Career Advice Ex-Forces

9 Best Jobs for Ex-Police Officers

John Smith

Are you looking for jobs for ex-police officers? If so, keep reading.

Working in the police force can be an extremely rewarding, yet physically and mentally demanding job. Police officers are required to put themselves in dangerous situations, work long shifts and spend hours on their feet. It comes as no surprise that the average length of service of police officers in the UK is just 12.8 years, with many officers choosing to switch careers for something less stressful or better suited to their lifestyle.

Whatever your reasons for changing careers, making the transition can be daunting, and it can be challenging to find the right direction. After all, for some, the police force is all you’ve ever known. Fret not! Your skills and training can be transferred into a variety of other jobs for ex-police officers, from crime analysis and cyber security to teaching roles!

Let’s take a look at some of the best jobs for ex-police personnel…

Why do many ex-police officers pursue a second career?

Working in the police, or any shift work for that matter, can cause havoc in your personal life. It can disrupt your sleeping schedule and take its toll on your overall health. This is particularly problematic for those juggling parenting duties and trying to maintain healthy relationships. Similarly, many officers choose to retire early from the police force for more stable working hours and a less physically demanding job in older age.

Not to mention, many officers put themselves in dangerous situations, high-stress chases and mountains of paperwork on a daily basis. These are some of the main reasons why police officers decide to switch careers.

What are the top sectors for ex-police personnel?

Ex-police officers have a variety of transferable skills and would make an asset to any company; however, their law enforcement experience is particularly well-received in the following sectors:

9 best jobs for ex-police officers

1. Digital forensic examiners

Digital forensic examiners are responsible for gathering data from digital media, such as video footage, even if the media is damaged. The role involves the collection, preservation and analysis of evidence from this digital media. To do this job, you need a strong understanding of emerging technologies and computers, as well as investigative skills, which are typical of ex-police officers.

2. Parole and probation officer

A parole and probation officer is someone who is appointed to supervise parolees and help them rehabilitate into society after being incarcerated. A parole officer may be required to maintain regular contact with parolees, carry out risk assessments, schedule parole hearings and submit reports. This is a highly rewarding career that enables you to help parolees find employment and build a support network – giving others a second chance at life. Proven work experience in a similar role is typically required, and the police is perfect for this.

3. Fire safety inspector

A fire safety inspector carries out building visits to check for fire hazards and ensure building regulations are met. They will test fire alarms and sprinklers, inspect electrical equipment, check emergency exits, communicate with building developers and conduct follow-up visits where necessary. Typically, fire inspectors will split their time between working in an office and on-site, making this an ideal role for someone who wants a more relaxed job, without fully committing to a desk.

4. Security guard

Similar to a police officer, a security guard is in charge of patrolling certain areas, like shops, events or offices, to ensure the safety of people and property. Their day-to-day may involve guarding doors, checking IDs, monitoring surveillance cameras and investigating security breaches. Police training can come in handy in a role like this, particularly knowledge of the law, self-defence techniques and how to detain threats.

5. Private investigator or detective

A private investigator or detective is someone who carries out investigations on behalf of private clients, such as individuals, groups, or businesses. Very similar to a career as a detective constable, private detectives collect and analyse evidence for cases, typically legal, financial or personal matters. Becoming a private investigator is one of the best paid jobs for ex-police officers, and can pay over £85 an hour depending on the client!

6. Teacher in criminal justice

A criminal justice teacher works in the educational field, teaching students about criminology and law enforcement. This can be at secondary school or university level. In most cases, you will require a relevant qualification or experience in law enforcement, making it the ideal job for ex-police officers who know the justice system inside out!

7. Cyber security

Working in cyber security involves using technology to protect computer programmes and devices from threats and attacks, essentially acting as a digital security guard. This could involve protecting sensitive information, client details or confidential data, for example. With a vast increase in cyber crime and a shortage in cyber security professionals, ex-police officers with a criminal mentality make the ideal candidate to meet the demand. 

8. Crime analysts

A crime analyst conducts an analysis of investigations in order to identify links between cases or identify potential suspects, often working to find patterns, recognise repeat offenders and prevent future crimes. To become a crime analyst, you will typically require a university degree in criminal justice, or have experience in a similar field, such as the police.

9. Financial crime and anti-fraud services

Working in financial crime and anti-fraud services, you will work to prevent fraud and financial crimes. Daily tasks for a financial crime analyst may include conducting customer due diligence, investigating suspicious activity, implementing new processes and procedures, and providing financial crime training.

Our top tips for transitioning from law enforcement into a second career

When it comes to transitioning from law enforcement into a second career, there are a few things you can do to prepare yourself and find the best opportunities, including:

Find out more about how to find a career for ex-police officers.

Are you looking to leave the force and find more ex-police opportunities? At FDM, we support ex-police officers making the transition to a career in technology and business, offering expert training programmes and work placements. Check out the FDM Ex-Forces Careers Programme for more information.