Law Enforcement Careers in Pennsylvania

Although the number of crimes reported to Pennsylvania police agencies increased slightly from 2010 to 2011, the number of violent crime offenses decreased during that time frame.  Part of this can be attributed to the efforts of law enforcement officers throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Those seeking law enforcement careers in Pennsylvania have a number of options, ranging from jobs with the Pennsylvania State Police to jobs as Sheriff’s Deputies and municipal Police Officers.

Jobs with the Pennsylvania State Police

Since its inception in 1905 as the first uniformed police organization of its type, Pennsylvania state troopers have been protecting those who travel the highways of Pennsylvania.  The Pennsylvania State Police currently has 4,677 sworn Troopers.  In addition to enforcing traffic laws and stopping drunk drivers, State Police Troopers are trained to identify potential smugglers and terrorists who may be crossing through Pennsylvania.

The I-95 corridor is an avenue for drug smuggling throughout the Northeast.  Pennsylvania State Police Troopers frequently intercept shipments of drugs and cash from Miami that are destined for New York and other cities. The Pennsylvania State Police also offers high tech assistance to other law enforcement agencies throughout the Commonwealth.

Applicants for positions with the Pennsylvania State Police start out as cadets.  Those seeking jobs as State Troopers in Pennsylvania must be 21-39 years old on the date they are appointed.  Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED plus an Associate’s Degree of 60 semester credit hours.  This can be waived in some casings, such as having worked for two years as a police officer or in the military.  Potential candidates for the Pennsylvania State Police must apply on-line.

Jobs with Sheriff’s Departments in Pennsylvania

The counties of Pennsylvania provide numerous opportunities to obtain jobs as a Sheriff’s Deputy.

 

Allegheny County:  Allegheny County has the lowest crime rate of any metropolitan area with over one million citizens.  Located in Pittsburgh, the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office practices Community Oriented Policing to help prevent crimes from taking place.

Delaware County:  The Sheriff’s Office of Delaware County is staffed with 41 full time Deputy Sheriffs that fight crime in the county and assist other law enforcement agencies.  Those seeking a job as a Deputy Sheriff in Delaware County should contact The Office of Workforce Development.

Philadelphia County:  Deputy Sheriffs of the Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office provide protection in court buildings and hunt fugitives.  Those who apply for jobs as Deputy Sheriffs with the Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office must be 19-49 years old at the time of their appointment.  A high school diploma or GED is required.

Jobs with Municipal Police Departments in Pennsylvania

Residents of Pennsylvania have a number of options to obtain jobs as Police Officers in the municipal regions of the state.

Allentown:  The crime rate for Allentown is higher than for many other cities of its size in the U.S.  Fighting this trend are the members of the Allentown Police Department.  Those who wish to obtain jobs as Police Officers in must be 21 years old when appointed and possess a high school diploma or GED.

Erie:  There are high rates of both violent and property crimes in Erie.  The Erie Police Department currently employs 173 active Police Officers.  Those who wish to obtain jobs as Police Officers in Erie must be 21-65 years old, have a high school diploma or a GED.  By the time of hiring, applicants must be Act 120 certified.

Philadelphia:  Philadelphia has one of the highest crime rates of any city in the U.S., and to combat this, it has the fourth largest police department in the country with over 6600 sworn members.  Those who seek jobs as Police Officers in Philadelphia must first submit an on-line pre-application form.  They will then have to pass a written exam and a test of physical agility before being considered for hiring.

Pittsburgh:  The crime rate in Pittsburgh is about average for cities of its size.  Law enforcement officials in this city are members of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, which has approximately 900 sworn officers.  To apply for jobs as Police Officers in Pittsburgh, applicants must be at least 18 years old and have 30 semester or 45 quarter credits of completed coursework at a college, technical, or trade school.

Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Salaries

The Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-2013 Edition, which is an occupational guide complied by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, reported these median Pennsylvania law enforcement salaries during 2010:

  • Detectives and Criminal Investigators: $71,630
  • Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers: $56,410
  • Supervisors of Police and Detectives: $79,870

Detectives and Criminal Investigators salaries in Pennsylvania

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton PA-NJ
80
73200
Erie PA
80
75650
Harrisburg-Carlisle PA
260
71390
Lancaster PA
30
67650
Newark-Union NJ-PA Metropolitan Division
860
100060
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington PA-NJ-DE-MD
2180
82950
Pittsburgh PA
490
78540
Reading PA
40
74890
Scranton--Wilkes-Barre PA
80
74210
York-Hanover PA
40
71940
Youngstown-Warren-Boardman OH-PA
180
58440
Far Western Pennsylvania nonmetropolitan area
40
60550
Northeastern Pennsylvania nonmetropolitan area
Estimate Not Released
69240
East Central Pennsylvania nonmetropolitan area
50
54870

Police Officer and Sheriff Salary in Pennsylvania

At the Philadelphia Police Department, the starting salary for a Police Officer Recruit, which is an officer in training at the academy, is $43,748. After graduation and promotion to Police Officer, a salary increase to $46,783 is given. Annual raises are given thereafter, but the current salary cap is $60,759. Additionally, a promotion from Police Officer to Corporal or Detective provides for a 10% increase in salary above the officer’s current salary.

Likewise, the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police offers police officers a salary of approximately $26,284, or about $13.69 per hour, during Training Academy. After graduation, the first year salary for police officers is $40,896.

Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers salaries in Pennsylvania

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton PA-NJ
1440
56730
Altoona PA
210
48140
Erie PA
280
61070
Harrisburg-Carlisle PA
1180
57980
Johnstown PA
260
37920
Lancaster PA
660
64200
Lebanon PA
200
54500
Newark-Union NJ-PA Metropolitan Division
5620
80260
Philadelphia PA Metropolitan Division
11270
59790
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington PA-NJ-DE-MD
14990
62060
Pittsburgh PA
5430
53520
Reading PA
530
59150
Scranton--Wilkes-Barre PA
1140
44310
State College PA
160
61150
Williamsport PA
190
Estimate Not Released
York-Hanover PA
670
59780
Youngstown-Warren-Boardman OH-PA
1010
46750
Far Western Pennsylvania nonmetropolitan area
630
Estimate Not Released
West Central Pennsylvania nonmetropolitan area
830
49000

State Trooper Salary in Pennsylvania

According to the Pennsylvania State Police, state troopers receive a starting salary of $58,211. In addition to this, they also receive overtime pay and shift differential pay. Some of the additional benefits include:

  • Annual clothing allowance of $500
  • 10 vacation days during the 1st year of service
  • 15 sick days per year
  • 13 paid holidays and 4 personal days per year

Police Supervisors and Detectives salaries in Pennsylvania

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton PA-NJ
Estimate Not Released
84120
Altoona PA
40
83990
Erie PA
60
84910
Harrisburg-Carlisle PA
390
87550
Lancaster PA
70
84570
Newark-Union NJ-PA Metropolitan Division
880
112530
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington PA-NJ-DE-MD
Estimate Not Released
83820
Pittsburgh PA
460
80520
Reading PA
80
79510
Scranton--Wilkes-Barre PA
160
76860
Williamsport PA
40
83670
York-Hanover PA
100
66970
Youngstown-Warren-Boardman OH-PA
160
65190
Far Western Pennsylvania nonmetropolitan area
100
78690
West Central Pennsylvania nonmetropolitan area
150
85860
Northeastern Pennsylvania nonmetropolitan area
90
73760
East Central Pennsylvania nonmetropolitan area
160
71700

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