefits
If you’re currently working in a job that has you working hard for minimum wage or a little bit more, it can often feel like you’re constantly going against the grind and saving up for the nice things in life that you want might seem impossible. While a job in law enforcement that requires you to undergo training or earn a college degree might be more of a financial investment upfront, it will definitely pay off. For example, the average salary for a police officer is just under $35k, and you can earn even more as a sheriff’s patrol officer or federal agent. To get the most out of your law enforcement career, you might want to consider earning your BA in Policing from a school like Wilfrid Laurier Online, which you can get while on the job. Along with generous salaries, those working in law enforcement also tend to enjoy generous benefits packages, including:
- Health insurance for yourself and your family
- Life insurance
- Extra pay for holidays and overtime
- Hazard pay
- College tuition payment schemes
You Can Advance Your Career
If the idea of working in the same job for years, without ever moving up the career ladder makes you shudder, then the good news is that this certainly isn’t the case when you work in law enforcement. Because of how the structure of law enforcement agencies is designed, with several levels of authority and a chain of command, there are plenty of opportunities for ambitious professionals to work their way up the ranks. And, moving up the career ladder brings with it greater respect, more responsibilities, more benefits and of course a higher salary.
You Can Work Anywhere
If you don’t want to stay in your home town all your life, want to find a job that allows you to travel, or find work that is flexible enough for you to move around and still find a suitable position, law enforcement is a great choice. Law enforcement professionals are needed all around the country, from the smallest towns and rural areas to major cities, so choosing where you want to work will never be a problem. Pick from:
- Small town police and sheriff departments
- County sheriff departments
- Federal agencies
- State agencies
- Major city police departments
- Private protection and security
Law Enforcement Needs More Diversity
Finally, if you are part of an ethnic minority group or a woman, you’re definitely needed in this industry. Women, in particular, are highly sought after in the law enforcement field, since only around 12% of local police force officers are female. And, the number is even higher in big-city departments, although there’s usually more gender diversity among state and federal agencies. Most law enforcement experts agree that more female officers are needed, since there is evidence that women tend to be better able to use communication skills to de-escalate potentially dangerous situations and are less likely to use force. In addition, a more diverse force makes it easier for agencies and departments to better relate to and serve their diverse communities.
If you’re looking for an exciting, fast-paced job with plenty of opportunities for personal progression and using your role for good, law enforcement is a great choice.