The 10 Best States For Police Officers In 2019

Chris Kolmar
by Chris Kolmar
Rankings - 1 month 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. Delaware
  5. New Jersey
  6. Colorado
  7. Washington
  8. Nevada
  9. Pennsylvania
  10. Arizona

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:

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 2018:

  • 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 $101,380 and the average salary in Illinois is $75,720, 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: 30,370
Average Annual Salary: $75,720
Average Entry Level Salary: $40,150
Average Experienced Salary: $102,210
Location Quotient: 1.11

2. California

Best States For Police Officers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 72,680
Average Annual Salary: $101,380
Average Entry Level Salary: $63,250
Average Experienced Salary: $138,970
Location Quotient: 0.94

3. Texas

Best States For Police Officers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 60,260
Average Annual Salary: $61,870
Average Entry Level Salary: $39,850
Average Experienced Salary: $85,470
Location Quotient: 1.09

4. Delaware

Best States For Police Officers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 1,790
Average Annual Salary: $70,000
Average Entry Level Salary: $46,990
Average Experienced Salary: $98,370
Location Quotient: 0.87

5. New Jersey

Best States For Police Officers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 19,950
Average Annual Salary: $83,720
Average Entry Level Salary: $45,370
Average Experienced Salary: $123,890
Location Quotient: 1.08

6. Colorado

Best States For Police Officers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 9,840
Average Annual Salary: $72,950
Average Entry Level Salary: $49,300
Average Experienced Salary: $98,060
Location Quotient: 0.82

7. Washington

Best States For Police Officers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 9,670
Average Annual Salary: $77,670
Average Entry Level Salary: $53,960
Average Experienced Salary: $101,110
Location Quotient: 0.65

8. Nevada

Best States For Police Officers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 5,120
Average Annual Salary: $70,450
Average Entry Level Salary: $51,880
Average Experienced Salary: $95,510
Location Quotient: 0.83

9. Pennsylvania

Best States For Police Officers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 27,850
Average Annual Salary: $66,600
Average Entry Level Salary: $35,650
Average Experienced Salary: $98,760
Location Quotient: 1.04

10. Arizona

Best States For Police Officers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 11,320
Average Annual Salary: $64,640
Average Entry Level Salary: $44,660
Average Experienced Salary: $81,400
Location Quotient: 0.89

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 $75,720 $40,150 30,370
2 California $101,380 $63,250 72,680
3 Texas $61,870 $39,850 60,260
4 Delaware $70,000 $46,990 1,790
5 New Jersey $83,720 $45,370 19,950
6 Colorado $72,950 $49,300 9,840
7 Washington $77,670 $53,960 9,670
8 Nevada $70,450 $51,880 5,120
9 Pennsylvania $66,600 $35,650 27,850
10 Arizona $64,640 $44,660 11,320
11 Minnesota $69,060 $45,140 9,450
12 Ohio $61,040 $35,260 24,890
13 Alaska $88,030 $59,380 1,070
14 Florida $59,610 $38,150 37,650
15 Wisconsin $62,040 $40,940 11,260
16 Wyoming $55,050 $41,360 1,130
17 Indiana $55,310 $36,930 12,340
18 Iowa $58,340 $39,560 4,860
19 Virginia $56,710 $38,170 18,080
20 New York $74,860 $41,660 53,560
21 Michigan $56,270 $33,340 16,270
22 Nebraska $57,530 $37,260 3,370
23 Idaho $53,880 $35,910 2,720
24 New Mexico $51,250 $36,570 4,310
25 Oregon $70,360 $50,090 5,390
26 North Dakota $57,190 $42,450 1,590
27 Maryland $68,230 $45,520 12,650
28 Connecticut $71,920 $53,350 6,450
29 North Carolina $48,420 $33,250 22,350
30 Missouri $48,920 $28,380 13,510
31 Kansas $48,350 $33,010 5,920
32 Alabama $45,930 $29,510 11,410
33 Utah $53,890 $38,640 4,490
34 Massachusetts $69,870 $45,770 16,830
35 Oklahoma $46,120 $26,740 7,480
36 Montana $56,230 $41,960 1,630
37 New Hampshire $58,120 $41,270 3,100
38 Georgia $42,990 $30,580 22,410
39 West Virginia $43,590 $30,490 3,460
40 Tennessee $44,600 $28,800 13,410
41 Kentucky $45,600 $28,820 7,830
42 Arkansas $39,560 $24,590 6,030
43 Rhode Island $60,890 $44,720 1,850
44 Louisiana $41,550 $26,540 11,810
45 South Carolina $42,280 $29,730 11,180
46 Mississippi $35,550 $22,150 7,520
47 South Dakota $48,550 $32,700 1,770
48 Hawaii $74,040 $55,390 2,610
49 Vermont $52,940 $35,890 1,280
50 Maine $49,840 $34,580 2,150
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