These Are The 10 Best States In America For Police Officers

Chris Kolmar
by Chris Kolmar
Rankings - 2 years ago
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Police Officers are one of the most common jobs in America. Additionally, a significant number of people work as police officers in every state in the union — it’s not like they are all just concentrated in California or the South.

Since police officers are such a prominent occupation, we at Zippia wanted to look at where police officers have it the best: where there are plenty of jobs to go around and people get paid what they deserve during every phase of their career.

To that end, we dove into the numbers from the BLS to figure out which states have the best opportunities for police officers.

After all the numbers had been crunched, we were left with this list of the best of best for America’s police officers:

  1. Illinois
  2. California
  3. Texas
  4. New Jersey
  5. Nevada
  6. Delaware
  7. Arizona
  8. Washington
  9. Colorado
  10. Pennsylvania

So there you have it — Police And Sheriff’s Patrol Officers is the best of the best when it comes to being a police officer.

How did Police And Sheriff’s Patrol Officers end up here and does it really deserve this ranking? Read on to see how we completed our research on the best states for police officers and for more on the top ten states.

If you’re interested, you can read more about the job scene here:

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How we determined the best states to be a police officer

Here at Zippia, we talk to a lot of people of all different backgrounds looking for jobs. Our research has concluded that there are two common things people want in a job:

  • Availability of jobs
  • Higher Pay

So in order to find out the best states for police officers in America we needed to figure out where the jobs are and how well police officers get paid. This led to the following criteria taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’s Occupational Employment Statistics for 2016:

  • Location quotient. A measure of how common a job is a given state.
  • Average annual salary.
  • Average annual salary for entry level work.
  • Average annual salary for experienced professionals.

To make all the salary numbers more apples to apples across states, we compared the salary data relative to the state’s cost of living.

Applying this standardization allows us to account for that fact that it costs more to live in certain in states. For example, the average salary for police officers in California is $96,660 and the average salary in Illinois is $70,850, but the Illinois salary actually goes further in paying for life’s essentials.

In order to develop and overall ranking, we ranked each state for each criteria from 1 to 50 where 1 was the best.

We then averaged all the rankings for a state into a Job Score with the state having the lowest overall Job Score earning the distinction of being the best state for police officers in America.

So without further ado, let’s get into just what made each state so great for police officers.

1. Illinois

Best States For Police Officers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 32,780
Average Annual Salary: $70,850
Average Entry Level Salary: $37,500
Average Experienced Salary: $99,650
Location Quotient: 1.19

2. California

Best States For Police Officers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 70,790
Average Annual Salary: $96,660
Average Entry Level Salary: $61,010
Average Experienced Salary: $129,690
Location Quotient: 0.95

3. Texas

Best States For Police Officers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 62,580
Average Annual Salary: $60,350
Average Entry Level Salary: $38,020
Average Experienced Salary: $81,950
Location Quotient: 1.14

4. New Jersey

Best States For Police Officers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 21,390
Average Annual Salary: $87,490
Average Entry Level Salary: $44,300
Average Experienced Salary: $126,170
Location Quotient: 1.15

5. Nevada

Best States For Police Officers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 4,560
Average Annual Salary: $72,040
Average Entry Level Salary: $48,870
Average Experienced Salary: $98,350
Location Quotient: 0.77

6. Delaware

Best States For Police Officers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 1,810
Average Annual Salary: $66,440
Average Entry Level Salary: $43,640
Average Experienced Salary: $92,070
Location Quotient: 0.88

7. Arizona

Best States For Police Officers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 11,550
Average Annual Salary: $62,470
Average Entry Level Salary: $43,470
Average Experienced Salary: $80,030
Location Quotient: 0.93

8. Washington

Best States For Police Officers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 9,210
Average Annual Salary: $76,340
Average Entry Level Salary: $52,040
Average Experienced Salary: $100,120
Location Quotient: 0.64

9. Colorado

Best States For Police Officers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 9,360
Average Annual Salary: $68,290
Average Entry Level Salary: $44,650
Average Experienced Salary: $92,480
Location Quotient: 0.8

10. Pennsylvania

Best States For Police Officers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 26,970
Average Annual Salary: $65,130
Average Entry Level Salary: $33,870
Average Experienced Salary: $94,950
Location Quotient: 1.0

There You Have It – The Best States To Be A Police Officer

If you’re looking to start out your career as a police officer these are the states that should be at the top of your list. You’ll find high pay, available jobs, and chances for career advancement.

If you’re curious, here are the worst states to be a police officer in America:

  1. Maine
  2. Vermont
  3. Hawaii

For more reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best States For police officers

Rank State Average Salary Entry Level Salary # Of People
1 Illinois $70,850 $37,500 32,780
2 California $96,660 $61,010 70,790
3 Texas $60,350 $38,020 62,580
4 New Jersey $87,490 $44,300 21,390
5 Nevada $72,040 $48,870 4,560
6 Delaware $66,440 $43,640 1,810
7 Arizona $62,470 $43,470 11,550
8 Washington $76,340 $52,040 9,210
9 Colorado $68,290 $44,650 9,360
10 Pennsylvania $65,130 $33,870 26,970
11 Michigan $57,240 $34,210 16,100
12 Ohio $57,850 $33,250 24,620
13 Wyoming $55,490 $39,870 1,140
14 Florida $57,160 $36,340 39,020
15 Iowa $56,310 $37,640 5,140
16 Virginia $54,940 $36,660 18,470
17 Wisconsin $58,050 $36,580 11,810
18 Indiana $51,960 $36,010 11,550
19 Nebraska $55,180 $35,130 3,360
20 New York $70,990 $41,080 47,870
21 Alaska $79,510 $53,700 1,110
22 Minnesota $61,870 $39,650 8,850
23 New Mexico $50,420 $35,250 4,460
24 Missouri $47,510 $27,250 13,420
25 Connecticut $68,520 $49,590 6,980
26 Maryland $64,010 $43,890 13,710
27 Oregon $68,170 $48,660 4,990
28 Idaho $50,660 $33,920 2,370
29 Kansas $46,140 $31,020 5,900
30 Massachusetts $66,220 $43,290 17,550
31 North Dakota $53,800 $37,330 1,510
32 Oklahoma $44,650 $25,180 7,360
33 North Carolina $45,280 $31,560 22,040
34 Alabama $43,250 $27,960 10,410
35 Utah $50,600 $34,560 4,400
36 Montana $52,880 $38,420 1,650
37 Tennessee $43,810 $28,490 12,450
38 Georgia $40,770 $28,080 24,360
39 West Virginia $42,130 $28,830 3,720
40 Rhode Island $57,180 $41,900 2,070
41 South Carolina $42,180 $29,070 11,600
42 New Hampshire $54,660 $37,440 2,750
43 Arkansas $38,020 $24,050 5,760
44 Mississippi $34,550 $21,540 7,450
45 Louisiana $39,390 $25,550 10,510
46 Kentucky $42,810 $28,170 7,200
47 South Dakota $46,000 $30,220 1,750
48 Hawaii $70,060 $52,120 2,690
49 Vermont $48,360 $33,350 1,280
50 Maine $45,700 $30,320 2,060
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