How to Become a Sheriff

People depend on law enforcement to ensure the protection and safety of their lives and properties and preserve the peace of the public. Highly trained top law enforcement officers are required to ensure the needs of the public are being met by the police department. This is the job of sheriffs.


This How to Become a Sheriff review has been thoroughly researched with information and testimonials that are available to anyone in the public. Any conclusions drawn by myself are opinions.

What does a sheriff do?

Sheriffs are law enforcement officers that enforce the law at the county level. They are typically elected to their posts by their communities and are generally the county’s highest law enforcement officer. They typically are the head of departments and designate duties to their subordinates.

The designated duties of sheriffs vary by country, but typically include law enforcement, court duties and civil process, and correctional facility administration. They prevent, identify, and inspect criminal activity and arrest and detain offenders. They investigate accidents and perform routine patrol. They are also responsible for controlling crowds at public events and directing traffic. Sheriffs also maintain court safety and security. They may attend court sessions to transfer prisoners and control juries. They also serve warrants, subpoenas, writs, or summonses. Sheriffs also manage correctional facilities to ensure the safety of staff and prisoners. In some areas, sheriffs also collect taxes.

What kind of training does a sheriff need?

Sheriffs must have at least a high school diploma, but some police departments require 1 to 2 years of college education or a college degree in criminal justice or law enforcement. Most sheriffs complete on the job training through their department’s police academy. Many attend national training programs such as the National Sheriff’s Institute. Many sheriffs also need specialized training in emergency medicine, aviation, special weapons and tactics, boating, SCUBA diving, computer and radar technology, communications, and dealing with foreign languages. Sheriffs often attend annual conferences to stay up to date on law enforcement developments.

What are the prospects for a career as a sheriff?

Employment of all police staff is project to grow about as fast as average for all professions, increasing 11% from 2006 to 2016 (1). A growing population and addition of new police officers will drive the need for sheriffs.

Job prospects are expected to be excellent, especially for sheriffs who have military experience or college education. Many job openings will also arise from the need to replace sheriffs who retire or leave the field for other reasons.

How much do sheriffs make?

As of July 2009, the middle 50% of sheriffs earned annual salaries between $89,744 and $100,816. The top 10% earned annual salaries of more than $106,077 (2).

A career as a sheriff is an excellent choice for people that enjoy working with people and protecting the public. Leadership, honesty, integrity, teamwork, sound judgment, and a strong sense of responsibility are essential skills of sheriffs. Sheriff should also be able to handle stressful and dangerous situations and be able to act fast in an emergency or harmful situation.

Elijah Olivas
Founder | 9 To 5 Renegade

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