FAQ: How Much Do Police Officers and Sheriffs Make?

Similar tasks are carried out by sheriff’s deputies and police officers, with the exception of accident reports. Depending on the district, you’ll frequently see them policing courtrooms, defending defendants, and even acting as bailiffs. Police officers are members of the legal system who respond to accidents and crimes. They also patrol the streets, control traffic and train cadets. The differences in responsibility mean differences in pay.

According to PayScale, the median salary for a deputy sheriff in June 2018 was $42,888, with annual salaries ranging from $30,143 to $73,072. com. The amount paid may vary depending on the location, experience level, and size of the target market. For instance, entry-level deputy sheriff salaries were typically $38,000, while the most senior ones were typically $55,000. The median annual salary for deputy sheriffs in Los Angeles was $83,015, significantly higher than the $39,536 national average.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, police officers earned a median salary of $61,050 per year in May 2017, which was higher than that of sheriff’s deputies. Most earned between $35,020 and $100,610 annually. As with deputies, pay varied by location, experience and population. According to the BLS, California had the highest average wage at $100,090. In addition, according to PayScale, entry-level police officers made an average of $44,000, while the most senior ones made an average of $64,000 in June 2018. com.

Deputies and police officers follow the same basic training. Fieldwork or on-the-job training follows the agency’s training academy in the beginning. An average of 894 hours of training are required for deputies, of which 582 are spent in the academy and 312 in the field. In contrast, police officers are required to work an average of 922 hours, including 613 in the academy and 309 in the field.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates a 7% increase in police officer employment through 2026. This is the same as the average for the entire U S. occupations. Local governments will hire more police officers as towns try to increase safety. A bachelor’s degree, experience, and better job prospects make new officers stand out in this cutthroat field.

Police or Sheriff’s Patrol Officer Salary
Percentile Salary
25th Percentile Police or Sheriff’s Patrol Officer Salary $56,710
50th Percentile Police or Sheriff’s Patrol Officer Salary $60,690
75th Percentile Police or Sheriff’s Patrol Officer Salary $66,080
90th Percentile Police or Sheriff’s Patrol Officer Salary $70,987

How much do police officers make?

The following criteria are typical ones that applicants must meet in order to become police officers:

Personal criteria

Candidates typically need to meet a few personal requirements in order to be eligible for the position of police officer. For instance, those seeking to become police officers must typically be at least 21 years old or 20 years old and have served in the military. Candidates also have their criminal histories checked because having a felony on their record could prevent them from getting the job. Candidates must also possess a valid driver’s license and frequently attest that they are open to working in any state in which they apply.


There are three ways to obtain the necessary education to become a police officer. The first choice is to obtain a bachelor’s degree in your chosen field. Many aspiring police officers major in criminal justice or psychology. Earning an associate’s degree is an additional option, but those who select it must major in law enforcement or criminal justice and complete three years of service in the military or as a police officer for the same agency.

The final option permits a candidate to forego a college education provided that they are an active member of the National Guard or military reserves, are serving in active duty, and have received a qualifying medal. The following medals can be used by applicants to waive their educational obligations:


Most applicants for entry-level police officer positions don’t need to finish training before they’re hired at a precinct. But after being hired, it is a requirement that all new police officers complete a training course at a police academy. These can be agency academies that provide instruction in particular methods employed by a certain agency or state and regional academies that educate law enforcement personnel from various agencies and locations. Candidates learn about subjects like police ethics, first aid, and operating police vehicles during training at the police academy.

What are the requirements for becoming a sheriff?

Before becoming a sheriff, candidates must typically fulfill the following requirements:

Personal criteria

Sheriffs, like police officers, typically must fulfill a list of requirements in order to be eligible to apply for the position. Candidates for a sheriff’s position, for instance, must be U S. citizens and at least 18 years old, though some counties may have a 21-year-old minimum requirement Before applying for the position, they typically need to have lived in the county where they want to serve as sheriff for at least a year.


A high school diploma or GED equivalent is typically the minimum education requirement to become a sheriff. Additionally, candidates typically need to have maintained an overall average of at least a “C.” In order to learn more about the industry and receive training in advanced concepts they can apply on the job, many sheriffs also decide to pursue a bachelor’s degree in law enforcement or criminal justice. For instance, a criminal justice bachelor’s degree program might concentrate on police ethics and the psychology of specific crimes, which can be helpful for sheriffs when making decisions.


Most sheriffs receive training through a police academy and hands-on experience, though specific training requirements for a sheriff can vary slightly depending on the county where they work. This is because a police academy can provide highly specialized instruction and training in concepts and methods of law enforcement that a collegiate program might not cover, such as using firearms and managing crowds. Sheriffs also receive training by working as police officers in the field to gain real-world experience that can help them learn about law enforcement and hone their skills.

County-specific requirements

The majority of counties have requirements that must be met before sheriffs can start working. These typically involve actions like passing a written exam that examines a candidate’s logical reasoning and covers various aspects of law enforcement work. Additionally, many counties conduct interviews with sheriffs to gauge their aptitude for problem-solving and communication. A physical fitness test, which is the last county-specific evaluation sheriffs typically go through, verifies a candidate is ready for the demanding work that the position requires.


The majority of counties require sheriff candidates to run for office. Putting together a campaign to run for sheriff may require you to give media interviews, distribute campaign literature, and interact with the general public to explain your platform. If a candidate wins an election after a successful campaign, they can take the oath and start serving as sheriff. Typically, a sheriff’s term is four years long, but this can vary depending on the county in which they serve.



Where do sheriffs get paid the most?

Highest paying cities for Deputy Sheriffs in United States
  • Los Angeles, CA. $121,355 per year. 5 salaries reported.
  • Columbiana, AL. $67,976 per year. 6 salaries reported.
  • Colorado Springs, CO. $64,008 per year. 7 salaries reported.
  • Atlanta, GA. $60,421 per year. …
  • Lawrenceville, GA. $47,546 per year. …
  • Show more nearby cities.

What is the highest paid police officer?

SAN FRANCISCO — According to city payroll records, San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr earns more than $300,000 per year, making him the highest-paid officer in the country.

How much does a local sheriff make?

The average salary for a sheriff in the US is $4,175 per month as of June 29, 2022. While ZipRecruiter reports monthly salaries for sheriffs ranging from $3,000 (25th percentile) to $4,875 (75th percentile), the majority of sheriff salaries currently in the United States fall between these ranges.

Are police officers Rich?

The average annual salary of a police officer, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), is $70,000. The average annual wage in high-paying states like California, according to the BLS, is over $100,000.

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