Criminal Justice Or Criminology
Another common degree specialty for cops is a degree in criminal justice or criminology. While the two fields are related, criminal justice is defined as the study of the system of US law enforcement, including courts and corrections, while criminology is the broader and more theoretical study of the social phenomenon of crime, including its causes and consequences. That said, an education in criminal justice may be best suited for prospective cops, but criminology can certainly be helpful too. Students in criminal justice and criminology programs will learn about the criminal justice system, criminology, courts, and the US correctional system, and coursework may cover research methods and statistics as well. Coursework may include courses such as Policing, Juvenile Justice, Corrections, Courts and Judicial Process, Research Methods in Criminal Justice, and Prisons: Punishment and Rehabilitation in America. Criminal justice and criminology degrees are available at all degree levels, from certificates to graduate degrees.
What Are The Benefits Of Being A Police Officer
You may wonder why you want to become a police officer. A lot of the websites describing the role are honest about the challenges faced by our police. However, there are lots of reasons to choose this career.
- The bond amongst police officers is the strongest amongst careers. You will enjoy support in the profession, with a member of your team there to back you up, but also in times of personal crisis.
- You can make a direct impact on your community, helping to make peoples lives better.
- Job satisfaction for police officers is high. There are many different routes to shape the career you would like.
- It is a highly competitive environment, where talent and hard work genuinely do propel you through the ranks.
- You can maintain a healthy lifestyle, as you will be active. You will also find the work mentally active.
- There is an excellent pension plan, a chance to work flexible hours, and paid over-time. A lot of police officer take up the option to retire early.
Qualifications And Training Required
It is possible to become a police officer both with or without a degree.
You could qualify through a police constable degree apprenticeship, which takes a minimum of three years to complete. You will need at least 48 UCAS points with at two A levels, one of which should be A*âC and one that is A*âE .
You could also take a degree in policing, which usually lasts for three years. Once youâve graduated, you can apply to join the police.
If youâre a graduate you could join a degree-holder entry programme. As mentioned, one is the Police Now Leadership programme, which is open to candidates with a minimum 2.1 in any degree discipline and works with a number of forces across England and Wales.
Youâll need to meet other non-academic entry requirements to join the police, and these vary from one force to another. A number of forces require you to have lived in the UK for at least three years before you apply for a job. Check with individual forces for their entry requirements.
- The ability to think on your feet.
- The ability to remain calm in challenging or dangerous situations
- Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, including the ability to listen.
- Confidence working with people from all backgrounds.
- Teamworking skills.
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What Does A Police Officer Do How Much Do They Make
Police officers perform a vital task in our society by protecting people from a wide range of threats and dangers. As a police officer, your duties may include responding to emergencies, arresting suspected lawbreakers, patrolling neighborhoods, and protecting the rules of the road. Moreover, some cops work on specific types of crimes, such as narcotics, SWAT, or even homicide.
Some police officers go on to become detectives, who are charged with solving crimes and preventing them from occurring. Typically, officers must serve for at least three years before theyre eligible to become a detective. A detective position usually comes with a pay raise while the average salary for a police officer is $65,400 a year, detectives have a median income of $81,920.
How To Become A Police Officer: Your Step
By on 02/10/2020
There are plenty of Hollywood movies out there that detail the rigorous physical training involved in becoming a cop. You might even be able to picture the obstacle courses, shooting ranges and tactical scenario training rooms. These are all important elements of police officer trainingbut they only make up one portion of the process.
Given the high level of responsibility and trust afforded to law enforcement, the standards for becoming a police officer are higher than what youll likely find in many careers. The specific standards and process will vary slightly based on the state, county or town youre applying to work in, but there are a few universal requirements to become a police officer you should be familiar with.
If youre wondering how to become a police officer, youre in the right place. Keep reading for a high-level breakdown of the path to pursuing a career in law enforcement.
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Meet Other Minimum Requirements
These requirements include:
Age: Depending on the department, officers need to be at least 18 or 21 years old.
Driver’s license: Police officers must have a valid driver’s license and a generally clean driving record. This requirement is due to many officers using a patrol car on the job.
Background check: Aspiring police officers must pass a criminal background check to ensure they have not committed any major crimes or offenses.
Physical examination: All applicants must also be physically fit and able to pass a physical and medical exam.
Psychological evaluation:Police officers are required to make challenging decisions in high-pressure situations, which requires sound mental health. This evaluation may be in the form of an interview or questionnaire that assesses your personality, temperament, attitudes and core beliefs.
