There will always be a need for law enforcement officials and Police Officers are the front line. This is a great career choice with very good advancement potential and the chance to make an excellent wage once you have sufficient experience.

The entry requirements can be tough. As well as having a good basic education, literacy and IT skills, you will also need good eyesight, excellent physical fitness, be able to pass regular medical exams and drug screening, have a clean driving license and no previous convictions for criminal activity.

You will need to be able to demonstrate exceptional team work, the ability to listen and follow instructions, sound judgement and the ability to act quickly and make good decisions.

Your resume will present you as reliable, efficient, determined, resilient and with a passion for doing the right thing in all situations.

As a Police Officer, you are an ambassador for your state area, so your personal conduct must be exemplary at all times.

Your day to day roles may include investigating crimes and interviewing suspects – so you can add interpersonal skills and tact to the resume list.

You will be expected to respond to distress calls from members of the public, make arrests and give evidence in Court. That’s the front-line side of the role, but there are other important tasks – educating communities on safe conduct and crime prevention, giving talks to children on internet safety and bullying and providing a security presence at public events are just a few of the extras.

This is a widely-varied role that is suited to someone with great communication, an engaging personality and a genuine desire to make the world a better and safer place.


According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for police officers and detectives combined was around $62,960 dollars a year in 2017.

Salary aggregator pay scale on the other hand puts the figure a little lower at around $52,000 per year.

Salaries can vary greatly, depending on experience level, and the location in which a police officer works. For example, an inexperienced officer and a very small rural village may only make a little over $30,000 a year.

Likewise, a more senior level officer in a large metropolitan area like New York City or Los Angeles might make north of $80,000 dollars a year. It all depends on experience level and location.

Police Officer Salary Statistics

2017 Median Pay$62,960 per year
$30.27 per hour
Typical Entry-Level EducationTraining Course, Associates or Bachelor's
Work Experience in a Related OccupationDesirable
On-the-job TrainingModerate-term on-the-job training common
Number of Jobs, 2016806,400
Job Outlook, 2014-2024+4%
Employment Change, 2014-2024+33,100
Sources: U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics & Payscale

Salary increases are quite linear in terms of experienced level. This means that entry-level candidates with under five years experience can make between $45,000 and $50,000, Whereas mid-career officers, those with 5 to 10 years of experience, make anywhere between $50,000 and $55,000 annually.

Senior level officers, those with 15 or 20+ years of experience can make well north of $60,000 dollars a year.

Industry Forecast

The Number of police officers in the employment workforce is expected to grow at around 4% between 2014 and 2024. This is slightly lower than the national average for all occupations combined, which is 7% in the same timeframe.

Still, 4% growth is growth, nonetheless, and means there will be more police officer Jobs in the next decade.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics breaks down the police and detective occupation into four more focused professional titles. Each of the sub-categories expects a slightly different growth rate over the next 10 years.

The first of these four is detectives and criminal investigators, which are actually forecast to shrink by 1%, In the spring down the overall chocoholic for the police professional category.

Other categories, which include fish and game wardens (expected to grow at 2%), police and sheriff’s patrol officers (expected to grow at a 5%) entrance and railroad police (expected to grow at 4%).

The biggest restriction to police and detective growth is shrinking state and local budgets. With less funds on state and local levels to spend, people working in public service positions, such as police officers, are being asked to work longer hours as a way of saving  money.

Because this profession is so dependent on government spending, job outlook can quickly improve or shrink drastically depending on what happens in congress in Washington, DC.

One thing is for sure, though, as long as the American population continues to grow and more more people move to cities, the demand for a well-trained and professional police force will always exist.

Types of Law Enforcement Officers

While the title of this page is police officer, as an example,  and many of the tips speak specifically to police officers, sergeants, lieutenants, and chiefs, most, if not all of the actual resume writing advice can be applicable to a wide variety of law-enforcement professions.

Outside of regular police officer jobs, these tips can also apply to different “types” of officers including special jurisdiction police, sheriffs and deputy sheriffs, state and federal officers, and detectives.

There is also a lot of overlap in terms resume resume writing with other types of law enforcement professions including fish and game wardens, FBI agents, DEA agents, US marshals, US border patrol agents, immigration inspectors, air marshals, and even secret service agents.

Sample Resume Download

Below is an example of a professionally written police officer resume that you can download, print, save,  to take notes when planning out your own resume.

View Large Version

How To Write Your Own

Mora and more, today, all types of government agencies, from federal to states to local levels, are using standardized online application software to help screen out applicants for law-enforcement positions.

Similar to applicant tracking systems (ATS) used by large corporations, software use for governmental entities is designed to help better filter candidates by experience level and credentials compared to manually sorting through piles of paper resumes.

