To become a lieutenant, you usually need a bachelor's degree and zero years of experience. The most common jobs before becoming a lieutenant are sergeant, police officer, and correction officer. It takes an average of 1-3 months of job training to become a lieutenant.

The national average salary for lieutenants is $47,781, but with the right certifications and experience, they can make up to $55,000. Getting a certification as a Certified Law Enforcement Analysts (CLEA) will help you to earn more as a lieutenant.

How to become a Lieutenant in 6 steps:

  • Step 1: Explore lieutenant education
  • Step 2: Develop lieutenant skills
  • Step 3: Complete relevent training/internship
  • Step 4: Get lieutenant certifications
  • Step 5: Research lieutenant duties
  • Step 6: Prepare your resume

Key Steps To Become a Lieutenant

  1. Explore Lieutenant Education

    If you're interested in becoming a lieutenant, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 60.1% of lieutenants have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 9.5% of lieutenants have master's degrees. Even though most lieutenants 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 lieutenant. When we researched the most common majors for a lieutenant, we found that they most commonly have criminal justice, business and fire science and protection.

    Lieutenant Degrees


    60.1 %


    16.5 %


    9.5 %

    Lieutenant MajorPercentages
    Criminal Justice30.40%
    Fire Science And Protection6.40%
    Political Science5.20%
    Other Degrees44.00%

  2. Develop Lieutenant Skills

    It'll be a good idea to develop lieutenant skills before applying for a job. Here are some skills commonly requested in lieutenant job descriptions:

  3. Complete Relevent Training/Internship

    Lieutenants spend an average of 1-3 months on post-employment, on-the-job training. During this time, new lieutenants learn the skills and techniques required for their specific job and employer. The chart below shows how much time it takes to gain competency as a lieutenant based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data and data from real lieutenant resumes.

    Average Amount Of Time At Training

    Less than 1 month

    1-3 months

    3-6 months

    6-12 months

    1-2 years

    2-4 years

    4-10 years

    More than 10 years

  4. Get Lieutenant Certifications

    Certifications can show employers you have a baseline of knowledge expected for this position. They can also make you a more competitive candidate. Even if employers don't require a certification, having one may help you stand out in an application. Plus, the process of getting a certification can teach you new skills that you can bring to your work. We determined the most common certifications for lieutenants. The most common certification is Certified Law Enforcement Analysts (CLEA), but Security 5 Certification is also frequently seen in lieutenants resumes.

    1. Certified Law Enforcement Analysts (CLEA)
    2. Security 5 Certification
    3. Certified Security Supervision & Management (CSS)
    4. OSHA Safety Certificate
    5. First Aid, CPR and AED Instructor
    6. Program Management Professional (PgMP)
    7. Emergency Medicine
    8. Certified in Homeland Security (CHS)

    More About Certifications

  5. Research Lieutenant Duties

    When you decide to become a lieutenant, It's important to know what duties and responsibilities are required for this position. Some common responsibilities are a part of most lieutenant jobs. Here is a list of the main duties that define the role:

    • Manage a robust fire training program meeting NFPA, DoD, AFOSH, and German fire credentials.
    • Manage respiratory and cardiac emergencies to include performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
    • Facilitate the planning, delegation of duties, and conduct all training events for ROTC personnel.
    • Coordinate the logistics throughout fully simulate combat operations in preparation to deploy to Afghanistan.
    • prepare paperwork to send to ems biller.
    • Mentore underclassmen in ROTC policies and procedures.

  6. Prepare Your Resume

    Finally, when you already have checked the skills and responsibilities for this role, you can start creating your resume. Everything that goes into creating a perfect resume can take hours, days, or even weeks. No worries, we created a resume builder to make this process as easy as possible with tips and examples of skills, responsibilities, and a summary.

    Choose From 10+ Customizable Lieutenant Resume templates

    Build a professional Lieutenant resume in minutes. Browse through our resume examples to identify the best way to word your resume. Then choose from 10+ resume templates to create your Lieutenant resume.

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  7. Apply For a Lieutenant Job

    With your ready resume, it's time to start searching for a new job. Consider the tips below for a successful job search:

    1. Browse job boards for relevant postings
    2. Consult your professional network
    3. Reach out to companies you're interested in working for directly
    4. Watch out for job scams

    Lieutenant Jobs

Average Salary for a Lieutenant

Lieutenants in America make an average salary of $47,781 per year or $23 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $55,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $41,000 per year.
Average Lieutenant Salary
$47,781 Yearly
$22.97 hourly

What Am I Worth?