How To Become A Police Officer Complete Step By Step Guide
Becoming a Police officer is the dream of many students. This article is about the aspiring candidates for the job of Police officer. You will get to read five different steps that you need to take to become a police officer. Not Just the steps, we have also discussed other growth opportunities and the police officer’s sate-wise salary.
Police officers are the most essential law enforcer of the Criminal Justice System. Governments are mandated to make the law, and the police department is given the governments’ authority to ensure that the law is being enforced.
The well-being of people entirely relies on Police officers. They ensure that everyone is obeying the law so that the security situation remains in control, so, in a way, becoming a police officer is a sacred job in which you will be ensuring the well-being of people.
For this reason, many students are willing to join the police department, but unfortunately, they are unable to find a platform where they can seek guidance. This article is written to help such students so that they can prosper and join the police department to ensure the safety of everyone around them.
The most common questions asked by aspiring students for the police job are. How to be a cop or how to join the police force? Well, the answer to these questions is simple; follow specific steps and become a police officer. Although it is not that easy as it seems to read, having access to the right information will ease your job.
Therefore, to maximize this article’s benefit, make sure to read it until the end and take note not to forget the steps that will help you climb the ladder.
If you are looking for a job that will provide you with a promising future, you should join a police department. You will find that you have a better chance of finding a job with a police department than you will with finding one in the state or federal government agencies.
Over the next seven years, there is expected to be a need for more police officers and more detectives, and it’s going to rise as much as 11%. The demise in the moral standards and the rise in crime is mostly the reason for this boom.
Prospects for jobs
Suppose you are someone who can meet the rigorous personal, physical, and psychological qualifications a job in a local police department is going to demand. In that case, your chances are being able to secure a job are good! There are plenty of police jobs now available thanks to employment growth, and the current employees are retiring and moving on to other jobs. If you are looking for a job that will have less competition, you want to look at the police departments that have lower starting salaries.
If you have college training or military experience, you will see that you may have a better chance of getting a job in either the local or state departments. If you have a bachelor’s degree and a few years of military experience or law enforcement, you will find you will have a good chance of getting a job in a federal agency.
The amount of money the government is spending will eventually determine the level of employment for detectives and police. Therefore, the number of available jobs would expectedly vary from one department to another and differ from one year to the next.
One of the most exciting things you will learn while researching police jobs is no matter how high the unemployment rates may be. The police department is always in need of extra staff, and layoffs in the police department are rare. This is primarily because of the ever increasing rise in the crime rate. Even during those rare occasions, when someone loses their job thanks to cuts, they usually have minimal difficulty when they are looking for opportunities at other agencies.
No matter what is going on in the world and what is happening with other types of jobs, there will always be a need for dedicated police officers. When you choose to become a police officer, you will find you are making a difference globally, and you have selected a job always in demand. You will have the satisfaction of knowing you are doing something that will make things better for the rest of the world.
When you become a police officer, you will find you have the respect and the admiration of those you will help.
Police Officers Job Growth
As we have discussed, the Police are a vital component of the state and an essential arm of the government for society’s smooth running. Many youngsters today dream of joining the police force, and the primary reason is job security and growth.
According to a fair estimate, 380 Job openings are announced annually by every state department. This figure shows the opportunity that awaits capable young students who are willing to serve society.
Once employed, the Police officers are given many benefits land; one of them is job security. Unless a police officer commits a crime or disobeys seniors’ orders, no one can take his employment from him/her.
Not Just job security, the police officers have also ensured promotions upon their performance. The Police officers who complete their courses successfully and complete the assigned tasks can quickly get promoted to higher ranks, increasing their clout of power and salaries.
All these perks are offered to every police officer who is hired after they have completed the steps to become a cop, so, without any further due, let us jump to the next part of the article so that you may get to know about police officer requirements.
Step by Step requirements to become a Police officer
There are no complex requirements to be a cop, there are a few simple steps that you need to follow to become part of any police department. Let’s explore what these steps are.
In the following section of the article, questions related to the job of a police officer, such as “what education is needed to become a police officer,” “what is needed to become a police officer,” or “what do you need to become a police officer” will be addressed.
Obtaining A High School Diploma
The first step towards becoming a police officer is obtaining a high school diploma. Most law enforcement agencies have the minimum requirement of a high school diploma for police officers’ positions. If you are an aspiring candidate for the job, you must be aware that it will not be possible for you to join any police department without a high school degree.
A high school diploma, however, is not the only degree you need to have.
