Police

ANZSCO ID 4413

Overview

Snapshot

Employed
76,500
Future Growth
7.8%
Weekly Earnings
$2,188
Full-Time Share
93%
Female Share
27%
Average age
40

Summary

Police protect and preserve property, public order and safety through the enforcement of laws.

Tasks

  • investigating and prosecuting offences committed in areas such as organised, corporate and computer crime, environmental offences, drug trafficking, fraud, counterfeiting and terrorism

  • securing and examining scenes of crimes and accidents to locate and obtain evidence for analysis

  • protecting witnesses and investigating official corruption

  • maintaining public order and safety

  • patrolling assigned areas to minimise potential for public disturbance and crime

  • investigating accidents, crimes, minor offences and citizens' complaints, gathering evidence, and pursuing, arresting and interviewing suspected offenders

  • testing persons suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs and issuing infringement notices for traffic offences

  • directing and re-routing traffic at congested areas

  • attending community meetings and answering inquiries from the public where necessary

  • providing advice and assistance to victims of crime and their families

  • maintaining records and preparing reports

Characteristics

Job Type
Community And Personal Service Workers
Skill Level
High skill
ANZSCO Occupation group
Unemployment Rate
Below average
Industries
Pathway(s)
  • University
  • Vocational Education and Training (VET)
  • Informal or on-the-job
Interests
  • Practical
  • Administrative
  • Enterprising
  • Helping
Physical Demand
  • Sedentary
  • Light
  • Medium
  • Heavy

Outlook

Employment Outlook

The NSC produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers:

  • is expected to grow moderately
  • is likely to reach 76,600 by 2026.
  • Source: National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.

    Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.

    Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.

Projected Change
7.8%
(or 5,600 jobs)
From
71,100
in 2021
To
76,600
in 2026

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.
Year Employment
2011 48,400
2012 63,000
2013 57,500
2014 53,100
2015 55,200
2016 69,100
2017 61,500
2018 68,400
2019 61,300
2020 69,100
2021 71,100
2026 76,600

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.


Earnings and hours

Working arrangements

  • Around 93% of people employed as Police work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 27 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).

    Full-time workers work an average of 43 hours per week in their main job. This is similar to the all jobs average (44 hours per week).

    More than half of workers regularly work overtime or extra hours (either paid or unpaid).

    Median full-time earnings are $2,188 per week, this is much higher than the all jobs median ($1,593):

    • 3 in 4 workers earn more than $1,958
    • 1 in 4 earn more than $2,610

    Median hourly earnings are $58, this is more than the all jobs median ($41 per hour).

    Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Overtime hours: ABS, Characteristics of Employment, 2021. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
Earnings Police All Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings 2,188 1,593
Total Earnings 0 0

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.


Industries

Main industries

1
Public Administration and Safety
99.4%
2
Administrative and Support Services
0.3%
3
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services
0.1%
4
Other Services
0.1%

Regions

Employment across Australia

NSW

28.9% All occupations: 31.6%

VIC

24.0% All occupations: 25.6%

QLD

21.2% All occupations: 20.0%

SA

8.2% All occupations: 7.0%

WA

11.0% All occupations: 10.8%

TAS

2.1% All occupations: 2.0%

NT

2.3% All occupations: 1.0%

ACT

2.2% All occupations: 1.9%

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

State Police All Jobs Average
NSW 28.9 31.6
VIC 24.0 25.6
QLD 21.2 20.0
SA 8.2 7.0
WA 11.0 10.8
TAS 2.1 2.0
NT 2.3 1.0
ACT 2.2 1.9


  • Around 44% of Police live outside of capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 38%.

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Worker profile

Age and gender

Age In Years
40
All Jobs Average is 40
Female Share
27%
All Jobs Average is 48%
  • The median age of Police is 40 years. This is the same as the all jobs average.

    A large share of workers are aged 35 to 44 years.

    Females make up 27% of the workforce. This is 21 percentage points below the all jobs average of 48%.

