Taking a law enforcement degree is a way to enter an exciting career. With a police degree you have good job prospects. Police officers prevent crime, rescue people, answer cries for help and have many other duties that relate to the health and safety of the public. A career in this area is one that is very important in everyone’s lives and there are many different areas in which to work. There is a constant demand for employees in this field, due to retirements and enlarging police forces.
Studying law enforcement online is a way to enter an exciting career by studying in the privacy of one’s home. This page outlines what is involved in these programs, where you can find suitable schools, what the career prospects are, and more. If you are interested in other aspects of Criminal Justice, check out the pages for Forensic Science, and Forensic Psychology.
What do you study in a law enforcement program?
The majority of employers in this field require an associates or bachelors degree. Courses are taken in legal issues, human behavior, psychology, investigation techniques, supervision, computers and related subjects.
A Criminal Justice Bachelor’s degree, that specializes in investigation and law enforcement is especially relevant for a career as a law enforcement officer. However, any of the degrees in the list above are desirable and will open many doors in this field. Some agencies will hire a person with a high school diploma or GED who takes classes to receive certification. There are continual upgrading courses through a person’s career aimed at professional development and improved training.
What are the requirements for the job?
With the many different law enforcement jobs a person with this degree would be able to obtain, there are some basic expectations. A graduate of law enforcement should be able to deal in human relations in a calm and collected manner, know the law and how to apply it, as well as have training to defend themselves or others in a critical situation. If working as a police detective they should know how to handle a crime scene and collect evidence, as well as know how to present evidence in a court of law if required. They would be expected to know how to handle a firearm and know when it should or should not be used. There is usually additional on-the-job training, depending on what position one secures.
When applying for any of these positions there will be a written examination as well as a physical one. Anyone entering this field needs to be in good physical condition and almost all police departments require further law enforcement training, with some having their own training academy. This training would include working with firearms, reviewing the law, practicing emergency situations and other events that might occur as an officer.
What jobs and salaries can you get as graduate of law enforcement?
Salaries for these positions is very good but do vary from state to state. Average salaries go from $44,160 to $80,000 depending on rank and experience. Some places, such as the District of Columbia, New Jersey, and California reported salaries in the $100,000 range, with Illinois and Nevada reporting $89,000. Salaries, as stated, depend on the state and the position but, in any case, it is a very good and secure job to have.
In addition to the salary there are many benefits in this position. Common benefits are sick leave, paid vacation, medical and life insurance and retirement plans. Some departments have allowances for such things as uniforms. In addition, a good number have a pension plan that allows one to retire at half pay after 25-30 years of service.
The law enforcement careers available for a person with a relevant degree are many. There are jobs such as Home Land Security, Correctional Officers, US Transportation Security, Customs, Border Patrol, US Immigration, Law Enforcement, Guards and many more. A visit to the Internet Bureau of Labor Statistics site will show thousands of places where a degree in this field would apply.
There is a constant demand for people with this type of education. Federal and State law enforcement agencies have more competition for positions than local ones do. The expected employment growth is 11% by 2016. Obtaining a degree in law enforcement online is the way to qualify for one of these excellent jobs while fulfilling a community and national need.
List of schools and programs
- 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level.*
- Transfer up to 90 credits into an undergraduate degree program.
- Up to 50% of your master’s degree can be transferred in to help maximize the credit you previously earned.
- *Excludes licensure, certification, and some doctoral programs
- Master of Law: International Legal Studies
- Master of Science in Criminal Justice Forensic Psychology
- Master of Science in Criminal Justice Homeland Security
- Programs include Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, Master of Science in Criminal Justice, and more.
- Some programs offer the opportunity for hands-on experience working on real criminal cases.
- Flexible online and campus-based programs available.
- BS in Criminal Justice - Law Enforcement
- BS in Criminal Justice - Crime Scene Investigation
- AAS in Criminal Justice
- And more...
- Interested in enhancing your skills and knowledge in the criminal justice field? Learn more at GCU!
- GCU promotes interdisciplinary studies and research while developing valued skills in the justice workplace.
- Develop collaborative and analytical skills through a rigorous educational environment and Christian worldview.
- GCU's master's and bachelor's degrees prepare students to change lives, enhance communities and ensure the fair treatment of community members.
- Gain the analytical skills and legal expertise needed to evaluate individuals and take charge in a professional legal setting.
- M.S. in Criminal Justice: Law Enforcement
- B.S. in Justice Studies
- M.S. in Criminal Justice: Legal Studies
- Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, publishers of G.I. Jobs®.
- Each program is designed to instill the knowledge, ethical values, and interpersonal skills of professional practice and to foster values of social responsibility.
- Offers several flexible learning options, including a blended format that combines campus and online learning.
- Several scholarship opportunities are available for students who qualify.
- Criminal Justice (BS) (Online)
- Available programs include B.S. and M.S. in Criminal Justice, B.S. in Legal Studies, and A.S. in Paralegal Studies.
- Accreditation for the Legal Studies and Paralegal Studies programs by the American Bar Association (ABA) at select campuses.
- Criminal Justice and Legal Studies programs are available at many of the 11 campus locations across the United States.
- Criminal Justice (BS)
- Criminal Justice (MS)
- Offers associate and bachelor-level programs in Criminal Justice.
- Program topics include criminal investigation processes and ethics, criminal law, juvenile justice and more.
- A B.A.S. in Criminal Justice program is also available for students who already possess an A.A.S.
- Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies - Criminal Justice
- Named a Best for Vets school by the Military Times in 2014.
- Has specialized in student-centered technology, business, criminal justice, health science, and culinary education for over 45 years.
- Makes it possible for students to earn a bachelor’s degree in 2.5 years or an associate’s in 1.5 years by providing a year-round schedule.
- Offers externships and clinical experience that help students prepare for life after they graduate.
- Has 10 campuses across the mid-Atlantic, plus online degree programs.
- Criminal Justice - Bachelor's
- Online bachelor's programs include BBA, Criminal Justice, IT, Healthcare Management, Pscyhology & Public Health
- Over 115 years of delivering quality education and personalized attention to students
- Criminal Justice (MS)
- Criminal Justice (BS)
- Offers bachelor’s and master’s programs in Criminal Justice with multiple concentrations to choose from
- Ranked among the Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2017
- Students study law enforcement operations, corrections, and criminal investigation
- Doctor of Management - Criminal Justice
- Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
- Master of Science in Criminal Justice
- And more...
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