If you want to become a sheriff in Philadelphia, you need to understand that the office of sheriff is a county-level concern, rather than a city-level position. Philadelphia city has the same geographic boundary as Philadelphia County. So becoming a sheriff in Philadelphia is actually becoming a sheriff in Philadelphia County.

The following article is meant to be used as a guide for those who intend to run for the office of sheriff in Philadelphia County. For detailed understanding of the requirements and process to become a sheriff in Philadelphia County, you are requested to check with the local county office.

Requirements to Become a Sheriff in Philadelphia

To become a Philadelphia County Sheriff, you will have to fulfil the following requirements. Please note that the term of a sheriff is four years long. So before you get into the process, you will first have to wait for the current sheriff to fulfill his/her term. You may then contest the elections.

  • Candidate must be at least 18 years of age
  • Candidate must have at least a high school diploma or a GED
  • Candidate must have a valid driver’s license for the state of Pennsylvania
  • Candidate must not have any felony convictions
  • Candidate must be in good physical and mental state
  • Candidate ought to be a US citizen. Some counties also have a residency obligation, which requires sheriff applicants to have lived in the area where they intend to become the sheriff
  • Candidate should have completed a police training academy
  • Candidate should have several years of law enforcement experience

Steps to Become a Sheriff in Philadelphia

Once you have ensured you meet the above stated basic eligibility criteria, you can begin the actual process of becoming a sheriff in Philadelphia County.


Note: It is recommended, at this point, that you invest some time and finances into getting a college degree. An ideal degree would be a bachelor’s or a master’s degree in criminal justice from an accredited institution.

Step 1: File the Relevant Paperwork with Philadelphia County:

Make sure you are aware of all the forms and documents you need to submit. Complete and drop your application at the county office well before the deadline.

Step 2:Plan Your Campaign and Kick Things Off:

Planning your campaign is the most essential part of the entire election process. This is what can make or break your position in front of the voters. Make sure you spend enough time and money on this stage and get the right people to spread your message.

Step 3:Get Elected and Assume Office:

If you get the biggest number of votes, you will be asked to take an oath and become the sheriff of Philadelphia County. This is a four-year long engagement, after which you may re-contest the elections.

How Much Does a Sheriff Make in Philadelphia?

The salary data for the sheriff of Philadelphia County is not publicly available. The official Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office website states the starting salary for Deputy Sheriff Officer Recruit as $44,622.