Police and Detectives - Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Occupational Outlook Handbook > Protective Service > EN ESPAÑOL

Police and Detectives Summary

What They Do

Work Environment

How to Become One


Job Outlook


State & Area Data


Similar Occupations

More Info

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Quick Facts: Police and Detectives 2016 Median Pay

$61,600 per year $29.62 per hour

Typical Entry-Level Education

See How to Become One

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

See How to Become One

On-the-job Training

Moderate-term on-the-job training

Number of Jobs, 2016


Job Outlook, 2016-26

7% (As fast as average)

Employment Change, 2016-26


What Police and Detectives Do Police officers protect lives and property. Detectives and criminal investigators, who are sometimes called agents or special agents, gather facts and collect evidence of possible crimes.

Work Environment Police and detective work can be physically demanding, stressful, and dangerous. Police officers have one of the highest rates of injuries and illnesses of all occupations. Working around the clock in shifts is common.

How to Become a Police Officer or Detective Education requirements range from a high school diploma to a college degree. Most police and detectives must graduate from their agency’s training academy before completing a period of on-the-job training. Candidates must be U.S. citizens, usually at least 21 years old, and able to meet rigorous physical and personal qualifications.

Pay The median annual wage for police and detectives was $61,600 in May 2016.

Job Outlook Employment of police and detectives is projected to grow 7 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations. The continued need for public safety is expected to lead to new openings for officers, although demand may vary by location.

State & Area Data Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for police and detectives.

Similar Occupations Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of police and detectives with similar occupations.

More Information, Including Links to O*NET Learn more about police and detectives by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Police and Detectives, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/protective-service/police-and-detectives.htm (visited December 05, 2017).

Last Modified Date: Tuesday, October 24, 2017 RECOMMEND THIS PAGE USING:


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Police and Detectives - Bureau of Labor Statistics

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