Police Officer Jobs
Police officer job search resources and preparation materials.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Police Officer Jobs
What are the education requirements for police officers?
Degree requirements vary from state to state and in some cases, by city departments. Some require a high school diploma or GED, but many departments require an associate’s degree. Candidates who hold an associate’s or bachelor’s degree may rank higher against their competition for open positions. Often a college degree can be required for individuals pursuing promotional opportunities as well.
How long is
police academy training?
Law enforcement training academies vary in length but typically require months worth of intensive training. Once you meet the minimum training requirements in a particular state, you must pass a state certification examination to become a certified officer. Once on the job, there is usually a period of approximately one year of “probationary status” during which you receive on-the-job training.
How can I prepare for
the police entrance exam?
There is a wealth of information available to assist you in preparing for law enforcement written examinations. It is best to find a preparation guide that is specifically created for the test you will take. Entry level law enforcement exams tend to vary greatly in composition. View IOS law enforcement study materials.
What is the salary range
for a police officer?
Police officer, sheriff deputy, and correctional officer salaries vary greatly by state and region. The median salary for police officer jobs in the United States is approximately $58,000. Depending on the state, this salary can range as high as $125,000.
How can I prepare for
the police physical exam?
Most police departments will require that you pass a physical ability test or a fitness test in order to be eligible for further consideration. A physical ability test for a police officer position usually consists of a series of activities that simulate tasks that are performed when apprehending a suspect (e.g., running, weaving, climbing over fences, etc.).
A fitness test measures more general physical fitness dimensions through exercises such as sit-ups, push-ups, sprinting, long-distance running, bench-press, etc. There is no nationwide norm for physical ability testing or fitness testing, so it is best to check the requirements of a specific employer. Some training academies will require you to pass a fitness test prior to beginning the academy, even if that test was not a prerequisite for a job offer. In those cases, failure to pass the fitness test could result in revocation of the job offer. It is a good idea to learn about the physical ability/fitness test you will be required to pass and begin preparing for it early.
First of all, a job in law enforcement can mean working directly with criminals. Police officers are responsible for finding and arresting criminal suspects and helping to prove their guilt or innocence. An officer’s position may require him or her to provide support in processing a crime scene by interviewing eyewitnesses or suspects.
Another part of a career in law enforcement can involve interactions with community members. Officers inspect public establishments for compliance with local laws and regulations. They evaluate complaints from citizens to determine the necessary response required. An officer will document facts in reports for various incidents. Police officers notify members of the community of services and opportunities, helping to find resolutions to long-term problems. In addition, police officers offer aid to accident victims or those with injuries.
Safety Matters in Police Officer Jobs
In addition to working with criminals and community members, law enforcement also provides safety for our citizens. They keep order, provide protection to people and property, and encourage good relationships with community members. An officer’s job may include patrolling communities or events to ensure safety. They need to quickly respond to calls from people that may be in need of help.
Finally, police are charged with enforcing traffic laws. They monitor traffic and issue warnings or citations to those who violate traffic laws. Officers investigate traffic accidents to determine who is at fault or if a crime has been committed. Officers can be in control of directing traffic in the event of emergencies. While officers may provide information to aid motorists in traffic, they also act as escorts for emergency vehicles or processions for dignitaries and funerals.
A job in law enforcement can involve many different duties, but most importantly, it can be a highly satisfying career choice.
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