Law Enforcement Agencies

The following is a list of positions for which federal, state, and local agencies hire people with criminal justice backgrounds. If you’re looking for actual job postings to which you may apply, visit the resources page for more information on individual organizations. This page merely offers descriptions of jobs for which a CJ degree would prepare you.

Police Officer

handcuffs, key, and fingerprint cardMost police departments require a high school diploma. Some require a 2-year degree and pay higher salaries for bachelor’s and/or master’s degrees. Police officers must pass physical fitness tests, be eligible to carry a firearm, pass an employment examination and background investigation, and complete law enforcement training, typically at the police academy.

FBI Agent

FBI special agents are responsible for conducting sensitive national security investigations and for enforcing over 300 federal statutes. As an FBI special agent you may work on matters including terrorism, foreign counterintelligence, cyber crime, organized crime, white-collar crime, public corruption, civil rights violations, financial crime, bribery, bank robbery, extortion, kidnapping, air piracy, interstate criminal activity, fugitive and drug-trafficking matters, and other violations of federal statutes.


  • Bachelor’s degree
  • 3 years of professional work experience
  • Age 23-37
  • Eligible to carry a firearm
  • Exams and background information

Nearby Field Offices

  • Birmingham and Mobile
  • Little Rock, AR
  • Jacksonville, North Miami Beach, and Tampa, FL
  • Atlanta, GA
  • New Orleans, LA
  • Jackson, MS
  • Knoxville and Memphis, TN

Secret Service Agents

Secret service agents conduct investigations into counterfeiting and other financial crimes; protect the president, vice president, their families, former presidents, visiting heads of foreign states, and presidential candidates; and secure National Special Security events.


  • Bachelor’s degree and two years of work experience in the criminal investigative or law enforcement field (or equivalent combination)
  • Age 21-37
  • Vision restrictions
  • Written exam and background investigation

Nearby Field Offices

  • Birmingham, Mobile, and Montgomery
  • Little Rock, AR
  • Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Tallahassee, Tampa, and West Palm Beach, FL
  • Albany, Atlanta, and Savannah, GA
  • Chattanooga, Knoxville, Memphis, and Nashville, TN
  • Baton Rouge and New Orleans, LA
  • Jackson, MS

Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Special Agent

This type of special agent investigates criminal violations of Federal laws within the enforcement jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Justice; conducts investigations and violations relating to explosives, firearms, arson, and alcohol and tobacco diversion; gathers and analyzes evidence through investigative leads, seizures and arrests, execution of search warrants, and a variety of other means; prepares concise criminal investigative reports; and testifies for the government in court or before grand juries.


  • Bachelor’s degree and three years of work experience (or equivalent combination)
  • U.S. citizen, registered with selective service
  • Age 21-37
  • Eligible to carry a firearm
  • Must complete application, Treasury Enforcement Agent exam, ATF special agent applicant assessment test, field panel interview, physical exam, drug test, polygraph test, and background investigation

Nearby Field Divisions

  • Atlanta, GA
  • Nashville, TN
  • New Orleans, LA
  • Tampa and Miami, FL

Housing and Urban Development Agent

Housing and Urban Development Agents investigate possible violations of criminal statuses using techniques such as interviews, surveillance, electronic monitoring, search warrants, and subpoenas. In conducting investigations, OIG Special Agents work closely with other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, as well as with OIG auditors. In addition to a headquarters operation, the Office of Investigation also has 11 district offices and 34 duty stations throughout the United States. A special agent can expect to be charged with investigating areas such as bid rigging, bribery, fraud, computer related crimes, conflicts of interest, and abuse in HUD programs.


  • Bachelor’s degree or three years of work experience
  • Eligible to carry a firearm

Border Protection Agent, Customs and Border Protection

As a Border Patrol Agent, your primary focus would be to work in tandem with your U.S. Customs and Border Protection partners to prevent terrorists and terrorist weapons from entering the United States. Border Patrol Agents also detect and prevent the smuggling and unlawful entry of undocumented aliens into the United States, and apprehend those people found to be in violation of the immigration laws. Also, due to the increase in drug smuggling operations, the Border Patrol is the primary drug-interdicting agency along the land border between ports of entry.

One of the most important duties performed by a border patrol agent is known as “line-watch.” This involves the detection and apprehension of undocumented aliens and their smugglers by maintaining surveillance from a cover position, pursuing leads, responding to electronic sensor alarms, utilizing infrared scopes during night operations, using low-light level television systems, sighting aircrafts, and interpreting and following tracks, marks, and other physical evidence.

In addition, border patrol agents perform traffic checks, traffic observation, city patrol transportation checks, and other administrative, intelligence, and anti-smuggling activities.


  • Bachelor’s degree and substantial work experience (or equivalent combination)
  • Pre-employment screening: background investigation, medical examination, fitness and drug tests
  • U.S. citizen, valid driver’s license, age 21-40
  • Eligible to carry a firearm

U.S. Marshal

Under the close supervision of senior U.S. Marshals, deputy U.S. Marshals perform the following vital law enforcement responsibilities: fugitive apprehension, court security, transporting and processing prisoners, conducting body searches of prisoners and persons under arrest, producing prisoners in court and maintaining custody of prisoners throughout the court proceedings, protecting sequestered juries, protecting court facilities and personnel, executing civil and criminal processes, and enforcing court orders and Attorney General orders involving civil disturbances, acts of terrorism, etc.


