Becoming a Police Officer may be your dream job, but depending on how much you make you might find yourself needing supplemental income to meet your current budget needs. Police Officers have a very high-stress role within our society, and unfortunately, that high-stress is not always accompanied by a high salary. If getting a side job is something you’ve considered to help supplement your current income, here are some of the best side jobs for Police Officers:
The Best Side Jobs for Police Officers
- Security Guard: A Security Guard protects the assets of an organization or a company. Depending on the company, some security work is significantly less stressful than police work. This job can also be done after hours or overnight if needed. The skills of a Police Officer can easily be used in the day-to-day responsibilities of a Security Guard.
- Personal Trainer: A Personal Trainer works with clients to help them achieve their fitness goals through exercise and/or dietary changes. Police Officers are able to use their athleticism skills used in their day-to-day police work to help their clients. Personal trainers can set their own schedule and can choose to work for a business or choose to work for themselves.
- Bartender: A Bartender mixes and serves drinks to customers at restaurants or bars. Good bartenders have strong interpersonal skills and may need to make important decisions in situations where alcohol is involved. These are both skills that Police Officers use within their current work settings. Bartender schedules can vary depending on the type of business, but they usually involve evening and night shifts.
- Construction Laborer: Construction laborers work at construction sites and projects for companies and firms. Safety protocols are vital to a construction site. Police Officers can use their experience with safety protocols to secure a job as a construction laborer. Depending on the construction company, certain roles can be done part-time or on a contract basis.
- Loss Prevention Officer: Loss Prevention Officers usually work within retail settings and help ensure that customers and employees do not steal any merchandise. This role requires individuals that can effectively monitor a specific perimeter and pay attention to detail. The skills needed to become a Loss Prevention Officer are similar to that of a Police Officer’s and their schedules can be flexible depending on the company.
- Dog Trainer: Dog trainers use their experience and communication skills to teach dogs positive behavior and habits. A Police Officer that has experience within a canine unit may find this position to be a good fit given their experience with dogs. Similar to personal trainers, dog trainers can choose to work for a business or for themselves. Working for themselves may give them the flexibility to set their own schedule.
- Freelance Writer: A Freelance Writer can get paid to write about their police officer experience and knowledge. They can do this for existing websites or blogs on a short-term or long-term basis. This position can be done from home and outside of traditional working hours, which may work well with a Police Officer’s existing schedule and availability.
- Landscaper: Landscapers can perform anything from basic mowing, edging, and trimming for lawns to large tree cutting projects and offering their input on landscape design. This role would be a great fit for Police Officers that enjoy the outdoors and like to perform landscaping duties for their own home. Landscapers often work both weekdays and weekends. They can obtain consistent and long-term work if a client decides to make that individual their primary landscaper for their lawn care needs.
What Can I Do to Improve My Earning Potential?
Spending your free time getting a degree versus getting a side job may prove to be more beneficial for your salary in the long run. On average, individuals with a bachelor’s degree earn about $32,000 more than those whose highest level of education is a high school diploma. While this varies based on degree and positions, there are some law enforcement positions that will require an applicant to have a bachelor’s degree (ie. Victim Advocate or Criminalistics) or offer a higher base pay for applicants with a degree despite it not being a requirement.
There are different degrees that can be obtained for those working in law enforcement. These include degrees such as Criminal Justice, Psychology, Law, Forensics, Computer Science, and Political Science. In order to select a degree that’s right for you, you need to consider your career path and the skills you want to develop further. A Psychology degree may be great to help build your understanding of people and their underlying motives, but it may not be very helpful if your ultimate goal is to work in the technical department for a law enforcement agency. A college counselor or advisor can help guide you if you’re not sure of what degree to pursue based on your current career goals.
Final Thoughts – Best Side Jobs for Police Officers
Finances can be a big stressor for anyone, but getting a side job can help improve the income that is being contributed to a household. There are different side jobs that a Police Officer can apply for that can maximize their existing skill set in law enforcement, and have flexible schedules that can be worked outside of the Police Officer’s traditional working hours. These jobs can also help Police Officers work on an existing skill that is not related to law enforcement, such as bartending or landscaping.
While the income that a side job brings may initially be well-received, it’s not always sustainable in the long run given the time and energy already being invested into a Police Officer’s main job. With that said, there are other options for Police Officers to help increase their current salary. Whether it’s pursuing a law enforcement role in a different state with a better job market, or pursuing a degree to improve their earning potential, these options can help secure a higher paying job without having to pick up a side gig.