Becoming A Police Officer
How do you go about becoming a police officer? Some departments require no more than a high school diploma or a GED, and then successful completion of their training program. But increasingly, officers are being required to successfully complete a certain number of semester hours from an accredited college with a minimum GPA.
While some future police officers take courses in pre-law, most seek an associate’s degree in criminal justice. As with most fields, higher education can make a difference in the criminal justice field when it comes to attaining advancement and higher pay. You may not always want to work as a patrol officer, so an investment in college can pay off in the future in the form of promotions and higher salaries.
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What Gcse Grades Do You Need To Pursue A Career As A Police Officer
As a minimum requirement, you will need 5 GCSEs at pass grades and above, including GCSEs in English Language, Maths and Science . Although these are the minimum requirements, you should aim to get more GCSEs than this . It is also important that you aim for the highest grades possible at GCSE in order to put you in the best position possible moving forwards in your studies and career.
If you are not sure about how to revise effectively for your GCSEs, take a look at this useful article, which lists and explains some useful revision techniques. Additionally, if you are not sure when you should be starting your GCSE revision, this helpful article will guide you through planning and starting your revision.
GCSEs should not necessarily just be seen as something that you have to get through to go into a certain career , but instead see them as an opportunity to learn basic skills which you will be able to build on and use in your dream career.
If you would like to find out more about the importance of GCSEs, take a look at this useful article, which answers any questions that you may have about how important GCSEs are to universities, Sixth Forms and employers.
What Are The Training Procedures
Every new recruit goes through exactly the same basic training programme, which lasts 15 weeks at a National Police Training Centre and is followed by further training on the job. Recruits are then on probation for two years before they become fully-fledged police officers.
Training is in four stages. Recruits spend two weeks at their local force training centre, familiarising themselves with police procedures and with the law. You will receive your uniform and make an official declaration as a police constable before a local magistrate. There then follows a 15-week intensive residential course with continual assessment and exams. Strenuous physical activity, self-defence training, and teaching on the law, how to understand the criminal mind, and how to treat people fairly, are all part of the course.
After this, trainees return to their home force and are allocated an experienced tutor constable who guides them through the routines of police work. You are then considered suitable for independent patrol, and pass on to more advanced training. After two years probation you will be required to attend further training locally before being appointed to the rank of constable.
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What Qualifications Do I Need To Become A Police Officer
The minimum education requirement for joining the police is a Level 3 Qualification. This is defined as two A levels, but there other qualifications that are equivalent especially if you have a qualification that was awarded outside of England or Wales, you can find more information on this here.
Some forces may have additional entry requirements, depending on the entry route you take to join the police, and you should always check the recruitment pages on your preferred forces website for full details.
Earn An Associates Degree
The requirements for becoming a police officer can vary from state to state and even department to department.
Some employers require that Police Officers obtain an Associates degree in order to gain employment.
An Associates degree can take around two years to complete, and there are classes available online and on campus.
With an Associates in Criminal Justice, you can likely gain employment as:
- Correctional Officer
Others may even require a Bachelorss degree in Criminal Justice or another similar field.
The courses for a Criminal Justice Bachelors degree may include:
- Critical Thinking in Criminal Justice
- Intro to Corrections
- Intro to Police Theory and Practices
- Criminal Justice
- Juvenile Justice Systems
In order to know whats the best route for you, check with your state or local police office to see what they require.
The possibilities for employment open up with a Bachelors degree, and its likely that you could get a job as a:
- Probation Officer
- Private Detective
- Fish and Game Warden
Police Officers that would like to move up in the ranks may also get a Masters degree in Criminal Justice, however, this is completely optional.
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Why Has The Entry Route Into Policing Changed
From January 2020, you need to have a Level 6 qualification in Professional Policing or Professional Policing Practice to be appointed as a police officer or youll need to work towards one as part of your probationary period. This is due to the Policing Education Qualifications Framework , a new, professional framework for the training of police officers and staff.
The College of Policing the professional body of the police service has developed the three entry routes.
The governments commitment to recruit 20,000 extra police officers by 2023 is the biggest police recruitment drive in decades. Its a positive move for a stretched workforce. It will give people a series of new entry routes and will allow recruitment from a wide range of backgrounds.
Being a police officer is a challenging, but immensely rewarding job. There are great opportunities within the force for personal and professional development, and career progression.
