Career and Education Opportunities for Police Officers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
There are many career and education opportunities for police officers in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. There are currently 3,300 jobs for police officers in Pennsylvania and this is projected to grow by 14% to 3,750 jobs by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for police officers, which sees this job pool growing by about 16.6% over the next eight years. In general, police officers conduct investigations to prevent crimes or solve criminal cases.
The income of a police officer is about $31 hourly or $65,330 annually on average in Pennsylvania. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $29 per hour or $60,910 per year on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Police and Security, people working as police officers in Pennsylvania earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Police and Security nationally. Jobs in this field include: narcotics and/or vice detective, city detective, and police captain.
There are eighty-three schools of higher education in the Pittsburgh area, including four within twenty-five miles of Pittsburgh where you can get a degree to start your career as a police officer. Given that the most common education level for police officers is a high school diploma or GED, it will take only a short time to learn to be a police officer if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Police Officer
In general, police officers conduct investigations to prevent crimes or solve criminal cases.
Police officers furnish testimony as a witness in court. They also examine records and governmental agency files to discover identifying data about suspects. Equally important, police officers have to participate or help in raids and arrests. They are often called upon to record progress of investigation, maintain informational files on suspects, and submit reports to commanding officer or magistrate to authorize warrants. They are expected to obtain evidence from suspects. Finally, police officers furnish data to lab staff concerning the source of an item of evidence and tests to be performed.
Every day, police officers are expected to be able to evaluate problems as they arise. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they think through problems and come up with general rules.
It is important for police officers to obtain summary of incident from officer in charge at crime scene, taking care to avoid disturbing evidence. They are often called upon to examine crime scenes to obtain clues and evidence, such as loose hairs or weapons. They also organize scene search, assigning specific tasks and areas of search to individual officers and obtaining adequate lighting as needed. They are sometimes expected to secure persons at scene, keeping witnesses from conversing or leaving the scene before investigators arrive. Somewhat less frequently, police officers are also expected to secure deceased body and obtain evidence from it, preventing bystanders from tampering with it before medical examiner's arrival.
Police officers sometimes are asked to summon medical help for injured individuals and alert medical staff to take statements from them. They also have to be able to check victims for signs of life And finally, they sometimes have to analyze completed police reports to establish what additional data and investigative work is needed.
Like many other jobs, police officers must have exceptional integrity and be able to deal with stress and deal with situations calmly.
Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Pittsburgh include:
- 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.
- Fire Code Inspector. Inspect buildings and equipment to detect fire hazards and enforce state and local regulations.
- Fire Inspector. Conduct investigations to determine causes of fires and explosions.
- 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.
- Security Guard. Guard, patrol, or monitor premises to prevent theft, violence, or infractions of rules.
- Sheriff. Enforce law and order in rural or unincorporated districts or serve legal processes of courts. May patrol courthouse, guard court or grand jury, or escort defendants.
- 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: Police Officer Training
International Academy of Design and Technology - Pittsburgh, PA
International Academy of Design and Technology, 555 Grant St, Pittsburgh, PA 15219. International Academy of Design and Technology is a small school located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 73 students. International Academy of Design and Technology has an associate's degree program in Criminal Justice/Police Science which graduated eighty-three students in 2008.
Community College of Allegheny County - Pittsburgh, PA
Community College of Allegheny County, 800 Allegheny Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15233-1895. Community College of Allegheny County is a large college located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 19,366 students. Community College of Allegheny County has an associate's degree program in Criminal Justice/Police Science which graduated twenty-five students in 2008.
West Virginia Northern Community College - Wheeling, WV
West Virginia Northern Community College, 1704 Market St., Wheeling, WV 26003-3699. West Virginia Northern Community College is a small college located in Wheeling, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,924 students. West Virginia Northern Community College has an associate's degree program in Criminal Justice/Police Science which graduated three students in 2008.
Community College of Beaver County - Monaca, PA
Community College of Beaver County, One Campus Drive, Monaca, PA 15061-2588. Community College of Beaver County is a small college located in Monaca, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,695 students. Community College of Beaver County has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Criminal Justice/Police Science.
Certified Medical Investigator: The spectrum of professions involved in forensic investigation has broadened dramatically over the past 20 years.
For more information, see the American College of Forensic Examiners website.
Certified Corrections Manager - Security Threat Groups: Individuals who head a Security Threat Group (STG) program in an adult or juvenile corrections facility, contribute to the development of agency policies/procedures pertaining to STGs, and are involved in the implementation of these policies/procedures.
For more information, see the American Correctional Association website.
Certified Fraud Examiner: The ACFE established and administers the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) designation.
For more information, see the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners website.
Computer Forensics: The primary goals we have for our certification programs are to both assist law enforcement and organizations requiring highly skilled investigators in the identification of highly skilled individuals, and to promote the training and education efforts within the computer investigation, computer forensic and computer security industries.
For more information, see the Cyber Enforcement Resources Incorporated website.
Certified Cyber-Crime Expert: High-profile cases of corporate malfeasance and increased attention paid to cybercrime and cyberterrorism have elevated electronic evidence discovery to an indispensable component of any organization's security plan.
For more information, see the E-Business Process Solutions website.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh is located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 310,037, which has shrunk by 7.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Pittsburgh, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Pittsburgh cost $196,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, one hundred eighty-five new homes were built in Pittsburgh, up from one hundred seventeen the previous year.
The three most popular industries for women in Pittsburgh are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 26.2% of Pittsburgh residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.5%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Pittsburgh is 7.8%, which is less than Pennsylvania's average of 8.4%.
The percentage of Pittsburgh residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 71.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Saint Pauls Cathedral, Saint Patrick Roman Cathlic Church and Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church are some of the churches located in Pittsburgh. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Methodist Church.
Pittsburgh is home to the Mount Washington Overlook and the Golden Triangle as well as Magee Playground and Kennard Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Shadyside Shopping Center and Allegheny Center Mall. Visitors to Pittsburgh can choose from Best Western University Center, Avalon Motel and Four Points By Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport for temporary stays in the area.