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Sheriff or Deputy Sheriff

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Life As a Sheriff or Deputy Sheriff

Sheriff or Deputy Sheriff Definition Enforce law and order in rural or unincorporated districts or serve legal processes of courts. May patrol courthouse, guard court or grand jury, or escort defendants.

Sheriff or Deputy Sheriff Responsibilities

  • Locate and confiscate real or personal property, as directed by court order.
  • Record daily activities and submit logs and other related reports and paperwork to appropriate authorities.
  • Place people in protective custody.
  • Verify that the proper legal charges have been made against law offenders.
  • Question individuals entering secured areas to determine their business, directing and rerouting individuals as necessary.
  • Transport or escort prisoners and defendants en route to courtrooms, prisons or jails, attorneys' offices, or medical facilities.

What Every Sheriff or Deputy Sheriff Should Know

When polled, Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Negotiation: Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.

Other Sheriff or Deputy Sheriff Job Titles

  • Patrol Deputy Sheriff
  • Sheriff
  • Deputy K-9
  • Sheriff’s Sergeant
  • Deputy Sheriff, Building Guard

Job Demand for Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs

There were about 684,200 jobs for Sheriff or Deputy Sheriff in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 7% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 47,700 new jobs for Sheriff or Deputy Sheriff by 2026. The BLS estimates 49,500 yearly job openings in this field.


The states with the most job growth for Sheriff or Deputy Sheriff are Utah, Texas, and Nevada. Watch out if you plan on working in New Jersey, Maryland, or Alaska. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Salary for a Sheriff or Deputy Sheriff

The typical yearly salary for Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs is somewhere between $35,750 and $101,620.


Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs who work in California, New Jersey, or Alaska, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $45,930
Alaska $88,030
Arizona $64,640
Arkansas $39,560
California $101,380
Colorado $72,950
Connecticut $71,920
Delaware $70,000
District of Columbia $74,940
Florida $59,610
Georgia $42,990
Hawaii $74,040
Idaho $53,880
Illinois $75,720
Indiana $55,310
Iowa $58,340
Kansas $48,350
Kentucky $45,600
Louisiana $41,550
Maine $49,840
Maryland $68,230
Massachusetts $69,870
Michigan $56,270
Minnesota $69,060
Mississippi $35,550
Missouri $48,920
Montana $56,230
Nebraska $57,530
Nevada $70,450
New Hampshire $58,120
New Jersey $83,720
New Mexico $51,250
New York $74,860
North Carolina $48,420
North Dakota $57,190
Ohio $61,040
Oklahoma $46,120
Oregon $70,360
Pennsylvania $66,600
Rhode Island $60,890
South Carolina $42,280
South Dakota $48,550
Tennessee $44,600
Texas $61,870
Utah $53,890
Vermont $52,940
Virginia $56,710
Washington $77,670
West Virginia $43,590
Wisconsin $62,040
Wyoming $55,050

What Tools do Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Web browser software
  • Microsoft Access
  • Email software
  • Word processing software
  • Microsoft Windows
  • Microsoft Visio
  • Database software
  • ESRI ArcView
  • Corel WordPerfect Office Suite
  • IBM Lotus 1-2-3
  • National Crime Information Center NCIC database
  • Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System IAFIS
  • Law enforcement information databases
  • National Integrated Ballistics Information Network NIBIN
  • Computer aided dispatch software

Becoming a Sheriff or Deputy Sheriff

What kind of Sheriff or Deputy Sheriff requirements are there?


What work experience do I need to become a Sheriff or Deputy Sheriff?


Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs Sector


Below are examples of industries where Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs work:


Similar Careers

Those thinking about becoming a Sheriff or Deputy Sheriff might also be interested in the following careers:

Those who work as a Sheriff or Deputy Sheriff sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:


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More about our data sources and methodologies.

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