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First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives
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Description: what do they do?
Directly supervise and coordinate activities of members of police force.
Also known as:
Police Captain, Shift Supervisor

    What does this information tell me?

    This description is a quick overview of what workers in this career might do.

    "Also known as" shows other common names for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from an O*NET database. Learn more on the Help page.

Career video
    Transcript: It takes a cool head under pressure to oversee workers on the front lines of safety and law enforcement, and that’s just a start on the list of job qualifications for supervisors of police and detectives, fire fighters, and correctional officers. Working in federal and state prisons or the local jail, correctional officer supervisors maintain discipline and security while observing all relevant rules, regulations, and laws. They oversee inmate counts and respond to emergencies as well as ensuring the safety of inmates. Supervisors of police and detectives coordinate the investigation of criminal cases, offer guidance and expertise to investigators, and ensure that proceedings are conducted in accordance with laws and regulations. They train staff in police procedures, resolve personnel problems such as charges of misconduct, and keep up with new techniques in law enforcement. Firefighting and prevention worker supervisors make firefighter assignments based on their assessment of the extent of a fire, risk to persons, surrounding conditions, and water supply status. They instruct and drill personnel in their duties, including medical care and hazardous materials response. Some also serve as lead firefighters. Workers in these fields may carry weapons and emergency equipment, and often have emergency medical training. Some work outdoors in all types of weather. All carry significant responsibility for others’ health and safety. Typical requirements for these positions include a high school diploma or equivalent, or related associate’s degree or technical training, and previous experience in the field.
View transcript
Outlook: will there be jobs?
Image. Employment outlook for this occupation
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.

This occupation is:
  • Expected to grow much faster than average


    What does this information tell me?

    Outlook information can tell you whether a career is expected to be in demand in the future—that is, whether there are likely to be job openings if you choose this career. Please note that this does not account for the impacts of the current pandemic. Many occupations are likely to have very different outlooks due to the rapidly changing economy. When new outlook information is developed, it will be reflected here.

    Careers can have one of three outlooks:

    • A Bright outlook means new job opportunities are very likely in the future
    • An Average outlook means that a small number of new job opportunities are likely in the future (less than an 8 percent increase)
    • A Below Average outlook means new job opportunities are less likely in the future

    You can also view local job listings in this field by clicking "Find job openings". This can help you see if local businesses are hiring—another way of looking at demand.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET Bright Outlook occupations and My Next Move career outlook designations. Note this information is only available at a national level, so even if you selected a state, you’ll see this information for the whole country.

Projected employment
West Virginia
230
2018 Employment
240
2028 Employment
4%
Percent change
20
Annual projected job openings
United States
125,800
2020 Employment
134,300
2030 Employment
7%
Percent change
9,100
Annual projected job openings

    What does this information tell me?

    Projected employment shows how much employment is expected to grow in this occupation over a 10-year period. This can help you decide if this career is a good choice for future job opportunities. You can look at projected employment in your state, or in other states where you might consider living.

    You can see the total number of people employed in this occupation in 2018 (for states) or 2020 (for the United States), the number expected to be employed in 2028 (for states) or 2030 (for the United States), and rate of growth over those years.

    The projections are based on assumptions of unemployment rates and labor productivity growth rates.  While the projected numbers may not be exact, they are helpful to compare one career to another, or one location to another.

    What is the source of this information?

    State-level data come from Projections Central and State Labor Market Information offices, 2018-28.

    National-level data come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, 2020-30.

Typical wages

Annual wages for First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives in West Virginia
This graph displays wage data.  Find details by selecting the table view.
This chart displays wage data.  Find details by selecting the table view.
LocationWest VirginiaUnited States
10%$43,010$52,610
25%$49,270$69,030
Median$64,040$92,970
75%$79,120$121,910
90%$148,230$152,090


    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you a range of how much most workers in this occupation earn per hour, in the location that you selected.

    You can select from three views of this data:

    • The Graph shows you wages at the 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th and 90th percentiles. Note that the lowest (10th %ile) wage shown is not necessarily a "starting wage." Instead it means that 10 percent of all workers in this career earn less that this amount, and 90 percent earn more. However, you can assume that you might earn close to the 10th or 25th %ile wages when you start out in most careers.
    • Select "Chart" to see a visual comparison between national wages and wages in the location you selected.
    • Select "Table" to see more wage data the national and local level.

    Please note that wage data are not available at the city or ZIP code level. If you selected a city or ZIP code, you will see wage data for the regional area.

    You can learn more about wages for this and other occupations by clicking “See more wages” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    The wage information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics Program, May 2020 survey. For more detailed state wage data, please find the link to your state's wage data program in the Other Resources box.

Typical education
How much education do most people in this career have?
Chart. Percent of workers in this field by education level attained

    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you the range of education levels that people who currently work in this field have. You can use this to see if you fit in this range. Note that this includes ALL people who work in this field and not just those getting started.

    Interested in getting qualified for this career? You can search for programs that lead to the education needed, in your local area, by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, Educational attainment for workers 25 years and older by detailed occupation, 2018-19.

Certifications: show your skills
Let employers know you have the skills to do well at this job.
Earning a certification can help you:
  • Get a job
  • Get a promotion

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find certifications" you'll see a list of national certifications that are related to this career. From there, you can learn how to achieve one of these certifications to help you enter or get ahead in this field.

    What is the source of this information?

    This collection of occupational certifications is collected and regularly updated by CareerOneStop. Learn more at Certification Finder Help.

Licenses: do you need one?
Some states require an occupational license to work in this career.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find license details in your state" you'll see the license name and contact information for the agency in your state that oversees licensing for this field. If you have not selected a location, you'll see a list of all state licenses for this occupation.

