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Website that shows Salary outlook in different states

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  • Website that shows Salary outlook in different states

    Hi. I'm looking into different states that I would want to pursue my LE career in. I currently live in NJ, and from what I can gather on the internet, you cannot beat our salaries. However, I want to move down south. (I hate NJ snow!!) I'm getting 10 different answers from 10 different websites as far as salaries across states and cities. I cant find an official website/list that shows the starting and cap salaries across states for me to use to compare potential states. does this information exist? where?
    thanks!

  • #2
    Originally posted by AnnaG View Post
    I can't find an official website/list that shows the starting and cap salaries across states for me to use to compare potential states.
    The Bureau of Labor Statistics "Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers" page will get you in the ballpark. You still need to contact individual agencies to find out what actual, current pay rates are.

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    • #3
      Pay can vary greatly within a state. In California, for instance, police officer in Santa Clara tops out at $12,000 a month, while a deputy in Imperial County gets $5500. Of course, the median home price in Santa Clara is just over a million, and the median in Imperial is $190,000.

      Even agencies that are next door to each other can be a lot different, salary-wise. Jump a couple cities over from Santa Clara to East Palo Alto and oiffcers only get $7400.

      The only way to really find out what officers get paid is to look at each city's website. You can find salaries for three different agencies in less than two minutes.
      Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

      I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Seventy2002 View Post

        The Bureau of Labor Statistics "Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers" page will get you in the ballpark. You still need to contact individual agencies to find out what actual, current pay rates are.
        That is probably your best resource....................just be aware that those types of web portals NORMALLY go out of date very quickly and often are not updated regularly
        Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

        My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

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        • #5
          thanks I'll check the Bureau of Labor.....some of the individual websites don't have salaries posted as far as I can tell. thanks though!

          Comment


          • #6
            Anna,

            Don't look at salary lists alone as they can be misleading. You need to look at the benefit package that comes with each agency as that's where the hidden gems can be found.

            Once you get out of the academy, my agency pays you $74,700 per year. That gets bumped up by 5% per year until you cap out at $92,640. But here's what you won't find on the salary scale.

            1. The law says we must pay our people for the time necessary to put on and take off their uniforms. Above and beyond their regular salary, they get an extra 3.5% of their pay for that.

            2. We have a mandatory 8.5 hour day. You get an extra 6.5% of your salary for that extra half hour.

            3. For the first five years we pay you and extra $65 per month as an incentive to stay in shape physically. After five years that jumps up ti $130.

            4. If you have an AA or an Intermediate POST, your get an extra 2.5% of your salary. If you have a Bachelors or an Advanced POST, your get an extra 5%.

            5. If you work swing shift, you get an extra $1.00 per hour. Graveyard pays an extra $1.50 per hour.

            6. When you hit 18 years service, you get an extra 2% pay, 20 yesr gets 3%, 20 years gets 4%, and 25 years gets 8%.

            7. Speaking a second language can get you an extra $100 per month.

            8. Certain special duty assignments can earn you anywhere from an extra $156 per month to an extra 5%.

            When you start adding all these things up, our officers make far more that what's listed on the salary charts, and we haven't even touched on overtime, which is plentiful for those that want it.

            We combine Sick Leave and Vacation into what's called Annual Leave, that can be taken for anything (sick, vacation, Arbor Day, you name it). New officers officers earn 24 hours per month (36 days per year). An officer with 20 years on earns 31 hours per month or 46.5 days. (A word of caution here - we get no paid holidays, so one of these annual leave days must be used to take a holiday off. Nonetheless, this is still a generous time off package.

            My whole point here is don't go by the salary charts (and don't assume other departments have the same benefits as mine). Different agencies are funded by different revenue sources. Some are poor and some are rich. Your personally have to do your homework, look around and dig deep in your research..

            Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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            • AnnaG
              AnnaG commented
              Editing a comment
              wow okay thank you, I will look into that as well!!

          • #7
            Originally posted by AnnaG View Post
            Hi. I'm looking into different states that I would want to pursue my LE career in. I currently live in NJ, and from what I can gather on the internet, you cannot beat our salaries. However, I want to move down south. (I hate NJ snow!!) I'm getting 10 different answers from 10 different websites as far as salaries across states and cities. I cant find an official website/list that shows the starting and cap salaries across states for me to use to compare potential states. does this information exist? where?
            thanks!
            You also need to consider cost of living... yes New Jersey police officers are compensated very well, but it's VERY expensive to live here. I pay $8,500 in property taxes on my little cape with not much land .
            NYPD Exam 2302 (July, 2011) - 9x.xxx
            List number (December, 2011) - 2xx
            APD -???

