Police and Detectives

Earnings Potential

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in May 2004, median annual earnings of police and detective supervisors were $64,430. The middle 50 percent earned between $49,370 and $80,510. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $36,690, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $96,950. Median annual earnings were $86,030 in Federal Government, $62,300 in State government, and $63,590 in local government.
In May 2004, median annual earnings of detectives and criminal investigators were $53,990. The middle 50 percent earned between $40,690 and $72,280. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $32,180, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $86,010. Median annual earnings were $75,700 in Federal Government, $46,670 in State government, and $49,650 in local government.

Facts at a glance

  • Police officers protect and serve the public by implementing laws.
  • Applicants must pass a drug-screening test, physical fitness test, extensive background checks, lie-detector test, and a State required written exam.
  • Individuals, who are qualified to attend the police academy, endure intense training for 12-14 weeks.
  • Once Individuals graduate from the academy they are put on a probationary period, which can last from 6 months to 3 years.

Summary of what this career entails

Police and detective work can be very dangerous and stressful. Police officers and detectives risk the chance of getting hurt, seriously injured, or fatally shot.

Examples and or details of work

Police officers are always multitasking; they could be writing a ticket, arresting a criminal, directing traffic, responding to an emergency call, or may sit doing administrative work all day. Most detectives are trained to perform surveillance from not easily seen location or a vehicle; they are often waiting for long periods, so detectives have to have patients.

Degrees that lead to this career

Education requirements vary depending on location. Individual may be require just have a high school diploma or G.E.D., while others prefer individuals to have a college degree in related fields. Some of the degrees an individual can attain include:

  • A.A. in Criminal Justice
  • B.A. in Sociology
  • M.S. in Public Administration

Specific Career openings in this field

Some of the positions that can be available for individuals who want a career as a police officer or detective include Deputy Chief, Detective Lieutenant, Detective Sergeant, Police Lieutenant, Police Recruit Training Supervisor, Private Investigator, Police Academy Office Manager, as well as many other exciting careers.

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2006-07 Edition, Police and Detectives, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos160.htm.

 

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