Those working in law enforcement put their own safety aside everyday so they can serve and protect the citizens within their jurisdiction. How much do police officers make depends largely upon where they are employed and in what capacity. Police officer salary according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics has a median annual salary of $55,270 or $26.57 per hour. Officers who are in the lower ten percent of the pay spectrum earn approximately $32,350 or $15.55 per hour whereas officers in the top ninety percent will have an annual salary of $89,310 or $42.94 per hour.
How Much Does a Police Officer Make – The Potential Salary
The salary of a police officer depends on where they work, meaning the location. Large cities will pay a higher salary than a small town. Sheriffs and sheriff deputies may also earn a larger salary than a small town officer. Police detectives will earn a median salary of $55,010 or $26.45 per hour. Detectives can potentially earn $89,310 per year or $42.94 per hour. Police chiefs and sheriffs will average $97,715 per year. They have the potential to earn $109,094 per year.
Police officers are often referred to as peace keepers since they ensure that citizens are staying within the boundaries of the law. Officers will respond to distress calls and emergency situations. They will conduct investigations and interviews. It is the duty of officers to arrest law breakers. They will also prepare reports and perform other administrative duties.
How to Become a Police Officer – The Process
A person must be at least 21 years old before they can become an officer. They must also possess a valid driver’s license and be a legal resident of the United States before they can become a police officer. Those aspiring to become a police officer must not have a criminal record; felonies of any kind and misdemeanors where a hate crime took place will disqualify a person. A high school diploma or a GED is required. While a college degree is not a requirement, taking classes that delve deeper into related fields such as law will give a better insight into law enforcement. A person must enroll in a police academy to obtain the necessary skills required to become a police officer. After graduating from a police academy, an officer must then pass several examinations including a written skills test and a physical fitness test. Officers are also required to pass a background check and a drug test. Some precincts now expect their officers to pass a psychological examination.
Police officers pledge to serve and protect. Their commitment to their job and the duties they must complete are not reflected in the salary that they earn. Officers gain the respect of their community and have the ability to work their way up the pay scale as they gain experience and they can also advance by moving into authoritative positions within the precinct.