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age Bracket Police All Jobs Average
15-19 0.2 5.0
20-24 4.0 9.3
25-34 27.8 22.9
35-44 33.9 22.0
45-54 26.8 21.6
55-59 5.9 9.0
60-64 1.2 6.0
65 and Over 0.3 4.2
Median Age 40 40

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Employment Pathways

Education, training and experience

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) and State and Territory Police forces have varying requirements to become a Police Officer. Most jurisdictions require completion of secondary education. Some Police Officers have formal qualifications in justice administration, law or criminology.

Visit

  • Course Seeker to search and compare higher education courses.
  • ComparED to compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes.
  • My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
  • AAPathways website to explore Public Safety VET training pathways.

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of Qualification Police All Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate 6.4 10.1
Bachelor degree 22.1 21.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma 44.1 11.6
Certificate III/IV 8.6 21.1
Year 12 14.9 18.1
Year 11 2.2 4.8
Year 10 and below 1.8 12.5

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.


Skills and Knowledge

Employers look for Police who are caring, compassionate, empathetic and can communicate clearly with a diverse range of people.

Skills

Skills can be improved through training or experience.

  • 57%

    Active listening

    Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.

  • 57%

    Critical thinking

    Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.

  • 57%

    Social perceptiveness

    Understanding why people react the way they do.

  • 57%

    Speaking

    Talking to others.

  • 57%

    Negotiation

    Bringing people together and trying to sort out their differences.

  • 55%

    Coordination with others

    Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.

  • 55%

    Persuasion

    Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.

  • 55%

    Reading comprehension

    Reading work related information.

  • 55%

    Serving others

    Looking for ways to help people.

  • 52%

    Monitoring

    Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.

  • 48%

    Writing

    Writing things for co-workers or customers.

  • 46%

    Complex problem solving

    Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.

  • 46%

    Judgment and decision making

    Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.

  • 45%

    Time management

    Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.

  • 45%

    Active learning

    Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.

  • 43%

    Instructing

    Teaching people how to do something.

  • 43%

    Learning strategies

    Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.

  • 41%

    Operation and control

    Controlling equipment or systems.

  • 34%

    Management of personnel resources

    Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.

  • 34%

    Operation monitoring

    Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.


Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  • 86%

    Customer and personal service

    Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  • 78%

    Psychology

    Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.

  • 76%

    Public safety and security

    Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.

  • 75%

    Education and training

    Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

  • 73%

    Law and government

    How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.

  • 65%

    English language

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  • 60%

    Clerical

    Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.

  • 55%

    Computers and electronics

    Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

  • 53%

    Administration and management

    Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.

  • 52%

    Personnel and human resources

    Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.

  • 51%

    Therapy and counselling

    Diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and career counselling and guidance.

  • 47%

    Telecommunications

    Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.

  • 47%

    Communications and media

    Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.

  • 45%

    Sociology and anthropology

    Group behaviour and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.

  • 43%

    Transportation

    Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.

  • 36%

    Geography

    Describing land, sea, and air, including their physical characteristics, locations, how they work together, and the location of plant, animal, and human life.

  • 31%

    Mathematics

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  • 31%

    Medicine and dentistry

    Diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities, including preventive health-care measures.

  • 24%

    Foreign language

    Foreign (non-English) language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar, and pronunciation.

  • 22%

    Economics and accounting

    Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.


Abilities

Workers use these physical and mental abilities..

  • 57%

    Deductive reasoning

    Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.

  • 57%

    Inductive reasoning

    Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.

  • 57%

    Near vision

    See details that are up-close (within a few feet).

  • 57%

    Oral comprehension

    Listen to and understand what people say.

  • 57%

    Oral expression

    Communicate by speaking.

  • 57%

    Problem spotting

    Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.

  • 57%

    Selective attention

    Pay attention to something without being distracted.

  • 57%

    Reaction time

    Quickly move your hand, finger, or foot when a sound, light, picture or something else appears.

  • 55%

    Speech recognition

    Identify and understand the speech of another person.

  • 55%

    Speech clarity

    Speak clearly so others can understand you.

  • 55%

    Written comprehension

    Read and understand written information.

  • 54%

    Far vision

    See details that are far away.

  • 54%

    Sorting or ordering

    Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

  • 54%

    Written expression

    Write in a way that people can understand.

