Criminal Justice Articles

What does a Homeland Security Officer do?

After the 911 terrorist attacks, homeland security in the United States became a top priority. The result has been a rapid development of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Right now, it is estimated that there are around 180,000 officers working in that department, and around 1.5 million homeland security officers working for private agencies. It is no surprise to learn employment opportunities for homeland security officers and other professionals is expected to grow in local and national sectors significantly through 2020.

A homeland security officer may be primarily responsible for making sure that all United States borders, airports, seaports and other waterways are secure. They also spend time analyzing, researching, and developing innovative security technology that would help them perform their job well if ever faced with an extraordinary situation such as a natural disaster or terrorist attack. They may also be trained to analyze intelligence reports so that they may effectively prevent, deter, and detect any threats to the homeland.

There is reportedly some personality types better suited for this type of work than others. For instance, the ideal homeland security officer is a reliable individual with excellent communication skills. He or she would also exhibit good judgment and be able to stay calm in otherwise chaotic situations. Homeland security officers are constantly dealing with the latest technology, so being computer savvy is a must. Officers are also expected to be in tip top physical condition in order to effectively carry out the sometimes rigorous duties of the job.

Homeland security officers may be employed by several different agencies. They include, but are not limited to, the U.S. Capitol Police, The Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services, the U.S. Secret Service, the Federal Protective Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Transportation Security Administration and Park Services.

The security industry is such an important part of the United States landscape these days, that anyone interested in becoming a homeland security officer could find schools offering homeland security degree programs that may prepare them to enter this field. Some programs provide students with an associate degree, which may allow them to transfer to a four-year institution where they can work on pursuing a specialty degree in Homeland Security.

The program curriculum may include courses shared with the criminal justice program like Introduction to Homeland Security, Understanding Terrorism, Organizational and Facility Security, Introduction to Emergency Management, and Introduction to Intelligence.

There are many different specialties available for those seeking a career in homeland security. They include:

  • Security Police Officer
  • FBI
  • Secret Service
  • State Police Officer
  • U.S. Marshal
  • Special Agent
  • Customs Investigator
  • Diplomatic Security
  • Homeland Security Special Agent

Many homeland security officers may start their career straight out of the military or after working in an entry-level government position. Homeland security is still considered a relatively new career, but the options for employment may be vast. There may be new career opportunities for security officers created all the time. A career as a homeland security officer may be an opportunity to protect and serve your country and its citizens.

Schools OfferingHomeland Security Courses:

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  • BS in Criminal Justice - Homeland Security


Anna Maria College is a private, not-for-profit, Catholic liberal arts institution accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Founded by the Sisters of Saint Anne in 1946, AMC's programs integrate liberal education and professional preparation that reflect the respect for liberal arts and sciences education grounded in the traditions of the Sisters of Saint Anne—educational innovation, service to others, and access to a quality education for all.


  • Master of Public Administration - Homeland Security


Recognized by the U.S. News and World Report for: Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s 2017, Best Online Programs, Grad Education 2017 and Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s for Veterans 2017


  • Criminal Justice - Homeland & International Security (Bachelor of Science) - Online

  • Northcentral University was founded in 1996 to provide working professionals around the world with unprecedented access to richly engaging, professionally relevant, and academically-rigorous education from a U.S. university.


  • Doctor of Criminal Justice - Homeland Security


Since 1977, Keiser University has maintained a practical, hands-on approach to career-focused education to help our students achieve their personal and professional goals.  Our student-centered approach remains at the foundation of the Keiser University mission and continues to attract students who prefer a more personal learning experience.


  • Master of Arts in Homeland Security

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