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Summary Report for:
33-3051.01 - Police Patrol Officers

Patrol assigned area to enforce laws and ordinances, regulate traffic, control crowds, prevent crime, and arrest violators.

Sample of reported job titles: Police Officer, Patrolman, Patrol Officer, Police Sergeant, State Trooper, Police Patrol Officer, Public Safety Officer, Law Enforcement Officer, Alcohol Law Enforcement Agent, Officer

View report: Summary  Details  Custom

Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • 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.
  • Record facts to prepare reports that document incidents and activities.
  • Monitor, note, report, and investigate suspicious persons and situations, safety hazards, and unusual or illegal activity in patrol area.
  • Identify, pursue, and arrest suspects and perpetrators of criminal acts.
  • Patrol specific area on foot, horseback, or motorized conveyance, responding promptly to calls for assistance.
  • 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.
  • Investigate traffic accidents and other accidents to determine causes and to determine if a crime has been committed.
  • Testify in court to present evidence or act as witness in traffic and criminal cases.
  • Photograph or draw diagrams of crime or accident scenes and interview principals and eyewitnesses.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

Handcuffs — Metal handcuffs; Plastic handcuffs
Handguns — Electroshock weapons; Semiautomatic pistols; Service revolvers
Notebook computers — Laptop computers; Mobile data computers
Police vehicles — Police bicycles; Police motorcycles; Police patrol cars
Two way radios — Base station radios; Police car radios

Technology used in this occupation:

Data base user interface and query software — Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System IAFIS; National Crime Information Center NCIC database; National Integrated Ballistics Information Network NIBIN *; Spillman Technologies Records Management
Graphics or photo imaging software — Computer aided composite drawing software; DesignWare 3D EyeWitness; SmartDraw.com SmartDraw Legal; The CAD Zone The Crime Zone
Map creation software — Crime mapping software; ESRI ArcView
Spreadsheet software — IBM Lotus 1-2-3; Microsoft Excel
Word processing software — Corel WordPerfect software; Microsoft Word

* Software developed by a government agency and/or distributed as freeware or shareware.

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Knowledge

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.
Law and Government — Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
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.
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.
Telecommunications — Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
Sociology and Anthropology — Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
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.
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.

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Skills

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.
Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Negotiation — Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.

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Abilities

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.
Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
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.
Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Reaction Time — The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.

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Work Activities

Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
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.
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.
Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
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.

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Work Context

Deal With External Customers — 90% responded “Extremely important.”
Contact With Others — 90% responded “Constant contact with others.”
Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 80% responded “Every day.”
In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 91% responded “Every day.”
Face-to-Face Discussions — 89% responded “Every day.”
Freedom to Make Decisions — 70% responded “A lot of freedom.”
Frequency of Decision Making — 89% responded “Every day.”
Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 74% responded “Extremely important.”
Work With Work Group or Team — 69% responded “Extremely important.”
Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 77% responded “Every day.”

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
Education Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
Related 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, occupational therapy assistants, and medical assistants.
SVP Range (6.0 to < 7.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
42   High school diploma or equivalent Help
24   Associate's degree
22   Some college, no degree

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Credentials

Find Training Find Certifications Find Licenses Find Apprenticeships

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Interests

Interest code: REC

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 outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
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.

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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.
Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
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.

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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.

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Related Occupations

29-2041.00 Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics Bright Outlook
33-1012.00 First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives
33-3012.00 Correctional Officers and Jailers Bright Outlook
33-3021.01 Police Detectives
33-3021.02 Police Identification and Records Officers
33-3021.03 Criminal Investigators and Special Agents
33-3051.03 Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs   Bright Outlook Bright Outlook  
33-3052.00 Transit and Railroad Police
33-9011.00 Animal Control Workers
53-2022.00 Airfield Operations Specialists

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages data collected from Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers.
Employment data collected from Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers.
Industry data collected from Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers.

Median wages (2013) $26.99 hourly, $56,130 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 654,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Slower than average (3% to 7%) Slower than average (3% to 7%)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 243,900
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2013 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

  • Police and Detectives external site. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.

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