Even if an agency is using a piece of software for their primary applicant management processes, they may also ask for an old-fashioned resume, especially if the agency is very small, like that of a local small-town police office.

When writing your resume, be sure you spend at least a couple of days writing and revising.  Being as detailed and accurate as possible is of utmost importance within law enforcement.

Just like in politics, leaving out critical information is almost as bad as lying and could have serious repercussions in the future.

Make sure your resume is detailed and accurate and is not missing any vital information the police chief should know when considering you for position on the force.

Also, when writing your law enforcement-related resume, know that you do not have to worry so much about sticking to one page like other private sector jobs.

Whereas, in the private sector a one page resume is ideal because employers want succinct summaries over detailed track records, government jobs, on the other hand, want as much detail as possible, including not just your previous work experience but also in regards to education, training, and certifications.

So, if your resume runs into two or three pages, that is perfectly fine.

Planning to write your own? Get a head start with a professionally designed template and finish your resume in no time!

Sample Bullet Points

Below is a selection of book points specifically selected because of their usefulness on law enforcement resumes. Essentially, what you see below are the types of points that those doing hiring will want to see on your resume.

Useful Police Officer Bullet Points

Provide for public safety by maintaining order, responding to emergencies, protecting people and property, enforcing motor vehicle and criminal laws, and promoting good community relations.
Record facts to prepare reports that document incidents and activities.
Monitor, note, report, and investigate suspicious persons and situations, safety hazards, and unusual or illegal activity in patrol area.
Identify, pursue, and arrest suspects and perpetrators of criminal acts.
Patrol specific area on foot, horseback, or motorized conveyance, responding promptly to calls for assistance.
Review facts of incidents to determine if criminal act or statute violations were involved.
Render aid to accident victims and other persons requiring first aid for physical injuries.
Investigate traffic accidents and other accidents to determine causes and to determine if a crime has been committed.
Testify in court to present evidence or act as witness in traffic and criminal cases.
Photograph or draw diagrams of crime or accident scenes and interview principals and eyewitnesses.
Relay complaint and emergency-request information to appropriate agency dispatchers.
Evaluate complaint and emergency-request information to determine response requirements.
Process prisoners, and prepare and maintain records of prisoner bookings and prisoner status during booking and pre-trial process.
Monitor traffic to ensure motorists observe traffic regulations and exhibit safe driving procedures.
Issue citations or warnings to violators of motor vehicle ordinances.
Direct traffic flow and reroute traffic in case of emergencies.
Inform citizens of community services and recommend options to facilitate longer-term problem resolution.
Provide road information to assist motorists.
Inspect public establishments to ensure compliance with rules and regulations.
Act as official escorts, such as when leading funeral processions or firefighters.
Source: http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/33-3051.01

Career Objective & Professional Profiles

You can choose either a career objective or a professional profile to kick off your law-enforcement resume. Career objectives consist of 1 to 2 sentences explaining your experience and the position you are applying for.

A professional profile is a little longer and consists either of a couple of sentences with a few corresponding key bullet points, or just a few key bullet points highlighting skills that can only be acquired with 10+ years of experience.

If you are entry-level, or mid-career level, you will probably want to stick to using a career objective. If you are a veteran officer, on the other hand, starting out with a professional profile puts your years of invaluable experience right at the top of your resume.

This is a great way to start things off when looking to transfer or find a new position.

Can’t decide between a Career Objective or Summary of Qualifications ? Learn the key differences with our guide here!

In both the career objective and professional summary, you want to first place emphasis on the years of experience that you have.

Then, in the career objective,  you continue by saying how you are earnestly seeking a specific position with a specific agency or municipality.

In a professional summary, however, you simply continue to list 3-4 key experiences and or skills that can only be acquired through years of experience and which make you exiting the unique candidate.

Additional Skills, Certifications & Training

A lot of a lot of for signs officer’s credibility comes not only from their experience on the streets and their experience in the classroom, but also additional supplementary learning acquired in the form of certifications and additional training.

Always be sure to include a list of past and recent programs, workshops, and other Industry-related seminars that you have attended as a law enforcement professional. This shows that you are not only up-to-date with the most current common practices, but you are also a continual learner.

Including additional skills such as medical related skills and EMT experience and CPR knowledge are definitely valuable.

Likewise, firearm knowledge or any other specialized weapons training are also key attributes sought after in highly effective law-enforcement agents.

Finally, other skills such as SWAT training, drug detection enforcement experience, or even things like being fluent in a second language, can be very valuable, especially given how diverse most American cities are today.

You can include awards and recognitions in your experience sections in the body of your resume, and save specific training certifications for the end.

Additional Resources

Still confused? Check out our in-depth guide on how to craft a professional resume like a pro!