Police Patrol Officers

Industry Areas

  • Local Government (OES Designation)
  • Postal Service
  • State Government (OES Designation)

Day-to-Day Tasks

  • Identify, pursue, and arrest suspects and perpetrators of criminal acts.
  • 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.

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Overall Kind of Work*

Police officers protect lives and property. Detectives and criminal investigators, who are sometimes called agents or special agents, gather facts and collect evidence of possible crimes. Duties...

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Work Environment*


Police and detectives held about 806,400 jobs in 2014. Most police and detectives work for local governments and some work for state governments or the federal government. Police and detective work...

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Law enforcement and security specialists in the military work both indoors and outdoors depending on their assignment. They may work outdoors while conducting investigations or patrolling facilities.

Workweek Breakdown

The hours worked per week by people currently pursuing this career.

Pie Chart Representing the section data
  • 1.34% (0-20 Hours)
  • 0.46% (21-34 Hours)
  • 1.17% (35-39 Hours)
  • 73.43% (40 Hours)
  • 11.47% (41-49 Hours)
  • 12.13% (Over 50 Hours)

Type of Work

The level of day-to-day involvement with data, people or things.

Data: Medium
People: Medium
Things: High

Skills at a Glance

The levels of different skills helpful in this career.

Verbal skills: Medium
Critical Thinking & Problem Solving: Medium
Equipment Operation & Maintenance: Medium
Math & Science Skills: Low
Technology Design & Control: Medium
Leadership: High

Workplace at a Glance

The level of different environmental factors you would experience on the job.

Responsibility: High
Exposure to Job Hazards: High
Physical Activity: Medium
Decision Making: High
Repetitiveness: High
Level of Competition: High
Time Pressure: High

Business Breakdown

The different sectors people in this career currently work in.

Pie Chart Representing the section data
  • 1.71% (Private For-Profit)
  • 0.66% (Private Not For-Profit)
  • 83.12% (State and Local Govt)
  • 14.48% (Federal Government)
  • 0.02% (Self-Employed)

This data also pertains to Police Patrol Officers

Military Breakdown

The number of people who currently hold this career in the Military.

34,999 Police Patrol Officers in the Military

Data supplied by Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Center of Education Statistics, Defense Manpower Data Center. (View our update schedule). Contact any business, college or military service branch to answer additional questions.

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