Law Enforcement Career Guide
A career in law enforcement can be incredibly rewarding. Protecting the community is one of the noblest and most highly respected of callings. If you’re thinking that a career in law enforcement might be right for you, use the resources here to help you get going. Find lots of valuable information and helpful tools to get you started on the path toward a fulfilling future working to ensure public safety.
The Path to Law Enforcement
What does it take to realize a career in law enforcement? What kind of education, skills, and experience are required? Where do you start? Some of the answers will depend on your location and your desired area of focus, but the links here should get you on the right track. Find information about educational requirements, employment statistics, opportunities to learn more about law enforcement careers, and more.
Opportunities for Youth — This page, from DiscoverPolicing.org, lists several resources for kids who are interested in a future career in law enforcement. There are mentoring and volunteering openings, and even ride-along opportunities.
Law Enforcement Careers — This page was created by Career Profiles, and provides articles with great information on several different careers within the law enforcement and criminal justice fields. Find out what it takes to join the Coast Guard, work as an ATF agent, a psychological profiler, and many more interesting careers.
BLS Police and Detective Info Page — This page, created by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics website, lists statistical data about careers in police work. Find out things like median pay for law enforcement vocations, what kind of jobs are available in the field, and what training you’ll need to qualify for them.
How to Become a Police Officer — This general information page gives a good overview of what kind of requirements might be expected of you by police agencies. You can click around the site to find additional information about careers in law enforcement and criminal justice.
Law Enforcement Career Exploring — This nationwide program is open to youth ages 14-21 who are interested in pursuing a law enforcement career. Participants complete exciting challenges and fun training exercises. Enter your zip code and see if there are any opportunities near you.
Law Enforcement Career and Training Opportunities
Use these resource to find openings that are available in the law enforcement and criminal justice fields. There are active job boards, links to individual departments, and access to training and testing resources. You can also see upcoming openings for internships and other training opportunities.
Federal Law Enforcement Jobs — The US government employs thousands and thousands of law enforcement agents, operatives, and officers. Check these listings for exciting law enforcement career opportunities within government agencies such as the CIA, FBI, and Border Patrol.
Current Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Jobs — Explore this page for a regularly updated listing of available law enforcement and criminal justice career opportunities around the country.
Law Enforcement Agency Websites — Here you’ll find a huge list of links to federal and state law enforcement agency sites from which you can access individual job listings, testing information, and more.
Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers — FLETC operates as a part of the Department of Homeland Security, providing training and testing for federal law enforcement career candidates. On the site you can keep up with the latest news, find training centers in your area, and find out about internships and other opportunities.
PoliceTraining.net — This site houses a large and frequently updated calendar that keeps track of upcoming training activities in various locations around the country.
Sample Exams and Practice Tests
Before you can work as a member of law enforcement, you’ll need to sit for one or more exams. The actual test content will vary depending on the department, the particular position, and the area of law enforcement you are entering. The purpose of these exams is to verify that you possess the knowledge and skills that will be critical to your work.
Police Practice Test — This mock test from Tests.com is meant to give you a general idea of the types of questions you might face on a police officer entrance exam.
Would You Pass the Police Exam? — This 16-question exam takes you through the kinds of things you might be asked on a police department application test. See if you know your stuff with these tough questions written by a former police chief and current law enforcement academy director.
Study Guides and Sample Tests — This page provides links to some great preparation materials for taking law enforcement exams. Each link leads to resources created for particular police departments. Even if you’re not applying to one of the departments listed, the free resources provided are incredibly helpful for any aspiring officer.
Police Test Practice Questions — Use this interactive quiz, created using questions pulled from actual law enforcement exams, to see if you’re ready for the real deal. You can even specify which area of law enforcement you’re interested in testing for to get more specific questions.
Law Enforcement Personality Quiz — Answer these questions to get an idea of what you might be facing when it comes to psychological or personality evaluations during your quest to enter a career in law enforcement. The test is fashioned after real police candidate evaluation standards.
Other Great Law Enforcement Links
To get a real taste of what life might be like as a police officer or other law enforcement specialist, visit the sites listed in this section. These are websites made for law enforcement agents, officers, and detectives. On them, you’ll find news and information about everything from government policies that affect law enforcement to how new technology is being used in the field. Plus, there are tips, reviews, and chat forums. Spend some time perusing these pages to decide if the world of law enforcement is one you’d like to be a part of.
PoliceMag — This online magazine serves as a community for law enforcement officers to chat with each other, check out gear reviews, and keep up with relevant news.
Officer.com — This site is a great place to find up-to-date news and articles about all things law enforcement. You can keep up with technological and tactical advancements, and also get access to information about training and finding work in the field.
Real Police — Real Police is a site created for police officers, criminal justice students, officers-in-training, and those who hope to serve on the police force in the future. Log in and you can use the forums to ask questions and discuss issues with others in the law enforcement community.
Law Officer — This site describes itself as a social and professional network for law enforcement professionals. It’s very well maintained and provides lots of recent news, training and career opportunities, and information on places where you can converse with people already working in the field.