Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers

risk level
Based on 466 votes
by year 2032
or $31.63 per hour
as of 2022

Want this summary on your site? Embed code:

Automation risk

5% (Minimal Risk)

Minimal Risk (0-20%): Occupations in this category have a low probability of being automated, as they typically demand complex problem-solving, creativity, strong interpersonal skills, and a high degree of manual dexterity. These jobs often involve intricate hand movements and precise coordination, making it difficult for machines to replicate the required tasks.

More information on what this score is, and how it is calculated is available here.

Some very important qualities of the job are difficult to automate:

  • Assisting and Caring for Others

Some quite important qualities of the job are difficult to automate:

  • Social Perceptiveness

  • Persuasion

  • Negotiation

  • Originality

User poll

22% chance of full automation within the next two decades

Our visitors have voted there's a low chance this occupation will be automated. This assessment is further supported by the calculated automation risk level, which estimates 5% chance of automation.

What do you think the risk of automation is?

What is the likelihood that Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers will be replaced by robots or artificial intelligence within the next 20 years?


The following graph(s) are included wherever there is a substantial amount of votes to render meaningful data. These visual representations display user poll results over time, providing a significant indication of sentiment trends.

Sentiment over time (yearly)


Slow growth relative to other professions.

The number of 'Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers' job openings is expected to rise 3.1% by 2032

Total employment, and estimated job openings

* Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the period between 2021 and 2031
Updated projections are due 09-2023.


High paid relative to other professions

In 2022, the median annual wage for 'Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers' was $65,790, or $31 per hour

'Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers' were paid 42.1% higher than the national median wage, which stood at $46,310

Wages over time

* Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics


Significantly greater range of job opportunities compared to other professions

As of 2022 there were 655,890 people employed as 'Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers' within the United States.

This represents around 0.44% of the employed workforce across the country

Put another way, around 1 in 225 people are employed as 'Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers'.

Job description

Maintain order and protect life and property by enforcing local, tribal, state, or federal laws and ordinances. Perform a combination of the following duties: patrol a specific area; direct traffic; issue traffic summonses; investigate accidents; apprehend and arrest suspects, or serve legal processes of courts. Includes police officers working at educational institutions.

SOC Code: 33-3051.00


If you're thinking of starting a new career, or looking to change jobs, we've created a handy job search tool which might just help you land that perfect new role.

Search jobs in your local area


Leave a comment

matthew fitzgerald (Low) says
robo cops wouldn't work because you would have to program them to have emotions, so they don't go into overdrive and kill or destroy everything.
Jan 11, 2024 at 02:31 PM
Deputy Dredd (Low) says
the question is would people find an automated law enforcement officer more credible than a human police officer. I think there will be more Artificial intelligence added to the job but not all automation as we currently understand computers
Dec 21, 2023 at 12:46 PM
Sam says
The public will likely never allow it to pass the legislature due to lack of trust for the technology.
Jul 12, 2023 at 05:36 PM
Caleb (Low) says
Many aspects of this profession require a human element (i.e., emotional intelligence, de-escalation, interviewing, rapport building, etc.) that current AI technology is incapable of reproducing at this time.
May 18, 2023 at 12:31 AM
Philip Low (Low) says
Although unlikely I do believe that more technology will be Implemented into day to day policing and such tasks as processing criminals may become automated but a lot of the human elements will never be automated.
May 12, 2023 at 07:10 PM
Kirsten says
Where I am from, they have automated speed radars and red light traffic cameras. Both of which will capture the vehicle registration and issue a ticket. Just saying. I agree it's safe from full take-over, but some changes will present.
Feb 01, 2023 at 06:48 PM
Martin says
Partially replaced for sure. There will likely always be some people, but you can replace a lot of the monotonous work with machines. Cameras and sensors can spot speeders and light runners. The new Boston Dynamics robots can do backhand springs. One cop could send a host of A.I. swarm bots to a crack house and handle it like a video game. Quadcopters, mechanical mice with cameras and microphones, armed dog bots, humanoid arrest bots, and self-driving cars.
Aug 28, 2021 at 08:28 PM
Will says
Over a year and NOBODY made a "Robocop" reference? The internet has disappointed me once again.
Jul 20, 2021 at 08:16 AM
Steve W. says
Imagine a cop that doesn't get emotional, doesn't have an ego, doesn't care about politics, and never uses the excuse, "I was afraid for my life."

