Law Enforcement

Brandon Aguirre period 10

Career Details

Median wages (2011)$26.07 hourly, $54,230 annual

Employment (2010)664,000 employees

Projected growth (2010-2020) Slower than average (3% to 9%)

Projected job openings (2010-2020)249,400

Top industries (2010)Government

Education Needed

Earn an Associate's or Bachelor's Degree first (a criminal justice degree is a common degree for police officers). Most state agencies require a college degree. An associate's degree has become a hiring standard in many police departments.

Skills Required

  • maintaining law and order
  • collecting evidence
  • building relationships with local communities to help fight crime
  • conducting investigations

Some police officers specialize in a particular area of law enforcement, such as chemical and microscopic analysis, training and firearms instruction, or fingerprint identification. Others work with special units, such as horseback, bicycle or motorcycle, the canine corps, special weapons and tactics (SWAT), or emergency response teams.

Job Outlook/Growth

cording to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2012-13 Occupational Outlook Handbook, the median annual salary for police and detectives is $55,010. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors.

Advancement Opportunities or Related Jobs

police agencies are involved in community policing - a practice in which an officer builds relationships with the citizens of local neighborhoods and mobilizes the public to help fight crime.

Pre- Hiring Test

  • Civil Service testing.
  • Physical exams.
  • Lie detector tests.
  • Drug tests.
  • Personality tests.
  • Psychological tests.