Law and order is maintained in Idaho through the offices of the state’s 44 elected sheriffs. They are assisted in day-to-day operations by the Idaho Sheriffs’ Association which has been in existence since 1962. For those of you who are interested in pursuing a career as a sheriff in the Gem State, this guide has all the necessary details.

Eligibility Requirements for Idaho Sheriff

To become a sheriff in Idaho, you have to meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Must have attained a minimum age of 18.
  • Must have passed high school. This is the minimum educational qualification required. You can also apply with the equivalent GED certificate if you don’t have a high school diploma.
  • Should have a valid American citizenship, either through birth in the United States or naturalization.
  • Satisfy all county residency requirements to become eligible to contest sheriff elections.


*Candidates should note that the above-mentioned conditions are generic for the entire state. However, all counties have their own separate set of requirements for individuals aspiring to become sheriffs. These could be slightly different and there will also be variations from one county to another. So, please remember to check the specific criteria of your county of choice.

Process to Become a Sheriff in Idaho

You must go through the process outlined below to become an Idaho sheriff.

Step 1:

Join a law enforcement training program at a police academy. If there are any sheriff-specific training courses available in Idaho, go for one of them.

Step 2:

Acquire law enforcement experience by working as an officer after completion of police academy training. The number of years you work in this capacity will depend upon the stipulated work experience requirements of your preferred county.

Step 3:

Study for a college degree if possible. You are not obligated to do so but higher educational credentials are likely to increase your chances of becoming sheriff.

Step 4:

Pass the written test, interview, physical fitness assessment and background scrutiny.

Step 5:

Submit your candidature to the county to put your name forward for sheriff elections.

Step 6:

Run a convincing election campaign to make voters understand why you are the most suited candidate for the sheriff’s office.

Step 7:

Secure the majority vote in the elections to become sheriff in one of Idaho’s counties.

How Much Time Will Be Needed to Become a Sheriff in Idaho?

You will need at least 3 years to become a sheriff. This could go up to any number of years depending upon the specific minimum law enforcement requirements of your chosen county and your preferred educational qualifications.

What Salary Is Paid to a Sheriff in Idaho?

As of May, 2018, First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives in Idaho can earn an annual mean wage of $77,720. This is according to the information made public by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The state’s sheriffs are given good salaries since they are heading a whole law enforcement department of a county.