Oregon comprises of 36 registered counties where all matters pertaining to law and order are administered by its elected sheriffs. The Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association (OSSA) assists all sheriffs in maintaining the safety and security of their communities. Since 1916, the OSSA has been working to give effective representation to sheriffs in the state. If you want to be a sheriff too, read this guide to understand the process.

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Requirements to Become a Sheriff in Oregon

The state law sets the following requirements for individuals who want to become a sheriff.

    • Not less than 21 years old.
    • Certified or eligible for certification from the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training.
    • Legal US citizen.
    • Should have passed high school at least.
    • At least 4 years of work experience in law enforcement.


    • At least 2 years of education post high school along with 2 years of law enforcement experience.


  • Any combination of education and experience totaling at least 4 years.

*Different counties may have their own requirements which will differ slightly from the state-wise conditions listed above. So, make sure you have all the county-specific information as well.

Steps to Become a Sheriff in Oregon

  1. Complete police academy training. Sheriff-specific training may be available in some counties too.
  2. Work for at least 4 years in law enforcement to gain the required experience. You may also obtain 2 years of higher education along with 2 years of work experience in law enforcement.
  3. Complete further studies and obtain a college degree. This is not compulsory but will certainly enhance your prospects of becoming a sheriff. Studying criminal justice or law enforcement is recommended if you do go for higher education.
  4. Qualify the initial selection phase consisting of a written assessment, an interview, a physical exam and background checking.
  5. File all the necessary paperwork to enter the balloting for the office of sheriff in your county.
  6. Campaign for votes and convince your constituents that you are the best candidate for the position.
  7. Secure the majority vote to become sheriff for a fixed period of time. You will have the option to run for re-election at the completion of your first term.

Time Taken to Get Elected As a Sheriff in Oregon

As per the state law, you are required to serve at least 4 years as an officer after completing police academy training. Or you need to have two years of post-high school education along with 2 years of experience in law enforcement. Moreover, different counties may have different work experience requirements. Generally speaking, you will need about 5 years or more to become a sheriff in Oregon.

How Much Does a Sheriff Make In Oregon?

As per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual mean wage for First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives in Oregon is $99,130. This is as of May, 2018.