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What Do You Study To Become A Police Officer

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Impress At Your Police Officer Interview

How to Become a Police Officer

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:

  • What would you do if you witnessed another officer commit a crime?
  • If a superior officer told you to do something you knew was against regulations, what would you do?
  • What de-escalation techniques would you use to prevent a physical altercation?
  • Would you be able to arrest a family member if you had to?
  • Describe a time your ethics were tested. How did you handle the situation?
  • This job can be emotionally challenging. How would you reach out for help if needed?
  • Give an example of a time when the right thing contradicted the rules of a certain situation. How did you handle that?
  • What do you consider your greatest strengths in communication? How about your greatest weakness?
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    What University Degree Do You Need To Acquire To Become A Police Officer

    If you would like to do a degree that is related to Policing, you should take a degree in Professional Policing. This would be a 3-year Bachelor of Science course. Some examples of the different courses which are available are listed below:

    Although this is a great degree to choose if you would like to pursue a career as a Police Officer, you do not have to do this specific degree. Any degree can lead to a career in policing, as a further training course is required either way so dont worry if you already have a degree and want to go into a career in the Police!

    Once you have done a degree, you will have to do further training, which will be discussed in the next section.

    Make sure that you look at the entry requirements for any course that you are interested in taking at University . It is incredibly important that you know what A-Level subjects or grades you need for specific University courses.

    If the entry requirements are in UCAS Points, you can use the UCAS Points calculator to work out how many you have, and how many more you will need to earn. Additionally, if you would like to know about how to earn more UCAS Points, take a look at this useful article.

    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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    What Are The Minimum Requirements For Ontario Police Officer Applicants In Ontario

    Before applying, ensure that you meet the minimum requirements. The following list of application requirements applies to most police agencies in Ontario:

    • Minimum 18 years of age
    • Fluency in English
    • Canadian high school diploma or equivalent
    • Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident
    • Valid current standard first aid / CPR C certification
    • Class ‘G’ driver’s license, full driving privileges, and a maximum of 6 demerit points
    • No criminal convictions which have not been pardoned and no criminal charges pending

    In addition to the above, the Toronto Police Service requires candidates to meet the following requirements:

    • Possess a valid O.A.C.P. certificate,
    • Be able to pass a security clearance as well as a background investigation, credit check, and reference check.

    Willingness to serve anywhere in the province is an additional requirement for those applying to the Ontario Provincial Police.

    Preparing For A Police Officer Career: Find The Right Environment

    POLICE OFFICER INTERVIEW QUESTION

    When an aspiring police officer chooses to go to school to obtain formal education, a world of possibilities opens up. Here are some of the potential places where the certificate or degree can be earned.

    Vocational/Trade School

    Some vocational or trade schools have certificate programs that may count towards college credit, such as for a future associate or bachelors degree. Some might offer associate degrees. Vocational or trade schools can provide a way to save money on college costs while receiving necessary college course instruction.

    Military

    Military experience is well regarded by law enforcement agencies and police departments. Familiarity with firearms, mental toughness, physical conditioning, discipline and an understanding of command structure and culture are all benefits that come with hiring a recruit with military experience.

    Community College

    Community colleges provide multiple options for students who want to become police officers. Students can complete their associate degree in two years or a certificate in a few months. As an added bonus, many community colleges allow credits earned in a certificate program to go towards an associate degree.

    Law Enforcement School

    4-year schools

    Departments that require a bachelors degree are often found at the federal level. However, even if a four-year degree isnt required, getting a bachelors degree can be a prudent decision: it can increase the chances of getting hired and promoted.

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    Acquire A Degree Or Academy Training

    The requirements for this step will vary substantially depending on the state in which you plan on becoming a police officer. Some states do not require their officers to be college-educated, even if they may prefer it. Other states, like Minnesota, an Associates degree or equivalent training is one of the requirements to become a police officer.

    Generally speaking, the training process for aspiring police officers follows two routes:

    Since police officer requirements differ, youll want to be sure to check with the agency that sets the standards for law enforcement training and licensure in your area. Some also have arrangements for military reciprocity, allowing candidates who served in the military to follow a different process in acknowledgement of the training they already have.

    Whichever path you take, your training will include classroom instruction in state and local laws, covering topics like constitutional law, civil rights and police ethics. Recruits also receive training and supervised experience in areas such as patrol, traffic control, firearm use, self-defense, first aid and emergency response.

    Certificate In Law Enforcement

    A certificate in criminal justice or criminology is an opportunity for individuals to gain specific instruction in an area of law enforcement. Since a certificate consists of a few classes and can be completed in a few months, the certificate can also provide an opportunity to get started on an associate degree without having to commit to the two years just yet. Certificates are also great in that some department require applicants to have some college credits, but do not require a full degree. Some of the courses available in a criminology or criminal justice certificate program are listed below:

    Criminology

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    Bachelors Degrees In Criminal Justice

    A bachelors degree is a four-year program that is around 120-semester credits . Students often enter a bachelors in criminal justice straight out of high school. Others complete an associate program first, meaning they have already completed roughly half of the required credits for a bachelors degree.

    Students entering from high school must cover all the same lower-level coursework from an associate program . The final two years cover upper-level courses, which could include the following:

    • Criminal law: Officers need to understand the U.S. Constitution so they can properly collect evidence, protect suspects rights, and arrest them.
    • Applied research: Youve already learned what statistics mean this class is about using collected statistics to make decisions. For instance, you might be asked to determine how to deploy officers and use department funds to best prevent crime.
    • Criminal psychology: This class is about getting into criminals heads to learn why they behave the way they do. Its important for crime prevention as well as rehabilitation efforts.

    Weve laid out all the details on bachelors degrees in criminal justice on our site. You may want to take a look if youre interested in careers outside patrol. The FBI, for example, requires special agents to hold a bachelors degree. Fish and game wardens also need a four-year degree.

