Police work is often considered a calling — many officers don’t enter the occupation to get rich. But, is it a career that offers a comfortable living?
The answer to that question depends largely on where you live, found a recent GOBankingRates analysis.
To find out just how much money the average police officer earns, GOBankingRates examined the most recent data on the mean annual wage for police officers and sheriff’s patrol officers in all 50 states, sourced from Bureau of Labor Statistics.
This report can help you understand how much your local officers earn, and you can use this data to help you plan your career in law enforcement.
Compare Your Paycheck: How Do You Stack Up to the Average Income in Your State?
According to the analysis, the states with the highest-paid police officers are:
1. California: $100,090
2. New Jersey: $83,570
3. Alaska: $81,980
4. Washington: $78,600
5. Nevada: $73,930
According to BLS data, there are 16 states where officers earn less than $50,000 annually. Just three states pay less than $40,000 a year, with Mississippi coming in dead last at $35,520. With an average salary of $100,090, California pays its officers the most by far. The only other two states to break the $80,000 mark are New Jersey and Alaska.
The lowest-paid officers are concentrated in the South and Appalachia regions. Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, Georgia and South Carolina round out the bottom five. Meanwhile, the best-paid officers are concentrated — with a few exceptions — in the West and East, as well as in both non-contiguous states.
Here’s a look at how much police officers make in every state:
|State||Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers Annual Mean Wage|
Thinking about a career as a lawyer? Keep reading to see the insane amount they make in every state.
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Methodology: GOBankingRates identified the mean annual wage for police and sheriff’s patrol officers based on May 2017 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.