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  • #16
    I worked in corporate America for over 20 years; when I left I was making around $85k/yr. In my area, that's a comfortable living.

    When I switched to a law enforcement career my base income was around $60k.

    At first glance, it looks like I took a big pay cut. However, my benefits package as a cop were WAY less expensive than my prior career. So my take-home pay is actually higher than before.

    It's not only about what's going into the bucket, but what's coming out as well.

    Additionally, I've never been happier or more satisfied in my working life.

    I'll part with the same advice I gave my kids when they went to college: Pursue what you find interesting and a have a passion for...the money will follow. Be smart with what you earn, and you'll likely be way happier than people with far more zeros on their paychecks.

    Good luck!

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by DST.Rat View Post
      If you go to the Ohio State Highway Patrol website under Trooper recruiting, they have a very good breakdown of salary and benefits for a Trooper throughout their career. That way you can see and show your parents the hard data that is published.
      I really appreciate that. Thank you sir!

      Comment


      • #18
        We do pretty well.
        I make my living on Irish welfare.

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by reils49 View Post
          We do pretty well.
          Woahhhh

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by Griffin4Lif3 View Post

            Woahhhh
            Cost of living in NY is also higher in NY than it is in Ohio. Don't make the mistake of using Ohio's cost of living when considering pay scales in other localities...people make the argument that LEO's are "overpaid" by finding the highest-paid departments in the country (usually those in high cost of living areas) and comparing them to national income averages.
            "He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."
            -Friedrich Nietzsche

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by Bing_Oh View Post

              Cost of living in NY is also higher in NY than it is in Ohio. Don't make the mistake of using Ohio's cost of living when considering pay scales in other localities...people make the argument that LEO's are "overpaid" by finding the highest-paid departments in the country (usually those in high cost of living areas) and comparing them to national income averages.
              I am aware of the difference in the cost of living. It is still impressive though haha. I appreciate it though sir. Thank you for your input.

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by reils49 View Post
                We do pretty well.
                Didn't you guys just get an absurdly high new contract also? Now that you make more than we do, we might start making you guys actually work for a living and stop handling all your crashes for you .

                Comment


                • reils49
                  reils49 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  2 years in a suit man, I don’t do crashes anymore

              • #23
                I don't think there's a single answer to the OP's question. Some parts of the country compensate LEOs very well. Others don't. I took over a 50% paycut to switch careers and move into the LE profession in a state where LEOs aren't paid well. The only reason I was able to pursue this path was because my wife is a professional with a well-paying career of her own. Sometimes I think of my buddies, who are the sole earners in their families with multiple kids. I don't know how they do it.

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                • #24
                  Just go on the take. Work for a border agency and moonlight for the Cartels. You’ll be fine.
                  Now go home and get your shine box!

                  Comment


                  • #25
                    I grew up in a single income home in Calif. to a lower middle class family. I always say I won the middle class lotto by becoming a cop. I live more comfortably than I could ever imagine. Some things that went in my favor financially where: getting hired young, always living within my means, buying a house early (and with some luck- good timing), marrying another cop (and not getting divorced), not having kids before I could afford them, and then getting promoted fairly soon in my career. In terms of quality of life beyond just financial, in my agency we get 4 weeks of vacation a year, always have 3 day weekends, and the ability to work OT for extra time off. I could never imagine working 5 days a week, in the same cubicle, with only a two week vacation every year. It would kill me. Before I had kids I had several years where I took a month off straight to travel in my 20's. With some scheduling luck, I have spent more time with my kids than my dad was able to spend with me working a 9-5 job like the rest of America. I have sent myself up for that when they go to school, my wife and I will be on day shift type of jobs and won't be doing shift work anymore.

                    Additionally I also get a pension which will allow me to retire at 50 and maintain 90% of my salary for life. Look into the FIRE (Financial Independence/Retire Early) movement, retirement at 50 is generally a reasonable goal for them- my peers and I are the few who will actually get to FIRE. One of my partners recently completed law school and figured he would need to double his salary as a supervisor to make up for losing his pension. If you count how much I will earn over my lifetime, assuming I don't die young, I will earn more than most doctors or lawyers, even if I don't bother to promote any further beyond first line supervisor.

                    And half the year I get all this to drive an ATV on a beach. Needless to say my quality of life could not be higher.

                    Comment


                    • #26
                      Originally posted by nobodyjr View Post
                      I grew up in a single income home in Calif. to a lower middle class family. I always say I won the middle class lotto by becoming a cop. I live more comfortably than I could ever imagine. Some things that went in my favor financially where: getting hired young, always living within my means, buying a house early (and with some luck- good timing), marrying another cop (and not getting divorced), not having kids before I could afford them, and then getting promoted fairly soon in my career. In terms of quality of life beyond just financial, in my agency we get 4 weeks of vacation a year, always have 3 day weekends, and the ability to work OT for extra time off. I could never imagine working 5 days a week, in the same cubicle, with only a two week vacation every year. It would kill me. Before I had kids I had several years where I took a month off straight to travel in my 20's. With some scheduling luck, I have spent more time with my kids than my dad was able to spend with me working a 9-5 job like the rest of America. I have sent myself up for that when they go to school, my wife and I will be on day shift type of jobs and won't be doing shift work anymore.

                      Additionally I also get a pension which will allow me to retire at 50 and maintain 90% of my salary for life. Look into the FIRE (Financial Independence/Retire Early) movement, retirement at 50 is generally a reasonable goal for them- my peers and I are the few who will actually get to FIRE. One of my partners recently completed law school and figured he would need to double his salary as a supervisor to make up for losing his pension. If you count how much I will earn over my lifetime, assuming I don't die young, I will earn more than most doctors or lawyers, even if I don't bother to promote any further beyond first line supervisor.

