The state of Georgia, also called ‘The Peach State,’ offers some great career opportunities to Law Enforcement Personnel. Read this comprehensive guide to learn how to become a police officer in Georgia.

Should I Become a Police Officer in Georgia?

A police officer is expected to be honest, brave, empathetic and flexible. If you have these qualities in you, then you should consider becoming a police officer.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has outlined certain training and certification requirements for Police and Detectives. These have been discussed below.

  • Education Required
  • Training
  • Licenses/Certifications
  • Key Skills/Qualities
  • Annual Mean Salary (2019)-National
  • Job Outlook (2018-28)
  • Annual Mean Salary (2019)-Georgia
  • A college degree or a high school diploma
  • Required at a training academy
  • N/A
  • Good Judgment, Perceptiveness, Leadership Skills, Communication Skills, Physical Stamina and Physical Strength.
  • $67,600 (Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers)
  • 5% (Police and Detectives)
  • $44,700 (Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers)

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Outlook

Forecasts by theUS Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that employment of Police and Detectives will increase by 5% from 2018 to 2028.

Steps to Become a Police Officer in Georgia

This section discusses the process of becoming a police officer in Georgia in great detail.

Meet the Minimum Requirements Set by the State of Georgia

You should first check whether you meet the eligibility requirements to become a police officer. It is compulsory for aspiring police officers to possess a GED or a high school diploma, along with a valid driver’s license. Once you have completed these requirements, you should get in touch with the regional academy that you want to attend.

Take the Entrance Exam

The next step involves completing the Entrance Examination Access Form, which is easily available on the Georgia Public Safety Training Center (GPSTC) website. The exams approved by the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council (POST) are COMPASS or ASSET. Upon completing the entrance exam, you will have to attach the score of your test with the POST application.

Pass a Background Check

This stage involves passing a thorough background check and a drug test. Your academy staff will let you know how to get in touch with PSI, a company which conducts the background screening. PSI will share the results of the tests with your chosen academy.

Complete the POST Application and Pass the Physical Examination

At this stage, you will have to fill in the POST Pre-Service Application for Certification. Moreover, you will also have to get fingerprinted and will have to pass a physical exam.

Appear for an Interview

Your chosen academy will get in touch with you and set an interview date once you have completed the above mentioned stages. The Academy Manager will interview you and determine whether you are suitable and fit to become a certified Peace Officer in Georgia. If you are recommended by the Academy Manager, your application will be sent to theGeorgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council (POST).

Register and Pay the Fees

After your application has been submitted and approved, you can participate in Georgia Public Safety Training Center’s Basic Law Enforcement Training course. Once you have finished the program, you will become POST certified and will be eligible for employment.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Police Officer in Georgia?

The process of becoming a police officer is quite long. First you have to complete high school education and then have to take an entrance exam (COMPASS or ASSET), the scores of which will be attached with your POST application. Then you will have to pass a background check and will have to complete the POST application.
After clearing the physical exam, you will be interviewed by the Academy Manager of your chosen academy. If you are successful in clearing the interview, your application will be sent to POST. You can then complete the registration process and pay the fees in order to attend the Basic Law Enforcement Training course.This is a rigorous program that can take around eleven weeks to complete.

What Are the Requirements for Becoming a Police Officer in Georgia?

The individual must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen.
  • Have a High School Diploma/GED Certificate
  • Possess a valid driver’s license.
  • Possess the POST certification.

How Much Do Police Officers Earn in Georgia?

BLS has reported that Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers working in Georgia made an annual mean wage of $49,670 in 2020.