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What Are The Types of Jobs in Law Enforcement?

August 07, 2022

There are a variety of roles to fill in a sheriff’s office, and each one plays a different and integral part in keeping the agency running. While many law enforcement careers are sworn positions, there are a number of civilian opportunities, as well. Whether that looks like patrolling a neighborhood, working in a crime lab or managing complicated financial transactions, each job is rewarding in its own way.  Here is a brief overview of the types of jobs in law enforcement so you can learn if one is the right fit for you. 

Sworn Careers  

Sworn officers are those who have taken an oath to support the Constitution of the United States, their state, and the laws of their agency’s jurisdiction. Another distinction is that they are authorized to carry a weapon. When most people think of sworn law enforcement jobs, they picture a police officer or deputy. While these aren’t the only jobs in law enforcement, they are certainly important ones. 

Many people begin their sworn law enforcement careers with the sheriff’s office as a sheriff’s deputy, which means they are responsible for patrolling, making arrests, collecting evidence and transporting people and documents. With experience and training, some deputies choose to move into to specialized positions. A few examples include being a detective or investigator, working with SWAT (special weapons and tactics), or working with VICE (specifically related to immoral activities such as prostitution and illegal drugs). 

Other sworn career options include being a school resource officer (SRO) to provide protection and assistance in schools or working as a corrections deputy to maintain security in a county jail. 

Of course, there is one more sworn position in the sheriff’s office: the sheriff. A sheriff is elected by the community they serve and is responsible for managing correctional institutes, budgets and personnel.  

Civilian Careers 

While sworn positions are often the most visible in law enforcement, there’s a lot more that goes on behind the scenes to keep an agency running. A deputy may collect evidence, but the agency needs a lab technician to process it. A lab technician is just one example of a civilian career. 

A few other well-known choices include working in administration, being a dispatcher for 911 and working as a school crossing guard. Some of these jobs can be obtained at entry level while others require more advanced training. 

When it comes to civilian careers, law enforcement agencies need personnel in just about every area. Depending on the county and agency, this may also include finance and accounting, PR and media, education and training, IT and software development and human resources.  

Finding the Right Career for You 

While the day-to-day schedule of an HR specialist may look different from that of a school resource officer, each person employed by the sheriff’s office plays a necessary role. Whether you’re interested in the fast-paced work of a deputy or the meticulous detail of lab technician, there’s a law enforcement role out there for every skillset.  

Most positions require specific training, but each position (and each agency) is different. To become a certified law enforcement officer in Florida, you must compete required training and then pass a State Officer Certification Exam. Many positions, whether sworn or civilian, require a high school diploma (or equivalent) and between one and 12 months of on-the-job training once you have been hired. 

For specific training information, visit the Sheriff’s Directory to find requirements and the application process on each county’s website. 

Get Started with the FSA Job Board 

Interested in starting an exciting law enforcement career? The Florida Sheriffs Association’s job board provides information about career opportunities across the state of Florida. You can browse available positions by job type or location to find the role that’s perfect for you.  

Get started today at