10 Most Exciting Jobs For Former Police Officers

By Ryan Morris
Oct. 4, 2017

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It’s tough to be a police officer nowadays, and more and more cops are losing confidence in their own profession.

While the amount of people majoring in criminal justice-related courses isn’t necessarily dropping, fewer and fewer people are applying to become beat cops in the first place and the police workforce itself is beginning to wane.

With so many police officers no longer being police officers, this begs the question: what are all these former cops doing now?

We were curious, so we looked through the resumes of former police officers to see what kind of jobs they were moving into after leaving the field of pure police work. There were thousands of answers, so we made the cutoff at the top 100 jobs.

The full list of those jobs can be found below, but here’s a quick top ten:

  1. Security Officer
  2. Deputy Sheriff
  3. Investigator
  4. Correction Officer
  5. Customer Service Representative
  6. Sales Associate
  7. Owner
  8. Sergeant
  9. Operations Manager
  10. Driver

These are all good jobs, all of them either utilizing some skill that a police officer would have, being a stepping stone to a different career, or being otherwise exciting in their own way.

Here’s the thing about these jobs though — as a list, they’re kind of boring as hell. They’re pretty much exactly what you’d expect a lot of former police officers to do after teaching.

But given that there are some very surprising and interesting items on this list, we’ve decided to highlight a few of those instead.

Here are some of the most interesting jobs of former cops:

  1. Loss Prevention Specialist
  2. Detective
  3. Agent
  4. Director Of Public Safety
  5. Bartender
  6. Platoon Sergeant
  7. Pilot
  8. Federal Air Marshal
  9. Fire Fighter
  10. Barber

Some of these items are admittedly more attractive than one another as far as actually working the job goes, but one way or another, you’ve got to admit they’re eye-catching.

How We Determined the Most Common Jobs of Former Police Officers

Using resume information from our database of over 7 million resumes, we looked at all resumes that listed police work under their work history. Then we looked at which jobs (besides more policing) showed up on their work histories following their police positions, sorting them by their most frequent.

That’s how we made the initial ranked list, which you’ll find at the bottom of the article. To make our list of most interesting jobs, we looked through the ranked list to see if any positions stood out as memorable or worth noting.

That’s all — below, you’ll find our list of the most interesting jobs of former police officers.

1. Loss Prevention Specialist


Percentage of Former Cops: 0.12%
Loss Prevention specialists are like cops for individual stores — their responsibilities include deterring shoplifting and apprehending shoplifters, but it can also include keeping other employees from stealing from the store. This could be a great job for those who enjoyed the investigative aspects of police work but want to keep doing so with the stakes a little lower than before.

2. Detective


Percentage of Former Cops: 0.53%
Detectives are those who investigate crimes by piecing together evidence and observing the habits of criminals or suspected criminals. While many detectives work for police departments, there are also a number of private detective agencies out there for those with the knowledge and expertise.

3. Agent


Percentage of Former Cops: 0.16%
The word “agent” here is most likely used to refer to those who act as third parties in order to mediate contracts and relationships between two other parties, a good job for police officers who have a lot of experience with mediation. But there’s always the chance it could also refer to James Bond-style secret agents. You don’t know.

4. Director Of Public Safety


Percentage of Former Cops: 0.12%
For those looking for a little more responsibility following their law enforcement career, this position has you covered. Directors of Public Safety are often responsible for multiple city or town safety departments, such as the fire, police, or emergency services departments, and often report directly to mayors or other public officials.

5. Bartender


Percentage of Former Cops: 0.08%
Bartending is an excellent position for former cops with excellent listening skills and a love for some of the finer things in life (namely, booze). It might even pay better, depending on how well your customers tip.

6. Platoon Sergeant


Percentage of Former Cops: 0.07%
The senior enlisted member of an army platoon, Platoon Sergeants typically have extensive military experience before they take on the gig. However, military experience is not necessarily a prerequisite — either way, experience in police work (and especially the leadership skills that come along with this) certainly won’t hurt if you’re interested in this position.

7. Pilot


Percentage of Former Cops: 0.06%
One of the more definitively exciting positions on this list, pilots operate planes and helicopters for both the public and the private sector.

