Police officers can move through several ranks while serving on the force, including job titles such as sergeant, lieutenant and captain. The amount of money a police officer makes a year depends upon which position he assumes as well as who his employer is and the location in which he works.
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Salary by Rank
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a police corporal in 2009 earned between $49,421 and $61,173 a year, police sergeants earned between $58,739 and $70,349 and police lieutenants earned between $65,688 and $79,268. The salary for a police captain ranged from $72,761 to $91,178, while deputy chiefs earned between $74,834 and $96,209. Police chiefs, the highest ranking position for a police offer, earned between $90,570 and $113,930.
Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers
The average salary for police and sheriff's patrol officers as of May 2009 was $55,180, according to the bureau. Most are employed by the local government, earning an average annual salary of $55,120, while the state government offers an average salary of $58,860. California is the highest-paying state for police and sheriff's patrol officers with an average yearly salary of $78,690, followed by New Jersey at $77,660.
Detectives and Criminal Investigators
Detectives and criminal investigators earn an average salary of $65,860, as of May 2009, according to the bureau. Those working for the local government earn an average of $61,230, while those employed by the state government earn an average of $54,940. The federal executive branch offers higher wages for detectives at an average salary of $75,390. Washington, D.C., is the top-paying state for detectives and criminal investigators at an average salary of $94,620, followed by New Jersey at $85,930.
First Line Supervisors
First line supervisors coordinate activities on the police force and earn an average salary of $78,580, according to the bureau. Most are employees of the government; those working for the local government earn an average salary of $77,610, those working for the state government earn an average of $79,010 and those working for the federal executive branch earn an average of $92,850. At $120,000 for an average salary, California is the highest paying state for first-line supervisors, followed by New Jersey at $107,730.