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Can You Join The Police At 18

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Other Qualifications For Officers

How Old Can You be to Become a Police Officer?

Age isn’t the only factor prospective candidates should consider when preparing to apply to be a police officer. Most jurisdictions have minimum qualifications that include having at least graduated high school and residing in the area where they’re applying. Many departments require more than a high school equivalency, instead wanting applicants to have at least 60 college semester credits or up to two years’ work experience.


What Does A Police Officer Do

In the simplest sense, police officers enforce laws and protect life and property. But of course, there is much more to it than that. Heres how it breaks down:

Policeofficers are sworn to protect and serve the communities in which they live andwork. They enforce laws, obtain warrants, arrest and interview suspects, securecrime and accident scenes, write detailed reports and testify in court, amongother duties. Officers often respond to emergency calls, working shifts thatoperate around the clock.

The specific duties of a police officer will be numerous and diverse. Based on appointment, length of service and training, they may work with a K-9 unit responding to suspicions of drugs or dangerous weapons in vehicles and other property. Or, they might take a role on the SWAT team where they need to know tactics and procedures for working under dangerous conditions. Much of their daily routine will involve patrolling a certain area, such as a portion of a town or city. As they move up the ranks, they may investigate crimes ranging from petty theft to murder.

Can I Have A Beard As An Officer

Victoria Police expects officers to maintain professional dress standards at all timesincluding maintaining a clean shaven appearance while on duty.

Trimmed moustaches are acceptable as long as they do not extend below the bottom lip. Beards are not permitted unless you have exemption under religious, cultural or medical grounds.

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What About Basic Training

Completing a basic police academy prior to your hiring is dependent on the agency you apply to. Some will only hire upon completion of the academy others hire you and then send you through the academy afterward. Check with the agency youre applying to for further information.

If youre from another state, keep in mind that California POST does not have reciprocity with other states. POST does offer a Basic Course Waiver process for out-of-state cops that you can learn more about here.

How Much Does It Pay

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According to the most recent occupational data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, police and sheriff’s patrol officers in California make an average salary of $107,440 per year.

And even though California is one of the most expensive states to live in, the state makes up for that by offering the highest pay to police officers in the country. In fact, cops in California make nearly 60% more than the national average police salary of $67,290.

For a look at some of the police officer jobs currently available in California, visit our careers page. You can also check out POST listings here.

This article, originally published May 2018, has been updated.

Do you think you have what it takes to be a cop? Download a veteran police officer’s list of the 10 questions you need to ask yourself before starting a career in law enforcement by filling out the form below:


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    If You Already Have A Degree Degree

    If you already have an undergraduate degree in any subject, you can join and follow a work-based programme, supported by off-the-job learning. This route normally takes two years, and the learning you have undergone is recognised in a graduate diploma in professional policing practice when you complete your probation.

    The length of time on probation is reduced on this programme because you do not need to complete another degree.

    How do I apply?

    You can apply directly through your local force. Find your local force.

    Is The Eligibility Criteria The Same Across All Police Forces

    There are some nationally consistent eligibility criteria youll need to fulfil in order to apply . You can explore the national criteria here: Basic eligibility check However, police forces are also allowed to apply their own local criteria in addition to the national eligibility aspects, so make sure you check your chosen forces website for a full list of the role criteria.

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    Applying After A Period Of Full Time Parenting

    If you are returning to work after a period of full time parenting it is recommended that you secure customer facing work experience before applying so that you can demonstrate your ability to hold professional responsibilities in conjunction with your lifestyle as well as provide recent work examples during the recruitment process. If you have been away from the workforce for a short period of family/parenting leave, your work experience prior to undertaking parenting responsibilities will be assessed.

    Applying To Work As A Police Officer

    Do you have what it takes to become a Houston police officer?

    If you wish to apply to work as a police officer, you first should check with your local police station about posted job announcements. Employment candidates must pick up an application packet and submit a cover letter and resume. Because this is a police station and your resume should be top-notch, we recommend that you use a resume builder to help with format things correctly. They must then take a written test. If they pass this exam, they will participate in an oral board interview. Next a physical agility test is administered, and a background investigation is made. A medical exam is required before the candidate is offered employment.

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    Police Officer Application Process

    General Minimum Qualifications

    U.S. Citizenship Only United States citizens will receive consideration. Qualified applicants will be required to provide proof of citizenship early in the selection process.

