Why Become a Police Officer? 8 Reasons You Can't Ignore
If you're tired of your boring 9 to 5 job and are looking for a career change that will get you out of your old routine, then you should really consider a career as police officer. While being a law enforcement officer comes with its share of risks and challenges, this career path definitely has a lot to offer.
It's a great way to launch your criminal justice careerEver dream of an exciting job with the CIA, FBI, Secret Service, Border Patrol or Immigration? Well if you're older than 37, kiss that dream goodbye! After the age of 37, it's almost impossible to launch a career in criminal justice at the federal level. It's even difficult to make a career transition into many other criminal justice fields (forensics, investigations, etc.) if you're coming from a non-law enforcement background. However, the same doesn't hold true for becoming a police officer. As long as you have a high school diploma (or GED), are 21 years old, a U.S. citizen, have a drivers licence and can pass a written and physical exam, you can qualify to become a police officer. Once you become a uniformed police officer, you can work your way to becoming an investigator, sheriff or apply to various other law enforcement positions at the state and local levels.
MobilityEvery state, every county, every city and just about every town employs police officers. You can potentially become a police officer just about anywhere in the nation where there's a community. Obviously, there is going to be more demand for police officers in larger populations that experience higher crime and have more people to protect, but practically anywhere you want to live you'll be able to pursue a career as law enforcement officer. And if you ever decide you want to make a move in the future, you'll be ready and qualified to be a police officer wherever life takes you.
Great compensationGood police officers are in high demand – and their pay shows it. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of 2014, the average pay for police and sheriff's patrol officers was $57,000 a year. And since salary increases are often based on seniority, police officers who've been at their job for several years can earn even more. Some police precincts in well funded municipalities even offer the officer overtime pay.
In addition to a stable and attractive paycheck, police officers can look forward to health insurance, retirement packages and other benefits that many large private corporations don't usually provide their employees.
A career in law enforcement can also provide quite a bit of upward mobility and career advancement. With enough experience, police officers can become a sheriff, detective or criminal investigator–and qualify for additional pay raises.
Opportunity to save livesOther than being a paramedic or firefighter, there aren't many careers that offer as many opportunities to save someone's life as police officer. Police officers are often first responders to accidents, house fires, brawls and emergencies of every kind. At times you may be required to administer first aid, provide essential life support to a shooting victim, pull someone from a burning car, rescue someone from drowning, or protect the innocent for the criminal element.
Even when not provide direct assistance, police officers protect and save lives just by enforcing the laws and being present in the community. In fact, as a police officer you're likely to save countless lives that you don't ever find out about. Every time you break up a fight, write a ticket, arrest a criminal or stop domestic violence there's a good chance your actions will save someone's life that day, or down the road.
Every day is new and excitingOne of the best parts of being a cop is the job variety. No two days are ever same. Police officers are given a wide variety of tasks and duties – and you never know what's going to happen next. One day you could be investigating a double homicide and the next apprehending a high profile drug dealer with outstanding warrants for his arrest.
While there is occasional paperwork that needs to be filled out, most of what a police officer does involves exciting field work. You'll see and hear things that no other job will provide. You'll do things that no other professional can do. Police officers apprehend suspects, respond to emergencies, track down wanted criminal, investigate murders, issue citations, and much, much more. There is only one constant in being a cop – there's never a dull day.
It's a job that will make you proudNo only do police get paid well, save lifes and have a never ending variety of responsibilites, they're respected. You won't find a job that will make your family and friends more proud. Additionally, there is a strong kinship developed between officers and within the police community you can't find in any other profession. Police officers have each others backs, they're loyal to one another, they stand together, and they stand by each other in good times and bad.
Police officers are also highly respected within the community. Police are sworn to serve and protect the people in the communities where they work. While there are a few folks that have it in for police officers, the large majority of citizens recognize, and greatly appreciate, the sacrifice and dedication to law and justice that police officers represent, and their willingness to put their lives on the line to protect others.
Get started now and retire earlyDue to the great retirement packages and pension plans offered in most precincts, many police officers have the option of retiring after just 20-25 years of service. Become an officer at age 20 and you could retired by 45. Become a police officer at 40, and you could still happily retire by age 65. Not surprisingly, however, many police officer don't want to retire early.
Many police officers who retire early are often able to start a new career doing something else they enjoy and love.
It's a labor of loveBeing a police officer really is about service to others. Police officers often encounter people who are down and out, addicted to drugs, destitute, emotionally unstable, suicidal, violent and basically at the lowest point in their lives. One of the most rewarding and satisfying aspects of being a police officer is the unique opportunity to help these people get out of a bad situation, get back on their feet, and ultimately turn their lives around. Millions of acts of kindness are committed each year by police officers. And millions of lives are changed for the better by the compassion and dedication of police officers who are committed to helping the people who need their help the most.
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