Why Is A Police Officer Degree Needed
If youre wondering why police officers are more likely to need college degrees than they used to be, thats a good question. Police matters have become more challenging, so it makes sense that law enforcement officers need a greater understanding of the law, legal and investigative procedures, and complex sociological, psychological and cultural issues. Researchers have discovered that police officers who complete a minimum of two years of college study are statistically less likely to use force unnecessarily or to be the subject of misconduct complaints, according to The Hill.
From a purely practical perspective, many officers pursue a degree even when its not mandatory because of incentives that include pay bonuses and salary increases.
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How Do You Prepare To Become A Police Officer
Before applying to take the law enforcement exam, ensure that your criminal record is free of major charges that may otherwise disqualify you. Also, check that your driving record is also clear of tickets or other minor offenses.
You can also complete physical conditioning to improve your fitness before the exam. Both endurance running and weight training can help you to prepare your body for the police academy.
Policing Jobs And Salaries
Graduation from a police program prepares you for work in a number of fields, including :
- Private investigation
Note: For each of these positions, further testing will likely be required. Police officer applicants may be required to show proof of completion of the Ontario Chiefs of Police Certificate examination.
Starting salaries in the policing field are in the low $30,000s per year, but tend to rise after your first-year probationary period. From there, your salary will increase with experience.
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Impress At Your Police Officer Interview
Many hopeful applicants will be offered an interview during the hiring process. This is an opportunity to get to know you on a personal level, and sometimes that can be enough to land you that coveted job. Here are some questions you might encounter during that interview:
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Accepted Level 2 Qualifications
In order to study for the Degree Apprenticeship in Professional Policing Practice you will need to have achieved, and be able to evidence, a Level 2 qualification in English and Maths. Please note this is an apprenticeship requirement not just that of West Midlands Police or Staffordshire University. The Apprenticeship Certificates England is the governing body for apprenticeship completion certificates and has a clear set of acceptable equivalents for GCSE qualifications. The evidence of these qualifications needs to be in the form of the original examining body or certified statement of results from the examining body if the certificate is not available. School or college produced statement, and provisional results, are not acceptable.
Please see below for accepted qualifications:
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What Is A Police Officer
Police officers are tasked with defending and protecting people. As part of this, they have the power to arrest and detain you if you are accused of breaking the law. It might be that they are focused on making sure drivers follow the rules of the road or respond to emergencies. Here they work to restore order and safety. They are also tasked with taking detailed reports of what happened and any action that was made.
Will Being A Member Of The Territorial Army Or Volunteer Reserve Forces Affect My Application Or Career With The Mdp
Individuals who have reserve responsibilities are not prevented from applying to join us. However, once serving, there are a number of posts where it has not been deemed appropriate to have reserve responsibilities due to the nature of the role. These include the Special Escort Group, Operational Support Unit, Tactical Firearms Unit and Nuclear Guard Force. Officers in the Force who have reserve responsibilities are therefore not eligible to apply for posts within these specialisms.
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Finish Your Field Training
The learning doesn’t stop after graduation from the academy. There’s still a field training program to get through.
Field training teaches candidates what it’s really like to work on the street. You take on progressively more responsibility as you are evaluated on every aspect of the job, from your investigative abilities to your observance of officer safety and everything in between. Of course, once you’ve finished field training, the real learning begins, as you get on-the-job training patrolling the streets on your own.
The Level Of Degree Needed To Be A Police Officer
Of police officer jobs that require more than a high school diploma, the degree level expected usually fits into one of the following categories:
- An associates degree or the equivalent amount of college credits . An associates degree is an undergraduate course of study typically completed at a community college or junior college. Full-time students can typically complete an associates degree in two years.
- A bachelors or baccalaureate degree or the equivalent amount of college credits . Bachelors degrees are usually offered by four-year institutions and provide a more comprehensive undergraduate education that includes upper-division coursework.
- A masters degree or graduate certificate. Graduate-level study is more advanced and, often, more specialized than undergraduate coursework.
A 2017 report by the National Police Foundation found that an associates degree was the most common level of education for this career field, accounting for the highest level of education of 51.8 percent of sworn police officers in America. Just over 30 percent of cops reported having a bachelors degree, while more than 5 percent of officers had gone to graduate school. If you opt out of going to college entirely, your career prospects in law enforcement will be limited, and you will have to compete for jobs against candidates who are, for the most part, more highly educated than you are.
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