Police Patrol Officers: Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

Stan T.Career, OverviewLeave a Comment

Job description

Police Patrol Officers patrol assigned area to enforce laws and ordinances, regulate traffic, control crowds, prevent crime, and arrest violators.

  • Identify, pursue, and arrest suspects and perpetrators of criminal acts.
  • Provide for public safety by maintaining order, responding to emergencies, protecting people and property, enforcing motor vehicle and criminal laws, and promoting good community relations.
  • Record facts to prepare reports that document incidents and activities.
  • Render aid to accident victims and other persons requiring first aid for physical injuries.
Read more about what does a Police Patrol Officer really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.

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Average salary
$65400 per year

Average hourly wage
$31 per hour

Police Patrol Officers with little to no experience tend to make between $35750 and $45740 while the more experienced ones can earn over $81730 per year.

Top 5 paying states Hourly Annual
CA $49 $101,380
AK $42 $88,030
NJ $40 $83,720
WA $37 $77,670
IL $36 $75,720

One of the easiest ways to increase your salary as a Police Patrol Officer is to move to a higher paying state like CA. Right now, the highest paying states for Police Patrol Officers are CA, AK, NJ, WA and IL.

However, a higher pay at CA doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at CA might be twice as high than where you are currently at now.

Three other factors that can increase your salary as a Police Patrol Officer is the degree you hold, the industry you work in, and lastly the company you work for.


Recommended degree level
No degree required

We asked other Police Patrol Officers what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a High School Diploma followed by a Post-Secondary Certificate.

Other than that, we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Natural Resources Law Enforcement and Protective Services
Criminal Justice/Police Science
Criminalistics and Criminal Science
Law Enforcement Investigation and Interviewing
Law Enforcement Record-Keeping and Evidence Management
Read more about how to become a Police Patrol Officer and the degree, training and education you need.

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of being a Police Patrol Officer.

Suitable for people who likes practical and hands-on work
Suitable for people who values achievements and are results-oriented
This career is perfect for people who love to work both indoors and outdoors.
It is not too difficult to get into this career. Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.
Demand for this career is growing
Not suitable for people who likes to work with designs
Long working hours (More than 40 hours per week)

What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Is this job meaningful

65% of Police Patrol Officers said they were satisfied with their job and 81% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.

Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Builders and The Entrepreneurs

You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tends to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery..

They also like starting up and carrying out projects. They like leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Learn more about Police Patrol Officers

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Related career information

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