Agencies prefer candidates with a higher education degree, and their promotions within the police department are relatively straightforward. So, to become a police officer and get promotions quickly, you must also consider higher education in criminal justice.
Meet Other requirements
Apart from the educational degrees, you must also meet other requirements to become a police officer. These requirements are personal in nature of vary from person to person.
The requirements to be a police officer are listed below:
- The candidate must be a US citizen
- Must have a valid driving license
- Must be between 18 to 21 years of age.
- Must be able to clear a background test.
The requirements to become a cop may vary depending on the department in which you are applying; therefore, you are advised to check the respective department to be sure and meet their requirements.
Apply for an Announced Position
Every police department announces various positions for police officer regularly. The aspiring candidates for the job shall look for the department announced jobs regularly. Once the jobs are announced, the candidates should apply.
If you are willing to apply for any of the announced positions, make sure to meet the requirements mentioned above to qualify for the job of a police officer. If you do, apply for the position and start preparing yourself for the next step.
Pass the Law enforcement Entrance exam
The candidates who have applied for any of the announced positions must appear in the law enforcement exam. These tests are compulsory, and the better your score in these exams, the higher you have chances of being employed.
Every police department is conducting different law enforcement examinations, but the two of the most popular examinations are:
- NPOST –National Police Officer Selection Test
- LEE –law enforcement examination
These tests are essential components of law enforcement requirements; therefore, you must ensure that you score well in them. Before taking the exams, check which test is preferred by the police department to which you have applied. Once you get hands-on with that information, you can start preparing accordingly.
After successfully passing the test, you will have to go thorough background check and appear in the interview. Once these steps are completed successfully, you will be selected to get training in the academy.
You might be wondering what the interview will look like. Or what questions the interviewer might ask, well, in the next section of the article, we have brought some of the key questions for the police interview. Make sure to go through them and prepare good answers to these questions.
Frequently asked Police interview questions.
Being interviewed is an opportunity for you to prove yourself. The police officer who is taking your interview will be focusing on personal questions to assess whether or not you are a good fit for the job. A police officer interview is an important step in becoming a police officer; therefore, we have brought 8 most frequently asked police interview questions for you.
What would you do if you witness another officer doing a crime?
Remember to keep the answer simple. You are required to say that if the officer’s crime interferes with your domain of work, you would first ask the officer to refrain from it. If that doesn’t work, I would immediately report it to the higher authorities.
If a superior officer asked you to do something against the regulations, what would you do?
You should reply to this question by saying that I will follow as long as it is an order from a senior. Still, before the execution of the order, I would ask the senior to give the order in written form so that if a superior asks for an explanation, I would be able to justify my role in the situation.
Would you be able to arrest a family member if you had to?
You should say that if any of my family members are to be arrested as per the law, I will go for it without any doubt.
Describe a situation in which your ethics were tested. How did you succeed?
You can narrate any story from your life but avoid being too dramatic while answering this question.
Other similar questions asked by the interviewers are enlisted below. Think of them as your quiz. In the comment section below, let us know what would be your preferred answers for these questions.
This job can be emotionally challenging. How would you reach out for help if needed?
Give an example of when the “right thing” contradicted the rules of a certain situation. How did you handle that?
What do you consider your most significant strengths in communication? How about your greatest weakness?
What de-escalation techniques would you use to prevent a physical altercation?
Get yourself Trained In The Police Academy
Every Police department has its training academy. The successful candidates are sent to their respective academies, where they receive training in professional matters. The academy trains the candidates on educational aspects as well as physical aspects.
The educational aspect will consist of course classes on criminology, criminal justice, and criminal psychology. These courses are specially designed to inform candidates on matters that will benefit them during their professional appointments. Therefore, if you are lucky enough to attend these classes, you are advised to give your complete attention to have a grip on all theoretical aspects.
On the other hand, the physical activities are designed to make the candidates strong enough to bear the physical pressure they will face while being on their job. The police officers can come across any situation during their duties. It is for this reason that they are physically endured to withstand any circumstances.
Police officers Salary Information
Police officers carry out challenging tasks, and their existence is crucial for society. Therefore, Police officers are awarded handsome salaries because of the service. Generally speaking, Handsome salary packages are another reason people prefer joining the police force.
In the table below, we have discussed the average annual salaries of Police officers Across the United States. Note that these figures are of the 90th percentile.
Name of State
Average Annual Salary In $ (90th Percentile)
|District of Columbia||93000|