Are you interested in becoming a police officer in Pennsylvania who contributes to the safety and security of its inhabitants? If yes, then this detailed guide is for you!

Should I Become a Police Officer in Pennsylvania?

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics classifies Police Officers in the category of Police & Detectives which is further divided into several types. The BLS reported in 2018-19 that Pennsylvania had 27,990 Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers employed in its vicinity. The BLS also states that although the crime rate in the US has been declining in recent years there will be a demand for police officers to maintain public safety.

  • Education Required
  • Major Requirement
  • Licenses/Certifications
  • Experience/Training
  • Key Skills
  • Annual Mean Salary (2020)-Pennsylvania
  • Annual Mean Salary (2020)-National
  • Job Outlook (2019-29)
  • At least a high school diploma or a GED
  • Criminal Justice (Recommended)
  • Not mandatory
  • Attending the relevant training academy is mandatory
  • Empathy, Physical Stamina &Strength and Integrity; Communication, Interpersonal, Observational, Leadership and Problem-solving Skills etc.
  • $70,970 (Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers)
  • $70,000 (Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers)
  • 6% (As fast as average)

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Outlook for a Police Officer in Pennsylvania

As per the data reported by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, a 6% employment growth for this occupation has been projected between 2019 and 2029. This percentage has been predicted due to the expected increase in the demand for Police Officers in the near future to maintain peace in the society. There were a total of 813,500 Police & Detectives employed all over the US in 2019, a number which is projected to increase by 40,600 till 2029.

Steps to Become a Police Officer in Pennsylvania

If you want to be employed as a police officer in this state, you must complete all requirements that are detailed below.

General Requirements

The Municipal Police Officers’ Education and Training Commission (MPOETC) supervises the procedure for becoming a police officer in Pennsylvania.All requirements are explained below.

Other Relevant Exams

All aspiring candidates who meet the general requirements must also go through some of the following exams and clear them to be eligible for hiring.

  • Background Check: Must have a clean criminal record and a clear credit and employment history
  • Polygraph Test & Drug Screening:All prospective Police Officers must pass the Polygraph test as well as the drug screening.
  • Medical, Physical & Psychological Tests: Candidates have to take all required tests including a fitness test to be employed as a police officer.

Interviewand Civil Service Exam

All selected candidatesmust go through an extensive interview and must clear the civil service exam to be considered or employed as a police officer in Pennsylvania.

Attend a Police Academy

The final step in this process is to attend a Police Academy for training after being selected as a police officer. Typically, the training lasts approximately 20 weeks. The newly selected officers take several classes in Criminal Law, usage and handling of firearms, giving first aid, learning all sorts of defensive tactics, Investigations& Patrol Procedures etc.

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

All aspiring police officers must be at least 18 years old to apply for this position in Pennsylvania. They must also obtain a minimum of 2 years of college education which makes it approximately 2 to 3 years to become employed.

What Are the Requirements of Becoming a Police Officer in Pennsylvania?

According to the MPOETC standards of becoming a police officer in Pennsylvania, candidates must:

  • Be 18 years old (at least) and be legal US citizens
  • Have graduated from a high school or have a GED
  • Have good communication skills (speaking, reading and writing)
  • Have visual accuracy of at least 20/70 which may be correctable to 20/20
  • Have a score in at least the 30th percentile on the physical fitness test as per the Cooper Institute standards
  • Attend Police Academy after clearing the interview and other relevant tests

For detailed requirements, please visit the official state website.

How Much Can I Make as a Police Officer in Pennsylvania?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported $70,970 as the annual mean salary of Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers in Pennsylvania in 2020.