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5 Careers After Law Enforcement

Micah Fikes
Micah Fikes on June 20, 2023

Pursuing a career in law enforcement is admirable, marked by a commitment to public service and upholding the law. Yet, the desire to explore new paths can lead to a career transition for some. 


After all, being a police officer can be a challenging career choice, with long hours, high-stress situations and inherent risks. There are several career opportunities where you can harness the skills and experiences gained from years of service and apply them in new and exciting ways, however. 


In fact, stepping away from a career in public safety doesn’t have to be a major leap. Here are five careers after law enforcement that allow you to continue to make a difference while exploring new challenges:


  1. Private investigator
  2. Parole or probation officer
  3. Loss prevention manager
  4. Cyber security analyst
  5. Teacher



Private Investigator



A private investigator, often referred to as a PI or private detective, is a professional hired to conduct investigations on behalf of people,careers after law enforcement businesses or organizations in the private sector. Private investigators use their specialized skills and knowledge to gather information, uncover facts and provide valuable insights to their clients. 


Their work typically involves conducting surveillance, collecting evidence and conducting research … similar to work by police detectives and the training they received while at a police department. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of private detectives and investigators is projected to grow 6 percent through 2031. 


The 2021 median pay for private detectives and investigators in the United States was $59,380. Although no level of education is required to be a private investigator, on-the-job training may be needed to achieve success in this role. However, your background as a law enforcement officer should help prepare you for many aspects of this job. 


Overall, the work of a private investigator is dynamic and varied, requiring a combination of investigative skills, critical thinking and discretion. Investigators navigate complex situations, adhere to ethical guidelines and employ their expertise to uncover information that assists their clients in making informed decisions or resolving sensitive matters.


Probation Officer



One of the most logical next positions after a law enforcement career is as a probation officer. Probation officers are professionals in the field of criminal justice who work with individuals who have been convicted of crimes. 


Probation officers work with individuals who have been placed on probation as an alternative to incarceration or as part of a sentence. Probation is typically granted to individuals who have been convicted of a crime but have not been sentenced to prison. 


Probation officers supervise probationers, ensuring their compliance with the conditions set by the court. These conditions may include regular check-ins, mandatory drug testing, participation in rehabilitative programs and adherence to curfews or travel restrictions. 


The BLS estimates that the job outlook for probation officers will remain consistent to current numbers, which in 2021, showed about 94,500 working in the United States. The median pay in 2021 for probation officers was $60,250.


Loss Prevention Manager



A loss prevention manager minimizes losses and prevents theft and fraud within a retail or corporate environment. Loss prevention managerscareers after law enforcement develop and implement strategies to safeguard company assets like merchandise, intellectual property and financial resources. 


While the specific duties may vary depending on the organization, a loss prevention manager typically focuses on identifying vulnerabilities, implementing security measures, conducting investigations and training employees on loss prevention protocols.


A cop’s training and experience can make them well-suited for a career as a loss prevention manager. Police officers deeply understand criminal behavior, investigative techniques and security procedures. This knowledge can help them identify potential risks and vulnerabilities within a retail or corporate setting. Police officers are also trained to be highly observant, detail-oriented and skilled at analyzing situations. They’re also well-versed in laws, regulations and ethical standards. 


The average salary for a loss prevention manager in the United States is $61,185, according to Indeed statistics. The modern retail fraud landscape is much different than decades ago when shoplifting was a primary concern. Today, e-commerce retailers deal with an average of 206,000 web attacks per month, and global payment fraud is expected to cost merchants more than $40 billion in losses globally by 2027, making loss prevention a career in which ex-police officers can use their training and experience to help prevent this types of crimes.


Education requirements vary for someone in this position and often depend on the employer’s own hiring requirements, which may simply require a high school diploma or include an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree. 


Cyber Security Analyst



In today’s digital world, a cyber security analyst is crucial to protecting computer systems, networks and data from cyber threats and attacks. This type of intelligence analyst assesses vulnerabilities, monitors for suspicious activities and develops strategies to prevent and respond to security incidents. 


As a former law enforcement officer, your training can help you excel in this position. Law enforcement officers are trained in conducting investigations, gathering evidence and analyzing information. These skills transfer well to cybersecurity since analysts need to investigate security incidents, identify the source and extent of breaches, and gather evidence for potential legal actions.


Law enforcement officers are also trained to think analytically and evaluate situations from multiple angles. This skill is vital in the field of cybersecurity, where analysts need to assess complex security systems, analyze data and logs, and identify vulnerabilities or anomalies that may indicate a potential security breach.


The average base salary for a cyber security analyst in the United States is around $80,000 per year, though the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the median salary of information security analysts closer to $102,600. The BLS also estimates that the employment of information security analysts is expected to grow by a whopping 35% from 2021 to 2031




Many police officers go into law enforcement jobs to make a difference in their communities. As teachers, they can continue to influence lives and shape future generations. And, the skills, experiences and dedication acquired in law enforcement can make for a seamless transition into a rewarding teaching career. 


Particularly in Texas, there is a significant need for teachers, especially in the areas of:


  • Bilingual and English as a Second Language 
  • Career Technical Education (CTE) 
  • Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) 
  • Special Education 


Both law enforcement professionals and educators have similarities, from a commitment to public service to building relationships and trust. Both career paths focus on ensuring safety and security in schools, and require problem-solving skills and leadership. 


According to data available from the Texas Education Agency, the government organization that oversees education in the state, the average teacher salary for the 2022-2023 school year was $60,716. However, salaries vary based on a number of factors, from subject area to grade level, location and experience. 


To become a teacher in Texas, you must get a teaching license. One of the most popular paths you can take to earn your Texas teacher certification is through an educator preparation program. An educator preparation program provides you with the training, knowledge and skills needed to earn certification.


To enroll in an educator preparation program, in most instances, you need a bachelor’s degree. However, if you’re working in Criminal Justice, your career experience may fulfill any enrollment requirements. 


In Texas, an approved educator preparation program includes 300 hours of training. Texas Administrative Code does allow prior degrees, military service, paid work experience and specific training to count toward these hours in some cases.


You will also need to pass the appropriate certification exams, including content exams and the PPR, or Texas Examinations of Educator Standards Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities.


If you’re considering transitioning from law enforcement into a new career path, teaching can be a rewarding and fulfilling second career that allows you to make a positive impact on the community’s youngest generations. 


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Written by Micah Fikes

Micah is the Director of Curriculum & Technology. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in British Literature, from the University of North Texas and a Master of Arts in Teaching, from Louisiana College. In his previous career, Micah served for 14 years as a banker and bank manager. For the majority of this period, Micah managed the Downtown Fort Worth location of Frost Bank. In 2005, Micah finally surrendered to his true calling to be an educator. After a brief, but fulfilling term teaching high school English at Flower Mound High School in Lewisville ISD, Micah went to work for the family business, training teachers.

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