What Qualifications Do You Need To Become A Police Officer
The life of a police officer is a high-demand career, requiring the upmost integrity, a broad assortment of mental and physical skills, and a steadfast commitment to the protection of your community or the nation as a whole. As such, vigorous training is needed for this noble profession.
But first, you have to meet some of the most basic requirements, including
- U.S. citizen
- 18 years of age
- Valid drivers license
- Clean criminal record*
*It is possible to be hired as a police officer if your record only has minor offenses in the distant past. Felonies will disqualify you from entry as a police officer.
Additionally, an entrance exam testing basic comprehension skills is typically required to be accepted as a police recruit and enter the training academy. View a study guide to get an idea of what type of questions may be asked.
How Much Do Police Officers Make
According to the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for police officers is $63,150 per year. Transit and railroad police officers get paid more, earning on average $71,820 per year, while detectives and criminal investigators make a median annual salary of $83,170.
Pay can vary by state. Police officers in California rake in an annual mean wage of $105,220 meanwhile, police officers in Texas earn $63,740 a year on average. You can look up the average salary for police officers in your location by using the Monster Salary Guide.
How To Become A Canadian Police Officer
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If you’re a Canadian considering a career in policing, you have the opportunity to join the national police force called the Royal Canadian Mounted Police or join a provincial police force. Each Canadian law enforcement agency has its own requirements and standards for police recruits, but you will see some basic requirements across the agencies. Once the agency has verified you meet all the requirements, the recruit will need to complete an extensive hiring process to become a Canadian police officer.
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Police Departments In New York
There are over 500 law enforcement agencies in the state of New York, employing an estimated 46,940 police and sheriffs patrol officers.1 Prospective cops in New York can work in major metros like New York City or Hempstead or in smaller towns like Niagara Falls or Long Beach. While departments may set their own requirements above the state minimums, all will follow the minimum guidelines for certifying police officers in New York.
How Long Does It Take To Become A Police Officer
The process of becoming a police officer requires a significant investment of your time. The duration varies and depends on how quickly and accurately an individual completes the forms and assessments. This also depends on the police agency you apply at.
The CPS states that their process takes between 3-6 months to complete. The RCMP doesnt provide a set duration for the entire process their cadet training takes 26 weeks. At the VPD, the recruit training alone takes up to 44 weeks in total.
Generally, you can expect to set aside 6 months for your application process. We recommend that you contact the police agency that youre interested in to find out how long their process takes from start to finish.
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Pass The Licensing Exam
The next step to becoming a police officer is to earn a passing score on your states police licensing board exam. Your education and training will prepare you to take the Peace Officer Standards and Training exam.
Each state has its own licensing board, so the tests will also vary. But generally speaking, most POST exams cover topics like: practical application and techniques, civil and criminal law, community policing, victims rights and management and communication. By passing this capstone exam, you are licensed to become a police officer and enforce the law in your jurisdiction. You are now free to seek employment with a police department.
Qualities And Skills To Achieve Success As A Police Office
1. Integrity. A police officer and all other persons in the law enforcement occupation must be particularly people of integrity. You must not be found breaking the law you are to protect, like driving while under the influence of substance. You must resist all attempts to break the law as this can get you fired from the police department.
2. Honesty and Strong Sense of Ethics. A police officer must be honest in carrying out his/her duties. He/she should give correct report of event or investigation and must not be seen to lie about a case just to get a suspect punished. Being honest on the job will ensure justice to all and ensure that only those who have broken the law are punished. Police officers are expected to be trustworthy and serve as role model in the community.
3. Physical Fitness. The job of a police office may involve physical activities like running and jumping for instance, he/she may have to chase down a suspect on foot if a car cannot be used in the area. The officer will need to be healthy and physically fit to be able to successfully get the suspect.
4. Patient. You will need a lot of patient as a police officer to be successful on your job as you deal with various kinds of people with different and sometimes annoying character.
If you are a police officer, you probably want to be successful in your career, which you can achieve by developing the qualities and skills presented in this post.
