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What Do Sheriff or Deputy Sheriff Do?

Job Description: 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.

What Do Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs Do On a Daily Basis?

  • Supervise law enforcement staff, such as jail staff, officers, and deputy sheriffs.
  • Take control of accident scenes to maintain traffic flow, to assist accident victims, and to investigate causes.
  • Place people in protective custody.
  • Patrol and guard courthouses, grand jury rooms, or assigned areas to provide security, enforce laws, maintain order, and arrest violators.
  • Verify that the proper legal charges have been made against law offenders.
  • Drive vehicles or patrol specific areas to detect law violators, issue citations, and make arrests.

Sheriff or Deputy Sheriff Needed Skills

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

  • Deputy
  • Patrol Supervisor
  • Sheriff’s Officer
  • Deputy Sheriff Lieutenant
  • Sheriff’s Sergeant

Is There Job Demand for Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs?

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 684,200 jobs in the United States for Sheriff or Deputy Sheriff. 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. There will be an estimated 49,500 positions for Sheriff or Deputy Sheriff per year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs in U.S.

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.

Sheriff or Deputy Sheriff Salary

The average yearly salary of a Sheriff or Deputy Sheriff ranges between $35,750 and $101,620.

Salary Ranges for Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs

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

How do I Become a Sheriff or Deputy Sheriff?

What education is needed to be a Sheriff or Deputy Sheriff?

Sheriff or Deputy Sheriff Degree Level

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

Sheriff or Deputy Sheriff Work Experience

Where Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs Are Employed

Sheriff or Deputy Sheriff Sectors

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

Sheriff or Deputy Sheriff Industries

Those interested in being a Sheriff or Deputy Sheriff may also be interested in:

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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