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how much should i get paid for being a cop

#law-enforcement

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Kim’s Answer

Jace,

That is a very broad question with a whole lot of variables.

Salary is pretty good in large cities, or for the state highway patrol. Small towns and county sheriff's don't normally pay as well. However, if it is in a town/county where you are protecting many wealthy residents, the pay tends to be better.

Besides salary, there are many other "pieces" of your paycheck. These may include:

  1. shift differential. If you work 2-10 pm or 10 pm- 6 am.
  2. longevity pay: an extra amount for each year of service.
  3. Education pay: pay for having a degree, or, perhaps just for having some hours of college
  4. Certification pay: There are usually certification levels that you advance through using training and years of service: basic, intermediate, advanced, masters
  5. bilingual pay: if you speak a second language, esp Spanish or American Sign Language
  6. clothing allowance: we got this every 3 months
  7. specialty pay: k9, bike patrol, helicopter, etc
  8. Health insurance paid for by your employer

I live in San Antonio, where cadets are starting at $45,000.

Bowling Green starts at a little over $41,000, with an increase to around $45,000 upon graduation from the police academy. https://www.bgky.org/police/jobs/police-officer

Let me know if you have more questions!

Kim


Thank you comment icon Jen is spot on. Here in Southern California, the starting pay is around $60,000 and up. Here, it is not so much cities with wealthy people that pay well, but cities with thriving industry due to the tax base which generates your salary. Danny Kono
Thank you comment icon Sorry, my last post said "Jen" was spot on. I meant "Kim." Haven't had my coffee yet...lol. Danny Kono
Thank you comment icon $60,000 is LESS than $45,000! That is, the cost of living in Southern California requires you to make $70,000 to maintain the same standard of living in California as you could in Bowling Green on a whole lot less. It's a tricky world! https://www.bankrate.com/calculators/savings/moving-cost-of-living-calculator.aspx Kim Igleheart
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David’s Answer

Pay will vary depending on where you are employed. Cities Police Officers, County Deputies and State Patrol all pay differently. I would suggest going to the careers page where you are interested in applying.
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Richard’s Answer

There a many variables to this. It's going to depend on what region you live in / what shifts you are willing to work and what assignments you are given. The best thing to do what be to ask cops in your region what the expected base pay would be for a new hire with no experience.

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Mark’s Answer

This is a difficult answer because police officers are paid differently in each State, County, Town and Village. The South seems to be the lowest paid police officers. The northeast, Texas, Arizona, California and Illinois tend to be the highest paid. Typically in NY State with a little overtime each week, court time for arrests, a typical police officer is making anywhere from $85,000-120,000 per year. Starting salaries tend to start at $55,000 w/o OT and top pay is reached w/in a few years.
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Marty’s Answer

It largely depends on who you work for. Large city departments usually pay well, small rural cities or counties can pay much less. Most will also have pay raises according to how many years you work. I have worked for a large city in Texas for 22 years, my base salary is about $92,000. Some smaller towns pay as low as $25,000. There is quite a bit of overtime available and you can increase your pay by ranking up to Sergeant, Lieutenant, etc. There are many opportunities to work side jobs as well , such as security for a church or business that can pay up to $50 an hour, sometimes more, sometimes less. Most agencies will list their pay grades on their recruiting websites. Don’t just look at pay when choosing the agency, look at the area itself. I strongly advise you to work in a city or county that you like. The job is much more enjoyable if you work in a community that you also enjoy living in.
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