Law enforcement jobs can be put into two basic groups, sworn and non-sworn. Sworn are those positions which in the performance of their duties carry a firearm, have arrest power, and have a badge. This would include police officers, deputy sheriffs, state troopers, and FBI Agents. Non-Sworn do not have at least one of the items mentioned above and these positions may include criminal analysts, crime scene technicians and crime lab personnel. While these jobs may be performed by sworn personnel, the position itself is not a sworn. Sworn positions must attend a law enforcement academy.
The majority of positions in the field of law enforcement are sworn positions. When considering a career in law enforcement it can be beneficial to have an idea on what path is right for you. The requirements for a sworn and non-sworn position can vary as well as how to prepare for the different paths. Non-sworn positions require education and/or experience in the specific field that the applicant will be working. For example someone working in a crime lab may be required to have a chemistry degree rather than a criminal justice degree.