8. Federal Air Marshal


Percentage of Former Cops: 0.06%
For those cops looking to soar through the air while doing more cop-related work rather than actually piloting the craft, becoming a Federal Air Marshal might be the way to go. These elite marksmen and investigators blend in with passengers in order to keep airways safe from killers and criminals alike.

9. Fire Fighter


Percentage of Former Cops: 0.05%
For some, public service is a calling that can take on any number of forms. Many police officers leave the force to become firefighters, working to keep communities safe from fires and other natural disasters.

10. Barber


Percentage of Former Cops: 0.03%
Barbers cut and style hair, which — we admit — doesn’t sound nearly as exciting as police work. We mostly included this one because of the hilarious image we have of a muscle-bound cop in an apron struggling to make a four-year-old sit still long enough to get a buzzcut.

Wrapping Up

That’s all for now! Below you’ll find the full ranked list of the most common jobs of former police officers.

Are you a recent college graduate on the hunt for a job? Find out how to tell a hiring manager about the ways that you handle job-related stress.

Or are you looking for more articles like this one? Check out which states in the US are the best for police officers.

Detailed Ranking of the Most Common Jobs of Former Police Officers

Job Title Percentage Of Former Cops
Security Officer 3.73%
Deputy Sheriff 2.04%
Investigator 0.98%
Correction Officer 0.84%
Customer Service Representative 0.68%
Sales Associate 0.66%
Owner 0.62%
Sergeant 0.61%
Operations Manager 0.61%
Driver 0.61%
Manager 0.58%
Security Supervisor 0.55%
Security Manager 0.54%
Security Guard 0.53%
Lieutenant 0.53%
Detective 0.53%
Substitute Teacher 0.52%
Supervisor 0.50%
Administrative Assistant 0.49%
General Manager 0.48%
Security Specialist 0.46%
Team Leader 0.44%
Instructor 0.41%
Criminal Investigator 0.41%
Patrol Officer 0.41%
Program Manager 0.40%
Special Agent 0.40%
Owner/Operator 0.39%
Deputy 0.39%
Assistant Manager 0.39%
Adjunct Professor 0.38%
Project Manager 0.37%
Adjunct Instructor 0.34%
Officer 0.34%
Private Investigator 0.34%
Store Manager 0.33%
Truck Driver 0.33%
Security Director 0.32%
Office Manager 0.32%
Technician 0.32%
Emergency Medical Technician 0.31%
Internship 0.31%
Teacher 0.29%
Public Safety Officer 0.28%
Dispatcher 0.27%
Case Manager 0.26%
Sales Representative 0.26%
Account Manager 0.26%
Consultant 0.26%
Maintenance Technician 0.25%
Security 0.25%
Server 0.24%
Special Investigator 0.24%
Registered Nurse 0.23%
Volunteer 0.23%
Cashier 0.23%
Sales Consultant 0.23%
Site Supervisor 0.22%
Custom Protection Officer 0.21%
Patrol Sergeant 0.21%
Captain 0.21%
Operations Director 0.19%
Specialist 0.19%
Associate 0.19%
Loss Prevention Manager 0.19%
Delivery Driver 0.18%
President 0.18%
Shift Supervisor 0.18%
Protection Security Officer 0.18%
Attorney 0.17%
Protection Specialist 0.17%
Chief Executive Officer 0.17%
Field Training Officer 0.17%
Transportation Security Officer 0.17%
Executive 0.16%
Director 0.16%
Securities Consultant 0.16%
Agent 0.16%
Senior Investigator 0.16%
Coordinator 0.16%
Operation Supervisor 0.16%
Operations Officer 0.16%
Detective Investigator 0.16%
Machine Operator 0.15%
Sales Manager 0.15%
Operator 0.15%
Account Executive 0.15%
Protective Officer 0.15%
Service Technician 0.15%
Equipment Operator 0.15%
Detective Sergeant 0.15%
Background Investigator 0.14%
Detention Officer 0.14%
Field Service Technician 0.14%
Safety Director 0.14%
Communications Officer 0.14%
Patrol Deputy Sheriff 0.14%
Deputy Director 0.14%
Fraud Investigator 0.14%
Force Protection Officer 0.14%

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Ryan Morris

Ryan Morris was a writer for the Zippia Advice blog who tried to make the job process a little more entertaining for all those involved. He obtained his BA and Masters from Appalachian State University.

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Topics: Rankings