Jobs for Retired Police Officers

Jobs for Retired Police Officers

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John E Chambers
August 26, 2021
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Retiring from active duty can be mean many things to different police officers.

To some, it signals the beginning of their dream lifestyle in an oceanfront condo. This is particularly the case for ex-police officers who no longer want to work one more day of their lives. 

On the other side of the spectrum are ex-cops who still want to stay active, regardless of age. The good news is that being a police officer for many years before retirement gives you the chance to acquire lots of transferable skills that make it easy to start a second career. 

From mediator, bringing about equitable conflict resolution, to script consultant, helping entertainment companies with screenplays, there are plenty of jobs for retired police officers to choose from. 

If you are ready to use your retirement years more productively, this article will help you find something suitable, whether that is pursuing a second career in law enforcement or venturing into an entirely different line of work. 

Script Consultant (Technical Advisor)

Script Consultant

Have you ever watched a movie involving cops and wonder how the writers and producers (who probably aren’t police officers) got the details so accurately?

They hire technical advisors known as script consultants. 

Script consultants can be from any profession, including law enforcement. Entertainment companies need expert advice and professional opinions on screenplays to make them as accurate as possible. 

Typically, the job entails evaluating a story, the characters, and the plot. It also involves adjusting the story where necessary, as well as providing feedback that will enhance elements of the script. 

As a retired police officer, you are not limited to reading movie scripts and providing in-depth analysis only. You may be contracted to teach actors the proper interactions between officers, how to speak to superiors, how to confront suspects, or even the correct way to wield a firearm. 

How much can be made?

Script consultants have an average salary of $76,160 per year. However, the money you earn doing this job as a retired police officer will depend on the level of work you take on and whether you are hired to work on high-level scripts. 

Pros

Scrip consulting is typically freelance work, meaning you are in charge of your schedule.

Cons

In most cases, you won’t get credit for your contributions.

Mediator

Mediator

After several years of resolving disputes, some retired police officers would have gained plenty of skills and experience to make them suitable candidates for a mediator job. 

The major duty of a mediator is to facilitate the communication process between conflicting parties. The goal is to broker a timely and cost-effective win-win resolution agreeable by all the parties.

Mediators are impartial and possess peace-making as well as problem-solving abilities. Parties in conflict who wish to sidestep all the intricacies associated with litigation usually require the services of a mediator to make an equitable resolution easy.

Although not required, undergoing legal training can increase your chances of scoring a job as a mediator in many cases. 

How much can be made?

While not this is not a highly paid job compared to other legal professions, mediators earn an average pay of $83,538 per year, which is enough money to make a decent living for many retirees. 

Pros

The flexibility of this job suits the lifestyle of many retired police officers. 

Cons

Often, mediators are self-employed, which means your pay may wax and wane. 

Bounty Hunter

Bounty Hunter

Retired police officers who don’t want to give up the thrills of chasing down criminals and fugitives may as well consider the job of a bounty hunter.

The bail bonds industry needs the services of bounty hunters who have the responsibility to safely apprehend fugitives who jump bail.

This is where the experience of retired police officers is crucial. Many retired cops with a few decades of experience in law enforcement before hanging up the gun are a great fit for this job.

While bounty hunters cannot legally wear uniforms or badges, they can carry guns and handcuffs. But they are duty-bound to always make it clear that they are not federal or state agents, but work for a legal entity or a bail bond agency.

Unlike service police officers, bounty hunters can operate without warrants and are free to cross state lines in pursuit of a fugitive. Keep in mind that some states require licensing to operate as a bounty hunter, while a few others do permit the practice. Ensure you check your local regulations if you are considering this job. 

How much can be made?

Bounty hunters typically earn anywhere from 10% to 25% of a bail bond. This can translate to about $57,000 or more per year, depending on your location and how often you render your services. 

Pros

It is a rewarding work (talk about the thrill of the chase!) with low startup cost and high customer retention rates.

You get to choose the clients to work with.

Cons

It involves a certain level of personal risk-taking, especially when you have to track down dangerous fugitives.

Private Investigator

Private Investigator

For many cops, investigating crimes is a normal routine that comes with the job.

If that’s you, retirement can open doors of opportunities for you in the field of private investigating. Many companies prefer to hire private investigators with law enforcement backgrounds, making retried cops the ideal candidates for this type of job.

Keep in mind, though, the job of a real-world private investigator is nothing like sensational acts portrayed in movies and TV series. But that doesn’t mean it is not exciting work for ex-cops who enjoy following trails. 

You will likely spend most of your time rummaging through tax filings, looking for missing persons, doing surveillance work, or tracking down identity thieves. It is also common to be hired by suspicious spouses to follow and get evidence of their cheating partners. 

How much can be made?

Private investigators earn an average of $158,443 per annum, but the typical pay range falls in the range of $134,138 and 185,000, depending on years of experience, additional skills, and certifications. 

