Protecting and serving the American public isn’t an easy job, and it can be a dangerous one.
As former President Barack Obama once put it:
“[W]e tell the police, ‘You’re a social worker; you’re the parent; you’re the teacher; you’re the drug counselor.’ We tell them to keep those neighborhoods in check at all costs and do so without causing any political blowback or inconvenience; don’t make a mistake that might disturb our own peace of mind.”
So, how much do the police make for keeping the peace?
Following are the average annual and hourly wages of police and sheriff’s officers in all 50 states, along with the number of those jobs in each state. The states are ranked by their average annual wage, from lowest to highest.
The information comes from the latest occupational wage data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, for 2019.
We’ve also drawn on cost-of-living data from the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, crime data from the Federal Bureau of Investigations, and WalletHub’s 2020 rankings of the best and worst states to be one of the nation’s 800,000 police officers.