What does a highway patrol officer do?
Highway patrol officers are assigned to a specific geographical area to monitor the roads, enforce traffic laws, guide traffic, and respond to dispatch calls. They often monitor drivers and give out warnings and tickets for illegal driving actions such as speeding and reckless driving. They investigate accidents, call for emergency response, and provide first aid. They also issue citations to command automobile repairs that affect safety such as replacing a headlight. Highway patrol officers arrest drivers that are operating vehicles while intoxicated and assist with people who are experiencing vehicle problems. They are responsible for reporting their activities and writing accident reports. They are often called to assist other law enforcement personnel.
What kind of training does a highway patrol officer need?
Highway patrol officers need at least a high school diploma. Some employers prefer candidates with a degree in criminal justices, law enforcement, or other related field. Many law enforcement agencies provide on the job training programs that provide classroom and practical instruction. Prospective highway patrol officers typically complete courses on driving techniques, basic first aid, safety procedures, weapons training, and laws and regulations. Most states require highway patrol officers to pass a written examination after completion of training. Highway patrol officers are often required to pass physical and psychological examinations.
What are the prospects for a career as a highway patrol officer?
Employment of highway patrol officers is expected to grow as fast as average for all professions, increasing 10% from 2008 to 2018 (1). The growing population and increased need for highway patrol with drive job growth.
Job prospects are expected to be favorable especially for highway patrol officers with advanced training and extensive experience. Many openings will result from the need to replace highway patrol officers that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.
How much do highway patrol officers make?
As of January 2010, the middle 50% of highway patrol officers earn annual salaries between $35,787 and $54,070. The top 10% earn annual salaries of more than $62,575 (2).
A career as a highway patrol officer is an excellent choice for people with a strong interest in ensuring the safety of a variety of roadways. Highway patrol officers must have a solid understanding of road safety and laws and possess excellent driving skills. Dedication, motivation, logical thinking, honesty, good judgment, and ability to make quick effective decisions are essential characteristics. Highway patrol officers must have excellent communication. They must also be able to work in stressful and dangerous conditions and have good crisis management skills.