Narcotics Officer Job Description & Career Outlook

Narcotic officers, or agents as they are often called, perform undercover investigations into drug activity in specified cities and counties. Drug abuse has become a tremendous problem affecting persons of any age, sex, color or social stature. For this reason, the demand for law enforcement officers with training in narcotics has increased dramatically.

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Job Description & Common Tasks

Narcotics officers use a variety of techniques and resources during the course of their work, including video surveillance, wiretapping and K-9 units. They may also work undercover to earn the trust of informants. Narcotics officers may work long hours in dangerous situations. The job description may also require that they handle firearms and be familiar with basic forms of self defense. Stress management and physical fitness are also important parts of the job.

Narcotics Officer Requirements & Training

Many law enforcement agencies require a narcotics enforcement officer to have a two or four year degree. A major in police science or criminology is recommended. Narcotics officers are also required to complete training in the use of firearms, detection devices and investigation equipment. In some states, certification is necessary to become a narcotics enforcement officer. A narcotics officer will also need to pass a background check, a drug test, a polygraph test, a physical and a psychiatric exam.

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Narcotics Officer Salary, Job Outlook & Employers

A police officer’s salary depends on the officer’s rank, division and place of employment, experience, and education. In addition to their regular pay, police officers typically receive a benefit package including medical, dental and vision insurance. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median pay for police and detectives was $56,980 per year as of 2012.1 The BLS projects that employment for police and detectives will be 5% from 2012 to 2022.1

Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Related Programs

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References:
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/protective-service/police-and-detectives.htm

Page Edited by Charles Sipe.