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What Skills Do You Need To Be A Police Officer

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What Do Related Occupations Make

What skills do you need to be a Sheriffs Officer in Victoria?

If you’re interested in how to become a police officer, you might also be interested in related professions. Working as a correctional officer, EMT or paramedic, firefighter, probation officer, security guard, gaming surveillance officer, game warden or firefighter might be on your radar. If that’s the case, you can peruse the list of related occupations below, which includes average salaries:

What you earn depends on where you live, including the region, state or city. To help determine what you can expect to make in your particular area, our handy salary comparison tool can help.

How Hard Is Police Academy

The police academy is, above all, an educational institution. In classroom settings, youll learn the basics of law enforcement, crime prevention, patrol, conflict management, and investigations. You will also complete field training that will cover firearms proficiency, self defense, agility and strength training, and more.

Similar to basic training for a military recruit, this all-encompassing education requires physical and mental endurance. Youll be up early for exercise, attend strict classroom settings, drill in firearms, learn how to use non-lethal measures, and likely spend hours in the hot sun running, jumping, wrestling, and becoming a more physically-fit police recruit. Its not easy, but at the end you will be prepared to face the physical, mental, and emotional rigors of police work.

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.


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Police Officer Skills And Qualities You Should Have When Working In Law Enforcement

  • Pin recently studied 120 job descriptions for police officers at,, and others.

I was looking for what personal skills you need to be working in law enforcement from the employers perspective.

Other skills mentioned here are not found in the job descriptions but are commonly accepted skills of a police officer.

Its boiled down to an easy-to-read list so that you can quickly find exactly what skills you need as a police officer.

The following are outcomes of the study:

  • Most of the skills appear in several job descriptions
  • Several qualities have a strong connection
  • Many of the skills are highly trainable
  • Some skills are bound to your personality and are not easy to train
  • You dont need a full score on all the skills mentioned, but some are essential

Qualities And Skills To Achieve Success As A Police Office

Good Reasons to Become a Police Officer

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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Physical Requirements To Become A Police Officer

Beyond the basic bio requirements, you will also need to meet physical requirements, such as:

  • Basic physical criteria
  • Good vision and hearing
  • Mental strength

The physical requirements will vary from state to state and even city to city. For example in LA, male applicants must have a body fat percentage of less than 22%. In Philadelphia, recruits must pass a physical fitness test to be accepted into the training academy.

If you meet these essential requirements, you can move forward with education and training, which may include formal college courses, an important part of how to become a police officer.

Police Officer Job Growth

Police officers are a vital component to maintaining a peaceful society. While still subject to cost cutting like any other private sector industry, the demand for police officers remains relatively steady for the foreseeable future. For more detailed job growth information, please see the below chart.

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Discover Your Program In Minutes

Being a police officer is a meaningful and impactful way to serve a community. Becoming a police officer doesn’t rely heavily on formal education in fact, a high school diploma is often the minimum formal education required. An associate’s, bachelor’s or graduate degree is rarely mandatory. Instead, extensive and specialized training is required. This training is often provided by police academies on the local, regional or state level.

So why get a law enforcement degree? Two reasons: Potential higher pay and better advancement opportunities. This guide focuses on how education can help an aspiring police officer realize their dreams.

What Is A Police Officer

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A police officer keeps law and order in their community by investigating crime and supporting methods of crime prevention. Police officers serve the public by responding to calls for help and advising the public on personal safety and crime prevention. Other public safety activities that a police officer may have to perform include controlling traffic, giving evidence in court, interviewing suspects and making arrests.

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How Much Does A Police Officer Make

If you are going to pursue a career in law enforcement, starting with the position of a police officer, you need to be motivated by more than money. To be certain, police officers can earn a strong salary , but finances wont be motivation enough to put on the uniform and patrol the streets every day. That said, its worth looking into the expected salaries of a police officer to understand their earning potential.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2018 the median salary for police officers and detectives was $63,380. Detectives and criminal investigators had the strongest salaries in this category, earning a median over $81,000. Transit and railroad police earned a median of $74,030, while patrol officers earned a median salary of $61,380.

The best salaries appear to come from the federal government, where law enforcement officers enjoyed a median salary over $87,000.

Salary depends largely on location. For sheriffs and patrol officers, the best salaries appear to come from California , Alaska , and New Jersey .

So while it may not be a path to riches, working in law enforcement can bring a strong income.

Skills Needed To Be A Police Officer

Being a police officer is one of the best jobs in the world! Our successful candidates having met the minimum requirements, possess 10 basic skills:

  • Communication skills
  • Skill in assessing situations recognizing when to take action and deciding on an appropriate course of action
  • Skill in reading, comprehending, retaining, and applying written factual information
  • Skill in analyzing situations quickly and objectively recognizing actual and potential dangers determining a proper course of action
  • Skill in observing and remembering detail
  • Willingness to confront a variety of problems and situations
  • Interpersonal / interracial / public relations skills
  • Skill in operating a motor vehicle
  • Dependability and sound work habits
  • Characteristics necessary to maintain integrity, truthfulness and credibility

We are especially looking for the following qualities:

  • Proven ability to establish effective working relationships and rapport with people from various racial, ethnic and cultural backgrounds
  • Demonstrated skill in relating with the public in a fair, tactful and courteous manner, regardless of cultural differences
  • Demonstrated skill in effectively dealing with persons in various emotional and mental states

An applicants capacity in these areas is evaluated in part by the experiences documented by personal, professional and volunteer references police and security contacts and interactions with their background investigator.