  • Bachelor’s degree or three years of work experience (or equivalent combination)
  • U.S. citizen, excellent physical condition, age 21-36
  • Eligible to carry a firearm

Drug Enforcement Agency Special Agent

DEA special agents enforce the controlled substances laws and regulations of the United States. They bring to justice organizations — including those with ties to terrorism—and their principal members, who are involved in the growing, manufacture or distribution of controlled substances. They support the diligent efforts of the special agents who play an essential and exclusive role in contributing to our nation’s war on drugs and terrorism, and work to dismantle drug trafficking organizations, prosecute drug traffickers, and destroy the financial infrastructure of these organizations. As the government’s premier federal drug law enforcement agency, this is the mission and objective of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).


  • Bachelor’s degree
  • U.S. citizen, age 21-36, valid driver’s license, excellent physical condition w/vision requirements, background investigation
  • Eligible to carry a firearm

IRS Criminal Investigator

In support of the overall IRS mission, criminal investigation (CI) serves the American public by investigating potential criminal violations of the Internal Revenue Code and related financial crimes in a manner that fosters confidence in the tax system and compliance with the law.


  • Bachelor’s degree, 3 years of work experience, CPA, or a combination of education and experience
  • US citizen, valid driver’s license, age 21-37
  • Eligible to carry a firearm

Postal Inspector

USPS Postal inspectors investigate criminal, civil, and administrative violations of postal-related laws, often using forensics and cutting-edge technologies. It is essential that postal inspectors be in sound physical condition and capable of performing rigorous physical activities on a sustained basis.


  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Age 21-36, valid driver’s license, no prior felony convictions
  • Must pass visual and hearing tests and be in good physical condition

Park Ranger

National Park Service Incumbents perform law enforcement duties such as road patrols, traffic enforcement, and boundary/hunting patrols. They also investigate motor vehicle accidents and issue citations; respond to emergency calls; take action to preserve peace, resolve problems, and protect visitors and resources; apprehend violators; assist at major crime or accident scenes; and provide basic information to visiting public about park facilities and resources. Park rangers also enforce fish and game regulations, permit requirements and restrictions, and public use limitations/restrictions. Overtime and shift-work can be expected.


  • 4 years of study after high school with 24 hrs. or related coursework and 1 year of specialized experience equivalent to at least GS-4 (or equivalent combination)
  • Must complete National Park Service (NPS) Seasonal Law Enforcement Training Program prior to start date
  • Physical examination and background investigation

Conservation Enforcement Officer

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources After completing all required training, Conservation Enforcement Officers are responsible for enforcing conservation laws pertaining to game and fish, seafood, water safety, and parks. Work is performed outdoors under varied climate conditions, is usually performed alone, and includes interpreting laws and regulations for the public, investigating conservation conditions, and apprehending violators which requires knowledge of laws and procedures as well as judgment and tact in public contacts. Instructions are given as necessary by a superior officer who makes inspections of field work, assists in more complex enforcement problems, and reviews reports of activities.


  • High school diploma or GED
  • 6 months of experience in an area related to the laws and regulations of conservation programs, including as game, fish, seafood, and water safety
  • U.S. citizen, 21 years old at the time of application, Alabama driver’s license
  • Must meet the standards of Alabama Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission during probationary period.

Security Officer

Alabama Department of Youth Services Security officers maintain order and control of confined youth and visitors of the Department of Youth Services. They control access to the facility by patrolling the perimeter and by monitoring the main gate. They serve as law enforcement officers on departmental property in apprehending youth. Their work includes preventing and controlling riots, and recognizing illicit substances. Security Officers work night and weekend shifts and are subject to 24-hour call.


  • High school diploma/GED or 1 year of experience working in law enforcement or with delinquent youth
  • Must have a valid Alabama driver’s license to patrol campus and transport students to court and other facilities.

Sears Loss Prevention: Undergraduate Program

Sears is one of the nation’s largest and most successful retailers, operating nearly 900 full-line stores and 1,100 specialty stores, along with related service businesses. Historically rich yet thoroughly modern and innovative, Sears is the only retailer where consumers can find each of the Kenmore, Craftsman, Diehard and Lands’ End brands together – among the most trusted and preferred brands in the U.S. Sears also offers a variety of merchandise and services through its web sites and several specialty catalogs. The Sears Holdings Loss Prevention Management Development Program is designed to develop talented associates into high-performing managers and leaders within the retail field organization.


  • Major in Criminal Justice/Criminology, Business, Accounting, Finance, or Management Strong academic performance
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Demonstrated leadership abilities, dedication to customer service, strong communication skills, and a willingness to relocate
  • U.S. Citizen or permanent resident

Forensic Investigator

Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences This is forensic fieldwork assisting a State Medical Examiner or forensic pathologist in death investigations. Employees in this class participate in death scene investigations and collection of medical history and records. Work involves interviewing physicians, relatives, etc., in order to collect medical background and history information; assisting State Medical Examiner/forensic pathologist in external examination, photographing bodies, taking fingerprints, and preserving evidence during autopsies; assisting law enforcement officials in preserving and collecting evidence at the scene of death; maintaining a proper legal chain of custody for bodies to be autopsied; completing death investigation reports and testifying in court when necessary. As employees gain experience, work involves more complex assignments, which could include training and reviewing the work of less experienced investigators.


  • Bachelor’s degree and two years of experience as a certified Peace Officer (Experience above the minimum as a certified Peace Officer may substitute for up to two years of the required education on a year-for-year basis.); or a bachelor’s degree with a major in criminal justice, including a criminal justice internship
  • Qualified applicants must meet the requirements of the Alabama Peace Officers Standard and Training Act, which include U.S. citizenship, the possession of a valid Alabama driver’s license, and no prior felony convictions.

Police Records Coordinator

Under the general supervision of the Police Chief, plans, coordinates, and supervises and reviews the operations of the Police Department’s Records Division, including computer system administration; performs the preparation, processing, indexing, storage, retention, dissemination and disposition of police records; performs related work as assigned.

More Information

Visit our Resources page for links to local, state, and federal agencies and job postings.