Five Law Enforcement Careers That You Should Know About

Like all sectors, the legal sector was also adversely impacted in the wake of the global financial crisis of 2007-2008. A decrease in general business activity led to reduced legal needs in different sectors causing a cut down in job offers for law school graduates. However, with a recovering economy, the legal sector is set to make a comeback.

According to Robert Denney’s “What’s Hot and what’s not in the Legal Profession” report published in December 2012, the ‘hot’ legal sectors include intellectual property, patent litigation, banking, regulatory and employment law. The ‘cold’ sectors on the other hand are litigation, financial services, bankruptcy, mergers and acquisitions and real estate.

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Based on government’s Occupational Outlook Handbook, we’ve compiled a list of some legal careers that you should know about if you are particularly considering pursuing a career in the field of law enforcement.

1) Private Detectives and Investigators:

They are involved in finding and evaluating information about personal, financial and legal matters. They perform many tasks like conducting background checks, finding missing people and dealing with complex electronic crime. Although the minimum level of education varies depending on the job, most employers require an associate or bachelor degree. Relevant work experience will be an added advantage. In 2012, private detectives and investigators earned an annual wage of $45,740. The job growth rate is as good as the average owing to increased security concerns and emergence of criminal activities like identity theft, cybercrimes and spamming.  

2) Police and Sherriff’s Patrol Officers:

They perform many duties including patrolling  a specific area, controlling traffic, investigating accidents,  arresting criminals and serving legal court processes. In 2012, these professionals earned a median annual wage of $55,270.

3) Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists:

These professionals are responsible for providing rehabilitation services to offenders so that they can join the society and productive and law abiding citizens. It may include those who are serving their probationary period or those who are in prison or have been released. Most of the employers require a bachelor degree in a discipline like criminal justice, social work or behavioral sciences. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), probation officers earned a median wage of $48,190 in 2012.

4) Security Guards and Gaming Surveillance Officers:

They are responsible for ensuring that property is protected against theft, vandalism or any other illegal activity. Typically employers would require you to hold a high school diploma and probably have some experience with security and video surveillance. According to BLS, in 2012, these professionals earned an annual wage of $29,610.

5) Transit and Rail Road Police:

With an increased use of public transport, these professionals play an important role in investigating crimes committed against railroad passengers, employees and property.  BLS forecasted that in 2012, conservation officers earned an annual wage of $56,390 and were mainly employed in industries like local and state governments, rail transport and urban transit systems.

Some employers may have additional requirements like relevant licensure and certification.  Although it may not be compulsory in some cases, it is a good way of enhancing your prospects and indicating that you meet national or state specific standards.

Author Bio

Cristina Monny is a graduate from Arizona State University. She is currently working as a freelance writer for Excite Lawyers www.excite.com/education/lawyers. She primarily writes about law careers and issues related to corporate, criminal, family and environmental law.

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