Salary For A SWAT Officer

Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) officers are usually police officers who have been trained specially to deal with dangerous situations. SWAT officers receive more training than average police officers since they face dangerous situations from time to time. Police officers are the most qualified members of the force to serve as SWAT personnel, and the team commander frequently chooses them.let us know about that the Salary For A SWAT Officer.

Salary For A SWAT Officer

A SWAT officer makes an average of $90,000 annually and a median salary of about $70,000. SWAT officers make about the same salary as regular police officers but with an additional payment which can be considered a hazard fee. Most SWAT officers also get bonus pay of about 1.2% of their annual pay every year and this adds up to their annual pay. Entry-level SWAT officers earn about $15 to $25 per hour and about $50 for SWAT officers with higher experience and higher ranks. Other benefits of being a SWAT officer include sick leave, medical and life insurance, liberal pension plans, and allowance for uniforms. 

SWAT Officers and What They Do?

They are responsible for handling special and difficult tasks in the law enforcement sector. They often go after dangerous fugitives by strategically setting up a base that does not call for attention, lest they inform the fugitives about their presence. They also handle hostage situations, explosive breaching, search-and-rescue missions, and high-risk raids. In some cases, they are in charge of controlling crowds in dangerous situations that could lead to violence. They also serve as escorts to highly influential people such as VIPS or politicians.  

Job Requirements

You work full-time as a member of the SWAT team in the department’s primary duty area, which may be patrol or investigation. When a scenario entails crisis intervention and is more dangerous than usual, you are summoned to action. SWAT officers work for an average of 40 hours a week and entry-level SWAT officers may have to work frequently on holidays, evenings, and weekends. Being a SWAT officer comes with a lot of stress and a high exposure to dangerous attacks and death. 

Requirements to Become a SWAT Officer

Recently, people with a relevant degree in criminal justice get a preference over people without a degree. A high school diploma is sufficient for entrance into the majority of law enforcement agencies. However, being a SWAT officer is beyond attending college and applying for the post, it is meant for police officers who have shown themselves as gallant and worthy officers deserving of the position. You must have gained a lot of experience on the field for about three years and undergone different training to qualify you as a SWAT officer. This training is organized by the departments you work for and it differs for departments. They are often trained to deal with special weapons, de-escalation of dangerous situations, rappelling, helicopter insertion, and sniping. 

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Other requirements include clean criminal records, you must be above 18 years of age, you must pass psychological screening, and having a thorough knowledge of the use of firearms. 

Top-Paying State for SWAT Officers

The top 5 earning states for a SWAT officer includes California, Washington, New Jersey, Alaska, and Illinois. California pays an average of $102,000 annually; Washington pays about $92,500, and New Jersey with about $91, 700. Alaska offers about $87,500 while Illinois offers $83,000 annually.  

Skills SWAT Officers Must Have

SWAT team members are chosen in a competitive procedure in which their physical fitness, proficiency with firearms, communication skills, decision-making skills, and job performance are assessed. As a SWAT Officer, you must be able to show skills such as courage, ability to communicate, ability to reason fast, patience, critical decision-making, conflict resolution, leadership, weapons training, and physical strength.  

A SWAT officer must have enough courage to face dangerous situations as panicking may make the fugitives or suspected terrorists escape at that time. It is expected that in a dangerous situation, you dare to take charge of the situation and make critical decisions to get a solution. 

Factors That Influence Salary for a SWAT Officer

Salaries are often influenced by region/state, employer, and years of experience. SWAT officers employed by Federal agencies earn higher compared to other SWAT officers. Since the state and the federal governments pay for their salaries, the majority of police officers in the nation work for municipal and state governments.

Just like other professions, the salaries for a SWAT Officer depend on the number of years of experience you have. For example, entry-level officers have starting salaries of about $60,000 while officers with large years of experience earn over $100,000 per year. 

Also, depending on where an officer lives, salaries may differ from place to place. This might be a result of the high demand for SWAT officers in emergencies and the high population in such areas. For example, police officers in the state of California are paid $48.74 per hour or $101,380 annually.  


Members of the SWAT Team are expected to put in a lot of personal time training, be available “on-call” at a moment’s notice, and work constantly to improve how they carry out their objective of saving lives. To get a job as a SWAT officer, you must first gain relevant knowledge, then, get a position as a police officer, and then acquire the necessary skills to make you fit for the position. As you go through your career path as an officer, your salary will be on increase as the year accumulates. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
  • Can you join SWAT without being a police officer?

No, you cannot join SWAT unless you are a police officer. Only officers with solid experience in the field can apply to be SWAT officers. 

  • Is SWAT part of the FBI?

Yes, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has SWAT teams in its 56 field offices throughout the country. 

  • What does SWAT stand for?

SWAT stands for Special Weapons and Tactics. 

  • Are SWAT police officers?

Yes. A SWAT team consists of experienced police officers trained to handle specific emergencies. 

Salary For A SWAT Officer

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