Requirements to Become a Sheriff in North Carolina
*Please keep in mind that these are general requirements for working as a sheriff in NC. The actual requirements for individual counties may have some variations. Therefore, you are advised to check the eligibility criteria of the county you live in before applying.
- Candidate must be a US national, whether by birth or naturalization.
- Candidate should be aged 18 or more when applying to join the police force.
- Candidate must have a high school diploma or an alternative GED certificate.
- Candidate should be a resident of the county he/she wants to become sheriff in. Residency requirements also vary from county to county.
Steps to Become a Sheriff in North Carolina
- Undergo police academy training. Exclusive sheriff training programs are also offered by some counties.
- After graduating from the police academy, work as an officer for a few years to gain experience. Here as well, different counties have different work experience demands. Some may require you to work for at least 5 years while 12 months may suffice for others.
- This is not mandatory, but a college education (associate’s or bachelor’s degree) will certainly enhance your prospects of becoming sheriff in the future. If you go for it, a degree in criminal justice or law enforcement is recommended.
- Fulfill the basic requirements t run for sheriff. These include qualifying a written test, undergoing an interview, clearing the physical fitness assessment and passing all background scrutiny.
- File the required paperwork with your county to have your name added to the ballot for sheriff.
- Run an effective campaign for sheriff by letting voters in your county know why you are the best fit for the job.
- Get elected as a sheriff for a term of four years. You can run for reelection after the completion of your term.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Sheriff in North Carolina?
This is a long-term process. You will need to train as a police officer and serve for a number of years in law enforcement (depending on your county) before you can be eligible to run for sheriff. It can take between 3 to 8 years.
How Much Does a Sheriff Make in North Carolina?
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives in North Carolina made $69,890 in annual mean wages as of May, 2018. Salaries for sheriffs are expected to be higher.