Jobs within Law Enforcement

There are numerous types of jobs available in the field of law enforcement. The types of professions are wide and varied. They range from jobs at the local or municipal level to state-level positions and federal law enforcement careers. Each field of law enforcement has different job duties, as well as specific training, education, and work experience requirements.

At the local level, many individuals begin their law enforcement careers in the field of security or as municipal or city police officers. Other jobs within law enforcement at the local level include sheriffs, detectives, corrections officers, probation and parole officers, dispatchers, and campus law enforcement.

State-level jobs within law enforcement include state police officers, state troopers, and highway patrol officers. Their job responsibilities vary and include patrolling the state roadways, working on criminal investigations, escorting elected officials, providing security services in state buildings, or working as state capitol police. In at least one state, the troopers oversee the licensing of bingo operations. Some states have their own bureau of investigations, so state police officers handle and investigate cases that are within a state's jurisdiction, for example bomb threats, weapons cases, narcotics, or those cases involving fugitives from the law.

Fields within Law Enforcement At the federal level, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) investigators or Secret Service agents are probably the professions most people think of first. There are, however, law enforcement jobs in most federal agencies, including the Justice, Treasury, and Defense Departments, as well as in the Department of Homeland Security. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was formed after the events of September 11, 2001, to protect the nation against terrorism. There are several agencies under DHS, each one representing a different field of law enforcement. They include Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and the U.S. Border Patrol.

To illustrate the variety of jobs within law enforcement, other jobs include positions as Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents, airport security screeners, postal inspectors, and park rangers. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also offer law enforcement job opportunities.

Based upon the number and varieties of law enforcement jobs that exist, there are career options available to suit any aspiring law enforcement professional. While crime still exists, the ever-changing technologies and scientific advances have led to specialized areas in law enforcement that have fueled this increase in job opportunities.