Law enforcement officers include police officers, customs officers, border patrol and immigration officers, arson investigators, sheriffs, and constables. Though there are different types of law enforcement officer positions, your ultimate responsibility is to protect the lives of civilians. As a law enforcement officer, you will conduct street patrols and attend to calls for help. You are expected to carry out your role of community protection even when you are off duty. Furthermore, it is your responsibility to not only fight crime but also to prevent crime in the community to ensure that it is safe for civilians.

Due to the high demands of this position, you can expect to work long and irregular hours. As a law enforcement officer, you need to be empathetic and have compassion for the people you serve. You need to be an excellent listener and pay attention to detail. Furthermore, you need to be vigilant and quick, and tactful to act. You also need to have strong conflict resolution skills and be able to bring peace in violent situations. To become a law enforcement officer, you may need to attend a training academy and couple this with tertiary education.

What Does a Law Enforcement Officer Do

There are certain skills that many law enforcement officers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed empathy, good judgment and leadership skills.

Learn more about what a Law Enforcement Officer does

How To Become a Law Enforcement Officer

If you're interested in becoming a law enforcement officer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 46.8% of law enforcement officers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 9.2% of law enforcement officers have master's degrees. Even though most law enforcement officers have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Learn More About How To Become a Law Enforcement Officer

Law Enforcement Officer Career Paths

Average Salary for a Law Enforcement Officer

Law Enforcement Officers in America make an average salary of $39,219 per year or $19 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $50,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $30,000 per year.
Average Law Enforcement Officer Salary
$39,219 Yearly
$18.86 hourly
$30,000
10 %
$39,000
Median
$50,000
90 %

What Am I Worth?

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Law Enforcement Officer Education

Law Enforcement Officer Majors

Law Enforcement Officer Degrees

Bachelors

46.8 %

Associate

26.4 %

High School Diploma

10.0 %

Top Colleges for Law Enforcement Officers

1. Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$18,454
Enrollment
40,108

2. Syracuse University

Syracuse, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,853
Enrollment
14,759

3. California State University - Bakersfield

Bakersfield, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,309
Enrollment
9,142

4. California State University - Long Beach

Long Beach, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$6,798
Enrollment
31,503

5. SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$9,808
Enrollment
13,990

6. Northeastern University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,522
Enrollment
13,760

7. San Diego State University

San Diego, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,488
Enrollment
30,018

8. SUNY Farmingdale

Farmingdale, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,306
Enrollment
9,394

9. Siena Heights University

Adrian, MI • Private

In-State Tuition
$27,124
Enrollment
2,035

10. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

Top Skills For a Law Enforcement Officer

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 12.9% of law enforcement officers listed public safety on their resume, but soft skills such as empathy and good judgment are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Law Enforcement Officer Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Law Enforcement Officer templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Law Enforcement Officer resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Law Enforcement Officer Demographics

Law Enforcement Officer Gender Distribution

Male
Male
80%
Female
Female
20%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among law enforcement officers, 19.7% of them are women, while 80.3% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among law enforcement officers is White, which makes up 64.5% of all law enforcement officers.

  • The most common foreign language among law enforcement officers is Spanish at 69.3%.

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About the Course - From the Nuremberg trial to the case against Saddam Hussein, from the prosecution of Al-Qaeda terrorists to the trial of Somali pirates - no area of law is as important to world peace and security as international criminal law. Taught by one of the world's leading experts in the field, this course will educate students about the fundamentals of international criminal law and policy. We will explore the contours of international crimes such as genocide, war crimes, terrorism, a...

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Best States For a Law Enforcement Officer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a law enforcement officer. The best states for people in this position are Washington, North Dakota, New York, and Connecticut. Law enforcement officers make the most in Washington with an average salary of $53,626. Whereas in North Dakota and New York, they would average $52,856 and $49,897, respectively. While law enforcement officers would only make an average of $48,786 in Connecticut, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. North Dakota

Total Law Enforcement Officer Jobs:
136
Highest 10% Earn:
$68,000
Location Quotient:
1.03

2. New York

Total Law Enforcement Officer Jobs:
2,008
Highest 10% Earn:
$67,000
Location Quotient:
1.1

3. Connecticut

Total Law Enforcement Officer Jobs:
491
Highest 10% Earn:
$64,000
Location Quotient:
1.05
Full List Of Best States For Law Enforcement Officers

How Do Law Enforcement Officer Rate Their Jobs?

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4.0

Deputy sheriffMay 2019

4.0

Zippia Official LogoDeputy sheriffMay 2019

What do you like the most about working as Law Enforcement Officer?

Variety and independence Show More

What do you NOT like?

Petty politics,nepotism and corrupt institutional practices and policies Show More

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