Police Chief Salary

Police Chiefs in the United States tend to have a good amount of experience under their belt — approximately nine-tenths have more than 10 years in the field. While pay runs from $35K to $124K per year, median earnings come to $69K annually. Most report receiving medical coverage from their employers and the larger part collect dental insurance. Job satisfaction for Police Chiefs is extremely high. The data for this synopsis comes from respondents who took the PayScale salary survey.
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$37,024 - $127,388
(Median)
$37K
$69K
$130K
MEDIAN: $68,569
10%
50%
90%

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$11.76 - $30.76
(Median)
$12
$21
$31
MEDIAN: $20
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$37,024 - $127,388  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,138  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$34,824 - $124,304  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 403
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$25$50$75
Hourly Rate
$11.76 - $30.76  
   
Overtime
$17.28 - $72.25  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,138  
   
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$34,824 - $124,304  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 51
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Job Description for Police Chief

A chief of police is the highest rank of a particular police department. This person gives a general direction to the department and is in charge of reducing crime in the area of assignment. The responsibilities of a chief of police on a day to day basis can include organizing events for the department, gathering, and planning a police response to random events that can occur, coming up with new policies and goals for the department, assigning hours to police offers, making sure that all police offers in the department are performing as they should be, working with the budget for the department, making arrests and writing tickets and citations, working with public relations to address the community when a crime happens, and following all rules under the law.

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Police Chief Tasks

  • Communicate with the public, the media, and local groups.
  • Manage the budget, including bargaining, negotiations, and tracking software for expenditures.
  • Oversee police department, including training, hiring, and policy creation.

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Pay by Experience Level for Police Chief

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


For many Police Chiefs, more experience generally translates to higher pay. Individuals who have worked for fewer than five years bring in approximately $46K on average. Those in the five-to-10 year range can expect an average that is only a touch bigger at $49K. Police Chiefs bring in $56K after working for 10 to 20 years. Big financial gains seem to result from working for more than two decades; veterans in this group report earning $74K on average.

Police Chief Advice

What do you wish you knew about your job when you first started out?

Police Chief in Cleveland:
"How quickly things change."
Prepare for the low moments and the changes that could happen with-in your organization; due to transition. Talk with employees to stay abreast of office talk and try and stay a step a head. Reward your staff; and treat them. Like adults.

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Experience Affects Police Chief Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 14%

National Average
$65,000

Experienced
up arrow 13%

Mid-Career
up arrow 24%

Entry-Level
up arrow 28%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 93 votes.

Gender

Female
4 %
Male
96 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
0%
1-4 years
6%
5-9 years
5%
10-19 years
26%
20 years or more
62%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 85% dental benefits Dental: 66%
vision benefits Vision: 51% employee benefits None: 12%
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