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  • Making a Living

    Hi, I am sure this has been asked, but I just want to get the information with people who have experience. I am soon to be finished with my college career and I'm looking into law enforcement. Anyways I was wondering if the pay you get is enough to get by on without financle problems. It's not that I'm looking to get rich or anything I just want to know if I can actually have a job I want and, as I said earn enough to pay any bills I may have. Thank you for any replies.

  • #2
    If you are looking to get into Law Enforcement for money I highly advise you not to pursue this line of work.

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    • #3
      **FORMER LEO** thats why i got out,,of course now i want back in,,but my advise,,look for a dept. that works either 4 10hr shifts, or 8 on 6 off,,something other that 8hr days,,,cause unless your spouse makes gooood money,,your probably gonna have to get a second job/part time job...if your working 8hr days,,its a pain to work some 16 hr days every week..if your good with money manag. you can do it,,but there will be times when you are short and it sucks. just my opinion..with most depts. it is a good 4 to 6 years before you make decent money or get into the good longevity pay.

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      • #4
        Pay varies from department to department. Having said that, there are many departments that pay very decent wages. No matter what the salary, you will have to control your finances, and that means controling your spending. I think that is true no matter where you live or what your income is. My family lives a very comfortable life, at least I think so. We have a fairly new car and a much older truck, take a very nice vacation or 2 each year, a retirement plan that should keep up my standard of living or better for life, and have a very comfortable home, with no debt beyond the mortgage. Having said that, many people want a nicer car than I have, they only want to stay at the Ritz or the Oriental hotels, and of course they want a larger house than I have. In short, you control your destiny.

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        • #5
          well put...some states pay a lot better,,but it is all about $ managment,,sucks that you gotta be a banker to be a po po..

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          • #6
            Thank you for the replies. It seems that my real fears are put to rest. When I was looking into this career I knew the money wasn't great, and I really didn't care as long as I could live off of it, and be able to pay off my current debts being college loans, and many future ones I'll have.

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            • #7
              Many depts pay well if you look around, but you may have to make sacrifices like moving, weather.. etc.
              I can only really stress that money management is key. You may have to live without the toys and huge house that some LEOs are buying.
              You are in a postion for it to work (assuming that you don't have much debt) to your advantage. Don't ever be a "slave" to money. Make your money work for you.
              I have recently started to see that the majority of the cops in the lower 48 get paid crummy. It keeps me from moving back to the east coast.

              TGY
              Last edited by That Guy; 07-08-2005, 10:04 PM.
              Disclaimer: The writer does not represent any organization, employer, entity or other individual. The views expressed are those only of the writer. In the case of a sarcastic, facetious, nonsensical, stirring-the-pot, controversial or devil's advocate-type post, the views expressed may not even reflect those of the writer [This sig stolen from Brickcop who stole it from Frank Booth].

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              • #8
                I'm not an Officer yet, but starting wages for NPD and BPD here in Idaho is $16-$17. That's outstanding in my eyes. It must be pretty bad else where.

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                • #9
                  LE definitely is not the career field to get into if you want to be wealthy, but it is a decent living--at most agencies, not all. As far as not having financial problems, you can have them anywhere even as a LE officer. It has nothing to do w/the pay, it's the individual. For the job we do we will never get compensated enough--some less stressful, less dangerous, less idiots jobs pay much more than we get paid--but then...that's another thread altogether!

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                  • #10
                    making a living

                    I retired 13 years ago and my retirement needs have been taken care of nicely. If you live within your means. Our division pays my health care and we have an excellent prescription , dental and vision plan. Most officers don't remain long enough to retire. I never got into the business for the money. I am college educated and I have a very nice job currently(since retiring) doing child support enforcement, gives me something to do Monday-Friday, and I am already vested in another retirement system. Life is great, lots of golfing, traveling and spending time with my St Bernard

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                    • #11
                      Just get yourself a couple of EJ's and you'll be fine... Could very eaisly make 300-500 a week, but just working a couple hours a week. Workin a bar on the weekends, sittin in the project housing so dope cant come in for a few hours... Traffic detail for sporting events, something... But you can make a comfortable living doing this job, you just have to work a little harder for it.

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                      • #12
                        My first job in Law Enforcement paid 6.55hr. I was a Deputy Sheriff in a rual County. I liked to starved to death.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by irishpump
                          I'm not an Officer yet, but starting wages for NPD and BPD here in Idaho is $16-$17. That's outstanding in my eyes. It must be pretty bad else where.
                          Wow, thats crazy low...

                          I just got a raise and now get around $22.50 hr, and that is with only 2 years on.

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                          • #14
                            I think were making like $17.50 after the academy down here... $15.10 while in the academy.

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                            • #15
                              We start at $21 right out of the academy here. That equates to about $44k a year. Add in details, overtime, and court, and most will clear $65-70K. If you work in a specialized unit, nights, or have longevity pay, it will be substancially more. My buddy is on DUI Task Force, granted with court all of the time he has no life, but he made $98K last year.
                              In law enforcement, the customer is ALWAYS wrong.

                              In God we trust. Everyone else is run through NCIC.

                              Sometimes there is justice. Sometimes there is just us.

                              I'd rather be tried by 12 then carried by 6.


                              The opinions given in my posts do not necessarily reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only.

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