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Updated September 2023

Considering a path in law enforcement, or already a sworn officer looking for advancement opportunities in a lively, growing city?

Joining Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department could be for you. Read on to find out how you can maximize your earning potential while thriving in a fast-paced, energizing career with purpose.

9 Ways to Earn More

In January 2023, the City of Charlotte increased CMPD entry-level officer pay to $51,465 (up 10.5% from the previous budget).

But new and experienced officers’ earning potential doesn’t stop there. Thanks to a range of leadership opportunities, comprehensive training and a number of additional education-, skill-, service- and shift-based incentives, CMPD officers can earn up to $104,658 per year.

Here are a few of the ways CMPD invests in you while you invest in your career:

$7,500 Hiring Bonus

Your chances to earn beyond base pay start with a limited time, $7,500 hiring bonus for all lateral officers and new police recruits. This incentive is structured to reward recruits throughout training and after their first year of service with CMPD.

Check out our hiring bonus blog post to learn more about eligibility requirements and payout timelines.

Academy Pay

Unlike many other police departments nationwide, CMPD invests in its recruits, and pays officers-in-training a full-time salary while they attend our Police Academy.

Education Incentives

Earn an extra 5% if you have an associate’s degree, and an extra 10% if you have a bachelor’s.

Experience Incentives

Those with police officer training status earn an additional 5% on top of base salary.

In addition, lateral transfers from other departments with at least two years of experience can expect to earn a minimum base pay of $59,165.

Secondary Language Incentive

Earn an extra 5% if you can proficiently speak Spanish, Yoruba, Vietnamese, Chinese-Taiwan, Chinese-PRC, Arabic, Gujarati, Hindi, Portuguese, Somali, Hausa, Japanese, Korean, Ukrainian or Russian.

Service Incentives

Officers with qualifying military service earn an additional 5% under the city’s public safety educational incentive (two-year degree only).

Veterans are also eligible to receive VA benefits and supplements.

Shift-based Incentives

Earn an extra 2.5% (shift-differential pay) when you’re permanently assigned to the second, third or fourth shifts.

Off-duty Pay Opportunities

In addition to regularly assigned schedules, sworn CMPD officers have access to hundreds of off-duty jobs that pay $63 to $80+ per hour.

From large-scale events like Panthers games and concerts, to festivals, fundraisers and more, off-duty jobs give CMPD officers a unique opportunity to earn more while taking part in some of the city’s most exciting events.

Additional Financial Incentives

In its Fiscal Year 2023 Budget, the City of Charlotte also set aside funds for:

  • A 4% merit pool for salaried employees
  • A 2%, one-time retention incentive for full-time employees (excluding senior leadership)
  • Homeownership assistance for city employees through the House Charlotte Program

Accelerate Your Career Here

Ready to join the men and women of CMPD? Start your new trainee, lateral entry or intermediate entry application today.