Police officers: they serve and protect our cities, promote safety, and bring communities together. Sure, you might not get excited every time you wind up with a parking ticket on your windshield, but the truth is police officers are part of the fabric of society and foundational to an organized, chaos-free world. As a result, you’d probably expect police salaries to be pretty great.
But according to Paysa data, average police salaries across the country are just $69,000 per year:
Luckily, there are certain pockets of the country where police officers can actually earn significantly more. And with job growth for police officers on the rise according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, now is a great time for officers (or people interested in a career in law enforcement) to consider opportunities in one of these cities:
#1. San Francisco Bay Area – $83,000 per year
It’s no secret that San Francisco is a hotbed for technology jobs. But, as we’ve recently revealed on the Paysa blog, the Bay Area also holds some of the highest salaries for pharmacists, dentists, and now police officers, too. Of course, part of that may be attributed to the high cost of living in San Francisco, but average police salaries are still sky high in SF at $83,000 per year:
You could also do just as well down in San Jose and potentially dodge some of the high rent prices you’ll find in San Francisco proper. Or, you could head on down the I-5 to beautiful, sunny, Los Angeles as well:
#2. Los Angeles – $81,000 per year
From Die Hard to Dragnet, Lethal Weapon to Law & Order, the LAPD has been a staple of American perspectives on law enforcement for decades. And joining this storied force of police officers pays pretty well, too. According to Paysa data, the average LAPD officer earns $81,000 per year:
But, if California life isn’t right for you, don’t fret: the east coast has some promising opportunities for police officers, too.
#3. Hartford, CT – $81,000 per year
Living in Hartford means a slow pace of life and less crime than you’ll find in LA, but that doesn’t equate to lower police salaries. Officers in Hartford can expect to earn the same amount as LAPD officers—$81,000 per year.
#4. Sacramento – $79,000 per year
The #4 spot brings us back to California, this time to the sixth largest city in The Golden State, Sacramento. Though considerably smaller in population than San Francisco or Los Angeles, Sacramento police officers stay busy—the city has a higher violent crime rate than both the national and California averages. As a result, Sacramento police salaries are some of the highest in the country at $79,000 per year:
#5. Miami, FL – $78,000 per year
Channel your inner Rico Tubbs from Miami Vice and make a move down to The Magic City, where police salaries are well above the nationwide average. As a police officer in the Miami-Dade Police Department, you can expect to earn an average salary of $78,000 per year:
If you’re not a fan of the sun and prefer a more hip, nature-friendly environment, you might want to consider Seattle instead:
#6. Seattle – $78,000 per year
With companies like Amazon and Microsoft establishing themselves in Seattle, the city has recently become a tech hub of its own. As a result, the city is adding about 60 new citizens each day—the largest flux of newcomers since the Klondike Gold Rush in the early 1900s. With all these new citizens comes demand for officers to protect and serve, which is why Seattle pays their officers above the national average. Police salaries in Seattle average out to $78,000 per year:
#7. Providence, RI – $77,000 per year
It might seem a bit surprising to see one of the biggest police salaries coming from the smallest state in the U.S., but the reality is that Providence police officers earn well above the national average with a salary of $77,000 per year.
#8. Fort Lauderdale, FL – $76,000 per year
Miami isn’t the only Florida city that knows how to take care of its police officers. While you may not make it onto an NCIS episode in Fort Lauderdale, you can still make a considerable salary there. The city comes in a close second to Miami with an average police salary of $76,000 per year.
#9. Albuquerque, NM – $76,000 per year
Most people think Breaking Bad when they think of Albuquerque, but the local police force there have a lot more on their hands than stopping rogue chemistry teachers—Albuquerque is one of the top cities in the country for police salaries. As an officer of the law in this city, you can expect to earn an average salary of $76,000 per year.
#10. Boston – $75,000 per year
Rounding out the Top 10 best cities for police officer salaries comes Boston, Massachusetts: home to the Red Sox, clam chowder, and a history of organized crime. How ‘bout them apples? Police officers in Boston can expect to earn an average salary of $75,000 per year.
Each of these ten cities offers police officers an opportunity to earn more while serving their communities. Interested in exploring salary data for other cities or jobs? Sign up to personalize Paysa for you.