Explore a Bachelor's Degree in Law Enforcement Administration
If you're interested in law enforcement and working to prevent crime, but you would rather be in charge than on patrol, you may want to consider pursuing an online bachelor's degree in law enforcement administration. Many students are able to complete a law enforcement administration bachelor's degree program online in around four years. However, the amount of time it takes you to earn your degree depends on many things, such as your ability to successfully pass each class, the specific requirements of the program you're enrolled in, how many credits you have previously earned and are able to transfer and use toward your degree, and whether you are a full-time or part-time student.
While earning your bachelor's degree in law enforcement administration, you will learn about the structure of a law enforcement agency, how to establish and effectively manage a police force of qualified personnel, and how to keep your jurisdiction safe. Each institution will have varying curriculum, but the following are a few of the more common courses found in an online bachelor's degree program in law enforcement administration:
- Leadership in Law Enforcement. In this class you will learn how to effectively lead, manage, and supervise law enforcement personnel. You will study techniques, theories, and traits surrounding leadership, as well as how crime and unmotivated personnel can impact leadership.
- Law Enforcement Personnel Management. In this class you will learn how to maintain a force of capable and qualified law enforcement officers. You will also cover local, state, and federal training and certification requirements.
- Ethics in Law Enforcement. In this class you will learn how to maintain ethical behavior. You will study theories, literature, and methods used to establish a code of ethics.
As a law enforcement administration major, you can expect to have assignments requiring you to research such topics as criminal law, due process, and the relationship between politics and law enforcement, and then demonstrate your competence through exams and written reports. Many programs will incorporate scenarios which require you to assess a situation and determine the proper way to handle it.
Building a Career
Once you complete an online law enforcement administration program and earn your bachelor's degree, you should have the skills and knowledge needed to effectively direct and manage a law enforcement agency. Coupled with relevant law enforcement experience, this degree may qualify you for a supervisor position with a variety of organizations in law enforcement, including local police departments, state police departments, correctional and rehabilitation facilities, and sheriff's offices. Keep in mind that earning your degree does not guarantee employment, though it can increase your chances.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), on average, police supervisors earn an annual income of $81,250. However, your income is affected by several factors. One of which is your location. For example, the BLS shows that police supervisors in Nassau, N.Y., earn an average annual income of $124,120, whereas those in St. Louis, Mo., earn an average of $72,190 a year. Another factor is your industry. The BLS shows that police supervisors employed by a state government agency earn an average annual income of $82,290, while those employed by a university earn an average of $68,360 a year. The amount of experience you have will also be a factor when determining your income.