CareerGPS

Police Patrol Officers
Summary Occupational Forecast Data for Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers
Employment Employment Change Average Annual Job Openings Wage & Training Levels
2018 2023 Numerical Percent New Jobs Replacement Jobs Total Median Hourly Median Annual Training Levels
8 6 -1 -18.77% 0 0 0 $46.30 $96,312 High school diploma or equivalent
Description: Patrol assigned area to enforce laws and ordinances, regulate traffic, control crowds, prevent crime, and arrest violators.
Staffing Pattern Data Forecast Data Source: EMSI (2nd Quarter 2018)

Occupation Details

The information in this section represents occupational characteristics included in O*NET which defines key features of an occupation as a standardized, measurable set of variables called "descriptors". These distinguishing characteristics of an occupation are described in greater detail in the O*NET Content Model. All items are listed in descending order of importance.

  • 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.
  • Identify, pursue, and arrest suspects and perpetrators of criminal acts.
  • Record facts to prepare reports that document incidents and activities.
  • 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.
  • Testify in court to present evidence or act as witness in traffic and criminal cases.
  • Evaluate complaint and emergency-request information to determine response requirements.
  • Patrol specific area on foot, horseback, or motorized conveyance, responding promptly to calls for assistance.
  • Monitor, note, report, and investigate suspicious persons and situations, safety hazards, and unusual or illegal activity in patrol area.
  • Investigate traffic accidents and other accidents to determine causes and to determine if a crime has been committed.
  • Photograph or draw diagrams of crime or accident scenes and interview principals and eyewitnesses.
  • Monitor traffic to ensure motorists observe traffic regulations and exhibit safe driving procedures.
  • Relay complaint and emergency-request information to appropriate agency dispatchers.
  • 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.
  • Process prisoners, and prepare and maintain records of prisoner bookings and prisoner status during booking and pre-trial process.
  • Inspect public establishments to ensure compliance with rules and regulations.
  • Act as official escorts, such as when leading funeral processions or firefighters.

Knowledge

91%
Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
88%
Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
82%
English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
75%
Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
71%
Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
60%
Telecommunications - Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
58%
Sociology and Anthropology - Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
57%
Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
51%
Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.

Skills

75%
Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
69%
Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
65%
Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
65%
Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
62%
Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
60%
Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
60%
Negotiation - Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
60%
Persuasion - Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
60%
Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
60%
Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
56%
Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
56%
Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
53%
Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
50%
Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Abilities

78%
Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
75%
Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
72%
Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
69%
Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
69%
Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
69%
Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
65%
Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
65%
Far Vision - The ability to see details at a distance.
65%
Reaction Time - The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
65%
Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
65%
Flexibility of Closure - The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
62%
Perceptual Speed - The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes compa
62%
Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
60%
Time Sharing - The ability to shift back and forth between two or more activities or sources of information (such as speech, sounds, touch, or other sources).
60%
Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
60%
Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
56%
Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
56%
Multilimb Coordination - The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
53%
Response Orientation - The ability to choose quickly between two or more movements in response to two or more different signals (lights, sounds, pictures). It includes the speed with which the correct response is started with the hand, foot, or other body part.
53%
Control Precision - The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
53%
Speed of Closure - The ability to quickly make sense of, combine, and organize information into meaningful patterns.
53%
Arm-Hand Steadiness - The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
50%
Finger Dexterity - The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
50%
Speed of Limb Movement - The ability to quickly move the arms and legs.
50%
Manual Dexterity - The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
50%
Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
50%
Depth Perception - The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.
50%
Hearing Sensitivity - The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch and loudness.

Work Activities

91%
Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
91%
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment - Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
89%
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
87%
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public - Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
87%
Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
86%
Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
85%
Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
85%
Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
84%
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
79%
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
75%
Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
74%
Assisting and Caring for Others - Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
74%
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
70%
Performing General Physical Activities - Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
69%
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
66%
Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
64%
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
63%
Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
61%
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
61%
Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
61%
Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
57%
Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
53%
Developing Objectives and Strategies - Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
51%
Provide Consultation and Advice to Others - Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
50%
Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
50%
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Title Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
Overall Experience Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include food service managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, interviewers, and insurance sales agents.
Education Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Interests

Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outsi
Enterprising - Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Social - Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Work Styles

Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Leadership - Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Social Orientation - Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

Work Values

Achievement - Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Relationships - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Support - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
Independence - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Recognition - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.