The state of New Jersey, also referred to as ‘The Garden State,’ offers lucrative employment opportunities to individuals working in Law Enforcement. If you are interested in joining this field, then read this article on how to become a police officer in New Jersey.

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Should I Become a Police Officer?

Do you have the zeal to fight crime? If yes, then you might want to kick-start your career as a police officer.
Before you decide to join this profession, you should acquaint yourself with the basic training and education requirements. These are mentioned below:

  • Education Required
  • Training
  • Licenses/Certifications
  • Key Skills/Qualities
  • Annual Mean Salary (2021)-National
  • Job Outlook (2021-31) – National
  • Annual Mean Salary (2021) – New Jersey
  • Job Outlook (2020-30) – New Jersey
  • High school diploma/college degree.
  • Individuals have to graduate from a training academy.
  • N/A.
  • Good Judgment, Leadership Skills, Communication Skills, Physical Strength, andStamina.
  • $70,750 (Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers
  • 3% (Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers)
  • $91,690 (Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers)
  • 4% (Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers)

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Outlook

The data published by the O*Net OnLine shows that the employment opportunities for Police and and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers in New Jersey will grow by 4% from 2020 to 2030.

Steps to Become a Police Officer in New Jersey

This steps are outlined below:

Meet the Education Qualifications

You should pursue a 2-year long Associate of Applied Science in Law Enforcement or a 4-year long Bachelor of Arts or Science in Criminal Justice.If you have only obtained an Associate’s degree, then you will have to work for two years in order to be eligible to apply for the position of a police officer.

Start the Application Process

After completing your degrees, you can contact a local recruiter who can assist you through the application process. You can also complete this process on your own by simply visiting the state website and applying online.

Pass the Physical Qualification Test (PQT) and the Written Exam

If you manage to make it to the shortlisted pool, you will be asked to take the Physical Qualification Test. This exam will require you to complete a number of exercises such as mile runs, sit ups, and push-ups in a given amount of time. You will also have to take the Written Exam, which will test your judgment and reasoning skills.

Undergo Background Screening and Ace the Interview

After clearing the above exams, you will have to undergo a background check. Those who clear this stage are required to meet with the Candidate Review Board (CRB). If the panel is impressed by your interview, you might get an appointment letter.

Clear More Tests and Start the Police Academy

Before you enroll in the Police Academy, you will be required to pass the medical and psychological exams. Once these exams are cleared, you will begin your police training, which will give you a comprehensive knowledge of your field. Those who complete the training are hired as police officers.

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

First, you have to complete a 2-year long Associate’s degree or a 4-year long Bachelor’s degree. Those who possess an Associate’s degree will have to complete two years of work experience. Then you will have to apply for the police officer position. In order to succeed, you will have to pass a physical and written test, background check,an interview, and medical and psychological exams. You will also have to complete a training program at the Police Academy.

What Are the Requirements for Becoming a Police Officer in New Jersey?

The individual must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen.
  • Possess a valid and current driver’s license.
  • Must be at least 21 years of age at the time of application.
  • Meet the following education requirement:
    • The candidate must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college. OR
    • The candidate must have 80 college credits from an accredited university or college and must have earned a Bachelor’s degree to enter the selection process. OR
    • The applicant must have earned 60 college credits or have earned an associate’s degree from an accredited university or college, AND should have completed a minimum of two years of military/employment experience.
    • The candidate must have earned 30 college credits from an accredited university or college AND should have completed a minimum of two years of active duty military service.

How Much Do Police Officers Earn in New Jersey?

The wage report shared by BLS shows that the annual mean pay of Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers working in New Jersey in 2021 was $91,690. Their annual median salary in 2021 was $64,610

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