States With The Worst Salaries For Police Officers

Worst Paying States For Cops

There are several states in the US where police officers earn below $61,270. Most of the salaries fall below $53,889 – national household median income. 

Keep in mind that in some states, the salaries can be 83.7% less than the nationwide mean. As you head to the southern states, the salaries continue to decline. Let’s look at the lowest-paying states in the U.S.

10. Tennessee

A police officer in Tennessee receives an average salary of $43,090. Those who work in Memphis earn $47,450 per year. This means that an officer gets the 10th lowest salary in the nation. It’s a huge difference compared to officers who work in California. 

Also, Tennessee has the highest rate of assault per capita, so the officers earn every penny they make. If money is the only factor, you should consider working in non-metro areas.

09. North Carolina

There are about 37 colleges (within 50 miles) in North Carolina including North Carolina State University, University of North Carolina, and Duke University. The law enforcement officers in this region earn more than statewide counterparts. On average, a police officer earns $42,980. The highest paying regions are Chapel Hill and Durham where a police officer earns $47,640.

08. Alabama

The average salary for a police officer in the state is $42,400. This is about 19% below the national average. Those in Decatur earn up to $51,940, so the suburb could be the best for law enforcement. Those at the top level earn $64,800 per year while senior-level police officers earn $55,570. Junior-level police officers earn $33,750 per annum while mid-level officers earn $44,560.

07. Kentucky

It has the lowest rate of attack per capita. The average salary of a mid-level officer is $42,030. Jefferson and Louisville remain the highest-paid region where an officer earns $46,650. The wages can start from $28,820 and go as high as $63,520. According to the bureau of labor statistics, the average salary of a police officer per hour is $19.00 – 13% below the national average. Thankfully, the state has the lowest rate of assault per capita.

06. West Virginia

The salaries of police officers in West Virginia continue to decline. On average, an officer of the law earns $41,020 per annum. If you want to make a few thousand dollars, you should work at Steubenville and Weirton. Here, a police officer earns $44,660. A junior-level officer earns $36,030 while the top-level counterpart earns $59,190.

05. South Carolina

The average annual salary of an officer of the law is 40,340 (20% below the national average). The highest-paid regions are Bluffton, Hilton Head Island, and Belfort. In most of South Carolina, police officers earn above $40,000. In some of the coastal regions, officers get lateral compensation to corral beach-goers and tourists. Typically, the wages start from $29,730 to $58,320.

04. Georgia

Officers in Georgia receive an annual salary of $39,510. However, law enforcement officers working in Sandy Springs, Atlanta, and Roswell can earn up to $39,510. Generally, the wages start at $30,580 and goes up to $59,000. A senior police earns $49,440 while mid-level officers earn $42,070. Graduate police officers can earn up to $30,580.

03. Louisiana

Louisiana is one of the states in the US that employ the highest number of police officers per capita. It competes well with New Jersey, Washington DC, and New York. An officer receives an average annual salary of $38,100. The highest paying regions are Bossier and Shreveport City.

02. Arkansas

The average salary of a police officer in the state is 37,330 – 33% below the national average. The North Little Rock, Little Rock, and Conway are the highest paying regions where an officer receives $43,210. Judging by the average paycheck, this amount is much higher than what many officers receive. According to BLS, Little Rock has the highest crime rate. A top-level police officer earns $58,450 while a junior police officer earns $31,300.

01. Mississippi

According to the latest data report from the bureau of labor statistics, Mississippi is the worst state in police pay. While top cops can earn up to 6 figures, most law enforcement officers get an average of $33,350 per year. The highest paying region is Hattiesburg where police earn up to $35,590. This is far much less than most cities in California. The salary of a junior police officer is $28,180 while that of a senior-level police officer is $41,840. These figures are below the median household income.

How does your state stack up?

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