Interesting Careers Police Officers Can Move Up Into

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The following story was written and contributed especially for American Association of State Troopers, by Rennifer Jazmin. Rennifer, is a blogger who, reached out and expressed a sincere interest in AAST and the troopers we serve nationwide. AAST will, periodically, be positing stories written by Rennifer as she has offered her writing talents to highlight stories of interest to be published by AAST. Thank you, Rennifer, for recognizing AAST as well as the importance of our members.


The Great Resignation had hit many sectors hard in the US, including the police force. From patrol officers to 911 operators, these officer shortages have put a strain on the existing staff, making it all the more difficult to investigate criminal cases and attend to emergencies. To combat the staff deficit, many police groups are actively recruiting more officers in almost every department.

While all police candidates are required to undergo a training program at a residential police training academy, it’s possible for trainees to undertake additional courses during their program. Additional classes can possibly supplement their work as police officers, helping them move into more specialized roles. These specific jobs not only pay well, but may also be a better fit within your ideal career trajectory. If you’re interested in a possible promotion, here are some positions you should look into:

Fire inspector

If you’re interested in a role that involves investigation, being a fire inspector can give you access to sites affected by fire. You need to look for potential accelerants, the cause of the fire, as well as if arson was involved. Being knowledgeable in fire safety regulations is a must, as notes on proper storage or whether the building followed fire codes and safety requirements may be grounds for legal action. Fires can be a source of crime or insurance fraud, so it’s essential to be attentive to detail, and have strong problem-solving abilities to ensure each case is properly investigated.

Computer forensics investigators

With the rise of computers in the last few decades, a new realm of crime has likewise emerged with these technologies. It’s essential for the police to hire specialists in this line of work and ensure proper law enforcement. Among the many criminal justice careers, computer forensics investigators would need a strong working knowledge of computers, as the equipment they’ll be working with is often damaged in some way. Some other specialists may also be tapped for cases involving information technology and cybersecurity, so you would need to undergo specialized training to learn how to recover data. It’s important to follow any detailed procedures for securing the information so that it can be used during legal proceedings.

Background investigator

Unlike other investigators that may require field review, background investigators mainly focus on interviews and written information about people. These roles may not always be researching criminals. Rather, they may also check on current and prospective employees, community partners, vendors, and volunteers. The typical functions of background investigators involve analysis of employment history and involvement with the law, verification of education and experience requirements, and making recommendations for employers or partner agencies.

Postsecondary teachers

Postsecondary teaching is a great position for those looking to pass on their knowledge on law enforcement and criminal justice to the next generation of students. This role typically requires a master’s degree, as you need careful knowledge of both law and its practice to teach students about criminal law, investigation techniques, and defensive policing. Instead of working full-time immediately, you can opt to work as an adjunct, or part-time, professor at a university to ease the transition of workload.

Police work often involves urgent, high-risk situations that can get stressful. However, if you’d still want to work toward public safety, these careers provide plenty of opportunities to do your part. In addition, all of these jobs require skillsets that are transferable from regular police work, making them good jobs to move up into.

Specially written for American Association of State Troopers

By: Rennifer JazminLine