While a career as a police officer doesn’t require college education in most agencies, it does involve a great deal of training and on-the-job learning.
The salary and benefits of a Texas police officer can vary greatly depending on the officer’s experience, education and location. However, distinct trends in all three areas can help an individual to estimate the salary that one could command in various situations.
Watch the video below on the salary range of a police officer:
Texas police officers and sheriff’s patrol officers earned an average, or mean, salary of $23.86 per hour in May 2009, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, which worked out to an annual salary of approximately $49,620. Average salaries are calculated by adding the hourly wages of all the workers in the survey sample together and then dividing by the total number in the occupation. Annual figures are calculated by multiplying the hourly wage by 2,080, the number of hours a person working 40 hours per week would work in a full year, without any overtime.
The median salary for Texas police officers and sheriff’s patrol officers was slightly higher than the average salary in May 2009, says the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with an hourly median wage of $23.91 and an annual figure of $49,730. Median wages are those that 50 percent of workers in that occupation earn more than and the other 50 percent make less than.
The highest-paid 10 percent of police and sheriff’s patrol officers in Texas made an hourly wage of $33.30 or more in May 2009, approximately equivalent to an annual salary of $69,250 or more. For the lowest-paid 10th of workers in this occupation, hourly wages were $15.44 per hour or less, which works out roughly to an annual salary equal to or less than $32,120 per year.
Texas ranked 26th out of 52 states and territories in terms of the average annual salary for police officers and sheriff’s patrol officers in May 2009, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Nationwide, police officers and sheriff’s patrol officers made an average hourly wage of $26.53 or roughly $55,180 per year in May 2009, while median wages were $25.58 per hour or about $53,210 per year. The lowest-paid 10th of police officers and sheriff’s patrol officers made $15.09 or less per hour, which works out to about $31,400 or lower on an annual basis. The best-paid 10 percent of workers in this occupation made $40.17 or more per hour, or about $83,550 or higher per year.
Job Duties & Responsibilities of a police officer in Texas:
Police officers conduct patrol duties and investigate crimes through gathering evidence and interviewing victims, suspects and witnesses. They also maintain order by directing traffic, conducting arrests, issuing traffic citations, preparing crime reports and responding to incidents of public disorder.
Police assist at road-related incidents, collision scenes and vehicle check points. They also assist in criminal prosecutions and provide deposition and court testimony in criminal cases.
Police officers must have a minimum of a high school education, or its equivalent, and larger departments may require one or two years of college. Federal and State agencies typically require a college degree. Since civil service regulations govern the appointment of police in most jurisdictions, officers must pass a civil service examination.
Officers usually undergo a variety of testing including a physical examination, drug testing and a background check, personality test and/or lie detector test. Officers also usually complete approximately 12 to 14 weeks of training in a regional or state police academy