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Law Enforcement Officer Careers

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a law enforcement officer. For example, did you know that they make an average of $18.21 an hour? That's $37,875 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 5% and produce 37,500 job opportunities across the U.S.

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.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a law enforcement officer, we found that a lot of resumes listed 12.9% of law enforcement officers included public safety, while 12.2% of resumes included emergency, and 7.8% of resumes included law enforcement. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the law enforcement officer job title. But what industry to start with? Most law enforcement officers actually find jobs in the government and non profits industries.

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 37.9% of law enforcement officers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 7.3% of law enforcement officers have master's degrees. Even though some law enforcement officers have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a law enforcement officer. When we researched the most common majors for a law enforcement officer, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or associate degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on law enforcement officer resumes include high school diploma degrees or master's degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a law enforcement officer. In fact, many law enforcement officer jobs require experience in a role such as police officer. Meanwhile, many law enforcement officers also have previous career experience in roles such as security officer or correction officer.

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Average Salary
$37,875
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
5%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
42,282
Job Openings

Law Enforcement Officer Career Paths

Top Careers Before Law Enforcement Officer

Top Careers After Law Enforcement Officer

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Law Enforcement Officer

Law Enforcement Officers in America make an average salary of $37,875 per year or $18 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $50,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $28,000 per year.
Average Salary
$37,875

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
San Francisco, CA
Salary Range42k - 74k$56k$56,115
Seattle, WA
Salary Range39k - 56k$47k$47,303
Washington, DC
Salary Range35k - 56k$45k$45,050
New York, NY
Salary Range35k - 56k$45k$44,962
Columbus, OH
Salary Range33k - 52k$42k$41,813
Baltimore, MD
Salary Range31k - 49k$40k$39,578
$21k
$74k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Law Enforcement Officer II #520277
Law Enforcement Officer II #520277
Medical University of Sc
Medical University of Sc
03/31/2021
03/31/2021
$38,76003/31/2021
$38,760
Law Enforcement Officer I (Class 3)
Law Enforcement Officer I (Class 3)
USC Law Enforcement and Safety
USC Law Enforcement and Safety
03/31/2021
03/31/2021
$30,60003/31/2021
$30,600
Law Enforcement Officer
Law Enforcement Officer
State of Florida
State of Florida
03/13/2021
03/13/2021
$35,00003/13/2021
$35,000
Law Enforce. Officer-Class 3
Law Enforce. Officer-Class 3
University of South Carolina
University of South Carolina
03/13/2021
03/13/2021
$30,60003/13/2021
$30,600
Law Enforcement Officer
Law Enforcement Officer
Florida Department of Transportation
Florida Department of Transportation
03/11/2021
03/11/2021
$35,00003/11/2021
$35,000
See More Recent Salaries

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Law Enforcement Officer Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Law Enforcement Officer. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Law Enforcement Officer Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Law Enforcement Officer resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Detailed Information

Law Enforcement Officer Demographics

Gender

male

75.4 %

female

20.5 %

unknown

4.1 %

Ethnicity

White

63.7 %

Hispanic or Latino

15.6 %

Black or African American

14.1 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

69.3 %

Arabic

4.5 %

French

3.4 %
See More Demographics

Law Enforcement Officer Education

Majors

Degrees

Bachelors

37.9 %

Certificate

21.8 %

Associate

21.3 %

Top Colleges for Law Enforcement Officers

1. Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA • Public

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 • Public

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

4. California State University - Long Beach

Long Beach, CA • Public

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

5. SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY • Public

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 • Public

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

8. SUNY Farmingdale

Farmingdale, NY • Public

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
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

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.

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 Alaska, New Jersey, California, and Oregon. Law enforcement officers make the most in Alaska with an average salary of $57,216. Whereas in New Jersey and California, they would average $49,618 and $49,533, respectively. While law enforcement officers would only make an average of $48,632 in Oregon, 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. Minnesota

Total Law Enforcement Officer Jobs:
1,214
Highest 10% Earn:
$67,000
Location Quotient:
1.29
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. New Jersey

Total Law Enforcement Officer Jobs:
1,196
Highest 10% Earn:
$77,000
Location Quotient:
1.06
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Idaho

Total Law Enforcement Officer Jobs:
357
Highest 10% Earn:
$62,000
Location Quotient:
1.53
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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How Do Law Enforcement Officer Rate Their Jobs?

Zippia Official Logo

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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Top Law Enforcement Officer Employers

1. United States Navy
3.8
Avg. Salary: 
$32,007
Law Enforcement Officers Hired: 
115+
2. United States Army
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$31,599
Law Enforcement Officers Hired: 
90+
3. State of Florida
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$25,697
Law Enforcement Officers Hired: 
31+
4. Federal Reserve System
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$87,910
Law Enforcement Officers Hired: 
27+
5. United States Department of Defense
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$28,108
Law Enforcement Officers Hired: 
27+
6. New Mexico Fish & Wildlife Conservation
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$27,624
Law Enforcement Officers Hired: 
26+

Law Enforcement Officer Videos

Updated October 2, 2020