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How to become a Law Enforcement Officer

Becoming a law enforcement officer requires certain steps. These steps will generally include all of the following:

  1. Earn a high school diploma or GED (Associate's or Bachelor's Degrees Can Enhance Odds of Hiring)
  2. Have a valid driver's license and be of proper age
  3. Pass a physical exam and Law Enforcement Entrance Exam
  4. Undergo criminal background check
  5. Undergo Police Academy Training and graduate From The Academy
How to become: Police Officer · Military Police · Patrol Officer · Deputy Sheriff · Security Officer
These qualifications are required: Driver's License
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What skills help Law Enforcement Officers find jobs?

  • Communication skills
  • Law enforcement
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Career progression for Law Enforcement Officer

Education levels for Law Enforcement Officers

Based on the requirements of Law Enforcement Officer job openings on Indeed in the United States within the last three years.
required level of educationpercent of job openings
High school diploma or GED3.0%
Bachelor's degree2.0%
Associate's degree1.0%
Master's degree0.0%
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Expected salary by experience

Based on resume data from Indeed users who reported working as a Law Enforcement Officer in the United States within the last three years.
Years of experienceAnnual salary in USD
4 - 8$36,800
8 - 12$36,800
12 - 16$43,100
16 - 20$40,400
20 - 24$46,300
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Common qualifications for Law Enforcement Officers

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Common questions about career advices for a Law Enforcement Officer

Are law enforcement officers required to undergo training if they have relevant work experience?

Having relevant work experience is definitely an advantage, however most agencies will still require applicants to take part in the training curriculum to be accepted as a law enforcement officer.

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Is it possible to become a law enforcement officer without a degree?

Yes, it is possible to become a law enforcement officer without completing a degree. Aspiring law enforcement officers must complete at least a high school diploma or equivalent.

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What are the skills needed to work as a law enforcement officer?

Some of the skills needed to work effectively as a law enforcement officer are:

  • Outstanding physical fitness with good stamina
  • Strong oral and written communication skills
  • The ability to stay calm in tense situations
  • An excellent understanding of the laws and the regulations guiding law enforcement operations
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What degree is recommended for a law enforcement officer?

What career advancement options are available for law enforcement officers?

How can someone improve their chances of becoming a law enforcement officer?

Can aspiring law enforcement officers go straight into training after high school?

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