The role of a police officer is different each day. Focusing on prevention, police officers are committed to minimizing potentially deadly situations and protecting others. Training, education, and experience help police officers handle an array of public safety emergencies. Apart from salary, police officers accrue other benefits such as an early retirement plan, which helps compensate for the hazards involved in this profession.
Police officers maintain communities safe. Most police officers spend most of their time on patrol. A police officer in a mini-community is generally responsible for multiple roles. For instance, they respond to 911 calls, monitor speed zones, assist with roadside emergencies, and provide community education. A police officer in a bigger community may be assigned to specific roles such as narcotics, domestic violence, or surveillance. Besides, police officers complete daily reports to document incidents that occurred during their shift. For instance, if a police officer responds to a car accident, an accident report must be completed and filed. This paperwork is essential and may be used in a criminal case or by insurance companies.
Education qualifications to become a police officer vary by location, but all applicants require a high school diploma. Given the competitive nature of this occupation, advanced education is an advantage. Completing a bachelor’s degree or an associate degree in criminal justice or law enforcement will provide you an edge on your competition.
Typical college courses include juvenile justice procedures, tactical communications, police stress, policing theory, and criminal investigation. Some jurisdictions need to complete a skills certificate course known as PPOE (Professional Peace Officer Education Program) and pass a licensing exam. If you have an honorable discharge and military experience, you may be able to bypass educational requirements if you pass a licensing exam.
How Much Do Police Officers Make
Careers in the U.S:
In 2019, the average wage for police officers was $64,490 per year or $31.00 per hour, as stated by the U.S. BLS. Police officers work around the clock, and compensation varies by state and city. For instance, California was the top-paying state where police officers earned $100,090 on average per annum, which is well above the average pay police earned in other regions of the country. Police officers are vital to public safety so that this career opportunity will keep pace with population growth(1).
Years of Experience
The experience will set you apart in the job field. Serving as a security guard for a private company or in the military can be helpful in the job market. Experience and continuing education will help you stay abreast of new advances and technology in community policing. The initial year as a police officer is considered a probationary period. As you become more experienced, you can have opportunities to become a sergeant, detective, or commander.
Careers in Europe:
An entry-level Police Officer with less than one year experience can expect to make an average total compensation (includes bonus, tips, and overtime pay) of £22,724. An early career Police Officer with 1-5 years of experience earns an average total compensation of £25,438. A mid-career Police Officer with 5-10 years of experience earns an average total compensation of £33,218. An experienced Police Officer with 10-20 years of experience earns an average total compensation of £38,079. In their late-career (20-plus years), employees make an average total compensation of £37,277.
Careers in Asia:
An early career Police Officer with an experience of 1-5 years makes an average total remuneration (includes bonus, tips, and overtime pay) of S$44,712. A mid-career Police Officer with 5-10 years of experience earns an average total compensation of S$40,356. An experienced Police Officer with 10-20 years of experience earns an average total compensation of S$65,000. In their late-career (20-plus years), employees earn an average total compensation of S$60,000.
Job Growth Trend
According to the U.S. BLS, a seven-percent growth in the job market is expected for police officers between 2016 and 2026. You will find the most job opportunities in Illinois. Florida, New York, Texas, or California. Similarly, urban centers have a higher density of police officer positions available.