What Is a Deputy Sheriff?

Deputy sheriffs work within a sheriff’s office to perform specialized law enforcement activities. They may serve as a spokesperson for the sheriff. In addition, they conduct investigations, respond to criminal activities, direct traffic and escort prisoners.

Responsibilities of a Deputy Sheriff

A deputy sheriff works within a sheriff’s department and performs the duties as prescribed to the department by the state. Sometimes the deputy sheriff may have to act as a representative of the sheriff. They must understand the laws of their jurisdiction and be able to make logical and reasonable decisions independently throughout the day, in addition to maintaining the ability to solve issues under pressure.

Some deputy sheriffs perform law enforcement duties that correspond with the local police department. In addition, they may have to:

  • Conduct criminal investigations and specialized law enforcement activities
  • Guard courthouses and prisoners, be present in courtrooms and transport inmates to and from jail and the court
  • Respond to criminal activities, investigate public complaints and direct traffic
  • Interview witnesses, gather evidence and conduct crime scene investigations

Want to become a Deputy Sheriff?

Southeastern University's Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree program can help you pursue a career as a Deputy Sheriff.

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Deputy Sheriff Salary

According to PayScale, the median salary for deputy sheriffs is $43,395 per year. Wages vary depending on the deputy sheriff’s experience. For example, those with less than five years of experience earn about $38,000 per year. Deputy sheriffs with 20 or more years of experience make an average of $55,000 a year.

Education Requirements

Typically, education requirements are dependent on the sheriff department’s locality. The minimum is usually a high school diploma, passing a civil service exam and hands-on training. Additionally, candidates are usually required to be at least 21 years of age. However, a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or a related field can provide candidates with an advantage in the hiring process.

Become a Deputy Sheriff

SEU’s online bachelor of science in criminal justice provides students with a strong foundation of the criminal justice system. The program examines law enforcement and court history and prepares students for success in their careers by teaching critical thinking, advanced research and the practical application of skills. The program is fully online and is taught by faculty who have real-world experience in their field.