Who Should Become a Police Officer?
Anyone who has personality traits such as integrity, intellect and initiative could be a police officer. Departments look to hire officers who are honest and do not cross moral or ethical boundaries. They need people who are smart enough to handle the complicated nature of this job, think on their feet, make quick decisions under stressful circumstances and have the ability to deal with all kinds of people under testing circumstances. If you have the above mentioned traits, you may want to look into becoming a police officer.
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After determining whether your personality is a perfect fit for the job or not, you might be wondering ‘how do I become a police officer?’ If this thought has ever crossed your mind, then continue reading.
How do you Become a Police Officer?
Apply to a Police Department
After you’ve met the minimum education criteria, you are eligible to apply to a police academy. On acceptance of this application, you would be placed in a pool of eligible candidates for future police officer job openings. Along with the application, candidates are required to pass a civil service test, a drug, fitness and a lie detector test. Mentioned below are a list of qualifications and tests you will need to clear:
- The Entrance Exam: This is often called the “civil service exam”. This helps agencies pick out potential candidates by testing their basic communication skills.
- The Physical Ability Test (PAT): This test is designed to measure an applicant’s general health and fitness. It might require you to run a quarter mile or a specified distance in a specified time. Activities such as fence climbing, dragging a dummy, pushing a patrol car and running an obstacle course might be part of this test.
- The Oral Board: This is like a job interview. It takes place before three or more officers of varying ranks and basically determines how well the candidate can perform under psychological pressure.
- The Background Investigation: The Police Department is highly concerned with the candidate’s reliability and integrity. For this purpose, it performs an extensive background check that sometimes involves getting in touch with the applicant’s former bosses, professors, teachers, spouse, neighbors, family members etc. Credit report checking is also a measure of a candidate’s integrity utilized by the department as a check.
- The Polygraph Test: This test is used throughout the application and hiring procedure to check the applicant’s honesty.
- The Psychological and Physical Examinations: A psychologist will administer a written test and subsequently interview the candidate. His/her assessment is taken into account by the department when making a decision.
- The Executive Interview: After the department is done processing the candidate, another interview will be conducted. Typically, this interview will be taken by a high ranking officer within the department.
After you have cleared all tests and become a police officer, you might be concerned with what this career path holds for you. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2020 median pay for police and detectives was $67,290 and around 795,000 jobs were available for police officers in 2020.
According to BLS, Police and Detectives are expected to experience 7% increase in job opportunities between 2020 and 2030.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Police Officer in the US?
The requirements to become a police officer can be slightly different for different US states. The timeframe will also depend on the type of police officer you want to become. It can take you between 3-5 years approximately to become a police officer in the US.
With the right experience and training, police officers could choose their specialization such as narcotics or juvenile enforcement. Once on the job, you may switch between departments as well, depending on your relevant expertise and experience. Apply your energies to actively pursue opportunities by maintaining high performance. Promotions available to police officers include captain, lieutenant, detective and police chief etc. A variety of continuing education opportunities are available to police officers and taking part in these may assist in securing a promotion.
How to Become a Police Officer in Chicago
How Much Can I Make as a Police Officer in Chicago?
How to become a police officer in Chicago and how much can you earn as one in the state are two pertinent questions. As per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers in Illinois earned $78,350 as mean annual salary in 2019. The figure is considerably higher than the national annual mean income figure of $67,600. There were a total of 29,460 Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers working in the state, a number that puts Illinois on the fifth spot among states with the highest level of occupation for this occupation.
How to Become a Police Officer in Florida
How Much Can I Earn as a Police Officer in Florida?
If you want information on how to become a police officer in Florida and how much these law enforcement agents earn, we have the details you need.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest published figures, there were 39,090 Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers working in the state of Florida in the year 2019. These law enforcement agents earned $60,720 as mean annual income. The figure was substantially lower than the national mean wage average of $67,600.
How to Become a Police Officer in New Jersey
How Much Can I Earn as Police Officer in New Jersey?
If you want information on how to become a police officer in NJ and the income figures for these law enforcement agents, then here is the information you need.
The figures published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics show that New Jersey is a great place to work for Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers. These law enforcement agents earned $86,840 as mean annual wage in 2019. NJ was the third highest paying state for Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers, behind California and Alaska.
How to Become a Police Officer in Ohio
How Much Can I Make as a Police Officer in Ohio?
Do you want to know how to become a police officer in Ohio and how much they earn? The latest figures released by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal that Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers made $62,880 as mean wage in 2019. This figure was lower than the national yearly mean income figure of $67,600. Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers are expected to enjoy stellar growth opportunities between 2019 and 2029 across the US as well. These law enforcement officers will enjoy a 6% growth in employment opportunities as per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.