    Age Requirements Must be 21 years old but not older than 39 years old at the time of appointment .

    Education Must possess a high school diploma or General Education Diploma .

    Motor Vehicle License Must possess, provide, and have maintained a valid United States, state issued drivers license , and show evidence of at least three years of responsible driving experience. Must demonstrate routine driving experience within the most recent three year period.

    Selective Service Must be registered with the Selective Service System or exempt from the Selective Service System registration as a female or due to age or military status. Those with military service must provide documentation of an honorable discharge.

    Background Investigation Must complete a full background investigation.

    Additional requirements may apply. Applicants may review and apply for United States Capitol Police career opportunities here.

    How to Apply

    The minimum qualifications listed above determine an individuals basic eligibility for employment with the United States Capitol Police . Please note, the application process can be lengthy. Depending on a persons specific circumstances, the process can take as little as a few months to more than a year.

    How Can I Volunteer For The Police

    Each of the police forces offer a range of different volunteer opportunities from becoming a Special Constable to volunteering as a call handler. Usually, they will have a dedicated area within their careers pages outlining the volunteer options and how to apply. If you cant find these, its worth sending an email to the force recruitment team so they can direct you.

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    Step : Post Application Physical Examination And Fingerprints

    Once a background investigation is complete, register on the Georgia POST website as a new user so you can begin your online application. It is essential that you complete this application correctly or your admittance to the Basic Training Course will be delayed. There are several attachments to the application as well as a requirement for a physical examination and a requirement that you are fingerprinted. You should go to Georgia Applicants Processing Service to be fingerprinted. Physical examinations generally cost about $30 and the fee to be fingerprinted is roughly $53. If you have any questions, contact your chosen academy for assistance.

    Can I Join In A Role Other Than A Police Officer


    Yes. Alongside our officer roles, theres a vast range of police staff roles that are vital to the police service. The types of roles you can find vary hugely by police force so you would need to visit the police forces website to find out what roles they offer and when they are open for recruitment.

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    How Can I Become A Special Constable

    To become a Special Constable, you would apply to the police force in much the same way you would do for a paid constable role. Forces will advertise when they are open for applications to the Special Constabulary, with details on how to apply. Find out more about being a Special Constable on the Citizens in Policing website

    Health Fitness & Eyesight

    Being a police officer can often be tough and demanding and therefore it is important all new recruits are fit and healthy. All medical criteria will be checked including eyesight, hearing and Body Mass Index ” rel=”nofollow”>

    This part of the process will be managed by the forces occupational health team. You need to be able to manage day-to-day life without a problem and it is expected you wont be regularly having sick days off work. However, if you need regular medication to stay healthy, you may still be accepted, as long as you can provide evidence of being able to manage this yourself. Every candidate receives a detailed individual assessment and we can accept candidates with many common health conditions, as long as they are under control. However, if you cant carry out the role safely without putting your own health at risk, or you cant meet some of the core requirements, you will not be found fit for the job.No one is rejected because of a medical label. The Equality Act 2010 covers all police forces we recruit for and if you have a disability, adjustments will be made if it is reasonable to do so. If you have a health problem, or youve recently had a lot of time off, try to bring a copy of your medical records or a note from your doctor with you to your medical assessment.

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    Applying To The Academy

  • 1Apply to a police academy for the department youre interested in. Different police departments may use a state- or area-wide academy, or there may be private academies hosted at community colleges in your area. You may also be able to choose full-time or part-time, where youd do courses on nights and weekends. Reach out to the department that you want to work for to find out how to get an application for their police academy. Fill out the application with your basic information, education, and work history before submitting it online or in person.XResearch source
  • If youre hired by a police department before you go to the academy, they will sponsor your time at the police academy so you dont have to pay any fees and guarantee a job when you finish. Reach out and apply to the department so you can interview with them before you go to the academy.
  • 2Take the required written academic exams. The academic tests for the police academy are usually multiple-choice exams that test your reading comprehension, spelling, and writing skills. Look at the available times for the test for the academy youre applying to and attend the soonest exam date you can. Complete the exams within the 2 ½-hour time frame youre given, and double check your answers if you have time to ensure youve answered each question correctly.XResearch source
  • You can find generic practice exams online to help prepare for your tests.
  • Your physical exam may differ depending on what your department requires.
  • I Have Some Prior Offence History I Wish To Discuss Before Submitting An Application How Do I Get This Assessed

    How to Become a Police Officer UK –

    If you have a criminal, driving or domestic violence history, or have been declared bankrupt or have outstanding warrants, you should have your prior offence history assessed by Recruiting Services prior to sitting your entrance exam. Download the Prior Offence History Guidelines.

