Seniority leads to greater pay and benefits in almost all jobs. Employers reward employees both for their dedication to the job and because more experienced employees are typically more productive. Police-officer jobs are no different. Even if you choose not to become a sergeant or detective, a senior police officer with a several years of experience is paid a significantly larger salary than a rookie cop.
New York City Police Department
As of 2010, the New York Police Department offers cadets enrolled in the police academy annual pay of $44,474. Rookie police officers get a raise to $46,288 after six months on the job. You are given another raise to $48,173 after 18 months. After 2.5 years of experience, you get another raise to $53,819, and at 3.5 years your total annual pay increases to $58,876. You get another salary bump at 4.5 years on the job, bringing you up to $62,455 a year. At five years, you are up to $69,005, and with 5.5 years of experience, you get a large increase to a total annual salary of $90,829. These salary figures do not include overtime pay.
Austin Police Department
Cadets in the Austin Police Department are paid $2667 a month for the eight-month police academy program. You will earn $55,563 a year during your first year as a probationary officer in the APD. You could, however, earn an annual salary up to $64,452 if you were bilingual and had a college degree. After your one-year anniversary, you will receive a pay increase to $62,352 a year, or $70,722 annually with the same bilingual and education incentive bonuses. After two years, you receive a base annual salary of $68,819, which could increase to $81,559 if you added field officer training and crisis-intervention officer training bonuses to the bilingual and education incentives. Overtime pay is not included in these salary figures.
Los Angeles Police Department
The Los Angeles Police Department pays police academy cadets an annual step-one salary of $47,982. After six months of service, you receive an increase to step two at $49,924 a year. After another 12 months, or 18 total months of service, you move up to step three, at $51,866 a year. You get another pay increase to $54,747 at step four, when you reach 2.5 years of service, and a raise to $59,967 at step five, with 3.5 years experience. You reach step six with 4.5 years of experience, and receive another salary increase to $62,389. The LAPD also offers additional incentives for having a college degree, foreign language skills or hazard pay.
Tampa Police Department
The Tampa Police Department operates on an 11-step salary system. You begin at step one with an annual salary of $46,384.40, and move up to step two at $46,384. Over time, you can work your way up to step ten, at $67,620.80, or even master patrol officer at $75,358.40. The Tampa Police Department also offers several education incentives and shift premium pay.