Sheriff and Deputy Sheriff careers are in high demand and will continue to grow for years to come. Although there are fewer sheriff jobs than those of police officer, an opportunity for a life of adventure is definitely there.
Sheriffs and deputy sheriffs enforce the law on the county level. Sheriffs’ departments tend to be relatively small, most having fewer than 50 sworn officers. Sheriff’s Deputies have law enforcement duties similar to those of officers in urban police departments. Note that Sheriffs are usually elected to their posts and perform duties similar to those of a local or county police chief. Sheriffs’ deputies who provide security in county courts are sometimes called bailiffs.
People depend on sheriff deputies to protect their lives and property. They carry out these duties in a variety of ways, but the premise is the same: pursue and arrest individuals who break the law and issue citations or give warnings. The majority of sheriff officers patrol their jurisdictions and investigate any questionable events they observe. In most jurisdictions, they are expected to exercise authority when necessary, whether on or off duty.
Deputy Sheriff Requirements
In most cases, Deputy Sheriffs must be U.S. citizens (born or naturalized). To start a Sheriff’s Deputy career, a person must pass a written test, a physical exam, and be at least a high school graduate – see Education and Training below for more info.
Education and Training
Many Sheriff departments require only a high school diploma for one to be eligible for a police officer position. However, there are numerous agencies that require at least an Associate degree or a college credit equivalent.
Deputy Sheriff training is for the most part carried out by state certification programs and/or police academies. Law enforcement certification programs and academy sessions usually last several months. Deputy Sheriff hopefuls that need to attend an academy may be required to stay on the premises at all times throughout training, with exception of weekends.
Training includes classroom instruction in constitutional law and civil rights, State laws and local ordinances, and accident investigation. Recruits also receive training and supervised experience in patrol, traffic control, the use of firearms, self-defense, first aid, and emergency response.
It is highly recommended that deputy sheriffs continually upgrade their education, especially those with little or no college education. As time on the force goes by, opportunities for advancement are often granted to those that invested in their self-development through agency sponsored training, certificate programs, and completion of Bachelor level or even advanced degrees. Many agencies pay all or part of the tuition for officers to work toward degrees in criminal justice, police science, administration of justice, public administration, and others. Deputy Sheriff salaries are often gauged on the amount of training and formal education an individual possesses.
Sheriff Deputy Salary
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, sheriff’s patrol officers has median annual earnings of $47,460. The middle 50 percent earns between $35,600 and $59,880. The lowest 10 percent earns less than $27,310, and the highest 10 percent earns more than $72,450.
The salary information will be updated here with a new release of salary statistics by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, so don’t worry about years of difference – it’s just a formality. Salaries for the current year are not that far off, but for the most accurate information call or visit the agency in question. Many police departments offer salary, benefit, and hiring info right on their website.
Sheriff Deputy officers have many criminal justice career opportunities that can be obtained through tenure, training, and education. Some of the sheriff jobs include: Detective / Investigator, Crime Scene Investigator, Bailiff, Narcotics Officer, K9 Officer, and SWAT Officer. Sheriff departments across the country also participate with other local, county, state, and federal agencies in lowering crime through inter-agency collaboration.
Take a look at other great Criminal Justice Careers.