    What is the source of this information?

    Information on licensed occupations is gathered in each state by Labor Market Information units under a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Learn more at License Finder Help.

Apprenticeships: learn on the job
Apprenticeships combine paid on-the-job-training with classroom lessons.

Activities: what you might do in a day
  • Direct criminal investigations.
  • Train employees in proper work procedures.
  • Resolve interpersonal conflicts.
  • Inform others about laws or regulations.
  • Write operational reports.
  • Maintain operational records.
  • Collaborate with law enforcement or security agencies to share information.
  • Testify at legal or legislative proceedings.
  • Process forensic or legal evidence in accordance with procedures.
  • Direct law enforcement activities.
  • Evaluate employee performance.
  • Review documents or materials for compliance with policies or regulations.
  • Apprehend criminal suspects.
  • Detain suspects or witnesses.
  • Prepare activity or work schedules.
  • Inspect facilities to ensure compliance with security or safety regulations.
  • Inspect equipment to ensure safety or proper functioning.
  • Collaborate with outside groups to develop programs or projects.
  • Prepare investigation or incident reports.
  • Maintain inventories of materials, equipment, or products.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical work activities that people in this career might do on the job. You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More activities” to see more detailed examples of activities for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these activities to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET’s Detailed Work Activities.

Knowledge
People in this career often know a lot about:
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Personnel and Human Resources - Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of general knowledge areas that are most commonly required for jobs in the career. Knowledge is typically gained through education and related experience.

    This list can help you learn if you are prepared for a job in this career. It can also help you decide on education or training programs that could help you prepare for the career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Knowledge descriptors.

Skills
People in this career often have these skills:
  • Active Listening - Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
  • Monitoring - Keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements.
  • Coordination - Changing what is done based on other people's actions.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Understanding people's reactions.
  • Management of Personnel Resources - Selecting and managing the best workers for a job.
  • Speaking - Talking to others.
  • Critical Thinking - Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
  • Reading Comprehension - Reading work-related information.
  • Active Learning - Figuring out how to use new ideas or things.
  • Instructing - Teaching people how to do something.
  • Time Management - Managing your time and the time of other people.
  • Learning Strategies - Using the best training or teaching strategies for learning new things.
  • Persuasion - Talking people into changing their minds or their behavior.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
  • Writing - Writing things for co-workers or customers.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one.
  • Service Orientation - Looking for ways to help people.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list the work-related skills most commonly required for jobs in the career.

    This list can help you understand how well your current skills fit this career. It can also help you plan your education or professional development.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Skills descriptors.

Abilities
People in this career often have talent in:
  • Oral Expression - Communicating by speaking.
  • Oral Comprehension - Listening and understanding what people say.
  • Written Comprehension - Reading and understanding what is written.
  • Problem Sensitivity - Noticing when problems happen.
  • Speech Clarity - Speaking clearly.
  • Deductive Reasoning - Using rules to solve problems.
  • Written Expression - Communicating by writing.
  • Inductive Reasoning - Making general rules or coming up with answers from lots of detailed information.
  • Speech Recognition - Recognizing spoken words.
  • Information Ordering - Ordering or arranging things.
  • Near Vision - Seeing details up close.
  • Selective Attention - Paying attention to something without being distracted.
  • Fluency of Ideas - Coming up with lots of ideas.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list of personal qualities that might influence work and are most commonly required for success in this career.

    This list can help you understand if your natural strengths and abilities are a good fit for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Abilities descriptors.

Interests
  • Conventional - Occupations related to Conventional interests frequently involve following set procedures and routines. They include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
  • Enterprising - Occupations with Enterprising interests frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. Many involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
  • Social - Occupations with Social interests frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. Most involve helping or providing service to others.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of work environment-preferences that are most commonly associated with the career. It can help you understand if your natural interests are a good fit for this career.

    Click "Take an interest assessment" for a quick 30-question assessment that can help you understand your interests and see careers that might be good matches for them.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Interest descriptors.

Typical tasks
  • Supervise and coordinate the investigation of criminal cases, offering guidance and expertise to investigators, and ensuring that procedures are conducted in accordance with laws and regulations.
  • Explain police operations to subordinates to assist them in performing their job duties.
  • Train staff in proper police work procedures.
  • Investigate and resolve personnel problems within organization and charges of misconduct against staff.
  • Inform personnel of changes in regulations and policies, implications of new or amended laws, and new techniques of police work.
  • Maintain logs, prepare reports, and direct the preparation, handling, and maintenance of departmental records.
  • Cooperate with court personnel and officials from other law enforcement agencies and testify in court, as necessary.
  • Direct collection, preparation, and handling of evidence and personal property of prisoners.
  • Monitor and evaluate the job performance of subordinates, and authorize promotions and transfers.
  • Review contents of written orders to ensure adherence to legal requirements.
  • Conduct raids and order detention of witnesses and suspects for questioning.
  • Discipline staff for violation of department rules and regulations.
  • Prepare work schedules and assign duties to subordinates.
  • Direct release or transfer of prisoners.
  • Prepare budgets and manage expenditures of department funds.
  • Inspect facilities, supplies, vehicles, and equipment to ensure conformance to standards.
  • Meet with civic, educational, and community groups to develop community programs and events, and to discuss law enforcement subjects.
  • Prepare news releases and respond to police correspondence.
  • Requisition and issue equipment and supplies.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical tasks that people in this career might do on the job.  You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More tasks” to see more detailed examples for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these tasks to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET‘s Tasks.

    What does this information tell me?

    These are additional online resources related to this career. You may find different or more detailed information at these sources.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information is collected and maintained by CareerOneStop.