SWAT Team Member

Tackle high-stress cases involving riots, hostages or undercover ops.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$32,000 – $84,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do SWAT Team Members do?

SWAT Team Members are specialized Police Officers who work in the special weapons and tactics (SWAT) unit. As a SWAT Team Member, you help fight state and local crime by tackling very high-risk situations and resolving them successfully. You deal with incidents such as hostage situations, undercover operations, riots, and terrorist threats.

As a SWAT Team Member, you have access to the most powerful weaponry in a police department’s arsenal. You also wear the standard black suit of armor you see on television shows, including the black helmet, black shield, and sunglasses.

You never really know what you’ll be called on to do because you deal with the most extreme circumstances. If an Old West-style skirmish breaks out after a bank robbery gone wrong, be ready to suit up and defuse the situation. You’ll help with crowd control, blocking civilians from potential lines of fire. You’ll also be asked to storm the premises to prevent hostages from being harmed. In other words, be prepared for anything.

Depending on where you live, you might be a full-time member of the SWAT unit, or work as a regular Police Officer majority of the time, only taking on SWAT duties when necessary. Large cities like Los Angeles employ SWAT Team Members full time. This is where the first SWAT team was developed in the 1960s after the Watts Riot showed Police Officials that they needed better ways to protect citizens in tactical emergencies. Smaller locales will still benefit from your in-depth training, but will need it less often, meaning you will see less SWAT action in your day-to-day work.

Should I be a SWAT Team Member?

You should have a certificate degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.

  • Also known as: Special Weapons and Tactics Team Member

    How to become a SWAT Team Member

    Most SWAT Team Members have a Certificate or higher. Chart?chd=s:9hjoab&chl=no+college+%2842%25%29|certificate+%2823%25%29|associate%27s+%2824%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2810%25%29||doctorate+%281%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,42,42
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