How much money do Police Officers make?

How much money do Police Officers make?

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Brian Humenuk | Author | COPJOT

By Brian Humenuk, COPJOT  

Updated on November 13, 2022

8 minute read

1. Introduction to Police Officer Salaries

Police Officers, Deputy Sheriffs and State Troopers provide a necessary public function that only few compared to the total US population sign up for. They work a dangerous job that requires them to train physically, have a clear understanding about the laws they enforce and be experts in the equipment they carry.

Peace Officers, as they are often called, show up to work to provide a service that many would never want to do. If you were looking for a quick and easy answer to how much do police officers make, well, the question may be as difficult to answer as a police officers job.

A Police Officer more often than not works for a government agency and is paid by public funds usually an assortment of taxes gathered by state, county and local budgets. Police Officer salaries including step raises and cost of living adjustments are most often time negotiated between Police Union representatives and state or local government.

Others who work in the 5 states mentioned in this article that do not allow collective bargaining have their raises provided without representation. Their average salary fluctuates from state to state or region to region and that fluctuation can be predicted by the cost to live in each state.

2. The average base Police Officer salary by US state

The national average annual Police Officer salary in 2021 is $67,600, according to the latest data issued by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is a little over $15,000 more than the average annual salary for all occupations, $51,960. Depending on the state, however, the average salary of a police officer can vary significantly and along with that their benefits like sick leave, health insurance, and pension can also make up for a lower or higher median police officer salary.

Police officer wages are heavily dependent on the cost of living in each state as well as the rank that they hold such as sergeant, lieutenant or captain.

3. What is the average Police Officer salary during their Probationary Period?

Probationary period for Police officer salary ranges from the time when they enter the police academy to 1 year after their date of hire. During this time state and local governments pay a police officer their base salary which can also be called step 1. An entry level police officer will have to wait three years to even twenty five years in order to take advantage of higher salaries.

4. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics the following is the 2021 average Police Officer and Sheriff's Deputy salaries by state alphabetically.

Rank State 2021 Average Police Salary
44 Alabama $49,540
4 Alaska $87,510
20 Arizona $68,060
50 Arkansas $42,430
1 California $102,920
6 Colorado $80,620
13 Connecticut $76,360
7 Delaware $80,620
23 Florida $66,320
43 Georgia $50,710
9 Hawaii $80,050
33 Idaho $59,340
5 Illinois $82,800
29 Indiana $61,850
24 Iowa $65,310
41 Kansas $52,010
48 Kentucky $46,910
49 Louisiana $44,790
36 Maine $56,930
11 Maryland $77,890
16 Massachusetts $73,560
26 Michigan $64,380
12 Minnesota $76,960
51 Mississippi $38,940
37 Missouri $56,610
31 Montana $60,640
28 Nebraska $62,530
14 Nevada $74,940
27 New Hampshire $63,670
3 New Jersey $91,690
38 New Mexico $56,300
8 New York $80,590
42 North Carolina $51,860
25 North Dakota $64,470
21 Ohio $67,110
39 Oklahoma $55,740
10 Oregon $78,000
15 Pennsylvania $74,270
19 Rhode Island $68580
45 South Carolina $49,140
40 South Dakota $52,580
46 Tennessee $48,530
22 Texas $66,890
30 Utah $60,730
35 Vermont $57,780
32 Virginia $59,720
2 Washington $92,390
18 Washington DC $68,600
47 W. Virginia $47,160
17 Wisconsin $71,230
34 Wyoming $58,380


5 States where Police Officers earn the most money | How much do Police Officers make | COPJOT

5. 5 States where Police Officers earn the most amount of money

Rank State 2021 Average Police Salary
1 California $102,920
2 Washington $92,390
3 New Jersey $91,690
4 Alaska $87,510
5 Illinois $82,800

6. 5 States where Police Officers earn the least money

Rank State 2021 Average Police Salary
51 Mississippi $38,940
50 Arkansas $42,430
49 Louisiana $44,790
48 Kentucky $46,910
47 W. Virginia $47,160


Police Overtime | How much do Police Officer Make | COPJOT

7. Can Police Officers make extra money in overtime and bonus pay?

Yes. Many Police Officers have the ability to work overtime on their days off as well as before and after their scheduled shift. This allows them to increase their average base salary sometimes by 2x or even 3x.

Police work is a profession where the unexpected often happens leaving Police Officers being called to bad car accidents, fleeing suspects and investigating felony crimes like bank robberies, arson and more. Investigating crime scenes, writing reports and preparing cases for court can take an exorbitant amount of time. Some Police Officers are able to earn 3 times their base salary by earning overtime, specialty job bonuses, paid details and education incentives.

For Police Officers that work under a Collective Bargaining Agreement, bonuses can be paid out weekly, quarterly and even yearly for specialist or specialty job positions. An example of this would be specialty pay to be a K-9 handler, Police Negotiator or firearm instructor.

There are other factors when a Police Officer can earn overtime. When there are tensions between the citizens and the police states and local municipalities have to pay Police Officers overtime in order to protect lives and property during demonstrations and riots.

Education Incentives for Police Officers | How much do Police Officers make | COPJOT

8. Do Police Officers receive education incentives?

In many states and local municipalities earning a college degree can also earn a police officer a bonus that is paid yearly, quarterly or even weekly. A college degree in criminal justice, police administration and even psychology is looked at highly and can translate into more dollars and cents. These degree incentives are not only for patrol officers. Criminal investigators can also boost their base salary ranges by earning a degree in forensics or attend certificate programs to learn how to better interview and interrogate.

9. 5 States that have the highest number of violent crimes per 100,000 and the average amount of money Police Officers earn

Rank State Crime Rate / 100,000 2021 Average Police Salary
1 Louisiana 564.0 $44.790
2 Arkansas 555.7 $42,430
3 Alabama 518.5 $49,540
4 Tennessee 498.2 $48,530
5 Alaska 451.0 $87,510


10. 5 States that prohibit Police Collective Bargaining Rights and the average amount of money Police Officers earn from lowest to highest

Rank State 2021 Average Police Salary
46 Tennessee $48,530
45 South Carolina $49,140
43 Georgia $50,710
42 North Carolina $51,860
5 Virginia $59,720


Poverty levels and police officer salaries

11. 5 States that have the highest poverty level in 2021 and the average amount of money Police Officers earn

Rank State 2021 Poverty Rate 2021 Average Police Salary
1 Mississippi 20.3% $38,940
2 Louisiana 19.2% $44,790
3 New Mexico 19.1% $56,300
4 W. Virginia 17.6% $47,160
5 Kentucky 17.3% $59,720


More Information

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