While their ranks have thinned due to layoffs, California police offices and firefighters typically earn far more than most Californians.
California police officers made, on average, $97,640, including overtime, incentive pay and payouts upon retirement during 2011, according to a Bee analysis of new data from the state controller's office. Firefighters and engineers earned, on average, $118,003. Average pay for police captains across the state was $163,558; for fire captains, it was $147,626.
Use this database to see the average pay for firefighters, police officers and their supervisors in nearly every California city and county. Updated Feb. 27, 2013 with 2011 data.
Thanks to overtime, bonuses, allowances and retirement payouts, about 93 percent of the state's full-time local firefighters earned more than the maximum posted salary for their positions. The average maximum posted salary for firefighters and engineers in California is $85,000.
Police officers tended to earn closer to their average maximum posted salary of $82,000.
Beyond pay, local governments often give generous health and retirement benefits to police and firefighters. This chart breaks down average benefits and pay for rank-and-file California firefighters.