Many police officers make a career in law enforcement their lifelong calling. However, like people in any other job, some police officers decide to switch careers. A key question that many retiring and former police officers wonder about when they reach this point is what careers are available to them after law enforcement and which ones are the best fits for their particular skill sets.
It can be daunting to transition from law enforcement to the private sector, but the great news is that there are plenty of exciting new career opportunities after policing. In this post, we will explore some of the best careers for retired or former police officers.
1. Private Investigator
One of the most exciting and attractive jobs for retired police officers is becoming a private investigator. Private investigators are trained professionals who offer investigative services for a wide variety of clients, including businesses, attorneys, and private individuals. A day on the job could find you investigating a fraud case for an insurance company, interviewing witnesses in a workplace harassment case, or conducting surveillance. The results of your investigations may even be used in civil or criminal proceedings.
If you are interested in becoming a private investigator, NITA can help you get there. We offer self-paced, online pre-licensing training, as well as ongoing continuing education and professional development courses for Private Investigators and anyone looking to become a PI.
Learn more: How to Become a Private Investigator
2. Security Professional
Another alternative career for police officers is in the security profession. Security is an important function in our society, and security guards are responsible for a wide variety of tasks. Jobs range from providing security to private businesses or organizations, to event security, or being a bodyguard for a VIP, to working night watch at a local business. The security field is also quickly growing across the country, and many security firms and businesses are looking for high-quality individuals with law enforcement experience.
Whether you’re looking to complete security guard licensing requirements or grow in your industry knowledge—NITA can help here as well. We offer a variety of courses specifically designed for security professionals.
Learn more: How to Become a Security Guard
3. Corrections Officer
A corrections officer is a uniformed officer responsible for the management and supervision of prisoners. Corrections officers often work in a variety of prisons and correctional facilities and regularly interact with inmates.
Many police officers find corrections to be a good fit for them, as it is a job that allows them to apply their criminal justice skills without the same level of pressure as a typical law enforcement job. In addition, many police officers are passionate about helping people and find corrections to be a place where they can be a positive influence and help inmates choose better life paths.
Job postings for the long-haul and last-mile fleet drivers have exploded in recent years. In fact, there is currently a national driver shortage, and companies are looking for new talent to help them transport people, goods, and services to their customers. This is a great job after law enforcement because, as a police officer, you understand the rules of the road and bring a strong safety focus to the job. In addition, driver jobs tend to pay fairly well and it's fairly easy to complete the required driver training to get started.
5. Business Manager
Businesses are always looking for reliable, hard-working managers to help them achieve their business goals. Jobs range from sales to marketing managers to operations managers and more. Police officers, in particular, bring valuable leadership skills to the table and a knack for getting things done, which make them ideal candidates for managing people and seeing business results. The great news is that many of these jobs do not require specialized education or training to get hired!
Practically every week the news reports another cybersecurity breach at a major company or organization. The reason for this is that the illicit hacking world has morphed from individuals acting solo to a world of organized crime rings, nation-states, and rogue powers using covert online practices to fund their illicit activities and achieve their goals on the world stage. As a result, cybersecurity is a booming field that needs good people with law enforcement experience.
This is one of the most promising fields for ex-police officers and offers nearly unlimited growth potential. However, depending on your chosen career path within the cybersecurity field, it may require you to take a lot of additional training and specialized education to learn, grow, and advance. But if you’re up to the challenge, the sky’s the limit!
7. Personal Trainer
From fitness coaches to martial arts instructors and more, personal trainers help others realize their health, fitness, and skill-development goals and ambitions. Many police officers enjoy physical activity and know a variety of valuable skills, such as martial arts and weapons training. With some effort, ex-police officers can transform these valuable skills and passions into a full-time career.
Generally speaking, police officers are well-trained in giving instructions and have a high drive to achieve. These skills make them better teachers and are invaluable for people who are looking for someone to push them hard to succeed at their own goals.
8. Emergency Services
Some police officers may want to stay in the emergency services world. Moving to a job like an EMT or firefighter is a fairly easy career transition for former police officers, and the knowledge they already possess about how to manage emergency situations gives them a huge advantage.
Another reason this is one of the best jobs for former police officers is that they already have connections with many of the people in these roles. These connections can help you understand the field more in-depth and help you find the right-fit position for you. In addition, a positive hiring referral from one of these connections can be what makes the difference in you getting hired.
9. Loss Prevention Manager
According to the 2019 National Retail Security Survey, approximately 1.38% of all retail sales in the United States were categorized as shrinkage. Shrinkage is an accounting term referring to when a store has fewer items in inventory than on file. These losses are often caused by damage and theft. While 1.38% doesn’t sound like a lot, it actually represents billions of dollars of opportunity for retailers to recover sales, and many retailers have tackled this problem by hiring loss prevention staff to help reduce the causes of these losses.
This is a great job for ex-police officers who have a knack for getting to the bottom of a case, stopping theft and damage, and solving problems. And many retailers like having loss prevention staff who are highly trained and have law enforcement experience.
As you begin your career search, remember that there are plenty of jobs for former police officers out there, and it’s just a matter of finding the right fit for you. If you are looking to start a career as a private investigator or security professional, don’t forget that NITA can help. Take a look at all of our self-paced online courses that can help you jumpstart your new career, get licensed, and learn more about the industry.
As you exit the military and enter the civilian workforce, it can be daunting and stressful as you try to make the right career decisions. Don’t be discouraged if you do not land the absolutely perfect job the very first time. What matters is that you take active steps towards your long-term career ambitions.
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