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What Should I Major In To Be A Police Officer

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Ability To Obtain Knowledge


As a police officer, you need the skill to obtain knowledge. You need knowledge about the laws you are enforcing, your local community, and crime.

You need to know where to find help if you need it and how or where to guide people when they have questions.

People are always asking the police about everything between heaven and earth.

Although a police officer isnt supposed to have a solution to every problem, having the ability to help people find their answers will increase the peoples trust in you within your community.

Am I Eligible To Apply

We expect the very highest standards from our applicants and there are several essential criteria which must be met for you to pass the first stage.

  • You must be 18 years of age to be appointed as a police officer, although you can apply at the age of 17.5 years of age.
  • You must be physically and mentally able to undertake police duties. The fitness assessment will be based on the Scottish Police Service National Fitness Standard.
  • Your Body Mass Index should be between 18 30. However this will not be assessed until the medical stage which is at the very end of the selection process.
  • You must meet the mandatory national eyesight standard. Candidates eyesight will be not be assessed until the medical stage at the very end of the selection process. Failure to meet the standard means you cannot be appointed. Therefore to minimise disappointment applicants may wish to consider consulting with a qualified optician.
  • You must possess a full drivers licence .
  • Only applications from British citizens, EU/EEA nationals, Commonwealth citizens, or foreign nationals with indefinite leave to remain in the UK will be accepted. You should also have been resident in the UK for a minimum of three years immediately prior to application.
  • Please note, vetting checks are carried out upon successful completion of the Assessment Centre as part of the Final Stages of the selection process.

Compensation And Benefits Are Good

Working as a police officer comes with salary and benefits packages that few other careers can match. The Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the median salary for officers at $62,960 in 2017, up from $61,600 a year earlier. Half of all officers earned more than this, and half earned less.

Pay raises are typical as officers put in more and more years of service. Retirement benefits and health benefits are superior to those offered by many other professions.

And you can live and work anywhere. You’d be hard pressed to find a city, town, county, or state that doesn’t employ some type of law enforcement personnel.

Of course, these are just a few reasons to consider working in law enforcement. If you’re looking for a solid career opportunity with some significant rewards, you could do worse than this field.

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Pathways To This Career

  • Police officers must be Australian citizens or permanent residents. If you’re interested in a policing career, you are required to complete a secondary school certificate. Don’t have one? There are a range of accredited trade certifications that will satisfy the same requirements.
  • Get a First Aid Certificate.
  • Undergo national security checks.
  • Go through the Australian Federal Police application process. You must pass a range of physical, mental, and aptitude tests to progress to the next stage.
  • Studying a criminal justice or criminology degree is often required for more senior roles.
  • How Do You Prepare To Become A Police Officer

    What degree should I get to be 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.

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    How To Become A Police Officer In California

    California is in need of LEOs, and with a total of 509 law enforcement agencies in the state, there are plenty of places to choose from

    The Police1 How to Become a Police Officer special coverage series covers everything you need to know about launching a new career in law enforcement from finding the right agency to work for and making it through the application process all the way to successfully navigating your rookie years, and beyond. Start your journey today by clicking the link above.

    It doesnt get much better than the Golden State. From the stunning sequoias in Yosemite to the beautiful beaches of Santa Monica, California truly has something for everyone.

    And like most of the country, California is in need of police officers with a total of 509 law enforcement agencies in the state, there are plenty of places to choose from. Heres how to become a police officer in California.

    Get The Right Police Education & Training

    There was a time when becoming a police officer was as simple as graduating high school or earning your GED, then attending a short training academy before diving into on-the-job training. And though those opportunities do still exist, especially in smaller departments, most departments have raised their standards of education to at least two years of post-secondary work. This means pursing an associate degree in law enforcement or a related field, such as criminal justice, criminology, or police science should be the first option to consider. The associate degree can then serve as a stepping stone to the bachelors degree, which then leads to graduate degree options.

    However, other routes to the profession do exist. In addition to the on-the-job training after completing academy training, there is also the military option. Those who work as military police or in a similar capacity while serving their country can be perfectly suited to move into a police force after their military time is up. Lets take a look at the options.

    Associate Degree in Law Enforcement

    Bestfor? Those who want to stand outagainst the competition, or need a basic college degree to apply fora particular job opening.

    Bachelors Degree in Law Enforcement

    Best for? Those who have the time and financial resources to earn a four-year degree, want to work in federal law enforcement, or anticipate future professional advancement.

