Read About Law Enforcement Jobs for Veterans
Learn about law enforcement jobs for returning veterans.
While some vets find work right away upon returning home, many find it beneficial to take advantage of the G.I. Bill and go back to school and train for law enforcement jobs. The G.I. Bill is a valuable benefit for military personnel, and it provides a unique opportunity to train for a new career.
Law enforcement is one profession that's a natural fit for many veterans. The skills learned in the military are transferable to many law enforcement jobs, such as these.
Jobs in the Police Department
As a veteran, you are particularly well suited to law enforcement jobs such as police officer. Your military experience has also provided you with a good background for detective work. Police detectives talk to victims, witnesses and suspects to determine what happened at the scene of a crime, and decide whether an investigation is warranted.
Many law enforcement agencies encourage job applicants to complete either an associate's degree or a bachelor's degree in a criminal justice-related area. Augmenting the experience you gained in the military with a degree will make you a valuable asset to police departments.
Federal Law Enforcement Jobs
Federal law enforcement agents have jobs similar to those of state and local police officers, and they may work for these agencies (among others):
- Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
- Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)
- U.S. Immigration (INS)
- Department of Homeland Security
Agents investigate crime, collect evidence, write reports, apprehend criminals and testify in court. Generally, federal agents specialize in specific types of crime such as trafficking, fraud or homicide.
The federal government looks for candidates who have college degrees in accounting and finance, science and engineering, or criminal justice. If you're interested in a law enforcement job at the federal level, you'll have an advantage if you earn a bachelor's or master's degree in one of these areas.
Other Law Enforcement Jobs
- Forensics: Using science to help identify criminals and analyze evidence, forensic scientists support police and federal law enforcement agents in their fight against crime. They may specialize in forensic engineering, forensic entomology, DNA testing and more.
- Criminology: Criminology is the study of crime, criminals and the law. Criminologists may specialize in drug addiction, juvenile delinquency and corrections, among other fields, and analyze criminal behavior to help law enforcement agents do their job better.
The education requirements for criminologists are generally higher than for law enforcement agents—you'll need either a master's degree or a PhD to get into this field. If you think that your military background would make you a good criminologist, there are great careers helping law enforcement agents understand crime so they can fight it more effectively.
The G.I. Bill
According to the Veterans Affairs Department, the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill will pay for up to 100 percent of your law enforcement training (depending on your length of service).
Grants through the G.I. Bill cover all education expenses:
- College tuition and fees
- Monthly housing allowance
- Books and supplies up to $1000 per year
Many veterans finance their education entirely though the G.I. Bill, so when they're done, they don't have formidable student loans to pay back. The G.I. Bill is an opportunity that you can't afford to pass up.
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