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            • #8
              Originally posted by AnnaG View Post
              thanks I'll check the Bureau of Labor.....some of the individual websites don't have salaries posted as far as I can tell. thanks though!
              If you Google the department name plus salary, such as "santa clara police salary", you'll often get a hit for the city's salary schedule for all positions. Also look at city and county websites hiring/personnel links. That's where the job listings are, and the recruiting pages usually have the current salary listed. As L1 noted, though, they often don't show the complete benefit package. With all the variables - time at rank, time with the department, education level, employee share for health insurance and retirement - it would be a complex chart to accurately gauge what your individual pay would be.

              My agency tops out at $53.88 an hour for deputy sheriff. As a 28 year veteran, my pay added 4% for having a POST Advanced certificate and 6% for having more than 15 years with the department. Detectives, FTOs and patrol deputies working swing or graveyard shift get 5%. Nine percent is dedcuted from our salary to pay the employee contribution toward retirement, and depending on what health plan you choose and how many dependants you have covered, health insurance deduction varies.

              Looking it up or talking with personnel will give you a ballpark figure, but until you get the first few paychecks, you won't get the exact figure for your situation.
              Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

              I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq

              Comment


              • #9
                Anna,

                You also have to remember, there's a lot more to the job than money. My last agency paid huge bucks, but it was (for me personally) just an OK place to work. The place I worked for prior to that was dead broke and we had to beg, borrow and steal for just about everything, but I spent the best years of my career working there. Again, it's not always about the money.
                Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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                • #10
                  Based upon what you posted about your medical condition, if it were me, I would be more concerned with what agencies would consider hiring me, and less concerned about the pay at this point in time.

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                  • #11
                    Another important item that new people don't think about is medical coverage by your employer and what they offer upon retirement... In my case with LA County, after 25 years the county pays 100% of my medical, dental and vision care....I have been retired now for 21 years and I have never paid one Penney for healthcare. That alone has saved me almost 28,000 a year...Very few agencies in this country pay 100% healthcare for retired folks.
                    Retired LASD

                    Comment


                    • LSUTiger9314
                      LSUTiger9314 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      This is a great point as my agency offers NOTHING upon retirement. There is a state plan to buy into that is comparable to what I pay now

                  • #12
                    Originally posted by AnnaG View Post
                    I currently live in NJ, and from what I can gather on the internet, you cannot beat our salaries. However, I want to move down south. (I hate NJ snow!!)
                    Maybe not at first glance, but if you factor in cost of living and taxes in New Jersey, I think a lot of cops in states with seemingly lower salaries end up with more money over the course of the year. With regard to the South in general (GA, NC, VA, SC, etc), it does not seem to have good pay for LE at all, but I do know that a lot of cops leave NY/NJ and move to FL with good results.
                    Last edited by DepTroop; 06-25-2017, 04:40 PM.

                    Comment


                    • LSUTiger9314
                      LSUTiger9314 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      While the taxes here are high, we deduct them from our federal taxes. Where it's all relative is home prices. $350k gets you a lot more down south than it does in my neck of the woods

                  • #13
                    There can be other benefits, too, some places. For example, I had a take home unmarked car at the agency I retired from. Some are quick to point out that a take home ride isn't money in your pocket. While that is true, it also was money that I didn't have to spend driving to and from work. What that is actually worth to someone can vary. For example, if you live in an apartment across the street from the PD/SO, it really isn't worth worth much. On the other hand, if you live a distance away, i t has a greater value. Just know, too, that many places restrict how far the take home ride can go. Around here, you generally must live in the county to take your squad home.

                    And, as other pointed out, things can and do change. Patrol shifts around here seem to be mainly 12 hour shifts now. The 12s seem to be increasing in popularity of late. Some love them, some hate them, and a bunch of folks somewhere in between.

                    A Sheriff a few counties north of me was elected and suddenly the formerly take home squads are now parked at the sheriff's office.

                    The activity level, if it matters to you, is also worth asking about. Some places have a bunch of Retired On Duty guys/gals. I get it, given the political climate. There are, however, still some agencies that expect a days work for a days pay. Find out ahead of time, so that you aren't surprised, before you switch.

                    Some agencies are so small that there is little opportunity to do much beyond patrol. Other agencies have tons of opportunities for other assignments. That, too, is worthy of at least some consideration. There can be a tendency of some younger people to think that patrol is all they will ever want to do. Guess what, after a number of years of working midnight and chasing the radio calls, some people change their tune!

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                    • #14
                      Avg local salary in Columbia, SC... about 37k
                      Former Police Officer (Injured LOD)
                      USAF VETERAN 2004-2012
                      "The sheep pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day."-LTC Grossman
                      Emergency Services Dispatcher, APG MD

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