Our state and territory police officers do one of the most challenging and dangerous jobs there is. One each shift, they don’t know what they are going to face and they often work long hours on a rotating shift system. Do they earn a salary commensurate with those conditions? Here’s a look at the salaries for police across the country.
In Victoria once an aspiring office is accepted to the academy and commences training they start to draw a salary. During their 12 weeks of training, they are paid at a rate of $48,997 per year. On graduation, when they become a probationary constable, that goes to $67,312.
Officers also receive seven weeks of recreation leave per year and they accrue another ten days leave a year because they are rostered for a 40 hour week but are paid for 38 hours. There’s also 15 days of sick leave per year and other entitlements, including maternity and paternity leave, study leave and long service leave of three months on full-pay or six months on half-pay after 10 years of service.
Further increases in salary are commensurate on experience and promotions. For example, a constable’s salry increases to $74,925. If they make Senior Constable, that can grow to $95,247. The most senior rank, Superintendent, can make up to $184,769 at the top end.
New South Wales
In New South Wales, a probationary constable starts off with an annual salary of $70,062 which rises to $79,314 by their fifth year of service.
While the salaries are marginally higher than in Victoria, officers in NSW only get six weeks of annual leave although most of the other conditions are similar.
Moving from constable to sergeant takes seven years and there’s an intermediate rank of Senior Constable in there as well.
Salaries all the way up though the ranks to the Superintendent rank are commensurate with experience and winning promotions with the highest salaries hovering at almost $200,000. But it can take in excess of 20 years to reach that grade.
Queensland Police have similar entitlements to those of the NSW counterparts with six weeks of annual leave, two weeks of sick leave, paid maternity and paternity leave and other benefits.
A first year out constable earns $70,820 per annum, which comprises $58,529 and a 21% Operational Shift Allowance. That can rise to $109,038 after gaining experience and being promoted to sergeant.
However, at the top end, there’s a substantial difference between what Queensland Police officers earn and their colleagues in the southern states. A Chief Superintendent in Queensland has an annual salary of around $174,000 which is a long way shy of the newar $200K salaries Victorian and NSW senior officers receive.
South Australia Police has a junior cadet and cadet system. Once a cadet reaches the probationary constable rank, they pull a salary of $64,344.
As with all the other states, there’s an experience and promotional system with the top grade, Chief Superintendent, attracting a salary of $172,812. The other benefits around leave and shift allowances are similar to the other states.
Probationary officers in Western Australia Police have a starting salary of $72,284 which rises to $74,836 during their third year of service. There’s also a cadet program.
By the time an officer has served for nine or more years and made it to Senior Constable, their salary is just over $90,000.
With the vast area the WA police force covers, there’s also free and low cost housing in remote locations as well as other benefits such as leave loading in addition to the same sorts of annual and other leave provisions in the other states.
Senior salaries in WA are similar to those in other states although there seems to be less transparency as these are much harder to track down than for the other states.
Trainees at the Tasmanian police academy receive a salary of $48,858 which increases to $59,284 once they graduate and are ranked as constables. That rate doesn’t include shift allowances and other extras. Salaries increase automatically each year for constables, reaching $86,625 after 13 years of service.
The Tasmanian police salary award shows seargeants can earn up to $101,303 with the top job, Commander, attracting an annual pay packet of $151,778.
Australian Federal Police
The AFP offers similar salaries to the state-based forces. Recruits are paid $58,090 during their 24 week live-in training with salary increasing to $60,274 plus a 22 per cent shift allowance after graduating.
Salaries are calculated through a banding system where time served and rank move officers through different salary bands. This is covered in an award agreement, with the highest salaries at around $190,000.