How to become a Police Officer
To be trained as a police officer in a police academy, one must be a U.S. citizen that's at least 21 years old with a high school diploma and no criminal convictions. One can pursue a criminal justice course and then join the police force. A potential candidate for a police officer job has to be medically and physically fit, prudent financially and must meet the vision and hearing requirements. Applicants are given written tests, undergo background checks, drug tests and are psychologically evaluated.
What skills help Police Officers find jobs?
- Communication skills
- Computer skills
- Criminal defense law
- Customer service
- First aid
- Law enforcement
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Office
Career progression for Police Officer
Education levels for Police Officers
|required level of education||percent of job openings|
|High school diploma or GED||41.4%|
Expected salary by experience
|Years of experience||Annual salary in USD|
|0 - 4||$36,600|
|4 - 8||$37,300|
|8 - 12||$41,000|
|12 - 16||$43,900|
|16 - 20||$44,500|
|20 - 24||$44,200|
Common qualifications for Police OfficersExplore popular schools to earn these qualifications
Common questions about career advices for a Police Officer
What qualifications do I need to be a police officer?
To become a police officer you will need to graduate high school or get a GED, get a bachelor's degree (optional) and graduate from the police academy. Each state or city may have additional requirements.
How many college credits do you need to become a police officer?
Each state has different requirements for how many college credits are required to become a police officer. Many states and police academies require around 30 college credits to enroll in the police academy.
How can a police officer remain competitive?
Police officers aiming to be professionally competitive can further their education by enrolling for a criminal justice degree. The degree increases their skills set and can help them get jobs in forensics, crime scene investigations, paralegal, corrections or to become FBI or DEA agents.