Planning your Law Enforcement Job Search

Steps to Follow

  • Determine what type of job you want.
  • Decide if you have any geographic limitations on where you are willing to work.
  • Learn which agencies have your desired positions, and are within your geographic area.
  • Talk with agency personnel.
  • Look at agency websites for hiring information.
  • Periodically review Go Law Enforcement website for new openings.
  • Sign up for free weekly jobs newsletter from to keep informed of new job openings.

Determine What Type of Job You Want

The first step is to decide what type of position you are looking for. Are you interested in coming a police officer, a deputy sheriff, a criminal investigator such as a special agent, or do you want to work in a crime lab. It is not necessary to limit your considerations at this point. However, it is helpful to decide the type of position you are interested in, or even most interested in. If you are looking for a position with a crime lab, your job search will be different than if you are looking for a position with a police officer.

Talk with Agency Personnel

Contact an agency you are interested in working for and ask if they have a person who handles recruiting questions. If they do, ask if you could meet with them in person, or just talk with them over the phone. If they do have anyone designated for recruiting, ask if there is someone in the department you could speak with about the agency.

Prepare a list of questions to include:

  • What types of positions do they have?
  • What are the education and experience requirements for those positions?
  • What is the application and hiring process?
  • Is there an examine given, and is so, how often and how do you sign up?
  • Are they hiring?

Prior to meeting with someone or talking over the phone, you want to have done your homework by learning what you can about that agency. The agency website can be a good source for this information. By being knowledgeable will help you ask more informative questions, and will make a better impression.

Law Enforcement Agency Websites

Once you have made the determination about which agencies you would like to work for, it is time to start looking at who is hiring. The agency website will often list any opening they have. Some agencies start the hiring process by giving an exam. They will post when an exam is being given on their website. If they do not post their openings on their own website, they may state where opening for that agency are posted. Some state or federal agency may not list their opening on a website, but list them on a central state of federal website.