What Can I Do with a Bachelor's Degree in Police Science?

A bachelor's degree in police science can help you land an entry-level law enforcement position or advance your career. Keep reading to learn about career options, job outlook and earnings info for police science program graduates. Schools offering Law Enforcement degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Overview of Police Science Bachelor's Degree Programs

Police science bachelor's degree programs are usually geared towards students who have already completed a police academy or associate degree program in areas like criminal justice. However, first-time students can also earn one of these degrees. Program coursework covers areas such as ethics, police leadership, diversity and policing technologies. Additional specializations are sometimes available in areas like forensics or security management.

Important Facts About Bachelor's Degrees in Police Science

Prerequisites High school diploma required; police academy graduation or baccalaureate coursework may be required
Online Availability Fully online programs available
Degree Fields Police Studies, Law Enforcement Technology
Continuing Education Master of Professional Studies in Security and Safety Leadership

Career Options for Graduates

As a graduate of a police science bachelor's degree program, you could pursue a career as a law enforcement officer with state and local government agencies or advance in the field if you're already employed as a police officer. A bachelor's degree could also qualify you for positions with federal agencies, such as the FBI or U.S. Border Patrol, though keep in mind that these positions might require applicants to have previous work experience. Some career options include:

  • Bailiff
  • Police patrol officer
  • Criminal investigator
  • U.S. marshal
  • Border patrol officer
  • Immigration inspector
  • Fish and game warden
  • Private investigator

Salary and Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job growth in some law enforcement fields, such as corrections, was expected to be limited by cuts to government budgets, though concerns over security could spur job growth for professionals working in the private sector.

For example, detectives and criminal investigators employed by state and local governments could see a 2% employment increase over the 2012-2022 decade, while private detectives and investigators could see an 11% job growth. These professionals earned median salaries of $44,570 in 2014.

The BLS projected a 6% increase in employment opportunities for police and sheriff's patrol officers over the same 10-year period. They earned a median salary of $56,810 in 2014.

Similarly, a 5% job growth was expected for bailiffs, while fish and game wardens were projected to experience a 1% employment increase between 2012 and 2022. Bailiffs earned a median salary of $38,150 in 2014. The median salary for fish and game wardens was $50,880 in 2014, per the BLS.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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  • Maryville University

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  • Colorado State University Global

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  • New England College

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  • Colorado Technical University

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  • Walden University

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