Police Officer and Detective at a Glance

Projected Job Growth

  • +0% Job Growth for
    Police Officer and Detective

  • 2013
  • 2023

Average Salary for Police Officer and Detective

  • $0 Annual Pay
    National Average
  • $0 Hourly Pay
    National Average

Best States for Police Officer and Detective

in 2011
Annual Salary
Hourly Pay
Louisiana 11,830 $39,100 $19
Mississippi 6,920 $31,600 $15
District of Columbia 4,150 $68,040 $33


Becoming a Police Officer or Detective

In order to pursue careers in police and detective work you will need to complete a police academy training program and on-the-job training. In terms of education, usually only a high school diploma or GED is required for field officers, though a college degree in criminal justice or a related area may serve useful for advancement down the road. Most police departments will require trainees be at least 21 years old and in good physical condition.

College degrees in criminal justice and law enforcement are available through many colleges at the certificate, associate, and bachelor's level. In addition, those interested in pursuing careers in upper level administration in this field may go on to a graduate program. Below are a few common subjects, criminal justice majors can expect to learn about:

  • Criminology
  • Corrections
  • Law and Society
  • The Criminal Court System

Students may opt to complete this type of curriculum before or after entering the police academy. In addition, police officers and detectives will need to be U.S. citizens and pass vision, hearing, strength, and agility exams. Background checks, interviews with lie detector tests, and drug testing may also be required.