How to Change Careers as a Police Officer: Tips for Making the Transition
Deciding to change careers can be difficult, but when you have your heart set on becoming something else it’s worth exploring all of your options. If you’re a police officer who is looking to make a career change, there are a few things you should know before making the jump. In this article, we’ll talk about career path ideas for former law enforcement officers and provide tips for making the transition.
I’m a Police Officer and Want to Change Careers, What Do I Do?
Many law enforcement officers want to spend their entire careers in their department or dream of one day becoming a detective or a federal agent, but these aren’t the only career paths available to you. There are plenty of other exciting and rewarding options out there for police officers looking to change careers, and it’s important to explore all of your possibilities before making a decision.
Make a Plan: It’s important to have a plan when making any big change in your life. Changing careers can be daunting, but if you have a plan of action it will make the process less stressful. Sit down and figure out what you want to do and what you will need to do to get there.
Do Your Research: Once you have a general idea of the career you want to pursue, it’s time to do some in-depth research. Learn as much as you can about the job and what it will entail. Talk to people who are already doing the job and see if it’s a good fit for you.
Get Training: If your desired career path requires additional training or education, start planning for that now. It may take some time and effort, but it will be worth it in the end.
Take Action: The final step is taking action. Search potential employers and job listings with the job search tools at Finding Careers, make a LinkedIn profile, and maybe talk to a career coach. Quit your job if necessary and start working towards your new career goals! It won’t be easy, but with hard work and determination, you can achieve anything you set your mind to!
Career Path Ideas for Former Law Enforcement Officers
There are a number of great careers for former police officers, and the options are endless. With the right training and preparation, you can make the transition from a police officer to a new career with ease. If you’re a former police officer, or leaving law enforcement, and looking for a new career, we made a list of the most popular jobs for former police officers below:
Police officers looking to work in the private sector may want to consider a career in project management. Many of the skills you develop as a police officer, such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication, are essential for success in this field.
Project managers typically earn an annual average salary of $115,000.
Private investigators often work for insurance companies to investigate suspicious claims. They may also be hired by individuals or businesses to conduct background checks on potential employees or to gather information on a rival company. Private investigators may work independently or for a detective agency. In order to work in this career, you’ll need great communication skills, problem-solving skills, and have the ability to work independently.
Most private investigators earn between $30,000 and $60,000 per year.
Security guards work in a variety of industries protecting people and property. They may work at a bank, hospital, school, or retail store. Many employers look for former police officers because they don’t require additional training and are already familiar with law enforcement procedures.
Security guards generally earn between $25,000 and $35,000 per year.
Many police officers transition to working in the corrections field. A corrections officer is responsible for overseeing individuals who have been arrested and are awaiting trial or who have been convicted of crimes and are serving time in jail or prison.
The most ideal candidates for the job description are former police officers and military veterans, so the career field is an easy transition for many officers.
As a corrections officer, you can earn around $40,000 a year.
Customs and Border Protection Officer
Many police officers transition from police work to working in law enforcement jobs for federal agencies or other government agencies, such as immigration and customs enforcement. A customs and border protection officer is responsible for enforcing immigration and customs laws at the nation’s borders.
According to labor statistics, a customs and border protection officer will earn an annual average salary of $75,000. To work in this law enforcement career, you’ll need to be a U.S. citizen, have a valid driver’s license, and pass a background check.
Probation & Parole Officers
There are many other law enforcement jobs that officers can transition to. For example, some officers may become probation or parole officers. These officers work with criminals who have been released from prison and are on probation or parole. They help to ensure that these individuals comply with the conditions of their release.
To become a probation or parole officer, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or a related field. You’ll also need to have at least two years of law enforcement experience.
If you’re interested in working in security, corporate security may be a good option. You’ll need good communication skills, critical thinking skills, and a strong understanding of business operations. Career changes from a police officer to security are generally easy because such services use many of the same skills.
There are also many opportunities for career growth in corporate security. You can move up the ladder to become a security manager or director. Alternatively, you could start your own security company.
Corporate security officers earn an annual average salary of $75,000, and corporate security managers earn an average of $100,000 per year.
Loss Prevention Specialist
Loss prevention professionals work in retail and other private sector industries to prevent theft. Many former police officers and law enforcement professionals transition into this field due to the similarities in skills and training.
Loss prevention professionals earn an annual average salary of $50,000.
Crime Scene Investigator
Most former law enforcement officers find that their job experience and soft skills from the police force provide easily transferable skills for a career in crime scene investigation. If you have good problem-solving skills and a track record of critical thinking, this may be a good career path for you.
Crime scene investigators earn an annual average salary of $57,000.
Fire inspectors conduct fire safety inspections and investigate the causes of fires. They also provide education on fire prevention. Former law enforcement officers often have the skills necessary to work as a fire inspector, such as investigative experience and training in hazardous materials.
Fire inspectors earn an annual average salary of $50,000.
Law Enforcement Instructor
If you have leadership skills and are looking for a career change that allows you to teach other police officers and provide guidance to police staff, a career as a law enforcement instructor or postsecondary teacher may be a great fit for you.
These postsecondary teachers earn an annual average salary of $63,000.
If you have a passion for science and want to put your problem-solving skills to use in solving crimes, a career as a forensic scientist may be a great fit for you.
Forensic scientists earn an annual average salary of $55,000.
Crime Scene Technician
Crime scene technicians are responsible for collecting evidence at the scene of a crime and preserving it for analysis.
They typically earn an annual average salary of $41,000.
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Other Careers For Former Police Officers
If you’re a police officer and want to change careers, there are many careers that former police officers can transition into besides what we listed above. Salaries will vary depending on your level of experience and education. However, according to labor statistics, former officers who switch careers usually make an average salary of $51,000.
We hope this gives you a better idea of what’s out there for you if you’re looking to make a change. Police officers have many transferable skills that can be put to good use in a variety of different careers. The most important thing is to do your research, figure out what you want to do, and pursue it with determination. Good luck!
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