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Law Enforcement & Firefighting

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Law Enforcement & Firefighting Major

107,669 yearly degrees
$72,000 median salary

Homeland security, law enforcement and firefighting is a major that typically falls into the Law Enforcement & Firefighting category.

There are 2,270 programs available throughout the country that offer an associate’s degree in homeland security, law enforcement and firefighting, 1,567 that offer a bachelor’s degree, and 560 that offer a master’s degree. There are also at least 43 schools in the nation where you can get your doctorate degree in the field.

Who Is Getting a Homeland Security, Law Enforcement & Firefighting Degree?

Homeland security, law enforcement and firefighting is the most popular college major in the country. In 2017, roughly students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in the field. Roughly 48.2% of the graduates are women, and 51.8% are men.

Racial Distribution

At the countrywide level, the racial distribution of homeland security, law enforcement and firefighting majors is as follows:

  • Asian: 2.4%
  • Black or African American: 17.7%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 21.4%
  • White: 49.1%
  • Non-Resident Alien: 1.2%
  • Other Races: 8.2%
Law Enforcement & Firefighting Majors Ethnic Diversity Statistics

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in homeland security, law enforcement and firefighting. About 1.2% of those graduating in 2017 were international students. The most popular countries sending homeland security, law enforcement and firefighting majors to the U.S. are.

What Will You Learn as a Law Enforcement & Firefighting Major?

An O*NET survey asked people with careers related to homeland security, law enforcement and firefighting to rate how important certain subject areas were to their job. The following are some of the results of that survey. Importance was rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Homeland Security, Law Enforcement & Firefighting Majors

This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:

Important Knowledge Areas for Law Enforcement & Firefighting Majors

Skills for Homeland Security, Law Enforcement & Firefighting Majors

The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to homeland security, law enforcement and firefighting:

Important Skills for Law Enforcement & Firefighting Majors

Abilities for Homeland Security, Law Enforcement & Firefighting Majors

As you progress with your homeland security, law enforcement and firefighting degree, there are several abilities you should pick up that will help you in whatever related career you choose. These abilities include:

Important Abilities for homeland security, law enforcement and firefighting Majors

What Can You Do With a Homeland Security, Law Enforcement & Firefighting Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with homeland security, law enforcement and firefighting:

Careers Related to Law Enforcement & Firefighting
Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary

Forest Fire Inspectors and Prevention Specialists

29.4%

$39,600

Fire Inspectors

7.3%

$62,510

Forest Fire Fighting and Prevention Supervisors

7.1%

$76,330

Loss Prevention Managers

8%

$107,480

Special Forces Officers

0%

$0

Immigration and Customs Inspectors

4.5%

$81,920

Fire Investigators

7.3%

$62,510

Municipal Firefighters

7.2%

$49,620

Compliance Managers

8%

$107,480

Regulatory Affairs Managers

8%

$107,480

Law Enforcement & Firefighting Major Salary

Average salaries range from $53,000 to $85,000 for careers related to homeland security, law enforcement and firefighting. This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, the typical high school graduate makes between $29,000 and $57,000 a year. The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $44,000 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,000 and $120,000.

Average Salary for a Homeland Security, Law Enforcement & Firefighting Major  ( 53000 to 85000 )
$0
$200k
Average Salary for High School Graduate  ( 29000 to 57000 )
$0
$200k
Average Salary with Bachelor's Degree  ( 44000 to 99000 )
$0
$200k
Average Salary with Advanced Degree  ( 55000 to 120000 )
$0
$200k

The area of the country you choose to work in will also affect your career and salary prospects. Getting a graduate degree may open up more options with higher salary potential.

Amount of Education Required for Law Enforcement & Firefighting Major Jobs

Some careers associated with homeland security, law enforcement and firefighting may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

How much education do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to homeland security, law enforcement and firefighting have obtained the following education levels.

Education Levels for Careers Associated With Law Enforcement & Firefighting
Level of Education Percentage of Workers

Less Than a High School Diploma

1%

High School Diploma or Equivalent

23.1%

Post-Secondary Certificate

10.1%

Some College Courses

12.9%

Associate's Degree or Equivalent

12.4%

Bachelor's Degree

29.6%

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate

2.1%

Master's Degree

7.7%

Post-Master's Certificate

0.4%

First Professional Degree

0.4%

Doctoral Degree

0.8%

Post-Doctoral Training

0.1%

Online Law Enforcement & Firefighting Programs

There are 1,567 colleges that offer a bachelor’s degree in homeland security, law enforcement and firefighting, with 541 of them offering at least some courses online.

Online learners must listen or watch video lectures, participate in group chats or forums, submit papers and assignments electronically, take tests, and meet deadlines.

Many learners are drawn to online programs due to the ease of use and flexibility. Students should be warned that those who enroll in online programs can take longer to graduate than average and are more likely to drop out.

Is a Law Enforcement & Firefighting Major Worth It?

The median salary for a homeland security, law enforcement and firefighting grad is $72,000 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 86% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $669,800 after 20 years!

homeland security, law enforcement and firefighting salary compared to typical high school and college graduates over a 20 year period

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics
National Center for Education Statistics
O*NET Online
Image Credit: Barry Bahler via License

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