How to Become a Homeland Security Agent

For a decade now the Department of Homeland Security has been securing the country’s borders, airports, seaports and waterways.

Overview & Salaries

Recommended Degree:
The right degree for you to become a law enforcer depends on the position you apply for and the state. For police officers and detective roles, those looking for an entry position in these fields will likely need at least a high school degree. But some departments, especially those where becoming a police officer is more competitive, may require you to get a bachelors degree in criminal justice, homeland security or law enforcement. Most police and detectives must graduate from their agency’s training academy before completing a period of on-the-job training. After meeting the degree requirements, many states will have you complete a physical test along with a competency exam.

For those looking to get into the military, a high school degree and passing basic training is usually all that’s required. However, earning a bachelors degree from a top military school can help you advance high in the ranks.

Most states also require police officers and detectives to be at least 21 years old and military cadets have to be at least 16.

You can launch your career path today by signing up for free information from one of our accredited colleges below that offer programs to help get you started as a project manager.

How Much Does a Law Enforcer Make?
$56,980 (national median salary, to see salaries in your state click on the “Best Places to Work” tab up top)

Expected Growth from 2012-2020:
+41,400 additional people employed

Specialization Options:
Lawyer, police officer, special investigations, criminal forensics, private detective, detective, etc…

(all information above provided by the 2012 BLS Police and Detectives page) 

Places to Work

The Homeland security mission takes its employees to every state in the country and operates on land, sea and in the air. There are Homeland Security careers available at the local, regional and federal level.

Employment and Information Data for Homeland Security

Why Homeland Security

Created in response to 9/11 Terrorist Attacks, the Department of Homeland Security now employs 240,000 people in jobs that range from aviation and border security to emergency response, from cyber security analyst to chemical facility inspectors.

Recommended Homeland Security Courses

  • Criminal Behavior
  • Constitutional Law
  • Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • Cultural Diversity and Justice
  • Realities of Crime and Justice
  • Statistics in Criminal Justice
  • Research Methods in Criminal Justice
  • Criminal Justice Leadership and Management
  • Crime Prevention
  • Contemporary Issues in Criminal Justice Capstone

Degrees for Homeland Security Careers

Because of the immense size of the agency and diversity of its tasks, the Department of Homeland Security has many positions available for every career level from beginning professionals to mid-career transitions. These positions require a varying range of educational backgrounds.

It wasn’t so long ago that if you wanted a career in criminal justice and law enforcement you went down to the local police department and picked up an application. Today, the world has changed and the more courses you take, and the more advanced your knowledge will be. This knowledge could be the key that will allow you to achieve a wider range of career opportunities.

Certificate Programs
A certificate in Dispute Resolution Certificate teaches students and mid-career professionals the techniques, theories and skills of resolving conflicts. This is an ideal program for law enforcement officers looking to advance and specialize their career of beginning students hoping to find a niche in the field.

Bachelor’s Degree
For many law enforcement agencies today a bachelor’s degree is a minimum requirement. However, with the proliferation of criminal justice and law programs, the opportunities for study are great than ever in this discipline.

Master’s Degree
A master’s degree in criminal justice allow for many concentrations  from forensic psychology, to international crime and justice to protection management. This advanced two-year degree is ideal for mid-career professionals seeking to expand their skills while advancing their careers.