Bachelors Degree In Law Enforcement
A law enforcement degree at the bachelors level typically takes four years to complete and can include many different topics or subjects. There are prototypical degrees such as criminal justice, criminology and law enforcement studies. But there are other majors that can hold police officers in good stead. For example, graduates with a degree in accounting are excellent candidates for a career in white collar crime investigations, while computer science majors can have an advantage if theyre interested in pursuing a career in computer forensics or cyber crimes.
Those in a bachelors degree program in a law-related field can expect to find courses like these:
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Lauriers Online Bachelor Of Criminology And Policing Degree
Our online Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Policing prepares you for a career in criminology and justice. Focusing on practical techniques and real-world experience, it delivers an engaging curriculum designed to improve your critical thinking and analytical skills. The fully online and asynchronous criminology courses provide you with a broader view of public safety through a combined focus on criminology and policing. This degree can help enhance the career and earning potential of an individual who wants to pursue a career in criminology and policing.
Now is the time to kick-start your career as a police officer in Toronto. Learn more about the Bachelor of Arts in Policing or Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Policing today:
- for details on curriculum, tuition and more
Physical Requirements To Become A Police Officer
Beyond the basic bio requirements, you will also need to meet physical requirements, such as:
- Basic physical criteria
- Good vision and hearing
- Mental strength
The physical requirements will vary from state to state and even city to city. For example in LA, male applicants must have a body fat percentage of less than 22%. In Philadelphia, recruits must pass a physical fitness test to be accepted into the training academy.
If you meet these essential requirements, you can move forward with education and training, which may include formal college courses, an important part of how to become a police officer.
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Impress At Your Police Officer Interview
Many hopeful applicants will be offered an interview during the hiring process. This is an opportunity to get to know you on a personal level, and sometimes that can be enough to land you that coveted job. Here are some questions you might encounter during that interview:
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Pass The Medical Exam And Psychological Evaluation
A crucial step in the process is proving that you are healthy enough to do the jobboth physically and mentally. Police work can be hard on the body as well as the mind, and applicants need to be in good health in order to handle the stress that comes with the job.
In the examinations, youll be assessed for any possible reason why you might not be able to perform the job safely and properly. These evaluations are conducted by licensed physicians and/or the psychologists employed by the policing agencys hiring department.
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Municipal Police Force Salaries & Benefits
In comparison to the federal police force, the municipal police agencies offer slightly higher salaries.
The Calgary Police Service offers a starting salary of approximately $66,000/year.
The Vancouver Police Department offers new hires $70,154/year with an incremental increase to $90,198 after 3 years. Benefits include paid vacation, medical and dental benefits and a BC Municipal Pension Plan membership.
The Toronto Police Service has a starting salary of $63,564.98 for their cadets. After year 3, police officers receive an annual salary of $90,836. Benefits include paid vacation, family medical and dental benefits, life insurance, pension plan, parental/maternity leave and more.
Considering that the median income for individual Canadians was $36,400 in 2018, according to Statistics Canada, the starting salary for a Canadian police officer is an attractive one.
When deciding between the federal or municipal level, keep in mind that while the RCMP might have a lower salary, the role involves police duties at the international, federal, provincial and municipal levels with a much wider variety in operational and administrative opportunities.Some specializations that are unique to the RCMP are: Integrated Border Enforcement Team, National Security, Marine Services, International Peace Operations and many, many more.
Bachelor Of Science In Criminal Justice
The bachelors degree in criminal justice is similar to the associate degree, but youll take more courses, and after finishing your core classes, you may be able to choose electives in a specialized concentration. These vary widely from one university to the next, but some common concentrations other than law enforcement include crime scene investigation, homeland security, juvenile justice, corrections, police administration.
Jobs You Can Get
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How To Become A Police Officer In Ontario
The police officer occupation is one of the few jobs where education is not a barrier to earning potential. According to the Ontario government, the average annual police officer salary in Ontario with a high school diploma , earned $106,788 in 2016 compared to police officers with a bachelors degree who earned $106,543. Interestingly enough, degree holders earned $245/year less.
This is great news for those who only have a high school diploma but are looking for a fulfilling career with high-earning potential.
While education barriers are relatively low, becoming a police officer in Ontario is not a job that just any high school graduate can land.
