Police officers in Maryland perform various tasks related to law enforcement. These include patrolling their designated routes, overseeing traffic affairs, tracking and monitoring suspects, investigating crimes (murder, theft, arson, etc.), apprehending criminals and maintaining public order, etc.

In 2020, the Old Line State had nearly 12,570 serving Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers. Do you want to join their ranks in the near future? Follow the instructions in this step-by-step guide to kick-start your career in law enforcement.

Should I Become a Police Officer in Maryland?

  • Education
  • Area of Study/Major Requirement
  • Licenses/Certifications
  • Experience/Training
  • Key Skills
  • Annual Mean Salary (2020)-National
  • Job Outlook (2019-29)
  • Annual Mean Salary (2020)-Maryland
  • High School Diploma/General Educational Development (GED) Certificate.
    *Higher educational qualifications (Associate or Bachelor’s degree) are not mandatory but will certainly help you get ahead in the field.
  • Criminal Justice, Law Enforcement, etc.
  • N/A
  • Required
  • Coordination, Communication and Monitoring, Problem Sensitivity, Resource Management, Physical Fitness.
  • $70,000 (Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers)
  • 5% (Police and Detectives)
  • $73,700 (Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers)

Sources: US Bureau of Labor Statistics and O*Net Online

As a police officer, your day-to-day responsibilities will include patrolling assigned areas, monitoring suspected criminals, conducting traffic stops, analyzing and obtaining evidence from crime scenes, preparing and submitting detailed case reports and testifying in court when summoned, etc.

Career Outlook

In the ten years from 2019 to 2029, Police and Detectives jobs will increase by 5% as predicted by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The main driver of this rise will be the ever-growing public safety needs. However, individual police department budgets and prevalent crime rates will also affect the volume of employment opportunities.

Steps to Become a Police Officer in Maryland

The steps mentioned in this section will help you become a police officer in Maryland.

Attain the Required Education

Most police departments in Maryland accept candidates holding at least a High School Diploma or the alternative GED (General Educational Development) Certificate. However, applicants with higher qualifications such as an Associate or a Bachelor’s degree will have an edge in the recruitment process.
If you plan on becoming a police officer in Gaithersburg, then you need to have completed at least 30 college credits on top of your High School Diploma to be eligible to apply. Similarly, the Rockville Police Department accepts employment applications from High School Diploma holders but college graduates are given preference.

Clear the Written Exam

Once your application has been accepted, you will be given a date for the initial written test.

Pass the Physical Assessment

When you have cleared the written test, the next assessment will be the physical fitness exam.

Background Scrutiny

After proving your physical fitness, you will undergo a detailed background investigation.

Medical and Polygraph Exams

Once you qualify the background checks, the medical and polygraph tests will be the final phase before induction into the police academy. You will also have to undergo a drug test before heading off to training.

Police Academy Training

Police academy training will last for about 6 months. This includes both academic instruction and field training. At the successful completion of this period, you will become a probationary officer in the police force.

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

You will need about 1.5 to 2 years to become a police officer in Maryland. This includes 6 months of police academy training while the rest of the time will be taken up by the initial selection procedure.

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

Following are the requirements you need to meet to become a police officer in Maryland.

  • Should be 20 years old at least. Some cities keep the minimum age limit at 21.
  • Must be a lawful citizen of the US, whether by naturalization or birth.
  • Should have a High School Diploma or a GED Certificate at least. Higher educational qualifications may be demanded by some police departments.
  • Must have a valid Maryland driving license.
  • Should not have a criminal record of any kind.
  • Candidates who served in the armed forces must not have a dishonorable dischargeagainst their name.

How Much Can I Make After Becoming a Police Officer in Maryland?

As reported by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers in Maryland earned $73,700 in annual mean salary in 2020.