The Harris County Sheriff's Department works with the Houston City Police Department to enforce laws in Houston and the surrounding suburbs. New sheriff's deputies enforce traffic laws, respond to calls from citizens and transport criminals between area jails and courts. The sheriff's department offers new recruits a strong starting salary with regular wage increases over time.
A new deputy with the Harris County Sheriff's Office receives a starting salary of $3,386 per month, or $40,643 per year, at the time of publication. After his first year of employment, his wages increase to $3,724 per month, or $44,699 per year. After year five, the department offers a base salary of $3,988 per month, or $47,860. Annual wages for those with eight to 10 years on the force increase to $4,224, or $50,689 per month. Those with 11 to 13 years of experience earn $53,248, while employees with more than 16 years of time on the force receive $59,800 per year. In a February 2011 article, the Houston Chronicle reports that many deputies in the department increase their earnings through overtime. In fact, several deputies doubled their salary with overtime earnings.
The Harris County Sheriff's Department also offers incentive pay for deputies who possess special skills or a college education. Deputies with an Associate's degree receive an extra $110 per month on top of base pay, at the time of publication. Those with a bachelor's degree earn an extra $265 per month. Employees with a master's or Ph.D. earn $375 extra per month. Any employee recognized by the department as bilingual receives an extra $150 per month.
Pay for Certifications
Deputies who complete the department's Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education, or TCLEOSE, training program earn an additional $130 per month, while those who earn advanced peace officer certification receive $285 extra per month. Employees who earn a master peace officer certification receive an extra $500 per month.
Houston Police Department Wages
In the city of Houston, officers new to the police department earn a starting salary of $31,965, at the time of publication. Deputies with the county sheriff's office earn significantly more. Officers with the Houston Police Department earn between $42,126 and $66,017 per year, while senior officers can earn as much as $71,957.
Nationwide, police officers and sheriffs earn a mean wage of $26.74 per hour, or $55,620 per year. The median wage for this field is $25.74 per hour, or $53,540 as of May 2010.