In order to become a police officer, a person must have at least a high school diploma and complete on-the-job training. As of 2012, the median pay for a police officer and detective was $56,980 per year, or $27.40 per hour.
Police officers must go through rigorous physical and mental training to prepare them for the dangerous, high-stress situations they often face. Duties include enforcing laws, responding to emergency calls, conducting traffic stops and filling out of paperwork.
In order to become a police officer, a person must possess certain skills not required for other careers. Perceptiveness, leadership skills, good communication, empathy and physical stamina are all parts of what make a good officer.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of 2012, there were around 780,000 police officers and detectives employed in the U.S. These men and women have some of the highest injury and illness rates of any occupation in the country. Despite the stressful nature of the job, many officers find their careers to be extremely rewarding because they spend most of their time helping others.
There are several different types of police officers and detectives. Local police make up a majority of all officers, but fish and game wardens and transit and railroad police make up a high number of officers and these people may work on a local, state or federal level.