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How To Become A New York City New York Police Officer
Before applying to become an officer with the NYPD, candidates who meet the hiring prerequisites outlined below must first take the written civil service exam. Candidates who pass the civil service exam must next apply to the department. Eligible applicants will be contacted to complete medical and psychological screenings, a character investigation, a physical fitness test, and a pre-hire interview. Prospective recruits who perform well throughout these stages will be conditionally hired and invited to proceed to the final step, attending the New York City Police Academy.
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Criminal Justice & Criminology
Another degree field that will be helpful is criminology. This field of study takes a broad-range, science-based approach to crime, looking at crime statistics in relation to frequency, causes, demographics, and more. This is an academic discipline heavily rooted in science , so a curious mind and an aptitude for numbers is helpful. When complete, this degree is useful for career advancement, as it can be applied to the big-picture issues that law enforcement leaders need to tackle.
Although sharing many similarities to criminology, criminal justice focuses on navigating the societal systems that have been set up to stop crime, punish criminals, and reduce future instances. Basically, a criminal justice degree gives you a thorough understanding of law enforcement, the court system, and corrections. Once again, this degree is extremely useful for future advancement, as it gives a strong understanding of the overall crime-prevention efforts in the United States. Its beneficial for people who want to shift horizontally in law enforcement, moving into areas such as victim support or rehabilitation.
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How To Become A Police Officer: 4 Steps To The Best Job Outlook
Its hard to image our society without police officers.
Under-appreciated even in the most appreciative communities, police officers are the stewards of justice, peace, and safety all over the country. They may not be perfect, and their public images may not be flawless, but police officers and other law enforcement officials are vital to this county.
You can be one of the proud police officers who protect the peace and safety of our communities, but it takes the right attitude, fortitude, and education to make it a reality.
To make the right decision for your future, you probably have a lot of questions. This article walks you through each of the 4 steps needed to become a police officer, so you can make the right choice and hit the ground running in your new career.
ARTICLE NAVIGATION:4 Steps to Become a Police Officer | Step 1: Basic Police Officer Requirements | Step 2: Police Officer Education Requirements | Step 3: Police Academy | Step 4: Find Your Perfect Police Officer Job
Is A Degree In Criminal Justice Worth The Effort
As you consider the merits of obtaining a degree in criminal justice, it will probably occur to you that you can become a police officer more quickly if you forgo the degree and just sign on with a police force, where you will be given basic training in the police academy. However, you won’t just be passing up possible opportunities to earn a higher salary in the future, but also maybe even the opportunity to work in a variety of interesting fields as your career advances.
Some of the jobs holders of criminal justice degrees might also go for are legal assistant, paralegal, detective, criminal investigator, forensic science technician, police supervisor, probation officer, corrections officer, security guard, fraud investigator, FBI agent, CIA agent, U.S. postal inspector, immigration and customs enforcement agent, DEA agent, Secret Service agent, blood splatter analyst, U.S. marshal, and transit and railroad police.
But aside from the great career diversity the criminal justice field offers, a degree in CJ also provides students with a richer background that will help them put their skills to better use once they begin work. Criminal justice instructors generally bring their own varied experiences into the classroom, and can help students develop a deeper understanding of the challenges they will face in the field and the best ways to respond to them.
It could be the Best Decision You Ever Make!
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How To Become A Police Officer After 12th
Completed your Class 12 level of education and hoping to become a Police Officer? Well, congratulations because you are eligible to apply for some posts in the police force. Irrespective of your subject background in 10+2, once you have passed your examinations, you become eligible to apply for the post of Constable or Police Head Constable. Check out the table below to know more.
Name of the Post
Head Constable with at least 5-7 years of experience are often promoted as Assistant Sub-Inspector
State-Level Recruitment Exam or SSC
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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Join The State Police
Please ensure your EMAIL contact information is up to date as this will be the primary means of communication for upcoming future candidate processing.
Please check your email, including spam, for these notices.
Candidates are reminded to maintain their physical fitness in preparation of a future Academy class announcement.
Pass Nypd Physical Test
Police work demands agility, stamina and physicality. NYPD requires candidates to pass a gender-neutral job standards test to demonstrate that they are able to carry out everyday law enforcement duties. Candidates have four minutes and 28 seconds to perform a series of exercises similar to the tasks that a police officer performs in the line of duty. Report for the NYPD physical test wearing a sweatshirt with sweatpants, athletic footwear and batting-style gloves.
