Handguns, patrol rifles and other types of police weapons need to be stored and maintained properly. Armorers are the professionals tasked with performing these activities. If you have an interest in firearms and want to improve the efficiency of police departments in fighting crime from behind the scenes, then this could be the career for you.
What do police armorers do?
Their duties include:
- Performing routine maintenance on police weapons
- Diagnosing faults and repairing faulty weapons
- Maintaining an inventory of the police department’s weapons
- Providing training on weapon handling procedure to trainee police officers
- Placing purchase requisitions for weapon cleaning supplies
- Maintaining positive relationships suppliers of weapon maintenance equipment
- Supervising weapon technicians
- Ensuring workplace safety
Police armorers have regular 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday schedules. They spend their time in an office or shop environment usually within a police station. While at work, armorers may be exposed to hazardous weapon cleaning chemicals, so they wear protective clothing.
The job is potentially dangerous since police armorers are constantly handling firearms.
What is the average annual salary of a police armorer? Find out below:
Source: Simply Hired
To become a police armorer, you should be a high school graduate with knowledge and experience in firearm use and safety. The best way to earn this expertise is by:
- Starting out as a police officer
- Pursuing armorer certification programs from the American Gunsmithing Institute and other accredited trainers – You will learn the basics of firearm construction and weapon maintenance.
You must also be an American citizen with a clean criminal and drug background.
Many employers also prefer armorers with a valid driving license, since armorers may be required to transport weapons in police vehicles.
To be an effective police armorer you need:
- Strong practical and technical skills
- The ability to read, understand and execute written instructions
- Physical stamina
- Good troubleshooting and problem-solving skills
- Knowledge of occupational health and safety practices
- The ability to train others
- Knowledge of federal and local law enforcement laws and regulations
- An interest in staying abreast of current trends related to firearms and weaponry
- Good math skills
- Good communication and interpersonal skills.
As a newly-hired and ambitious police armorer, you have the potential to progress to senior positions with the law enforcement structure. Some of the steps, you can take to enhance your progression prospects include:
- Pursuing an associate or bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or law enforcement
- Joining an Armorer’s Association in your regions – Currently, there is no national association promoting the interests of armorers
Although police armorers mainly work in federal, state and local police departments, others find jobs in police academies and training facilities.
After gaining vast work experience and a degree in criminal justice, you could progress to become a police sergeant. Some armorers also become firearm instructors.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of police service occupations will grow by 8 percent between 2012 and 2022. Although this doesn’t meet the 11 percent national average for all jobs, the increasing desire for public safety will create more job opportunities.
So if you desire to maintain these weapons used to ensure public safety, you should find satisfaction being a police armorer.