Learn about how to become a police officer in Texas with this guide that provides details on the requirements and career outlook for police officers. This profession is regulated by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE).

Should I Become a Police Officer in Texas?

If you have a passion for fighting crime and making your community a safer place to live, you might want to think about becoming a police officer. Find out more about this career in the table below:

  • Education Required
  • Training
  • Licenses/Certifications
  • Key Skills
  • Annual Mean Salary (2019)-National
  • Job Outlook (2018-28)
  • Annual Mean Salary (2019)-Texas
  • At least a High School Diploma
  • Required
  • Required
  • Leadership Skills, Physical Stamina, Communication Skills, Perceptiveness, Logic and Reasoning Skills, Good Judgment Skills and Physical Strength
  • $67,600 (Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers)
  • 5% (Police and Detectives)
  • $63,740 (Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers)

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Outlook for a Police Officer in Texas

Texas is the state with the second-highest employment level for police and sheriff’s patrol officers as per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. It has 58,840 persons employed in this occupation category. Jobs for Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers in Texas are expected to grow by 16% in the years from 2016 to 2026, as per data from O*Net Online. This increase will be a result of a continued focus on providing top-notch law enforcement services and fighting crime at various levels. Applicants who have higher education credentials will have significantly better prospects, as will applicants with prior military experience or investigative experience.

Steps to Become a Police Officer in Texas

Meet the Minimum Requirements

These are discussed in detail in the section on requirements below.

Clear the Required Exams and Interviews

This would include a series of tests such as written test, physical agility test, oral board interview and background history interview etc.

Clear the Background Investigation and Polygraph Test

This background investigation can take up several weeks to complete. All the information you have provided in the application process will be verified.

Pass a Medical, Psychological and Drug Exam

These exams will be conducted by trained professionals and will include checking you mental and physical health.

Attend a Police Training Academy in Texas

Texas is home to several training academies, such as the Austin Training Academy, Fort Worth Police Training Academy and the Houston Police Academy.

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

The time frame required to become a police officer in Texas depends on the educational path you take. After you have completed your high school diploma or college degree, you will need 3 to 4 months for the application process, 3 to 4 months for the hiring process and around 6 months for the police training academy.

What Are the Requirements to Become a Police Officer in Texas?

Before you begin the application process, you will be required to meet the following eligibility criteria. All candidates must:

  • Be citizens of the US
  • Be at least 21 years old OR 18 years old with an associate degree
  • Have a high school diploma
  • Have a valid driver’s license for the state of Texas
  • Not have any history of felony convictions or convictions of disqualifying misdemeanors

How Much Does a Police Officer Earn in Texas?

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers in Texas made an annual mean income of $65,640 in 2020.