While many job seekers only consider the well-known careers in policing and security, the law enforcement industry offers a variety of opportunities for those interested in criminal justice, investigations, and public safety. Many graduates find themselves with a degree in social work or psychology and have no clue that law enforcement is an optional career path. Check out these unconventional careers that offer great opportunities for professional growth:
Gaming Surveillance/Gaming Officers: As the gaming industry grows with the development of many new casinos and gambling facilities, the need for law enforcement professionals in this arena continues to increase. Gaming officers enforce rules and protocols to ensure safety and legal play at casinos and other gaming venues. If you enjoy a fast-paced work environment or just into gaming, this career path might be the one for you. Since gaming is a 24-hour industry in most places, the gaming officer position can serve as a great second job for those seeking extra income (averaging about $42,000 year).
Private Detectives/Investigators: The increase in corporate crime and individual negligence has increased the demand for private detectives and investigators. They don’t just follow cheating spouses. Instead, these law enforcement professionals are now sought after to investigate criminal and legal matters for corporations, public entities, and individuals. Private detectives are typically experienced in law enforcement and look to continue their careers as an independent contractor. The median annual salary is $62,000 but can increase significantly depending on the client.
Probation Officers: Tasked primarily with coaching offenders upon their release from jail or prison, the role of probation officer combines social service and law enforcement expertise. Their primary goal is to assist the offender with reentry into society and decrease the likelihood they’ll return to jail. Probation officers are generally required to have a bachelor’s degree and earn a median annual salary of $47,000.
Forensic Scientists: As the key investigator of crime scenes and evidence, forensic scientists play an integral role in the criminal justice process. The job requires skills and training in technology, science, and law. Forensics incorporates analysis of weapons, victims, documents, fingerprints, and chemicals. A bachelor’s degree is required and many agencies require additional training and certifications. The median salary for this job is $69,000.
Conservation Officers: The role of the conversation officer is unique in that it protects areas and species that aren’t usually protected. Conservation officers enforce fishing, hunting, and boating laws. Their job involves protection of wildlife and the environments in which they live. This career is ideal for those who love animals or the outdoors and are passionate about their protection and preservation. The position requires a bachelor’s degree in most states and offers an average annual salary of $50,000.