Is Law Enforcement A Good Career For Former Military?

Law EnforcementIf you are completely your time in the military and starting to look for a civilian job, you might consider law enforcement to be a good career. In fact, many former military have become members of law enforcement. Whether you need to attend the academy depends on where you live and the requirements of your local police department. Some cities ask that you take a program through a community college, while others require that you attend a training program hosted by police officers working for your city. The time that you spent in the military instilled in you several skills that you also need as a police officer.

Ability to Handle a Firearm Responsibly

While you won’t have the same firearms you had in the military by your side while patrolling the streets, you will have a firearm by your side. Before carrying a firearm in the military, you must go through a series of training exercises that teach you how to properly use that weapon, carry it and clean it. Those are some of the same skills that you need to use as a law enforcement officer. You will know when to draw your gun and when to leave it in the holster when investigating crimes.

Leadership and Teamwork Skills

Whether you were in the Army, the Marines, the Navy or another branch of the armed forces, you learned when to step up and lead your team and when to stay quiet and follow your leader. Police officers and other law enforcement officials often work with small groups of teams to investigate crime scenes, but they also need to work independently and lead small groups when needed.

Problem Solving and Decision Making Skills

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that law enforcement jobs will experience a growth of five percent by 2022, and the BLS also puts the median annual salary for police officers at $56,980. Those officers earn their salaries through their strong problem solving and decision making skills. They must know how to approach a scene and which decisions to make to keep everyone involved safe. You might find yourself handling domestic disturbances with children involved and chasing criminals through the streets, and you’ll know how to look at each individual situation and determine which step to take next.

Detail Oriented

You should know that your time in the military taught you how to pay attention to the small details. The most successful police officers are those who are detail-oriented. They can look at a crime scene to determine where a suspect fled, and they can examine a scene and decide how to enter the area without disturbing the scene.

Related Resources: Education Degrees for Former Military

A large percentage of former military personnel accept positions in law enforcement every year. Some positions let you earn a greater salary or skip the police academy if you enlisted in the past.  Law enforcement a good career path for former military. You’ll find that the skills you have, including your decision making skills and ability to handle a firearm, will set you apart from other applicants.