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Career and Education Opportunities for Sheriffs in Charleston, West Virginia

Charleston, West Virginia provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for sheriffs. There are currently 2,910 working sheriffs in West Virginia; this should grow 10% to 3,200 working sheriffs in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for sheriffs are expected to grow by about 8.7%. In general, sheriffs enforce law and order in rural or unincorporated districts or serve legal processes of courts.

Sheriffs earn approximately $16 per hour or $35,240 per year on average in West Virginia. Nationally they average about $24 per hour or $51,410 per year. Earnings for sheriffs are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Police and Security in West Virginia and better than general Police and Security category earnings nationally. Sheriffs work in a variety of jobs, including: under sheriff, detective, and sergeant.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Charleston where you can study to be a sheriff, among seventeen schools of higher education total in the Charleston area. The most common level of education for sheriffs is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time training to become a sheriff if you already have a high school diploma.


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 Charleston include:

  • Bailiff. Maintain order in courts of law.
  • Chief of Police. Supervise and coordinate activities of members of police force.
  • 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.


West Virginia State Community and Technical College - Institute, WV

West Virginia State Community and Technical College, 103 Cole Complex, Institute, WV 25112-1000. West Virginia State Community and Technical College is a small college located in Institute, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,741 students. West Virginia State Community and Technical College has an associate's degree program in Criminal Justice/Police Science which graduated sixteen students in 2008.


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: Charleston, West Virginia

Charleston, West Virginia
Charleston, West Virginia photo by Malepheasant

Charleston is situated in Kanawha County, West Virginia. It has a population of over 50,302, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Charleston, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Charleston are priced at $268,400 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, thirty-four new homes were constructed in Charleston, up from twenty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Charleston are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, health care, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 16 minutes. More than 32.6% of Charleston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Charleston is 7.7%, which is the same as West Virginia's average of 7.7%. About 16.7% of Charleston's residents are below the poverty line, which is better than the state average.

The percentage of Charleston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 34.5%, is less than both the national and state average. Starcher Baptist Church, Southeast Church of the Nazarene and South Ruffner Presbyterian Church are among the churches located in Charleston. The largest religious groups are the American Baptist Churches in the USA, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Charleston is home to the John F Kennedy Center and the Kanawha County Courthouse as well as Watt Powell Stadium and Ruffner Memorial Park. Shopping centers in the area include Patrick Street Plaza Shopping Center, Laidley Court Shopping Center and Plaza East Shopping Center. Visitors to Charleston can choose from Days Inn Charleston East WV, Motel 6 and Fairfield Inn Charleston for temporary stays in the area.