Career Advice on How to Become Chief of Police

General Career Information

So you want to be chief of police, do you?  Hopefully, it will not be too much of a surprise that a background in law enforcement is pretty much a given for this high profile and high-pressure job.  By now, you are probably aware that police officers are local and state officials that have been given the responsibility of maintaining the laws of society.  The chief of police, in turn, can be thought of as the head policeman in a sense.  His or her job it is to oversee the police departments and police officers in a given area, city or state.   In short, the road to becoming chief of police is a long one that will take years of dedication and consistent and reliable performance.

Career Facts:

Usually the chief of police has been a police officer and/or a detective and, as a result, knows the job and understands the job.  Clearly, being able to understand what is involved in being a police officer in every aspect of the job is key to being effective.  Thus, anyone who has chief of police as their ultimate job goal should realize that it will take years of service as a police officer and/or a detective become garnering such a high-profile promotion.  This factor definitely needs to be taken into account in the career planning stage of things.

Due to the nature of the work, injury is possible.  Police officers do get injured or even killed on the job.  This fact makes the work more stressful than many, if not most, jobs.  As police officers often patrol areas, they spend much of their time outdoors and responding to calls regardless of weather or conditions.


Career Opportunities and Job Outlook- Average:

The overall rate of growth for police officers and detectives in the United States is expected to be about ten percent between 2008 and 2018.  As a result, the number of chiefs of police employed in the United States should mirror this growth.
Job Outlook is Fair

A Day in The Life:

Being the chief of police is a high profile position that can come with a good deal of stress.  The job may mean working not only with other police officers and overseeing general department performance, but interacting with the public and elected officials.  Therefore, people skills are also going to be high on the list of qualifications that a potential chief of police will need to have.

Average Salary:

The salary for a chief of police can range from $90,000 to roughly $113,000.

$90k - $113k


Career Training and Qualifications:

In order to get into the police academy, applicants must have high school diplomas.  Once recruits are in the academy, they undergo months of training, followed by years of attending additional classes and additional training.  It is during this period of time that they will learn all the steps and procedures involved in the job.  Obviously, a police officer must be exception and excel at his or her job in order to rise through the ranks and ultimately become chief of police.
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