Pros

You can choose your working hours if you are self-employed.

Cons

Getting hired by a large security firm usually means more money and steady pay, but the work schedule may not be as flexible. 

Bodyguard (Security Guard)

Bodyguard

Ex-cops already have many of the skills required to be excellent bodyguards. You can choose to use your skills to protect a company as a security guard, but typically, a bodyguard an individual, usually a VIP client. 

Just to be clear, a security guard is a broad term that covers various jobs, including a bouncer (door supervisor), patrol guards, business guards, and others. But not all security guards are bodyguards. 

More specifically, a bodyguard is a VIP security guard that ensures the safety of their client at all times. Ex-cops who want to take on this role will offer more up close and personal security.

Bodyguards secure public locations before their clients show up for events. They also perform background checks for vendors, staff, and new employees. If they are guarding a celebrity, the bodyguards are also required to manage large crowds.

A few of the people that may require a bodyguard include politicians, celebrities, wealthy people, movie stars, and people who have received threats, among others.

How much can be made?

Bodyguards can earn more than $73,000 per year. But the average annual salary is $64,689 in the United States.

Pros

You can work on a shift in many cases. Travel opportunities, especially if your VIP client travels a lot.

Cons

You may be required to work night shifts. The job comes with some level of risk, but an ex-police officer is already used to these types of risks. 

Crime Scene Investigator

Crime Scene Investigator

Consider a career as a crime scene investigator if you have no qualms collecting bodily fluids and other bits and pieces of evidence left behind at a crime scene.

Okay, you may not have to deal with blood-stained carpets and stray hairs all of the time, but there’s always that possibility.

This job is best suited to retired police officers who have worked the scenes while in active service since they would have already gained many of the skills required for the job. You will need professional certification, though, and perhaps you quick brush-up on your photography skills, too!

Former police officers looking to explore this path need to be at the top of their games when it comes to attention to detail. Crime scene investigators need to gather every piece of evidence at a crime scene. Plus, they must ensure proper processing of evidence to avoid contamination. 

How much can be made?

Crime scene investigators earn an average salary of $43,860 per year. However, this can vary widely based on years of experience and location.

Pros

Potential to earn more as a former police officer.

Cons

You may be required to work long and unpredictable hours, which may not fit in with the lifestyle of some retired cops. 

Firearm Instructor

Firearm Instructor

Many gun owners do not know the correct way to store their firearms. This can put them and their loved ones at significant risk. This leaves a yawning gap that needs to be filled by firearm instructors. 

A firearm instructor is one of the most suitable jobs for retired police officers looking to educate civilians on the proper way to carry, shoot, and store different types of guns. This is your chance to pass valuable knowledge to help safeguard lives and property.

How much can be made?

You can make an average salary of approximately $32,000 annually offering your services as a firearm instructor.

Pros

You get the satisfaction of creating security consciousness and helping to improve personal security. 

There is also the opportunity to meet different people and expand your network.

Cons

One of the lowest paying jobs for retired police officers.

Loss Prevention Specialist

Loss Prevention Specialist

After spending several years protecting the public, asset protection should come naturally to many former police officers. A loss prevention specialist has the primary duty of preventing and investigating embezzlement, shoplifting, and employee theft. 

These specialists may be hired by big department stores or big organizations, including government security agencies, such as the FBI.

In many cases, loss prevention specialist who work in department stores, monitor shoppers and employees through surveillance cameras. They are expected to question suspects in case of apparent loss or theft. They may also train staff on various security procedures.

Those who work in corporate settings can use their skills to identify areas with high potential for loss and advice on the best methods to forestall an occurrence. 

How much can be made?

The average salary for loss prevention specialists is about $36,000 per year, with a weekly pay of nearly $700.

Pros

This is usually a shift type of work, giving you free days off duty.

Cons

You will likely spend long, boring hours of no action staring at screens. This may not be suitable for ex-cops who want a job that will constantly put them on their toes.

Conclusion

The best jobs for retired police officers will depend on the skill set required for the specific job. Thankfully, there are several job openings that favor people with law enforcement backgrounds, so landing one after you turn in your gun and badge shouldn’t be difficult. 

As an ex-cop, you may want to stick with jobs in law enforcement if you prefer investigative or security-related work.

On the other hand, you can choose to put some of your transferable skills gained during active service into an entirely new field. Keep in mind that some positions may require additional training or education.

Resources:

John E Chambers

John E Chambers is an experienced financial advice expert. Born in Chicago, he has a master's in Industrial Finance, but he has spent decades offering investment advice to businesses and individuals alike. He is the founder of RetireeWorkforce.com and wants the website to be valuable for retirement advice. In addition, he writes articles that help users jump-start their retirement plans and choose the best investment options. If not pondering over stock market statistics or reading some magazines, you can find John spending time with his family. As an early retiree, John also offers unique insights into what post-retirement life is like.