Oregon employs over 5,100 police officers, according to the Oregon Employment Department. Many of these professionals work for local agencies to protect surrounding communities. Some work for state and federal agencies in Oregon. Police officers not only protect communities, they investigate crimes, respond to emergencies, direct traffic and ensure the law is upheld in Oregon. The state administers requirements for these professionals at both the local and state level. Minimum requirements include being at least 21 years of age and holding a high school diploma or GED. Those who obtain college training in a discipline such as criminal justice often have better employment opportunities. Police officers in the state must have no felony convictions and submit fingerprints to be employed. The state also requires those interested in this career to meet the physical standards set for police officers and to continue their fitness training.
Among the police officers employed in Oregon, the average salary was about $58,000 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average salary was four percent higher than the national average for all police officers employed in the United States. Starting salaries generally ranged from $42,000 to $50,000 per year, which is also higher than national averages. Experienced officers in Oregon earned an average salary ranging from $67,000 to $76,000 per year. Along with salary, police officers often receive excellent benefits packages including health care, disability and paid vacation because the job can be dangerous. Many receive overtime wages. Benefits vary based on the jurisdiction in Oregon police officers work for, but many jurisdictions offer retirement packages after 25 years of service. Oregon expect over 11 percent employment growth for police officers through 2018. With experience and training, police officers can be promoted into other protective services roles.