How much does a SWAT team member make? When a situation arises that could cause significant risk to the life or property of others, the SWAT (special weapons and tactics) team is called to the scene. You may wonder: how much does a SWAT team member make? In general a SWAT team member makes the same wage as a normal police officer. Although they are required to take part in significant extra training, most SWAT team members perform the regular duties of a police officer the majority of the time, taking part in every day responsibilities such as traffic patrol or detective work. When a high risk situation becomes apparent, however, these specially trained officers are called in to manage the situation, and must do so using whatever means necessary.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, patrol officers had a median annual wage of $51,410 per year as of May 2008. The highest paid earned more than $79,680, and the lowest paid earned less than $30,070. SWAT team members share this pay scale, as they are themselves patrol officers. Overall wage depends greatly on the SWAT officer's experience and geographic area (large, metropolitan areas will pay better than small, rural areas). Because they receive the same base pay as other officers, years of experience and expertise may also play a role in answering the question how much does a SWAT team member make. An officer's experience and merit can usually be judged by his rank within the department. The median annual salaries for the various ranks are:
• Police Chief – $90,570 per year
• Deputy Chief – $74,834 per year
• Police Captain – $72,761 per year
• Police Lieutenant – $65,688 per year
• Police Sergeant – $58,739 per year
• Police Corporal – $49,421 per year
Being a police officer, especially working in very dangerous situations like a SWAT team member, is not without risks. Because of these risks, there are many important benefits given to officers that are intended to aid them should crisis occur. These benefits play a big role in answering the question how much does a SWAT team member make. Benefits include:
• Paid Leave – SWAT team members accrue and receive paid sick and personal leave. Such leave is very important in a line of work that could cause injury or emotional distress. This benefit would allow SWAT team members to take time away when needed without having to suffer financially for the hours they are unable to work.
• Medical and Life Insurance – There is risk of serious bodily injury or death for any police officer, and that is perhaps even more true for those who work as members of a SWAT team. Due to this risk, most police departments offer fully paid health and life insurance to shield the employee from massive medical bills and to provide the grieving family of an officer a financial respite should tragedy strike.
• Retirement – Retirement benefits are available for SWAT team members. Policies depend on the individual departments, but most have the option of retiring at half pay after 20 years of service.
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