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Patrol Officer Careers

Patrol officers maintain order and protect the community by enforcing laws. They have numerous responsibilities including protecting life and property through the enforcement of laws and regulations, proactively patrolling assigned areas, responding to calls for police service, and conducting preliminary and follow-up criminal and traffic investigations.

They conduct reviews, prepare written reports and field notes of investigations and patrol activities, arrest and process crimininals, and testify in court. They perform emergency duties during adverse weather conditions, exercise judgement in determining when to use force and to what degree, and operate a law enforcement vehicle day and night.

A patrol officer has humanity, respect for human life and displays dignity and compassion to everyone, professionalism, integrity, courage, training and certification in firearms, and knowledge of first aid and CPR. They have knowledge of defensive and arrest tactics, federal, state and city laws and ordinances, as well as modern policing principles.

A high school diploma is the basic requirement in terms of education. They earn a salary of $25,735 a year or $12.37 an hour. This career's growth is at 5% and will produce 37,500 new job opportunities by 2028.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a patrol officer. For example, did you know that they make an average of $13.43 an hour? That's $27,926 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 Patrol Officer Do

There are certain skills that many patrol 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, leadership skills and physical strength.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a patrol officer, we found that a lot of resumes listed 12.3% of patrol officers included customer service, while 9.6% of resumes included public safety, and 9.0% 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 patrol officer job title. But what industry to start with? Most patrol officers actually find jobs in the professional and technology industries.

How To Become a Patrol Officer

If you're interested in becoming a patrol officer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 34.1% of patrol officers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 7.2% of patrol officers have master's degrees. Even though some patrol 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 patrol officer. When we researched the most common majors for a patrol officer, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or high school diploma degrees. Other degrees that we often see on patrol officer resumes include associate degree degrees or master's degree degrees.

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

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Average Salary
$27,926
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
5%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
40,028
Job Openings

Patrol Officer Career Paths

Top Careers Before Patrol Officer

Top Careers After Patrol 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 Patrol Officer

Patrol Officers in America make an average salary of $27,926 per year or $13 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $38,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $20,000 per year.
Average Salary
$27,926

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
Saint Cloud, MN
Salary Range32k - 50k$41k$40,963
Tracy, CA
Salary Range28k - 53k$39k$39,118
Boston, MA
Salary Range29k - 49k$39k$38,597
Camden, NJ
Salary Range28k - 48k$37k$37,129
Albany, NY
Salary Range27k - 46k$36k$35,815
Denver, CO
Salary Range27k - 39k$33k$32,987
$19k
$53k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Marine Patrol Officer
Marine Patrol Officer
Allegan County
Allegan County
03/26/2021
03/26/2021
$36,23003/26/2021
$36,230
Flex) Patrol Officer--Silicon
Flex) Patrol Officer--Silicon
Command Security Corp
Command Security Corp
03/26/2021
03/26/2021
$43,82703/26/2021
$43,827
Temporary Full Commissioned Boat Patrol Officer-Statewide
Temporary Full Commissioned Boat Patrol Officer-Statewide
State of Colorado
State of Colorado
03/25/2021
03/25/2021
$33,39203/25/2021
$33,392
Seasonal Water Patrol/Park Officer, Sheriff's Office
Seasonal Water Patrol/Park Officer, Sheriff's Office
Central Lakes College
Central Lakes College
03/24/2021
03/24/2021
$33,37103/24/2021
$33,371
Patrol Officer
Patrol Officer
Signal 88 Security of Tulsa
Signal 88 Security of Tulsa
03/24/2021
03/24/2021
$22,95703/24/2021
$22,957
See More Recent Salaries

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Patrol 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 Patrol 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 Patrol Officer Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Patrol 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

Patrol Officer Demographics

Gender

male

77.8 %

female

18.3 %

unknown

3.8 %

Ethnicity

White

62.3 %

Hispanic or Latino

19.0 %

Black or African American

11.6 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

70.0 %

French

5.6 %

Arabic

5.2 %
See More Demographics

Patrol Officer Education

Majors

Degrees

Bachelors

31.9 %

Certificate

27.6 %

Associate

19.3 %

Top Colleges for Patrol Officers

1. California State University - Long Beach

Long Beach, CA • Public

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

2. Northeastern University

Boston, MA • Private

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

3. Savannah State University

Savannah, GA • Public

In-State Tuition
$5,743
Enrollment
3,742

4. Hampton University

Hampton, VA • Private

In-State Tuition
$26,702
Enrollment
3,661

5. Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA • Public

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

6. Florida Atlantic University

Boca Raton, FL • Public

In-State Tuition
$4,831
Enrollment
23,265

7. Lewis University

Romeoville, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$32,450
Enrollment
4,217

8. Western Illinois University

Macomb, IL • Public

In-State Tuition
$12,951
Enrollment
6,754

9. Syracuse University

Syracuse, NY • Private

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

10. Marian University

Fond Du Lac, WI • Private

In-State Tuition
$27,400
Enrollment
1,417
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Patrol 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, 12.3% of patrol officers listed customer service on their resume, but soft skills such as empathy and leadership skills are important as well.

  • Customer Service, 12.3%
  • Public Safety, 9.6%
  • Law Enforcement, 9.0%
  • Emergency, 7.9%
  • Suspicious Activity, 7.4%
  • Other Skills, 53.8%
  • See All Patrol Officer Skills

Best States For a Patrol Officer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a patrol officer. The best states for people in this position are Alaska, Minnesota, North Dakota, and New Jersey. Patrol officers make the most in Alaska with an average salary of $55,248. Whereas in Minnesota and North Dakota, they would average $39,988 and $39,348, respectively. While patrol officers would only make an average of $38,821 in New Jersey, 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 Patrol Officer Jobs:
132
Highest 10% Earn:
$55,000
Location Quotient:
1.07
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. Minnesota

Total Patrol Officer Jobs:
876
Highest 10% Earn:
$60,000
Location Quotient:
1
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. Massachusetts

Total Patrol Officer Jobs:
1,223
Highest 10% Earn:
$62,000
Location Quotient:
1.01
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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Top Patrol Officer Employers

1. U.S. Security
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$28,368
Patrol Officers Hired: 
82+
2. United States Army
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$28,106
Patrol Officers Hired: 
70+
3. United States Navy
3.8
Avg. Salary: 
$28,354
Patrol Officers Hired: 
69+
4. Universal Protection Service
3.6
Avg. Salary: 
$36,387
Patrol Officers Hired: 
63+
5. ADT
3.9
Avg. Salary: 
$29,088
Patrol Officers Hired: 
53+
6. Allied Universal
3.9
Avg. Salary: 
$26,251
Patrol Officers Hired: 
44+

Patrol Officer Videos

Updated October 2, 2020