Police officers (sergeant and below)


Average Annual Pay

Annual Survey of Hours and Earning 2018


Average Weekly Hours

Annual Survey of Hours and Earning 2018


Unemployment Rate

Labour Force Survey 2018

Future employment projections (Working Futures UK)


Police officers (Sergeant and below) co-ordinate and undertake the investigation of crimes, patrol public areas, arrest offenders and suspects and enforce law and order. Officers of the British Transport Police operate within the specialised police service for the railway network across Britain.


There are no academic requirements for entry to the civilian (Home Office) police although eligibility criteria vary across individual police forces. Entrants must sit an entry test and pass a medical examination. All police officers undergo a two year probationary training period. Residency, nationality and age restrictions apply, and background security checks are carried out in respect of entrants.

Typical tasks

  • receives instructions from senior officers and patrols an assigned area on foot, horseback, motorcycle, motor car or boat to check security and enforce regulations;
  • directs and controls traffic or crowds at demonstrations and large public events;
  • investigates complaints, crimes, accidents, any suspicious activities or other incidents;
  • interviews suspects, takes statements from witnesses and stops, searches and/or arrests suspects;
  • attends accidents;
  • prepares briefs or reports for senior officers;
  • works on station reception desk and or in communications room;
  • gives evidence in court cases.

Common job titles

Officer, police
Constable (government)
Officer (police service)
Officer, uniformed (police service)
Constable (police service)
Officer, neighbourhood (police service)
Detective (docks)
Manager, beat, community
Detective (railways)
Officer, traffic (police service)
Sergeant, police
MP (armed forces)
Officer, police, transport
Detective (police service)
Armourer, force
Detective (government)
Sergeant, detective
Detective (airport)
Constable (MOD)
Officer, warrant (police service)
Officer, fingerprint
Constable, police

Education background

Destination of Leavers survey, supplied by the Higher Education Statistics.