What Is the Salary of a SWAT Team Member?

As a a special weapons and tactics (SWAT) team member, you must first be trained and serve as a police officer. Salary figures for SWAT team members and police officers are comparable. Actual earnings can be considerably more than the stated salary because of the substantial overtime pay most SWAT team members earn. Schools offering Law Enforcement degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Salary and Compensation

As a SWAT team member, you are a specially trained patrol officer. Annual median earnings for SWAT team members were about $60,678 in 2019, as reported by PayScale.com. Typically, salaries are determined by experience and education. Salaries generally increase over time due to experience, and most promotions are conducted internally. You also have the potential for considerably more pay due to the amount of overtime you may be required to work.

Important Facts About SWAT Team Members

Required Education High school diploma or GED; a postsecondary degree could be required
Key Skills Critical decision-making, interpersonal communication, conflict resolution, calm under pressure
Similar Occupations Police officer, detective, corrections officer
Work Environment Outdoor setting, with occasional travel
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 7% growth (for all police and sheriff's patrol officers)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Tuition Reimbursement

Special training is necessary for SWAT team members. Many departments pay for some or all of the training and tuition for law enforcement degrees, and they pay higher salaries to SWAT team members once the members have earned their degree.

Other Benefits and Compensation

Benefit packages usually include medical and life insurance, sick leave, paid vacation and an allowance for uniforms. Liberal pension plans allow some SWAT team members to retire after 25 years of service.

Job Requirements

As a SWAT team member, you work full-time at your day-to-day area within the department, which might be patrol or detective work. You are called to action when there is a situation with a higher level of danger requiring crisis intervention. You must have excellent firearm skills, be in top physical condition and be cross-trained for SWAT team duties including negotiation and assault skills.

SWAT team members work 40-hour weeks on round-the-clock shifts. Beginning SWAT team members frequently work holidays, evenings and weekends. Working on a SWAT team is dangerous and stressful in nature, not only because of the violent confrontations which are part of SWAT team work but also because of frequent exposure to suffering and death.

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