    Masters Degree in Law Enforcement

    Military experience in lieu of a degree

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    Potential Disqualifiers For A Policing Career In Canada

    When preparing yourself for a policing career, you need to be aware of what will disqualify you from the police application process. As far as the written, physical, and medical exams, the requirements are fairly consistent across all agencies.

    Language Disqualifier: You need to be fluent in either English or French including being able to speak, read, and understand one of these languages.

    Physical Disqualifier: You cannot be in poor physical condition. Failure to successfully complete the physical examination in the minimum time frame is an automatic disqualification.

    Test particulars can vary from one police agency to the next. However, all tests simulate critical incidents that police officers are exposed to. For example. the Physical Abilities Requirement Evaluation , used by the RCMP, consists of three sections:

  • Running 6 laps around a 350-meter obstacle course where you are required to climb stairs and jump over hurdles
  • Pushing and pulling a 70lb weight
  • Carrying 80lbs over a 15-meter distance.
  • Psychological Disqualifiers: A candidate can be disqualified if they do not meet the minimum psychological examination requirements.

    Work Environment Disqualifiers: Police departments require you to work shift work which includes nights, evenings, weekends, and holidays as policing takes place 24 hours per day. If you are unwilling to accommodate this type of work schedule, you will be disqualified from the process.

    The Best Degrees For Law Enforcement Jobs

    How to Become a Cop – Step by Step

    There are many opportunities in federal, state and local law enforcement for both current law enforcement professionals and those hoping to enter the field. But because these positions can be highly competitive, candidates must do whatever they can do to differentiate themselves.

    One of the most appealing qualifications for hiring committees is an applicant with a law enforcement degree. Both undergraduate and advanced degrees help position law enforcement professionals as a first-choice option for a current job opening, as well as future leadership positions.

    Depending on which branch of law enforcement youre looking to enter, there are certain degree programs that will set you up for success in federal, state or local law enforcement agencies. Because many federal jobs deal with highly sensitive information, there is generally a long list of preferred and required qualifications that each agency looks for in candidates. For local and state level departments, qualifications can be less stringent or specialized. To help differentiate between the groups, here is a breakdown of the education and skill requirements for select federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

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    What Are The Minimum Requirements

    Heres a look at the minimum requirements to become a police officer in California. Keep in mind that the majority of police departments in the state follow POST requirements. You can find the agencies that dont here their requirements may vary, but are likely to be similar to the below:

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    Best Online Courses For Police Officers

    Sometimes things are just better when you get to stay in your pajamas all day. That includes school. We found top courses for Police Officers from Udemy, Coursera, EDX, and ed2go that will help you advance in your career. Here are essential skills you need to be a Police Officer:

    • Police Department

    The American criminal justice system is in need of reform. We incarcerate too many people. We pay insufficient attention to scientific advances that can help separate out the most and least culpable and dangerous. We grant the police far too much power to use force and technological surveillance. As a way of thinking about dealing with these problems, this course examines two over-arching issues: What should we do with people who have committed crime, and how should we identify who they are? On…

    About the Course – From the Nuremberg trial to the case against Saddam Hussein, from the prosecution of Al-Qaeda terrorists to the trial of Somali pirates – no area of law is as important to world peace and security as international criminal law. Taught by one of the world’s leading experts in the field, this course will educate students about the fundamentals of international criminal law and policy. We will explore the contours of international crimes such as genocide, war crimes, terrorism, a…

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    Incentivizing Education For Cops

    Gardiner’s research shows that most officers pursue degrees as a means of progressing up the ranks. Many departments offer tuition reimbursement and the possibility of higher pay.

    Carter grew up in Hackensack, the son of a truck driver from Trinidad and Tobago. Growing up, he just talked about if he had more opportunities, that was something he wanted, Carter said.

    That is what drove Carter. He now helps make hiring decisions for the Prosecutors Office, which does not require a college degree. But I could tell you, we prefer someone that has at least a bachelor’s degree, he said. More than 90% of officers in the office have bachelors degrees, and just under 50% have masters.

    Associate Degree In Law Enforcement

    Why police should be required to have a college degree

    An associate degree in law enforcement prepares graduates for police careers by providing the information necessary to pass police academy entrance exams. The associate degree usually takes two years to complete, is a well-rounded degree with general education courses mixed in, and serves as a stepping stone to the bachelors degree. Because each associate degree program will be tailored to the requirements of the local and regional law enforcement departments, curriculums will vary. However, some of the classes incoming students can expect include:

    Crime Types

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    Earning A Degree To Be A Cop

    Part of what makes the preparation for a police officer job such a puzzle is that there arent any definite answers. Educational requirements for police officers vary from state to state and from police department to police department, as well as across different law enforcement jobs. There is no one specific course or program of study that is meant as a major for police officers.

