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How to Get Into a Law Enforcement Career

Law Enforcement Career

For people who are looking to advance into a career in law enforcement or armed security detail, there are a series of tests that need to be passed in order to be accepted into the field. The good news is there are many programs available that can help train men and women who choose this career choice.

Preparing for Law Enforcement Training and Education

Getting into a police academy or law enforcement school is one of the first steps. These are programs that are designed specifically for this type of work. The law enforcement field is filled with many types of positions. Career choices in the industry include: local police officers, state troopers, armed security, border security, national security officer, transit and port authority police, homeland security police, park rangers, county sheriff, government building police and security, federal police, immigration officer, customs officer, embassy police, parole officers, corrections officers, college police and the FBI.

Another vitally important first step in getting prepared for law enforcement beyond the classroom is getting physically fit. This is a critical part of law enforcement training and work. For people who are out of shape, getting into physical training can help prepare for the rigors that these jobs mandate. Those who are not physically fit will have much less of a chance they will be accepted for active police work

There are many kinds of jobs in law enforcement ranging from a police officer to a federal agent and it is best to choose a field that best matches your skills.

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Additionally, being physically ready and getting used to wearing the kind of attire necessary for law enforcement and armed security work is important for agility. Knowing how to handle tactical gear and weaponry as well as being in good physical health are critical to this kind of work and are years in the making. This includes knowing how to physically maneuver in standard law enforcement clothing necessary for the more intense rigors of specialized police and law enforcement work.  Finding the best tactical boots is key to law enforcement training and performance.

Picking a Law Enforcement Program

With so many opportunities, students who are looking to enter law enforcement should start with an education that is geared for this type of career. In most cases, the police academy or similar college training is necessary to become a law enforcement official.

Some law enforcement training degrees are offered at a few of the country’s top colleges. But many different colleges offer Law Enforcement Degrees. Degrees in Law Enforcement are available at colleges such as George Washington University, George Mason University, and Florida State University. These colleges offer Bachelor Law Enforcement Degree programs. Ohio University and Purdue offer both Associates and Bachelor Law Enforcement Degrees. These colleges are in the top ten for Law Enforcement Degrees. Law Enforcement Degrees are also available online at some U.S. colleges.

Once a school or educational training program is chosen for law enforcement, getting involved in career and technical student organizations is highly recommended. Through these organizations, students can learn more about their potential opportunities in law enforcement and being able to network with other students and professionals in the field of study they are entering.

These organizations help students build their career, leadership and personal skills in a more hands-on environment with other peers. Skills USA, the student organization for law enforcement helps students through group projects, events, competition, and networking. These student organization programs for students happen at three levels. These include local, regional and national Skills USA events.

For many young people, the desire to enter law enforcement begins before high school. For others, it happens years after they have been in other careers. No matter what age the incoming student is, there are plenty of career opportunities available. Students who wish to pursue law enforcement careers should start by taking some CTE (Career Technical Education) classes.

“Before you even consider applying for a job as a police officer, you should evaluate your past behaviors and associations to make sure there aren’t any skeletons in your closet that could keep you from ever getting hired.” – thebalance.com

Once this is done, signing up for a college-based program is the best choice. The length of time it takes to get the right degree depends on the level of law enforcement work the person chooses. Students should have a baseline idea of the field of law enforcement they wish to enter before they sign up for degree programs. While there are many colleges that offer law enforcement training, not all of them offer all types of degrees. In some cases, such as immigration and border patrol, there are specific institutions designed for these careers. The same is true for park rangers and other federal police programs.

The FBI has their own training programs once students have a bachelor’s degree in law enforcement with at least a 3.0 GPA. Applicants must also have either 3 years work related experience or a master’s degree and two years related experience in law enforcement, criminal justice, political science or computer science.

FBI applicants must be between 23 and 37 years of age unless a special waiver is granted. Students who have the ability to speak several languages are given a greater priority for acceptance.

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