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.
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.