- Walk up and down stairs multiple times
- Drag a 176-pound dummy to simulate a rescue
- Repeatedly pull the trigger of an unloaded firearm
- Complete background check and screenings
New York City police officers must be emotionally stable and mentally equipped to handle stressful situations. As part of the interview process, candidates will be asked to complete forms authorizing and releasing the results of a medical examination and a thorough background check with fingerprinting, along with alcohol and drug screening. Further, you must take extensive written psychological tests and meet with a psychologist for an oral interview.
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Is Becoming A Police Officer In Your Future
While the steps to becoming a police officer may seem lengthy, completing them is absolutely necessary if you want to achieve the fulfilling career youve set your sights on. And a good law enforcement program will help you navigate the process.
Now that youre familiar with the process of how to become a police officer, you may be curious if you have what it takes to excel on the job. Learn more in our article, Often Overlooked Qualities of a Great Police Officer.
If youre already set on becoming a police officer, visit our Law Enforcement degree page to learn how we can help you take the next step toward becoming a police officer in Minnesota.
The Law Enforcement programs at Rasmussen University are not aligned to the standards of any professional licensing body other than the MN POST and are not intended to satisfy professional licensure requirements of any professional licensing agency in any other state.Editors note: This article was originally published in June 2016. It has since been updated to include information relevant to 2020. Insight from Shetler and Plantinga remain from the original.
Complete Coursework & Field Training
The coursework involved in a program that leads to work as a police officer can vary depending upon the institution and the degree level. For instance, those in a training academy will dive right into the nitty-gritty of everyday police work and not touch on general education requirements, such as you would find in an associate degree program. In both the associate and the bachelors program, students will encounter not only general education courses and several possible electives, but they will also focus on the core courses for police officers, such as those in criminal justice, ethics, corrections systems, communication, and more. Heres a good idea of courses you might encounter, either in the core curriculum of the degree program or at the police academy:
- Patrol Procedures
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Picking The Right Program
Once you know which program level you want to pursue, its time to figure out which one best suits your needs. When researching the schools that make it onto your all-important shortlist, keep the following questions in mind:
- Is the school regionally accredited?
- Can you afford the tuition?
- Does the timeline fit with your future goals?
- Does the program have a high success rate?
- Does the program provide POST exam prep?
How To Become A Police Officer In Ontario
The police officer occupation is one of the few jobs where education is not a barrier to earning potential. According to the Ontario government, the average annual police officer salary in Ontario with a high school diploma , earned $106,788 in 2016 compared to police officers with a bachelors degree who earned $106,543. Interestingly enough, degree holders earned $245/year less.
This is great news for those who only have a high school diploma but are looking for a fulfilling career with high-earning potential.
While education barriers are relatively low, becoming a police officer in Ontario is not a job that just any high school graduate can land.
In this article, we outline key information to help you land your dream job including:
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New York Police Officer Requirements
To become one of New Yorks finest, there are a number of requirements candidates must meet. Although the specific requirements can change from department to department, all aspiring cops must:
- Be between 20 and 35 years of age
- Have a high school diploma or GED
- Have proportionate height and weight
- Be of good moral character
- Not have any disqualifying felony or misdemeanor convictions
Benefits Of Earning A Policing Degree
While a policing degree is not required to become a law enforcement official, a policing degree from Laurier helps enhance the career and earning potential of an individual who wants to pursue a career in this field.
Graduates with a bachelors degree in policing will have an advantage when pursuing leadership positions and promotions. In addition to becoming a police officer, some of the top job opportunities for graduates include emergency management specialist, crime analyst and security director.
Additionally, the earning potential is higher for graduates with an online degree in policing. Higher education can translate into higher wages than a high school or college diploma alone. Earning a bachelor’s degree can earn you over 30 percent higher earnings than high school graduates.
In terms of salaries in Canada, a police officer earns an average of $93,000 per year. The average security director salary in Canada is $99,000. And a detective sergeant can earn in excess of $121,000 annually.
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