Yes, we need AI-controlled robotic cops immediately. Many lives will be saved.
May 12, 2021 at 04:35 AM
Sam says
“Many lives”

In 2022 only about 1,000 deaths caused by police officers occurred and most were justified. There’s over 700,000 police officers to date, which comes out to less than 1% of all police officers in the entire USA.

You’re being completely ridiculous.
Jul 12, 2023 at 05:32 PM
Antonio says
Ok buddy 😂
Mar 02, 2024 at 08:12 AM
Angel Vollant (No chance) says
No chance. Policing requires critical thinking, logic, situational assessment and decision-making which can’t fit into a program. When a police officer sees someone committing a crime, it’s up to them to decide what to do. If a man’s smoking pot alone in the park, do they deserve to be arrested? The cop will go up to them, talk a bit, leave a warning and may or may not leave a ticket depending on how the man acts. If he’s polite and cooperative, the officer will probably let him off with a warning. If he’s erratic and violent, he’ll arrest him. A robot, however, won’t think that far. Sees someone committing a crime (smoking pot) and simply arrest him. If he doesn’t comply, use violence. They’re programmed to do what the programmer put into it. If someone has a knife, take them out. Simple as that. Doesn’t matter if it’s a woman defending herself against an abuser. The robot’ll see a knife and shoot her. Robocop explained it very well. Police officers need compassion and emotions. If you could program a robot to do that, you’ve got yourself a human.
Dec 09, 2020 at 07:32 PM
Anon says
It's over 3 years since your post. AI has greatly progressed. I don't think anyone in 2020 thought AI would be where it is now. AI can easily do all the critical thinking, logic, situational assessment and decision-making, and it might not be available yet, but it is apparent that it can fit inside a program. What is more difficult is that policing requires a physical presence. Robotics just isn't there yet, and even if it ever does get there, you'd basically need a highly expensive robot to replace each individual officer. Whereas AI on a single server with access to multiple phone lines (and ai voice automation) can easily replace a 100+ person office.

It's not impossible for AI to take over policing, but due to economic factors, it is likely one of the least at-risk professions to be taken over by AI
Feb 06, 2024 at 02:33 PM
mister sir says
I think it's good that they have a low chance of being replaced by robots because although humans can be biased, humans make better decisions and can pick up on clues or emotions better.
Nov 05, 2020 at 01:08 PM
My name isn't your bidness. (Uncertain) says
There is a lot of talk about things like the androids from D:BH so I think it could go either way if artificial intelligence is improved.
Oct 09, 2020 at 08:36 AM
Khan (Low) says
Competent police officers require human communication skills and human coordination (for the later see the old “robots struggle to walk up stairs” problem)
Apr 06, 2020 at 03:01 PM
frankie (Low) says
as police need to have good decision making skills as robots do not
Mar 10, 2020 at 02:35 PM
Anonomous (Low) says
Feb 20, 2020 at 06:05 PM
Meep (Uncertain) says
Because if you only go up to 20 years from now it may change past then.
Jan 06, 2020 at 04:15 PM
Lachlan Beck (No chance) says
Because Robots lack the feeling of emotions and aren't able to be empathetic to other humans or robots therefore they lack a key skill of being an officer
Sep 03, 2019 at 11:42 PM
Hope Pringle says
Yeah, I want to see a person behind the badge, not some dumb robot who can feel for the victims or people in general! I want to be a police officer when I grow up NO robot will take my job. I will not let that happen!
Aug 15, 2019 at 02:27 AM
Ben says
A computer has the capacity to think thousands of times faster than a human. When AI and robotics reach the level of performing the job... People can't compete. Almost perfect job performance...or a human... You choose. Computers aren't stressed out, they have no bias... They are, in every way capable of being better at the job...
Aug 25, 2019 at 03:58 PM
MArc (No chance) says
When on a traffic stop or responding to a domestic dispute or whatever, people want to see a real human being, not some dumb robot that has no emotion. Us humans want the ability to communicate with each other not some robot.
May 06, 2019 at 04:30 PM

Leave a reply about this occupation

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

People also viewed

Computer Programmers
Preschool, Elementary, Middle, Secondary, and Special Education Teachers
Graphic Designers