In the United States, the police officer salary stands at $50,254 per year. In Canada, the median salary stands at C$74,825 ($56,133), while in the United Kingdom it barely stands at £30,585 ($40,579), and AU$69,630 ($51,663) in Australia.
Police officers in Switzerland are paid CHF104,650 ($105,633) annually. For police constables in Norway, the police officer salary is NOK526,385 ($64,803) per year.
Police Officer Salary Influencers
Salaries of police officers depend on their employment sector, performance, longevity, and location of work. Within these countries, promotion or specialization often drive higher pay.
Police officers work predominately in government. Consequently, budget and policies set general guidelines for the pay of these professionals. These guidelines often consider rank and experience in salaries. Budgetary constraints may also limit potential salaries for police officers.
- Police and sheriff’s patrol officers – $684,200
- Detectives and criminal investigators – $110,900
- Fish and game wardens – $7,000
- Transit and railroad police – $4,900
2. Geographical Area
|Police Officer Salary||US||Canada||UK||Australia||Switzerland||Norway|
|Hourly Wage||$21.95||C$33.93 ($25.45)||£11.24 ($14.91)||AU$27.66 ($20.52)||CHF50 ($50.47)||NOK253 ($31.15)|
|Annual Wage||$50,254||C$74,825 ($56,133)||£30,585 ($40,579)||AU$69,630 ($51,663)||CHF104,650 ($105,633)||NOK526,385 ($64,803)|
Police Officer Salary in the US
The police officer salary in the US stands at $50,254 per year according to Payscale, while the hourly rate is at $21.95. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports Police and Detectives make about $62,960 per year.
Police Officer Salary in Canada
The median salary for a police officer in Canada is C$74,825 per year. Pay ranges between C$40,758 and C$100,203 per year. While in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, entry-level constables have salaries of C$53,144 per year. Within three years, pay increases to C$86,110.
Police Officer Salary in the UK
In the United Kingdom, starting officers, called constables, earn between £20,000 and £23,000 annually. At the police sergeant or experienced level, pay runs up to £43,000 per year. While highly experienced officers, known as police inspectors, make between £53,000 and £60,000 per year.
Police Officer Salary in Australia
PayScale reports that police officers in Australia make AU$69,630 per year in earnings, while the hourly pay stands at AU$27.66. While salaries run between AU$49,491 and AU$100,774 annually.
Police Officer Salary in Switzerland
In Switzerland, police officers earn from CHF75,060 to CHF128,674 per year, while the median salary is CHF104,650 per year, which translates to CHF50 per month.
Police Officer Salary in Norway
The salary for a police officer living in Norway is at NOK526,385 ($64,803) per year, standing at NOK253 ($31.15) per hour. While pay for sergeants stands at NOK49,100 monthly, or NOK589,200 annually.
Prospective officers undergo training in a police academy or similar regimen. The curriculum typically covers patrols, police ethics, laws on investigations, interrogation and arrests, policing techniques, and the elements of particular crimes. In certain jurisdictions and with certain forces, trainees obtain pay. For example, recruits in the Australian Federal Police force receive AU$56,398 for 24 months as live-in trainees. Upon graduation, pay jumps to AU$58,518 per year.
For those not eligible to enter policing, mainly because of age, the experience is obtained through junior police academies or cadet programs. Other officer candidates may bring experience from the military. In Switzerland, prospective officers apply for work first, then attend police college upon hiring. Generally, upon graduation, Swiss police officers must work two to three years with the force that hired them.
As officers accumulate experience and performance, they can achieve promotions to various ranks. With the promotions usually come higher salaries or, especially in larger police departments, opportunities to become detectives or work with juveniles.
Typical work weeks for police officers are full-time. Most of them though, spend considerable time away from precinct headquarters. Officers patrol via vehicle or foot for many hours. In the United States, officers in sheriffs’ departments may serve lawsuits and court papers in addition to patrolling.
Shifts for police officers can run evenings, nights, pre-dawn hours or weekends. Events with large gatherings, emergencies and severe weather incidents may require officers to work extended hours. Police officers may have vacations or time-off interrupted during these events.
Bonuses & Benefit Packages
Willingness to work irregular shifts can yield bonuses for police officers. In fact, those in the Australian Federal Police can fetch between AU$200 and AU$15,000 per year. Allowances and incentives may also exist for being on-call. Moreover, police officers often get overtime pay, those living in Australia win between AU$23.27 and AU$73.28 overtime per day. Police officers living in Norway make around NOK12,159 per year.
As government sector employees, police officers have their pension benefits determined by government bodies. In certain police agencies, labor unions may represent the officers and also negotiate with the government agency or body on salaries, pension, and other employment benefits. Police officers living in the US make bonuses between $50.68 and $7,830 per year, while those living in Canada make as much as C$19,866 per year.
The prospects for employment as a police officer vary by region. As police officers are predominately employed in government, budgetary considerations will drive the number of available positions and pay. For instance, funding for officers to address concerns over crime and security may lead to more hiring. Larger, more populous cities and areas will have more job opportunities due to the greater demand for police officers.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of police officers is projected to grow seven percent through 2026, this translates to new openings. Similarly, patrol officers will constitute the vast majority of the new hires, at 47,800. Canadian Business reports that there are 1.14 police officer job openings for each searcher.
All in all, performance and longevity of service contribute to police officers advancing in rank. Additionally, promotions often lead to higher pay for police officers. With population driving the need for police, job prospects should prove strong especially in more urban areas. In case you are also curious about the salaries in related professions, read about the firefighter salary.