  • 52%

    Flexibility of closure

    See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.

  • 52%

    Response orientation

    Quickly choose the right movement of the hand, foot, or other body part when there are two or more different signals (lights, sounds, pictures).

  • 46%

    Perceptual speed

    Use your eyes to quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.

  • 43%

    Arm-hand steadiness

    Keep your hand or arm steady.

  • 43%

    Auditory attention

    Pay attention to a certain sound when there are other distracting sounds.

  • 43%

    Multilimb coordination

    Use your arms and/or legs at the same time while sitting, standing, or lying down.


Activities

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  • 87%

    Negotiating and resolving conflicts

    Handling complaints and disagreements, and negotiating with people.

  • 86%

    Working with the public

    Greeting or serving customers, clients or guests, and public speaking or performing.

  • 86%

    Making decisions and solving problems

    Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

  • 85%

    Helping and caring for others

    Providing personal assistance, medical attention, or emotional support.

  • 79%

    Looking for changes over time

    Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.

  • 79%

    Keeping your knowledge up-to-date

    Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.

  • 76%

    Building good relationships

    Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.

  • 74%

    Collecting and organising information

    Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.

  • 73%

    Monitoring people, processes and things

    Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.

  • 72%

    Communicating with the public

    Giving information to the public, business or government by telephone, in writing, or in person.

  • 72%

    Assessing and evaluating things

    Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.

  • 72%

    Planning and prioritising work

    Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.

  • 72%

    Communicating within a team

    Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.

  • 71%

    Checking compliance with standards

    Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

  • 69%

    Documenting or recording information

    Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

  • 68%

    Researching and investigating

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  • 64%

    Training and teaching others

    Understanding the needs of others, developing training programs, and teaching or instructing.

  • 58%

    Driving vehicles or equipment

    Running, manoeuvring, navigating, or driving things like forklifts, vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.

  • 55%

    Working with computers

    Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

  • 52%

    Explaining things to people

    Helping people to understand and use information.


Interests and demands

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Interests

Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.

  • 81%

    Practical

    Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

  • 76%

    Enterprising

    Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.

  • 62%

    Administrative

    Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.

  • 57%

    Helping

    Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.

  • 29%

    Analytical

    Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.

  • 14%

    Creative

    Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.


Values

Work values are important to a person’s feeling of satisfaction. All six values are shown below.
  • 81%

    Achievement

    Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

  • 81%

    Independence

    Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.

  • 81%

    Relationships

    Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.

  • 81%

    Support

    Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.

  • 71%

    Recognition

    Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.

  • 67%

    Working conditions

    Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.


Demands

The physical and social demands that workers face most often are shown below:
  • 100%

    In an enclosed vehicle or equipment

    Work in a closed vehicle (e.g., car).

  • 99%

    Face-to-face discussions

    Talk with people face-to-face.

  • 98%

    Contact with people

    Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.

  • 98%

    Contact with the public

    Work with customers or the public.

  • 97%

    Being exact or accurate

    Be very exact or highly accurate.

  • 96%

    Angry or unpleasant people

    Deal with unpleasant, angry, or rude people.

  • 95%

    Frequent decision making

    Frequently make decisions that impact other people.

  • 93%

    Teamwork

    Work with people in a group or team.

  • 93%

    Outdoors, exposed to weather

    Work outdoors, exposed to the weather.

  • 92%

    Impact of decisions

    Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.

  • 91%

    Telephone

    Talk on the telephone.

  • 90%

    Health and safety of others

    Take responsibility for the health and safety of others.

  • 89%

    Freedom to make decisions

    Have freedom to make decision on your own.

  • 89%

    Conflict situations

    Deal with conflict or disagreements.

  • 83%

    Bright or inadequate lighting

    Work in extremely bright or dark lighting conditions.

  • 83%

    Electronic mail

    Use electronic mail.

  • 83%

    Physically aggressive people

    Deal with physically aggressive or violent people.

  • 83%

    Unstructured work

    Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.

  • 82%

    Lead or coordinate a team

    Lead others to do work activities.

  • 79%

    Very hot or cold temperatures

    Work in very hot or cold temperatures.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 33-3051.01 - Police Patrol Officers.


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