Is this a job that rewards experience, or is this job most likely a part of a career ladder? The higher a job's experience quotient, the more experience is rewarded with pay increases. Jobs in the green range have the best rewards with experience.
Take a minute to look at how much you might expect your salary to increase with each five years' experience, as well as how the numbers working at each age change. Does this seem to be a job for the young or the old, or could it be a career offering steady salary growth for many years?
With 14% women, this occupation has a lower percentage of women than 74% of careers.
The median salary for all full-time male workers in the US exceeds the full-time median salary for women by 19%. The situation is a little better for police officers, with the median salary for men 18% higher than the median salary for women.
The chart below shows the salary inequity, the percentage by which the median men's salary is higher than the median women's salary for all but about 20 jobs in which women typically earn more than men.
Here we check out the diversity of origin in this career. The percentage of minority police officers falls in about the middle of all careers' percentages. There is a smaller percentage of foreign-born workers in this career than in most other careers.
For some careers, there is a pay disparity depending on race or origin, though this is not prevalent. We calculate standard errors for all of our calculations, and when the error is high we do not show results. Therefore, for some jobs will have omitted race/origin categories.
We've found that somes jobs hava a huge number of part-time workers, and that typically most who are working part-time are doing so because they cannot find full-time work or the job they have cannot provide full-time hours. With 3% part-time workers, this occupation has a lower percentage of part-time workers than 89% of careers.
The salary distributions for full-time and part-time police officers is shown following.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), police and sheriff's patrol officers typically hold a high school diploma or equivalent.
Sometimes the typical education identified by the BLS differs a bit from the reality of the how much education current workers actually have. The donut shows the education level held by people currently working as police officers as reported in responses to the American Community Survey.
Police and detective applicants must have at least a high school diploma or equivalent, although many federal agencies and some police departments require some college coursework or a college degree. Many community colleges, 4-year colleges, and universities offer programs in law enforcement and criminal justice. Knowledge of a foreign language is an asset in many federal agencies and geographical regions.
Fish and game wardens typically need a bachelor’s degree; desirable fields of study include wildlife science, biology, or natural resources management.
Federal agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation also typically require prospective detectives and investigators to have a bachelor's degree.
Many applicants for entry-level police jobs have taken some college classes, and a significant number are college graduates.
What level of education is truly needed for police officers? Below we see the distribution of police officers salaries based on the education attained.
The Department of Education recommends the following college degree programs as preparation for this career. You can click a program row to learn more about the program and explore a list of schools that offer the program.
What jobs will most police officers hold next year?
The data in this chart comes from person interviews for the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey. The survey interviews households eight times over a two-year period, allowing us a glimpse into how people move from job to job. You can see more details from the results of the survey in our last tab in this section, and you can read about our methodology in our source descriptions.
Here we see all of the jobs that at least 1% of police officers reported holding in their second year's survey. Is your future job on this list?
A lateral career transition is a move to a job with similar pay and responsibilities. A move to such a job can offer a change of pace without an increase in stress or a decrease in pay. The following table simply identifies all 5 jobs which were held by at least 1% of survey respondents before working as police officers as well as 1% of respondents after working as police officers. Select a row to investigate the job's full description and determine if it truly offers an opportunity for a lateral transition.
What do people typically do before and after they work as police officers? Here are the full lists of all jobs that at least 1% of police officers surveyed reported as holding a year earlier or later.
Some careers tend to be centered in specific parts of the country. For example, most jobs in fashion are in New York or California. Let's see if your dream job is easy to find in your dream location! We have a few choices for viewing the data that can help you get a full employment picture.
Which states hire the most police and sheriff's patrol officers? We wonder if that's a fair question since states come in all sizes, so instead let's start with the question of which states have the highest density of people working as police and sheriff's patrol officers. You can choose to view the number of jobs per state if you prefer.
This map defaults to employment information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which provides job totals carefully compiled for accuracy and with a primary focus on how employers describe their workers. The BLS job totals do not count self-employed workers. We've also compiled totals using the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) which are based on how workers describe themselves. Sometimes ACS results are quite a bit different from the employer-based BLS data.
One important factor in the differences between ACS and BLS data is that the ACS numbers are for all police officers, comprised of all specialities listed in the menu bar, and you can choose to view the BLS at the specialty or full career level.
We use two methods to compare salaries across states:
We hope the ratio allows perspective about how salaries may compare to the regional cost-of-living.
We have two sources for statewide salary information with important distinctions. The BLS data is created by surveying companies, missing individuals who are self-employed or work for smaller companies. The ACS data is compiled from multi-faceted household surveys and may reflect the inconsistencies that people may have in reporting information. The ACS salaries are for all police officers, which combines the specialities from which you can choose at the top of the page.
If this job interests you, then use the tabs and education selector to find other careers that might be a good fit for you.
There are a number of ways to measure the similarity of jobs, here are a few we provide: