Every City in the US offers its own unique set of challenges and experiences, there is so much a police officer has to consider when choosing a department.
Some of the factors to consider include the general health of the city and the standards of living. These make a very huge difference to an officer’s career. A good starting salary is a very good incentive to get you interested in the force, but it is worthless if you end up in a city with high unemployment rates, where crucial living expenses eat up a huge portion of your pay, and commuting to work takes hours every day.
Everything from how the department is funded, to the city’s job market, if you have a spouse, impacts the quality of life you will live.
All this brings us to the big question. Which city offers the best in terms of the overall value?
This list has been put together after taking into account the quality of life, the economy and some of the benefits these cities offer.
The Decisive factors
We considered growth rates, cost of living and average earnings; we also took into account the time it takes to commute within the city, this, as experts say, has a very huge role to play in your general delight with it.
In addition, we not only studied the unemployment statistics, but also took into account the rate at which it has grown since February 2008.
This is a very useful list for anyone about to complete training and is looking for department or if you are an experienced officer curious to learn how well you hometown ranks against the rest of the cities in the U.S. Read on to Learn which cities qualified of this list and why.
1. Austin, TX
Austin has population of 743,07, the Starting average salary is $52,374 for police officers, while the average salary is $41,330; Cost of living is ranked at 51(in a 1-100 list), Average commute time is 21.9 minutes, Job growth is ranks at 6 (out of 372 high growth cities), while unemployment rate is at 6,3. The city has also experienced the lowest change in unemployment rate ever since beginning of the recession.
2. San Antonio, TX:
San Antonio’s total population is 1,328,984, average salary is at $34,610, and the Starting Salary $44,136 for police officers. The City’s cost of living ranks at 29 (out of 100), commute takes 22.5 minutes, job growth rank is at 20 (out of 372), and the unemployment rate is 6.0. Apart from being the second largest city in Texas, San Antonio has also seen the lowest change in unemployment since the recession. It has a promising projected job growth thanks to growth in education opportunities, healthcare, manufacturing and service sectors.
3. Salt Lake City, UT
Salt Lake City’s population is at 180,651, average salary is $39,590 while starting salary for Officers is $38,584. The cost of living ranks at 41 (out of 100), average commute takes 23.4 minutes, job growth Ranks at 3 (out of 372) while unemployment rate is 5.2. Salt lake City is a service Oriented city and the largest industrial banking centre in the USE. It also offers better employment conditions than most large cities.
4. Oklahoma City, OK
Oklahoma’s population stands at 547,274, average Salary is $35,970 while starting salary of Police officers is $47,878. Cost of living Ranks at 15 (out of 100), Average commute takes 18.7 minutes, job growth rank is at 44(out of 372), and employment Rate is at 5.6. Forbes Magazine Ranked Oklahoma as America’s most recession-proof city in 2008. It boasts of exceptionally low average commute time and good income to cost living ratio.
5. Raleigh-Cary Metropolitan Area, NC
City’s Population stands at 497,602, average Salary is $40,840, cost of living ranks at 46 (out of 100). Average commute takes 20.9 minutes. When it comes to employment, job growth ranks at 38 (out of 372) while unemployment rate is 8.8. It is one of America’s top cities in terms of overall growth. There is an expected increase in jobs too, thanks to Growth in technology, academia and tourism. It has great potential and offers very low income to cost of living ratio.
6. Seattle, WA
Seattle has a population of 594,210, City’s average salary is $49,890 while Police officer’s starting salaries can go as high as $60,672. Cost of living ranks at 79 (out of 100), average commute time is 25.7 minutes, Job growth Ranks at 34 (out of 372) and unemployment rates at 8.7. Some of America’s prominent corporate organizations have their headquarters here; these include Microsoft, Amazon.com, Nordstrom, and Starbucks. It is the largest City in Washington and major economic, educational and cultural centre. Cost of living is on the higher side but the job outlook is very promising.
7. Rochester, NY
City’s Population is 206,759, Average Salary $40,660, with $46,288 starting salary for officers. Cost of living ranks high at 3 (out of 100), average commute takes 19.4 minutes, Job growth Ranks at 137(out of 372) while unemployment rate is at 8.5. Several fortune 1000 Companies including Constellation Brands, Eastman Kodak as well as other regional companies are found here. Rochester has the best income to cost of living ration and one of the lowest average commute time.
8. Portland, OR
Portland has a population of 550, 396, an Average Salary of $43,370, with the Starting Salary for Police officers at $51,912. Cost of living ranks at 58 (out of 100), Average commute time takes 22.4 minutes. Job growth rate ranks at 55 (out of 372), while unemployment rate is at 10.7.
Historically, Portland City has been home to a number of high-tech industries. Intel was one of the city’s largest employers in 2004. The city has also exhibited consistent growth in the health and education sectors, this has helped it maintain high growth ratings despite decreased employment in its natural resource, Building and mining industry.
9. Denver, CO
Denver has a 588,349 population, an average salary of $45,610 with police officer’s salary starting at $43,824. Cost of living ranks 47 (out of 100), average commute time takes 22.6 minutes, while Job growth Ranks at 113 out of 372. The city has a 7.9 unemployment rate. Major source of employment is air transportation, manufacturing and telecommunication industries. It also houses major national and international financial institutions.
10. Honolulu, HI
Honolulu Population 588,349, the city’s average salary is $41,250 while starting salary for police officers is $43,020. Cost of living has been ranked at 93 (out of 100), average commute takes 22.3 minutes, job growth ranks at 132 (out of 372) while the employment rate is at 5.4. This city has the lowest unemployment rate and is heavily persistent when it comes to areas like government trade, leisure and hospitality; transport; professional and business services. It even has an area zone dedicated to agriculture despite the increasing commercial and residential development. It owes a huge part of the city’s growth has been caused by its diversified agriculture and aquaculture.