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Police Officer Job Outlook

Job security matters to everyone. In fact it may be more important than overall salary after all, whats the point in having a well-paying career if no jobs are available? The overall expected job growth for police officers is 5%, which is the exact job growth for all career fields in the United States.

Like salaries, however, job growth will depend heavily on location, as certain areas, especially growing cities, will be adding to their police force, while other cities may actually be eliminating positions. Crime rates, according to the BLS, have been falling, but a demand for police to maintain and improve public safety will fuel job increases.

One of the main challenges, however, will be the low rate of job turnover. People hired in this career rarely leave unless they are promoted unlike other careers where people take jobs, work a couple year, then transition into different jobs. This increases competition for these jobs, which makes the need for education all the more important. People with degrees in law enforcement, criminology, multiple languages, and beneficial skills can greatly increase their chances of being hired.

Associate Degree In Law Enforcement

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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 bachelor’s 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

  • Utilizing crime reconstructions methods

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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:


  • Use of different philosophies regarding criminal punishment
  • Familiarity with common practices within a correctional facility.
  • Ability to follow established procedures and protocols of various correctional facilities

Learn A Second Language

As Canada has multiple common languages, it may be helpful to have a working knowledge of more than one for policing responsibilities. For example, you can learn French to communicate with civilians from areas that primarily speak French dialects more effectively. You can find free resources online, like dictionaries, vocabulary quizzes, applications, and education programs for learning a second language. Consider learning how to respond to common inquiries made by civilians to police officers in different contexts.

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Discuss Your Applicable Skills

Police departments are looking for officers who have a certain set of skills. In your answer, discuss some skills and abilities you have that make you a qualified candidate. Here are some important police officer skills that you could include in your answer:

  • Bravery

  • Deep understanding of the law

  • Logic and reasoning

How Long Is Police Academy

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One of the most important steps, as well as possibly the most challenging, in your path to becoming a police officer is training at a police academy. Each state will have different requirements for the specifics of a police academy, but recruits will typically spend about 800 hours in training before graduation. In general, the academy will take about six months to complete.

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Never Missing Out On Small Details

The purpose of attention to detail is that you identify minor details and eliminate any mistakes to be able to identify changing behavior patterns. Its critical to have this ability as a cop since it helps you spot possible evidence, deter unlawful behavior, and find the exact car or subject associated with a case.

Example Answer : Build A Relationship With The Community

“I want to be a police officer to help restore the relationship between the police and the community. I have always viewed the police as people who want to help others, which is extremely important to me. While living in this community, I have noticed that the public could respect and trust the police more. As an officer, I plan to make an effort to rebuild this important relationship. I think that with a more positive police presence, we can gain people’s trust again and help them live better lives.”

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Law Enforcement Skills That Every Modern Officer Should Have

To become alaw enforcement officer today whether that be a police officer or public safety official you must fulfill a certain set of requirements to be deemed qualified for the job. For example, you must have the physical strength and aptitude to catch criminals, and pass a background check to ensure you have no criminal record yourself. However, to become a greatlaw enforcement officer, there is much more involved.

The best law enforcement officers today employ a variety of soft skills, in addition to the usual qualities and qualifications that are required in the field. The most respected modern officers today have strong moral character, the ability to think on their feet, and a level head to help them to resolve conflict. If you are considering entering the law enforcement field, you will want to check the following skillsets off first.

Goodwin University is a leader in law enforcement education, helping aspiring professionals into successful public safety and criminal justice careers. Below, we outline the soft law enforcement skills that employers and communities are seeking in their law enforcement leaders.

  • Integrity
  • 2. Empathy and Compassion

    3. Adaptability

    4. Mental Agility

    5. Listening and Observation

    6. Effective Communication

    7. Conflict Resolution

    First Aid And Cpr Training

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    First aid and CPR training allow individuals to assess health concerns, treat injuries, or perform life-saving CPR on people who require more oxygen. Police officers often respond to emergency situations that involve injuries or illnesses to assess any criminal activity. Therefore, they need to know first aid and CPR protocols to treat individuals, especially when they arrive at a location before an ambulance team. In addition, many services require police officers to have a CPR certification from an authorized instructor before they start training.

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    Work As A Security Guard

    If you’re considering a career as a police officer, finding a private security job can help you learn some necessary skills. Private security staff often perform similar job responsibilities as police officers, including following safety procedures, making decisions during emergency events, and operating high-volume equipment. You can work alongside police officers in some situations, which may give you an opportunity to observe their daily working conditions and ask relevant questions.

    Skills Needed To Become A Police Officer

    To be considered a qualified police officer today, you must meet a set of qualifications and skills. To apprehend criminals, youll need physical strength, intellect, as well as the ability to pass a criminal record check to guarantee that you dont have a criminal history. But, theres a lot more to becoming an excellent police officer.

    Along with standard characteristics, job requirements, and skills required in the industry, the top county police personnel nowadays use a number of soft skills. Great and renowned cops have clear moral integrity and the capacity to think quickly and correctly and maintain composure to resolve conflicts. If youre thinking about joining the police force, youll want to make sure you have the essential skills.

    These skills are a mix of organizational and technical abilities that enable these civil service employees to efficiently carry out their tasks. Some examples include doing investigative reporting, working as part of a team, engaging with the community, and being extremely observant. Here are some skills discussed in detail.

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