Deputy Sheriff Job Description And Career Outlook
The job of a deputy sheriff is to enforce the local, state and federal laws within a county and to coordinate with local police departments. Deputy sheriff officers serve the public through crime prevention, intervention, arrests and supervision of detainees in the local jail. Sheriff’s officers are sworn law enforcement officers. They work very closely with other law enforcement agencies, social services, juvenile officers, court personnel and other area agencies to protect the public from criminal activity.
Additionally, deputies perform patrols of their assigned sectors, educate the public on crime prevention, arrest offenders, prepare court documents, testify and maintain safety and security in the county. Most deputies work 12 hour shifts (either day or night shift and sometimes rotating days/nights). Deputies are also first responders for vehicle accidents, weather incidents and medical emergencies. Deputies serve court summons and perform civil commitments in mental health cases. Sheriff deputies also enforce court orders to seize property. The sheriff’s office is also responsible for court security by providing bailiffs. They also perform Search & Rescue, Maritime Patrol and monitor borders.
How to Become a Deputy Sheriff: Education & Other Requirements
Sheriff’s officers are county government employees. Most counties require only a high school diploma, a valid driver’s license and a clean record to become a deputy. Military experience is valued. Take note that all Sheriff’s in our veteran Sheriff interview series strongly endorse a Criminal Justice degree. Veteran Sheriff Dave Brown noted, “Go to college. Get an education. Understand the law, this profession and our constitution so that you understand your responsibility to the people, and to stay true to it.”
Note a degree can be pursued online to work around your current job and family commitments. A Criminal Justice Associate’s Degree is a 2-year degree. Showing that you are working on a degree and investing in relevant skills could provide an edge in a competitive market.
Sheriff’s officers should posses strong interpersonal skills and common sense. Also, they should possess knowledge of the geographical area in which they work. Departments require sound moral character. Expect a background check and polygraph. Finally, there are often Reserve Deputy roles open. Inquire with your county’s Sheriff’s department for more information.
Deputy Sheriff Officer Salary
The Bureau of Labor statistics doesn’t break out deputy sheriff salaries, but it does provide the median salary for police and sheriff’s patrol officers at $54,230 as of May 2011.1 Pay will vary depending on location, experience, and education. Benefits including retirement pension are excellent, and unions in law enforcement are among the strongest.
Deputy Sheriff Officer Career Outlook
Budgets have been tight, but the strong unions protect law enforcement jobs and an aging population creates openings in the force. Good Sheriffs secure Federal grants to plug gaps. Since the sheriff is elected, some senior staff may leave following a Sheriff change, but usually the Sheriff tries to maintain overall consistency in staffing and Sheriffs often have long tenures. Since Deputies work with so many agencies, many opportunities in law enforcement will present themselves.
Request free information from accredited schools below to start on the path toward becoming a Deputy.
Deputy Sheriff and Law Enforcement Related Degrees from Accredited Schools
- BS in Criminal Justice - Law Enforcement
- BS in Criminal Justice - Crime Scene Investigation
- MS in Criminal Justice - Law
Grand Canyon University
- M.S. in Criminal Justice: Law Enforcement
- M.S. in Criminal Justice: Legal Studies
- B.S. in Justice Studies
American InterContinental University Online
- Bachelor's of Science in Criminal Justice - Law Enforcement
- M.S. in Criminal Justice Leadership & Executive Management - General Program
- B.S. in Human Services - Criminal Justice
- Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration - Criminal Justice
- Criminal Justice, BA
- Criminal Justice, MA (Online Only)
- Homeland Security, BA (Online)
Baker College Online
- Bachelor of Criminal Justice
- AS - Criminal Justice
- MS - Criminal Justice
- BS - Criminal Justice
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes333051.htm
Page Edited by Charles Sipe.