The time taken to become a sheriff varies according to state and local laws. The basic time division is done according to five areas – the time taken to become a Police Officer, followed by the required undergraduate degree. Once you have completed the undergraduate degree, you will need to meet a certain work experience requirement before you can proceed to apply for becoming a sheriff in your county. The time required to become a sheriff can be divided into the following categories:

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How Long Does it Take to Become a Sheriff
How Long Does it Take to Become a Sheriff

Steps To Become a Sheriff in the US

If you want to learn about the steps to become a sheriff in the US, then continue reading.

Step 1: Get the Necessary Education

The first step to becoming a sheriff in the US is to join a law enforcement agency in the US like a police force to start your career. The minimum educational requirement to join a police force across the US is a high school diploma or a GED. Some police departments, however, might require a college degree. Regardless, it is always better to get a college degree in a related field like Criminal Justice or Criminology because that will boost your prospects of career progression.

Step 2: Obtain Work Experience

You cannot run for the office of the sheriff without having a certain amount of work experience under your belt. This is a mandatory requirement so, make sure that you obtain relevant on-the-job experience you need to run for the sheriff’s office in your county.

Step 3: Win the Elections

Sheriffs are elected through a voting process. So, in order to become the sheriff of your county, you will have to run an effective campaign and secure the required number of votes to win the election. Once you are declared the winner, you will be sworn in as the sheriff.


The job of a sheriff involves dealing with a lot of stressful situations and dangers; therefore becoming a sheriff is not easy. The process to become one is detailed and extensive – so you will need a substantial amount of time and effort investment.

If your application is approved and all documentation is in order, you will be able to conduct a campaign and raise funds from the public. If elected, you will take an oath and assume office for duration of four years.