Police officers are professional law enforcers, entrusted by the state to protect the lives and property of its residents. They perform a variety of tasks including responding to emergency and nonemergency calls, patrolling assigned areas, searching for vehicle records, obtaining warrants, arresting suspects, testifying in court and preparing cases.

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If the above set of duties sounds like something you would be interested in, you ought to read the following guide on the salary of police officers in the US, along with the details on how to join the force.

Police Officer Salary in the US

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual mean wage for Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers was $70,750 in 2021. To put things into perspective, let’s take a look at the salary data from the previous few years.

Year Annual Mean Salary
2021 $70,750
2020 $70,000
2018 $67,600

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

In addition to the basic salary, many agencies across the US also give allowances for uniforms, along with extensive lists of benefits and the option to take an early retirement. Some departments also offer additional salaries for bilingual officers or those who have college degrees. Overtime pay, vacation leaves, military leaves, special assignment pay, holidays and insurance are other benefits offered by most departments across the country. For a detailed list of benefits and work schedules, you are advised to check with the department you are applying to.

The salary for police officers in the US also varies a lot according to location. The top-paying states for Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers, in terms of annual mean wage, are listed in the chart below.

State Annual mean wage
California $102,920
Washington $92,390
New Jersey $91,690
Alaska $87,510
Illinois $82,800

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics (2021)

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