In this article, we outline key information to help you land your dream job including:
Attend Police Academy Training
To become a police officer, you first need to attend the police academy. Your training will include:
- Classroom education: This will provide an overview of law enforcement, including criminal investigation methods, laws and regulations, arrest and detainment procedures, and approaches to public safety and policing in general.
- Refining your skills: During your training, you’ll refine skills like stress management, negotiation, and communication.
- Field training: This will introduce you to administrative duties, how to properly use a firearm, defense tactics, vehicle operations, the proper use of force, and how to handle hazardous materials.
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Phds In Criminal Justice
Getting a Ph.D. in criminal justice would put you in rare company, especially if you want to work at an agency. Although 29% of chiefs and sheriffs have a bachelors and 32% have a masters, only 3% have a doctoral degree.
Yet a Ph.D. in criminal justice opens several possibilities. If you want to teach at a university or conduct research, its essential. Even if academia isnt your thing, you could work to create or change policy.
Ph.D. programs are, by nature, individualized. Your main output is a dissertation, which is written after conducting original research. By the end of the program, you will be an expert in a small sliver of the criminal justice field. But what sliver? Depending on the program, you could, for example, bone up on budgetary procedures and strategic planning, both of which are necessary to run a department, or you could explore the social determinants of a specific type of crime in a specific area.
A Ph.D. in criminal justice will likely include the following courses:
Weve written about doctoral degrees in criminal justice at length, including about the different types of criminal justice doctorates. Specifically, check out our interview with a criminal justice program director to see if a Ph.D. is worth it for you.
Meet Other Job Qualifications
Many local and state law enforcement agencies are flexible about a degree provided the applicant meets all other minimal requirements for hire. Typically, applicants must be a U.S. citizen, 21 years old and in top notch physical, mental and medical health. You may be required to pass oral interviews, psychological tests, drug tests, a polygraph and a background check. Reasons for disqualification can include drug use, felony convictions and repeated driving violations. Maintain a healthy lifestyle and make sure you are fit and capable of doing the job before applying to be a police officer.
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How Hard Is Police Academy
The police academy is, above all, an educational institution. In classroom settings, youll learn the basics of law enforcement, crime prevention, patrol, conflict management, and investigations. You will also complete field training that will cover firearms proficiency, self defense, agility and strength training, and more.
Similar to basic training for a military recruit, this all-encompassing education requires physical and mental endurance. Youll be up early for exercise, attend strict classroom settings, drill in firearms, learn how to use non-lethal measures, and likely spend hours in the hot sun running, jumping, wrestling, and becoming a more physically-fit police recruit. Its not easy, but at the end you will be prepared to face the physical, mental, and emotional rigors of police work.
Benefits Of Earning A Policing Degree
While a policing degree is not required to become a law enforcement official, a policing degree from Laurier helps enhance the career and earning potential of an individual who wants to pursue a career in this field.
Graduates with a bachelors degree in policing will have an advantage when pursuing leadership positions and promotions. In addition to becoming a police officer, some of the top job opportunities for graduates include emergency management specialist, crime analyst and security director.
Additionally, the earning potential is higher for graduates with an online degree in policing. Higher education can translate into higher wages than a high school or college diploma alone. Earning a bachelorâs degree can earn you over 30 percent higher earnings than high school graduates.
In terms of salaries in Canada, a police officer earns an average of $93,000 per year. The average security director salary in Canada is $99,000. And a detective sergeant can earn in excess of $121,000 annually.
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Obtain The Necessary Education
A high school diploma or GED is typically the minimum level of education required to become a police officer. College degrees, such as a bachelors degree, are recommended though since it will most likely appeal to prospective employers and set you apart from other candidates. Consider obtaining a bachelors degree in criminology, police science, public administration, homeland security or criminal justice, especially if your goal is to work your way up to detective.
Regardless of which major you choose, be sure to see how OnlineDegree.com could help you as well. You can take free courses toward your degree and utilize tuition discounts weve organized at universities across the countrywe provide all of this for free as part of our mission to make college a reality for everyone.
Education In The Classroom
Future police officers receive an overview of law enforcement as a whole in classroom training, including laws and regulations, criminal investigation methods, arrest and detainment procedures, and the various approaches to policing and public safety.
They also improve interpersonal communication, stress management, and negotiation skills, as well as gain a better understanding of ethics and cultural sensitivity.
