How to Become a Sheriff Deputy

If you are a good leader and communicator, care deeply about helping people and consistently make sound decisions, you might be wondering how to become a sheriff deputy. Sheriffs are the elected leaders of county law enforcement agencies. Sheriff deputies, also known as sheriff’s deputies or deputy sheriffs, are a type of county law enforcement personnel. They are not elected, but are hired as employees or appointed by a sheriff. Their job responsibilities vary from responding to local requests for help and patrolling for public safety purposes to overseeing county jails and court systems.

While sheriff deputies are dedicated to serving a particular county, their work is often similar to that of other kinds of police officers. When someone in the county calls and requests help, sheriff deputies must answer the call. This may require them to make arrests or investigate a disturbance. They may also patrol within the department’s jurisdiction, ensuring that laws are being followed and issuing warnings or fines when they witness violations. Sheriff deputies may spend time filling out paperwork, including reports and forms relating to crimes, accidents, and any other legal violation. Some sheriff deputies work in county jails. Others spend their time in a county court, overseeing proceedings as bailiffs or offering testimony in cases against those accused of violating the law. Since many counties have relatively small sheriff departments, sheriff deputies may have to take on a lot of responsibilities. A career in law enforcement may be dangerous at times, but it also can be very rewarding.

As a specific type of police officer, sheriff deputies typically begin their career paths in the same ways as other law enforcement personnel. While some opportunities may be available to candidates who possess only a high school diploma, many aspiring police officers will pursue at least some college-level education, especially if they hope to someday advance to higher-level law enforcement positions. Criminal justice and law enforcement are popular majors for the aspiring sheriff deputies who choose to earn a bachelor’s degree. In addition to pursuing an education, aspiring police officers of all kinds must have a clean record and be in excellent physical shape. Upon securing a position in law enforcement, they must attend a police academy, either managed by their agency specifically or by the state. During this training period, sheriff deputies learn about local, state and federal laws. They lean self-defense, firearms usage, and first aid.

Sheriff deputies earn an average salary of $49,000 per year, according to job search website For many sheriff deputies and other law enforcement personnel, the opportunity to serve and protect citizens is a reward in itself. Successful sheriff deputies have a desire to make a positive difference in the communities they serve. If you have empathy and decision-making skills and are a natural leader, knowing how to become a sheriff deputy could be your first step toward an exciting and fulfilling new career in the indispensable field of law enforcement.

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