Learn How to Become a Police Officer

There are lots of people who aspire to become police officers for many different reasons. For some, it may have stemmed from a time when they were young and watching TV shows such as Cops & the X-Files every weeknight. For others, there may be a family history or tradition within the police force that they wish to carry on. Whatever the reason, learning how to become a police officer isn't easy, especially since competition for this career path is fierce and the physical & emotional demands are rigorous. Proper preparation and training is crucial to landing a job as an officer of the law, so let us help guide you along the way.

Starting a career as a police officer can be highly rewarding in many different ways. From a financial standpoint cops can make a very competitive salary while acquiring a top-notch retirement package, not to mention future possibilities with lucrative private security firms and excellent overtime pay. Emotionally speaking, officers can experience the joy of saving someone's life, as well as feel good about making the community a safer place to live in. From a physical/lifestyle standpoint, cadets are forced to stay fit and conditioned, which generally leads to a healthier and more productive lifestyle. On the other hand, policemen may face high levels of stress and danger due to various circumstances (dangerous criminals, traffic accidents, 12 hour shifts, court appearances, etc). As with all careers, there will be pros and cons to every aspect of the job, so make sure that you choose something that you are passionate about which gives you a reason to wake up every day.

10 Steps to Becoming a Police Officer

STOP! Before spending another minute trying to figure out how to begin a career in law enforcement, first determine whether or not this grueling process is even worth your time by reading up on the top 10 reasons police recruits don't get hired. Now that you feel you are (or will be) a suitable candidate, let the journey begin! The process for becoming a law enforcement officer can be a daunting task that may take anywhere from three months to an entire year to complete. With that in mind, don't quit your regular day job when you start applying, or even after you have applied (wait until you have been officially hired!). In addition to fillling out job applications, there are several tests that need to be completed with passing scores, oral board interviews, background checks, polygraph tests, physical exams, mental health checks, and a few other things dependent on the police department's set of standards. Here are ten basic steps that must be completed before anyone can earn that shiny badge:

  1. Find out if you meet the basic police officer requirements
  2. Start filling out applications for police jobs in your preferred locations
  3. Sign up for the required written tests and pass them
  4. Sign up for the physical agility testing
  5. Schedule an interview for the police oral boards and be sure to stand out
  6. Pass a criminal background check
  7. Pass a polygraph / police lie detector test
  8. Pass a psych evaluation & police physical exam
  9. Interview with the chief of police
  10. Attend (and graduate from) the police academy

How We Can Help

The purpose of this website is to serve as a guide and resource in assisting those who wish to know how to become a police officer. Each tab on the sidebar contains important information regarding things you can start doing today that will help prepare you to obtain an interview with a local police department. In order to stand out from other police applicants and shine come interview time, you'll want to have a resume filled with relevant job experience, a solid educational background, and useful work skills. These same guidelines can also be applied to other jobs similar in nature, such as probation officers, federal agents (FBI), police detectives, private investigators, and security guards. If you find this information to be of any help or if you know someone that could benefit from these guidelines, we urge you to share this content via social media and like us with your Google+ account.

Continue Learning: Find out the requirements to become a police officer and see if you have what it takes.