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Do You Need A College Degree To Become A Police Officer
You are typically not required to earn a degree to enroll in police academy and work as a police officer. A high school diploma is often the minimal required formal education, with a required background check. Some agencies may require a bachelors degree or a certain number of credit hours, especially at the federal level.
According to a 2017 study from the National Police Foundation, about one third of police officers in the U.S. hold a four-year college degree. Just over half hold a two-year degree, and 5.4 percent hold a graduate degree.
While you may not need a degree for your first entry-level job as a police officer, if you plan to continue advancing your career in criminal justice, earning an associate or bachelors degree is a good idea.
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Police Now Graduate Schemes
Police Now is an independent charity with a mission to transform communities by recruiting, developing and inspiring diverse leaders in policing.
The organisation works in partnership with police forces to attract, recruit and train outstanding graduates with leadership potential to be inspirational detectives and police officers through their award-winning national graduate programmes.
Equipping participants with core policing skills, Police Now’s two-year national graduate programmes help to develop leadership, communication and problem-solving skills that will serve graduates, and the wider community, for a lifetime.
The two graduate programmes are:
- National Graduate Leadership Programme – trains and develops graduates to become leaders in neighbourhood policing. Participants are placed in some of the most challenging communities in England and Wales, getting to know the issues up close and developing innovative ideas and techniques to tackle the challenges residents are facing.
- National Detective Programme – designed to equip graduates with the core policing skills required in modern investigative work. Throughout the programme, participants play an important part in solving crimes while developing leadership, communication, and problem-solving skills.
Both programmes involve the completion of a Graduate Diploma in Professional Policing Practice with the University of Huddersfield.
To be eligible for Police Now’s national graduate programmes, you must:
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Salary And Career Outlook
Police officer salaries vary depending on many factors, including job type, location, and additional compensation and benefits. Some police departments even offer higher pay for officers with college degrees and who speak multiple languages.
|POLICE OFFICERS AND DETECTIVES||$65,170|
According to the BLS, the lowest-paid police officers earned less than $37,710, while the highest-paid officers earned an annual salary exceeding $109,620 as of 2019. Police officers often earn additional pay through overtime and special assignments.
In this field, individuals can increase their salaries through education and job experience. According to the BLS, detectives and federal agents earn the most of all police officers, taking home a median annual salary of $83,170 as of 2019. Aspiring federal police officers and detectives typically must possess a college degree and prior job experience.
As the need for public safety continues, the BLS projects employment for police to grow on pace with other occupations. Demand for police officers varies by location and depending on state and local budgets. Due to low job turnover, police candidates may face competition. Candidates with college degrees, law enforcement or military experience, and knowledge of other languages may stand out among job applicants.
How Long Does It Take To Become A Police Officer In Ontario
There is no set time period for the hiring process. It varies between police agencies and also depends on the successful completion of all the stages in the application process. You can expect to set aside 6 months for the application process.
If you are not successful in any part of the process, some police agencies may require a one-year waiting period before another application can be submitted.
To find out how long it takes at the police agency of your choice, contact the police agency directly.
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Interview With The Academy Manager
After completing the above steps, your chosen academy will contact you to schedule an appointment for an interview with the Academy Manager. This should be considered a formal interview, so please dress accordingly. The Academy Manager will determine the candidates demeanor and suitability to become a certified Peace Officer in the State of Georgia.
What Do Police Look For In A Background Check
The background exam is a very thorough investigation of the applicants past. It is common for the hiring parties to speak to colleagues, family members, neighbours, landlords, as well as present and past employers. This helps to determine whether you have a track record of high ethical standards in all areas of your life. You will be required to provide your criminal record, driving record, credit history, and history of alcohol and drug use. Additionally, you will need to pass a polygraph exam that shows whether you have been dishonest or deceitful in answering any of the questions throughout the application process.
When applying to police agencies, you will be disqualified if*:
- You have matters pending at a criminal court
- You participated in any indictable offenses. These offenses are the mostserious of criminal activities, which include murder, sexual assault, and terrorist activities.
- You have a criminal conviction that has not been pardone.
- You participated in less serious criminal behaviour or activity within one year of applying. These activities are referred to as summary conviction offenses under the Criminal Code. They include illicit drug use, theft, and impaired driving.
- You have been dishonourably discharged or dismissed from any other law enforcement organization
- You have a pending or current personal bankruptcy
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