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Career and Education Opportunities for Sheriffs in Birmingham, Alabama

Sheriff career and educational opportunities abound in Birmingham, Alabama. Currently, 9,860 people work as sheriffs in Alabama. This is expected to grow 14% to about 11,200 people by 2016. This is better than the national trend for sheriffs, which sees this job pool growing by about 8.7% over the next eight years. In general, sheriffs enforce law and order in rural or unincorporated districts or serve legal processes of courts.

Income for sheriffs is about $17 per hour or $35,670 per year on average in Alabama. Nationally, their income is about $24 hourly or $51,410 yearly. Sheriffs earn less than people working in the category of Police and Security generally in Alabama and more than people in the Police and Security category nationally. Jobs in this field include: civil process server, drug abuse resistance education officer , and under sheriff.

The Birmingham area is home to fifteen schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Birmingham where you can get a degree as a sheriff. Sheriffs usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time training to become a sheriff if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Sheriff

Sheriff video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, sheriffs enforce law and order in rural or unincorporated districts or serve legal processes of courts. They also may patrol courthouse, guard court or grand jury, or escort defendants.

Sheriffs execute arrest warrants, locating and taking persons into custody. They also investigate illegal or suspicious efforts. Equally important, sheriffs have to drive vehicles or patrol specific areas to uncover law violators and make arrests. They are often called upon to record daily efforts and submit logs and other related reports and paperwork to appropriate authorities. They are expected to take control of accident scenes to maintain traffic flow, to help accident victims, and to investigate causes. Finally, sheriffs serve statements of claims orders to pay alimony, and other court orders.

Every day, sheriffs are expected to be able to evaluate problems as they arise. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for sheriffs to notify patrol units to take violators into custody or to furnish needed assistance or medical aid. They are often called upon to place people in protective custody. They also patrol and guard courthouses, grand jury rooms, or assigned areas to furnish security and arrest violators. They are sometimes expected to question individuals entering secured areas to establish their business, directing and rerouting individuals as needed. Somewhat less frequently, sheriffs are also expected to record daily efforts and submit logs and other related reports and paperwork to appropriate authorities.

They also have to be able to oversee jail operations and tend to jail inmates And finally, they sometimes have to investigate illegal or suspicious efforts.

Like many other jobs, sheriffs must have exceptional integrity and be able to deal with stress and deal with situations calmly.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Birmingham include:

  • Bailiff. Maintain order in courts of law.
  • Chief of Police. Supervise and coordinate activities of members of police force.
  • Correctional Officer. Guard inmates in penal or rehabilitative institution in accordance with established regulations and procedures. May guard prisoners in transit between jail, courtroom, or other point. Includes deputy sheriffs and police who spend the majority of their time guarding prisoners in correctional institutions.
  • Criminal Investigator. Investigate alleged or suspected criminal violations of Federal, state, or local laws to determine if evidence is sufficient to recommend prosecution.
  • Customs Inspector. Investigate and inspect persons, common carriers, and merchandise, arriving in or departing from the United States or between states to detect violations of immigration and customs laws and regulations.
  • Police Officer. Conduct investigations to prevent crimes or solve criminal cases.
  • Police Records Officer. Collect evidence at crime scenes, classify and identify fingerprints, and photograph evidence for use in criminal and civil cases.
  • Policeman. Patrol assigned areas to enforce laws and ordinances, regulate traffic, and arrest violators.
  • Private Investigator. Detect occurrences of unlawful acts or infractions of rules in private establishment, or seek, examine, and compile information for client.
  • Transportation Security Officer. Inspect baggage or cargo and screen passengers to detect and prevent potentially dangerous objects from being transported into secure areas or onto aircraft.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Sheriff Training

Jefferson State Community College - Birmingham, AL

Jefferson State Community College, 2601 Carson Rd, Birmingham, AL 35215-3098. Jefferson State Community College is a medium sized college located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,718 students. Jefferson State Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Criminal Justice/Police Science which graduated nine and thirteen students respectively in 2008.

Lawson State Community College-Birmingham Campus - Birmingham, AL

Lawson State Community College-Birmingham Campus, 3060 Wilson Rd SW, Birmingham, AL 35221-1717. Lawson State Community College-Birmingham Campus is a small college located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,507 students. Lawson State Community College-Birmingham Campus has an associate's degree program in Criminal Justice/Police Science which graduated five students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Oxygen Administration: Prepares laypersons and professional rescuers with the knowledge and skills needed to know when and how to use supplemental oxygen and breathing devices.

For more information, see the American Red Cross website.

Police Service Dog Certification: This test is to determine if the police service dog is capable of performing on and off lead obedience exercises.

For more information, see the Eastern States Working Dog Association, INC website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham, Alabama photo by Eric_in_SF

Birmingham is located in Jefferson County, Alabama. It has a population of over 228,798, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Birmingham, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Birmingham cost $187,300 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, one hundred thirty-two new homes were built in Birmingham, down from two hundred thirty-two the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Birmingham are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 18.5% of Birmingham residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Birmingham is 12.5%, which is greater than Alabama's average of 10.7%.

The percentage of Birmingham residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 60.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Williams Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Westminister Presbyterian Church and West End Methodist Church are all churches located in Birmingham. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Birmingham is home to the Mineral Park Municipal Golf Course and the Cooper Green Golf Course as well as Avondale Mills Park and Smithfield Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Acipco Shopping Center, Altadena Square Shopping Center and Parkway East Huffman Shopping Center. Visitors to Birmingham can choose from Marriott Hotel Birmingham, Rime Garden Extended Stay Suites and Studioplus for temporary stays in the area.