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Police and Detectives

Police and Detectives
Quick Facts : Police and Detectives*
2010 Median Pay$55,010
Entry Level EducationHigh school diploma or equivalent
Work Experience in Related OccupationNone
Number of Jobs, 2012794,300
Job Outlook7% (Slower than average)
Employment Change58,700

Police and detectives protect public safety and rights. Detectives and criminal investigators look into cases gathering facts and collecting evidence. Duties of law enforcement officers depend on the type and size of the organization.

What Police and Detectives Do

  • Respond to calls for service
  • Patrol assigned areas
  • Conduct traffic stops and issue citations
  • Investigate crimes
  • Conduct interviews with suspects and witnesses

Work Environment

Police and detective work can be physically demanding, stressful, and dangerous. Police officers have one of the highest rates of on-the-job injuries and fatalities.
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Job Outlook

Employment of police and detectives is expected to grow by 7 percent from 2010 to 2020, because the level of government spending determines the level of employment for police and detectives.
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The average salary of police and detectives was $55,010 in May 2010.
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Police and Detectives*
Average Annual Salary, May 2010

Police and Detectives


Legal & Law Enforcement Occupations


All Jobs in the U.S.

Police and Detectives*
Percent Change in Employment

Police and Detectives


Legal & Law Enforcement Occupations


All Jobs in the U.S.


Becoming a Police and Detectives

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