There are currently an estimated 684,200 police officers in the United States. The police officer job market is expected to grow by 7.0% between 2016 and 2026.

How employable are police officers?

CareerExplorer rates police officers with a C employability rating, meaning this career should provide moderate employment opportunities for the foreseeable future. Over the next 10 years, it is expected the US will need 51,600 police officers. That number is based on 47,700 additional police officers, and the retirement of 3,900 existing police officers.

Are police officers in demand?

Although budgets of state and local governments directly influence the demand and job prospects for police officers, population growth, the ongoing need to ensure public safety, and turnover in the field will result in openings for qualified candidates. Layoffs of police officers are rare because needed staffing cuts generally occur due to retirements. The majority of jobs in the field are with city police forces, but opportunities also exist with state police, federal agencies, and private security services. Positions with state and federal agencies, such as the FBI and CIA, will remain among the most competitive, due to their higher salaries and greater opportunities for promotions and inter-agency transfers. Aspiring officers with a degree in law enforcement or criminal justice will increase their marketability; these candidates are the most likely to be admitted to a department’s police academy. Physical strength, ability to manage stressful situations, communication skills, and leadership abilities are also viewed as core competencies for this occupation. Military or investigative experience and bilingualism are viewed as further assets. While each police department has specific hiring criteria, most require that applicants be at least twenty-one years of age and pass a background check and psychological examinations.

What’s the supply of police officers?

The police officer industry is concentrated in California, Texas, New York

Police Officer job market by state

State Name Employed Police Officers
California 73,000
Texas 63,380
New York 46,940
Florida 38,770
Illinois 31,430
Pennsylvania 27,460
Ohio 24,950
Georgia 23,730
North Carolina 23,370
New Jersey 19,580
Virginia 18,700
Massachusetts 17,750
Michigan 16,720
Puerto Rico 14,470
Missouri 12,950
Tennessee 12,890
Wisconsin 12,410
Indiana 11,920
South Carolina 11,890
Arizona 11,480
Louisiana 11,230
Alabama 10,420
Washington 9,610
Colorado 9,440
Minnesota 8,680
Oklahoma 7,640
Mississippi 7,520
Kentucky 7,520
Connecticut 6,820
Arkansas 6,080
Kansas 5,880
District of Columbia 5,140
Iowa 4,980
Nevada 4,740
New Mexico 4,540
Utah 4,410
West Virginia 3,800
Nebraska 3,390
New Hampshire 3,050
Hawaii 2,700
Idaho 2,470
Maine 2,120
Rhode Island 2,110
Delaware 1,840
South Dakota 1,750
North Dakota 1,640
Montana 1,600
Vermont 1,450
Wyoming 1,100
Alaska 1,070