    However, there are some degree paths that are more relevant than others to the work of law enforcement officers. Many aspiring police officers choose to major in criminal justice, police science, political science, public administration, paralegal studies and homeland security or emergency management. These programs of study give you practical skills or foundational knowledge or both to help you be a better police officer.

    For example, going to college for one of these majors may help you develop qualities like communication skills, perceptiveness, the problem-solving skills that lead to good judgment, empathy for others and leadership skills, which the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reported are among the most important characteristics for police officers. You might also learn the fundamentals of the most important knowledge areas for police officers, which O*NET identifies as public safety and security, law and government and psychology, among others.

    The Top College Majors For Police Officers

    Consider the following possibilities for your college degree if you are pursuing a career as a police officer.

  • Criminal Justice
  • Criminal justice is the college degree most closely associated with a job as a police officer. There are associate, bachelors, and masters degree programs in the field of criminal justice.

    This major is often an interdisciplinary topic of study that involves courses in law and law enforcement, public administration, psychology, and other disciplines. Criminal and constitutional law, the concepts of criminology, criminal evidence and processes, criminal investigative methods, juvenile justice, and incarceration and rehabilitation may comprise your core curriculum as a criminal justice major.

  • Police Science
  • Programs in police science or police studies are sometimes mistakenly considered the same as those in criminal justice, despite their modest differences. In reality, a degree in police science is more specialized than a bachelors degree in a criminal justice field as a whole.

    Many subjects in a police science curriculum are similar to those in a criminal justice program, but you may also find more specialist topics like those on police administration and operations..

  • Political Science
  • For those who want to become police officers, a degree in political science is another choice. If you want to learn about law enforcement, youll need to take a course in government and politics.

  • Public Administration
  • Paralegal Studies
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    What Does It Take Police Officer Qualities And Qualifications

    Police officers have noble careers. They are the source of safety for the general public. With the touch of a button, you can get the assistance you so desperately need. Whether you have been in a car accident or fear someone is breaking into your home, the people you need to protect and serve are your local and state police. So, you think you have what it takes to fill this role?

    You might be a big fan of police work. Maybe you watch all of the top investigation series on TV. You might even have family members who are on the force, so you feel that this role is in your blood. But its not enough to want to become a cop. You must develop the qualities of a great police officer and meet the demands of the job. Just what are these must-have police officer qualifications? Check out this guide as we break down what it takes to land an exciting career as a police officer today.

    Police Officer Qualities and Skillsets

    Police officers work in a mentally, physically, and emotionally-demanding field. Some of the most important qualities that a police officer must possess include:

    • Physical fitness
    • Have no felony convictions, nor have been convicted of any class A or B misdemeanors
    • Have a high school diploma or GED
    • Pass a written entry test

    In addition to a police officer career, the Criminal Justice degree at Goodwin can also help students prepare for other, related careers in areas such as:

    • Corrections

    Best Degrees For Working At Dea

    Why do you want to be a police officer?

    The Drug Enforcement Administration enforces the controlled substances laws and regulations of the United States. It offers a variety of jobs in different disciplines that include working as a Special Agent, Diversion Investigator, Forensic Scientist, intelligence Research Specialist. There are also professional and administrative opportunities open to candidates who want to join DEA. Some of the best degrees that will make you a suitable applicant include:

    • Criminal Justice
    • Law Enforcement and Public Safety
    • Law
    • Finance

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    What Does A Police Officer Do

    Police officers are sworn to protect and serve the general public. They are tasked with preventing crime, arresting and detaining criminals, mediating disputes and protecting people and property. Responsibilities may depend on the level of experience, rank and geographical location. Some common duties include:

    • Patrolling neighborhoods, either by foot, in a vehicle or on a bicycle

    • Responding to emergencies and dispatch calls

    • Interviewing witnesses after crimes, emergencies and incidents

    • Documenting testimony and making notes of their observations

    • Writing and filing official reports

    • Testifying in court

    • Performing community education and outreach, typically on public and personal safety

    • Enforcing traffic laws, often pulling over drivers to ensure they are compliant

    Potential To Work With Animals

    If you want a career that lets you work with animals, a police officer may be a good option for you. Police officers often train dogs to detect illegal substances and participate in search and rescue operations. Training a canine for police-related tasks is an intensive process, and a police officer with an affinity and command of animals can succeed in preparing them for fieldwork.

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