    Explore Police Officer Education Options Learn About Police Education Options And Find Out What Police Officer Jobs Are Available To You

    Why Do You Want To Be a Police Officer?

    Police officer education can help prepare you for work as one of your citys dedicated law enforcement agents.

    Youll maintain law and order, collect evidence, and conduct criminal investigations. You might be patrolling a neighborhood to keep residents safe, responding to a call for help, or participating in a SWAT team raid.

    If youve ever thought of becoming a police officer, youll want to know what your police education will prepare you for:

    • Urban police officers have general law enforcement duties including maintaining regular patrols and responding to calls for help. Many are assigned to patrol a specific area, such as a business district or residential neighborhood.
    • Sheriffs and deputy sheriffs enforce the law on the county level. Sheriffs, who are elected to their posts, perform duties similar to those of a local or county police chief.
    • Detectives gather facts and collect evidence for criminal cases. They conduct interviews, examine records, observe the activities of suspects, and participate in raids or arrests.
    • State police officers, also known as highway patrol officers, arrest criminals statewide and patrol highways to enforce motor vehicle laws and regulations. At the scene of accidents, they may direct traffic, give first aid, or call for emergency equipment.

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    Lauriers Online Bachelor Of Criminology And Policing Degree

    Our online Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Policing prepares you for a career in criminology and justice. Focusing on practical techniques and real-world experience, it delivers an engaging curriculum designed to improve your critical thinking and analytical skills. The fully online and asynchronous criminology courses provide you with a broader view of public safety through a combined focus on criminology and policing. This degree can help enhance the career and earning potential of an individual who wants to pursue a career in criminology and policing.

    Now is the time to kick-start your career as a police officer in Toronto. Learn more about the Bachelor of Arts in Policing or Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Policing today:

    • for details on curriculum, tuition and more

    What Qualifications Do You Need To Be A Police Officer

    Most agencies expect officers to have a high school diploma or GED at a minimum. Some agencies require a bachelors degree or a minimum number of college credit hours. Others offer additional pay based on educational attainment. Regardless, education beyond high school will only help you in your law enforcement career.

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    Bachelors Degree In Law Enforcement

    A law enforcement degree at the bachelors level typically takes four years to complete and can include many different topics or subjects. There are prototypical degrees such as criminal justice, criminology and law enforcement studies. But there are other majors that can hold police officers in good stead. For example, graduates with a degree in accounting are excellent candidates for a career in white collar crime investigations, while computer science majors can have an advantage if theyre interested in pursuing a career in computer forensics or cyber crimes.

    Those in a bachelors degree program in a law-related field can expect to find courses like these:

    Police Ethics

    Salary And Career Outlook

    Why Become a Police Officer? 5 Reasons You Can

    Police officer salaries vary depending on many factors, including job type, location, and additional compensation and benefits. Some police departments even offer higher pay for officers with college degrees and who speak multiple languages.

    Career
    POLICE OFFICERS AND DETECTIVES $65,170

    According to the BLS, the lowest-paid police officers earned less than $37,710, while the highest-paid officers earned an annual salary exceeding $109,620 as of 2019. Police officers often earn additional pay through overtime and special assignments.

    In this field, individuals can increase their salaries through education and job experience. According to the BLS, detectives and federal agents earn the most of all police officers, taking home a median annual salary of $83,170 as of 2019. Aspiring federal police officers and detectives typically must possess a college degree and prior job experience.

    As the need for public safety continues, the BLS projects employment for police to grow on pace with other occupations. Demand for police officers varies by location and depending on state and local budgets. Due to low job turnover, police candidates may face competition. Candidates with college degrees, law enforcement or military experience, and knowledge of other languages may stand out among job applicants.

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    What Should I Major In To Become A Police Officer

    One of the noblest callings you can answer is that of protecting your community, and one of the most direct ways of doing that is by becoming a police officer. Those who aspire to work in the criminal justice field will find a variety of settings to explore, in addition to that of being a patrol officer, including security, forensic science, computer technology, and investigations.

    How Much Does It Pay

    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:

    10 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF BEFORE BECOMING A POLICE OFFICER

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    Is Being A Police Officer A Good Job

    There are clear advantages to working in this profession, but it comes with some of the largest downsides experienced in almost any career. As a police officer, you see some of the worst aspects of society, including domestic violence, ravages of drug abuse, and even murder. Its not just dealing with self-important speeders on the highway, but violent criminals as well. This can make policing extremely stressful, often forcing police officers to need therapy and other forms of emotional support.

    But there are real advantages as well. As a police officer, you will experience pride in your job and, on occasion, the community will show its support and appreciation, which can make all the stresses worth the effort. Despite the challenges, youll know that your work makes the community a better place few careers can honestly make this claim.

    Police Officer Preparation Beyond The Degree

    How to Become a Cop – Step by Step

    Before an officer officially joins the police force and regardless of their college major and level of education they go through intense training at one of the many police academies. Police academy training programs can take anywhere from 12 to 24 weeks, so new officers should plan to spend months training for their role in law enforcement. Training in a police academy typically involves learning about local ordinances, constitutional law and civil rights, as well as the skills to investigate accidents and crimes. Everything aspect of police work, from traffic control to self-defense, is taught in the training academy to make sure that new officers are prepared for work on the job. Being a cop is tough, so for training to be valuable, it must be comprehensive and challenging, too.

    If you have a good education, earn great grades and pass the police academy training program, you will likely find success in getting hired as a police officer, no matter what major you choose. Being familiar with the law and the criminal justice system prior to applying to work as a police officer can certainly hold value, but choosing a specific major isnt a prerequisite to the academy training program where you will learn the fundamentals of police work.

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