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  • If you are still unsure and wish to have your prior history assessed, please complete the Voluntary Disclosure Form and email or post to Recruiting Services Branch, Victoria Police Centre, 637 Flinders Street, Docklands, VIC 3008.

    Please provide as much detail as possible in order for Recruitment to conduct a thorough assessment of your prior history, you will be notified within a couple of weeks of the result. A full traffic history extract can be obtained from VicRoads by phoning 13 11 71.

    Instructions for submitting your VDF: Your VDF must be submitted using a desktop computer or laptop. In order to successfully submit this document, please click on the link below and save this form to your desktop computer before completing your responses. Using the form you have downloaded, complete the required fields and select the submit button for the form to successfully be sent in for review

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    I Have Lived Abroad / Travelled Recently Will This Impact My Ability To Apply

    This will depend upon individual circumstances and should be discussed with the chosen force. Generally, an individual travelling overseas on a gap year or similar is considered to be on an extended holiday and has therefore maintained residency in the UK. Additionally, if the vetting applicant has been living outside the UK while serving with the armed forces or on government service, they are classed as being resident in the UK.

    Cautions Convictions Financial Position And Vetting

    Ideally, you shouldnt have a criminal conviction or cautions record. If you do have one, acceptance will depend on the age and nature of the offence. We are unable to state whether your convictions record will affect your application before you apply. This will be determined from the full and confidential information provided during the recruitment and selection process.

    If you dont tell us about any cautions, investigations or criminal convictions that may be linked to you at an early stage, your application could be refused simply because you werent being open and honest. It might have been accepted if you were so if in doubt, please do tell us. To assist we have produced a short guide about cautions, convictions and vetting which you will be sent with your forms if you are successful in the initial stages.

    Due to the nature of policing, its essential that we conduct rigorous vetting checks on successful applicants before they can join the programme. These checks will include personal details taken from you as well as from close family members and significant others.

    Its also important that you are not under pressure from un-discharged debts or liabilities and that you can manage loans and debts sensibly.

    Further details can be found in the FAQs.

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    I Have Tattoos Can I Apply

    Victoria Police has recently updated their policy regarding Uniform and Appearance Standards, which includes direction around tattoos/body art and piercings. Employees are required to project an image that is consistent with a professional and disciplined law enforcement agency.

    Tattoos on the face, neck and hands will be assessed on a case by case basis. Please send photos of your tattoos for assessment to or .

    Tattoos on the legs and arms will be permitted but must be covered whilst on duty if they are deemed inappropriate or offensive.

    Introductions Into Law Enforcement For Teens

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    While most people have to apply to the police force and attend a police academy to become an officer, you can become introduced to working in this line of work early. For example, some police agencies offer a teen police academy that is open to teens that are 16 to 18 years of age. This type of training is outlined specifically for high school students and takes place for a period of about five days.

    Teens, in this setting, can learn more about building searches, crime scene investigations, SWAT activities, and working with K9s. Teens also get the opportunity to test their driving skills in a marked police vehicle. In addition, participants can also process a mock scene of a crime.

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    Do You Get Paid While In The Police Academy

    Officers receive a full starting salary while training at a police academy. Once you successfully graduate police academy, you will likely get a bump in salary. Depending on the police department where you work, this salary bump can be as much as $2,000 or $3,000 more than what you earned while training.

    Maximum Age To Become A Police Officer

    Many departments don’t have a maximum age after which a prospect will no longer be able to apply. For example, the San Diego Police Department and according to the Department of Police Service in the City of New Haven, this agency doesnt have an upper age limit. Just as many departments do have rules about the maximum age for new applications to begin their training and to be hired, however.

    In New York City, prospects must take the initial exam before their 35th birthday, while the Fort Worth Police Department will let candidates take the exam up to age 44. Applicants should not assume that if they’re older than 30 they’re ineligible to become a police officer, but they should carefully investigate the requirements in their area.

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