Sheriffs are responsible for performing law enforcement duties at a county level. They make sure that local, state and federal laws are being implemented and followed, within the jurisdiction of their county. If you are interested in running for the office of sheriff in Georgia, this guide would be of great use to you.

Should I Become a Sheriff in Georgia?

  • Education Required
  • Major Requirement
  • Training
  • Licenses/Certifications
  • Key Skills
  • Annual Mean Salary (2019) – National
  • Job Outlook (2018-2028)
  • Annual Mean Salary (2019) – Georgia
  • High School Diploma to College Degree
  • Homeland Security, Law Enforcement or Criminal Justice
  • Required
  • N/A
  • Problem-Solving Skills, Leadership Skills, Organizational Skills, Communication Skills, Empathy, Understanding of Human Behavior and Familiarity with Databases
  • $94,950 (First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives)
  • 5% (Police and Detectives)
  • $67,280 (First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives)

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Sheriffs are elected on county level positions. They have to perform multiple tasks like operating county jails, serving court orders, etc. These professionals work with other experts in law enforcement.

Career Outlook

Jobs for Police and Detectives are expected to experience growth in the coming years. As reported by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, these professionals will experience 5% growth from 2018-2028. Even though the profession is expected to rise overall, the demand may vary with location and state budgets. Applicants with better qualifications are preferred over the rest.

Steps to Become a Sheriff in Georgia

  1. Complete Police Academy Training

Candidates are required to complete their police academy training. During this program, they learn multiple skills that are required for the job. These candidates are eligible to become police officers once they get their high school diploma and finish their training. They also have to clear a few tests.

  1. Complete an Undergraduate Program

Even though it is not a requirement, a few candidates pursue an undergraduate degree. They obtain this degree in a criminal justice or a law enforcement field so they have a higher chance of getting elected. A few law enforcement agencies also require candidates to have an undergraduate degree.

  1. Get Law Enforcement Experience

Aspiring sheriffs are required to gain law enforcement experience to become eligible for elections. Each county has a different requirement, for example, Burke County requires candidates to have 2 years of work experience or an approved combination of experience and education.

  1. Run for Office

Applicants are required to check with their county office as the requirements of each county are different. For example, to become a sheriff’s deputy in Burke County, candidates have to be US citizens. They have to pass a few exams, including medical and psychological exams. Applicants have to clear a background check as well. They can start their campaign after the paperwork is filed.

  1. Get Elected

Candidates who get elected have to take an oath of loyalty and sign a bond which consists of the duties and responsibilities of a sheriff. Candidates can begin their 4-year tenure once the bond is signed.

  1. Obtain Advanced Training

Newly elected sheriffs who want to obtain advanced training can join associations like, the National Sheriff’s Association (NSA). Members of the NSA are allowed to attend a 2-week training program where they learn various new things about their role.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Sheriff in Georgia?

Aspiring sheriffs are required to have police training. They have to have a high school diploma or GED; some candidates choose to pursue an undergraduate degree as well. These applicants have to gain work experience which may last from 1-5 years depending on the county they choose.

What are the Requirements for Becoming a Sheriff in Georgia?

Following are the requirements to become a sheriff in Georgia:

  • Candidates must be citizens of the US
  • They should be residents of the county they wish to apply for
  • Be of at least 18 years
  • Possess a high school diploma or a GED

How Much Can I Make After Becoming a Sheriff in Georgia?

As per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual mean salary of First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives working in Georgia was $67,280 in 2019.