                      And half the year I get all this to drive an ATV on a beach. Needless to say my quality of life could not be higher.
                      Wow, that’s amazing. That sincerely is an awesome thing to hear. Thank you sir.

                      Comment


                      • #27
                        Circling back on this, even if you take a pay cut to become a cop or live in an area with a cost of living, it’s very possible to live comfortable as a cop.

                        I live in one of the most expensive areas in the country (NY), cost of living is high, and while you would think 100k a year salary is amazing, keep in mind the average property taxes in my zip code are $15-20k a year. That’s just for property taxes.

                        However, I am not living paycheck to paycheck because I live within my means. I drive a 2012 Camry, I don’t go out to dinner every night, I only buy something if I can truly justify the purchase, and I do my research to find the best price for goods and services.

                        As a result, I can still pay all my bills, max out my retirement, and have some money leftover for a fancy dinner or gift in the frequent occurence I anger my wife. Financial responsibility is more important than the overall salary.

                        Perfect example was the government shutdown (I’m a fed Leo). It was amazing to me how many of my colleagues were making short term loans and complaining to admin about how they are living paycheck to paycheck. Then I walked outside and saw their cars in the parking lot: Audi, BMW, and Mercedes. They also talked about the $10k vacations they took with their families are the thousands they spent on electronics, firearms, and multiple gym memberships. Then suddenly it make sense.

                        If you look in my previous posts about financial responsibility you will always see my lengthy ramblings about how important being financially responsible is. That’s because it IS important.

                        Summary: hustle as hard as you can with OT gigs, live within your means, plan for your future, and you’ll be able to have a happy and healthy life.

                        I am forced into retirement at 52. The way it’s set up, my financial advisor says I won’t have to take another job after retirement. I’ll still pick something up because I can’t be idle, but I won’t be relying on that income to survive. That income will be strictly “fun money” and “sorry honey that I said what I thought was funny at the time so here is a gift” money.

                        One thing I do have to say, it’s not all about the money. I am happy to get paid doing what I do, but I didn’t get into this career for the money; I got into it because I love the job, I believe in my mission, and I’m dedicated to being a cop. It’s the most rewarding thing in the world to be lucky enough to protect the US constitution against enemies both foreign and domestic. You can’t put a price on that.
                        Last edited by BP3; 03-14-2019, 05:41 AM. Reason: grammar

                        Comment


                        • Exbpa340
                          Exbpa340 commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Most covered positions have mandatory retirement at 57 (not 52).

                        • BP3
                          BP3 commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Exbpa340 correction: I misspoke. Retirement eligible at 52, mandatory at 57, although I have heard of guys getting waivers until 60 but I don’t know the specifics as I’m 30 years away from that.
                          Last edited by BP3; 03-18-2019, 10:58 AM.

                      • #28
                        Originally posted by BP3 View Post
                        Circling back on this, even if you take a pay cut to become a cop or live in an area with a cost of living, it’s very possible to live comfortable as a cop.

                        I live in one of the most expensive areas in the country (NY), cost of living is high, and while you would think 100k a year salary is amazing, keep in mind the average property taxes in my zip code are $15-20k a year. That’s just for property taxes.

                        However, I am not living paycheck to paycheck because I live within my means. I drive a 2012 Camry, I don’t go out to dinner every night, I only buy something if I can truly justify the purchase, and I do my research to find the best price for goods and services.

                        As a result, I can still pay all my bills, max out my retirement, and have some money leftover for a fancy dinner or gift in the frequent occurence I anger my wife. Financial responsibility is more important than the overall salary.

                        Perfect example was the government shutdown (I’m a fed Leo). It was amazing to me how many of my colleagues were making short term loans and complaining to admin about how they are living paycheck to paycheck. Then I walked outside and saw their cars in the parking lot: Audi, BMW, and Mercedes. They also talked about the $10k vacations they took with their families are the thousands they spent on electronics, firearms, and multiple gym memberships. Then suddenly it make sense.

                        If you look in my previous posts about financial responsibility you will always see my lengthy ramblings about how important being financially responsible is. That’s because it IS important.

                        Summary: hustle as hard as you can with OT gigs, live within your means, plan for your future, and you’ll be able to have a happy and healthy life.

                        I am forced into retirement at 52. The way it’s set up, my financial advisor says I won’t have to take another job after retirement. I’ll still pick something up because I can’t be idle, but I won’t be relying on that income to survive. That income will be strictly “fun money” and “sorry honey that I said what I thought was funny at the time so here is a gift” money.

                        One thing I do have to say, it’s not all about the money. I am happy to get paid doing what I do, but I didn’t get into this career for the money; I got into it because I love the job, I believe in my mission, and I’m dedicated to being a cop. It’s the most rewarding thing in the world to be lucky enough to protect the US constitution against enemies both foreign and domestic. You can’t put a price on that.
                        I sincerely sincerely thank you for your input sir/ma’am. That is an amazing thing to hear. Very well said!

                        Comment


                        • #29
                          If you want comfort, get a college degree. Apply to higher paying departments. Or bust your butt on overtime like I do. We're down over a hundred positions, so its available for us.. Don't join some po-dunk Sheriff's Office then complain about being poor though.

                          Comment


                          • #30
                            Originally posted by USMCGrunt03 View Post
                            If you want comfort, get a college degree. Apply to higher paying departments. Or bust your butt on overtime like I do. We're down over a hundred positions, so its available for us.. Don't join some po-dunk Sheriff's Office then complain about being poor though.
                            Sounds like a good way to go about it, thank you.

                            Comment

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