Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers

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What do they do?

Maintain order and protect life and property by enforcing local, tribal, state, or federal laws and ordinances. Perform a combination of the following duties: patrol a specific area; direct traffic; issue traffic summonses; investigate accidents; apprehend and arrest suspects, or serve legal processes of courts. Includes police officers working at educational institutions.

Also known as:

Deputy, Deputy Sheriff, Deputy Sheriff (Generalist)-Bailiff, Law Enforcement Officer, Patrol Officer, Peace Officer, Police Officer, Police Patrol Officer, Public Safety Officer, State Trooper

Typical Wages

Annual wages for Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers in United States

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Projected Growth Rate

Employment of Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers is projected to grow 5 percent from 2018 to 2028, about as fast as average compared to all occupations.

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Projected Employment

No Data Available

Projected Employment Rankings For Virginia:

  • 5.7%

    Percent Change

    Ranks #21 in job growth rate
  • 1,440

    Annual Projected Job Openings

    Ranks #12 in net job growth

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Typical College Majors

Majors that prepare Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers:

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★ Number of granted degrees for degree type, All, is listed after the major.

Education Level

  • Doctorate or Professional Degree (0.8%)
  • Master's degree (6.5%)
  • Bachelor's degree (32.1%)
  • Associate's degree (17.1%)
  • Some college, no degree (30.3%)
  • High school diploma equivalent (12.4%)
  • Less than high school diploma (0.7%)

Percent of workers in this field

★ You’re seeing education information for Police and sheriff's patrol officers(1) because we don’t have information for Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers. Please note the information may not be the same for both occupations.

Colleges that Prepare

Colleges with the most graduates that become Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers:

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Skills

People in this career often have these skills:

  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Negotiation - Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
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Knowledge

People in this career often know a lot about:

  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
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Abilities

People in this career often have talent in:

  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
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Activities: what you might do in a day

People in this career often do these activities:

  • Apprehend criminal suspects.
  • Maintain public order or security.
  • Respond to emergencies to provide assistance.
  • Prepare investigation or incident reports.
  • Administer first aid.
  • Investigate illegal or suspicious activities.
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This page includes data from:

O*NET OnLine Career data: O*NET 26.3 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (“USDOL/ETA”). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA

Occupation statistics: USDOL U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics

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