Becoming a Police Officer
Training & Requirements to Become a Cop

Interested in becoming a police officer? Start here to discover sample cop resumes, specific police officer training & the requirements for becoming a cop.

The road to becoming a cop is not an incredibly difficult one.

If you want to work towards serving your community as an officer of the law, the requirements you have to fulfill are fairly painless.

Becoming a Police Officer
Requirements in the United States

Here are the specific requirements for becoming a cop in the United States:

  • You must be over 20 years old
  • You must be a U.S. citizen
  • You must have a high school diploma or GED
  • You must pass a variety of written and physical exams

In other words, all it takes is a bit of studying and training and you can join the police force in no time.

If, on the other hand, you're interested in becoming a police detective, lieutenant, sergeant, chief, or other high ranking officer of the law, you're going to have to put in the extra effort.

Just as in other places of employment all around the world, your success is dependent on your ability to do your job well and climb the bureaucratic ladder.

This means more education than just a GED. You need to go to seminars, training sessions, workshops, and classes to gain the advanced knowledge that will help you stand out above the competition.

But first things first: you need to take that first step on the road to becoming a police officer.

You need to find out the basics of how to get your foot in the door. And you need to find your focus.

Then you can have a base from which to grow and grow and grow.

Police Officer Training

It doesn't matter where you live or in what region you'd like to work as an officer of the law, every department has certain physical requirements for their employees.

These requirements are generally met by a physical examination for new recruits, and then one to two similar exams per year during your term of employment.

The actual police officer training sessions vary from department to department, but they all share similar goals.

Above all, they all care most about endurance.

If you're chasing a suspect down the street, over a fence, or up some stairs, you don't want to run out of steam before he or she does. It's important to keep you body in tip top shape.

Some of the many physical activities in which you'd need to excel to pass these exams easily include:

  • Running (two miles)
  • Pushups
  • Sit Ups (or crunches)
  • Strength (grip and lifting)
  • Vertical Jump
  • Pull Ups

Police Officer Resume

Just as people around the world have to prepare professional resumes for the jobs they hope to secure (be it as an administrative assistant, a dental hygienist, or a mini mart cashier), those who are interested in becoming a police officer need to have their own personal resumes for the same purpose.

Resumes are documents that speak on your behalf--they tell your potential future employer just who you are, what you're capable of, and how you might add to their organization in a positive way.

While the requirements for becoming a police officer aren't necessarily difficult to achieve, the competition for positions can be quite fierce.

Having a fantastic resume is one way to edge out those competing against you.

Here are the essential ingredients to a professional resume:

  • Personal Information - This is your basic contact info.
  • Objective - A simple statement that describes what you are looking for in a position.
  • Profile - Your chance to shine: this is where you list significant achievements and skills that pertain to the job you're after.
  • Experience - Here you list relevant past jobs you've had.
  • Education and Training - This is where you list degrees, diplomas, and other classes you've taken that relate to the job.

Police Officer Salary

You certainly don't want to go about becoming a police officer for the money. It's not a job that you can get rich quick with. But it also doesn't pay poorly, either. You can make a decent living working as an officer of the law.

And the real money is in your police officer pension, allowing you to retire comfortably at a young age for serving your community.

The average annual salary for a police officer in the United States is just over $50,000. This covers the spectrum from the lowest paid officer (about $30,000) to the highest paid employees of the force (who can make upwards of $100,000).

If you want to become a success and make that six figure cop salary, you'll need to do your work. Getting educated and excelling in your job is the best way to climb the ladder of success.

Female Police Officers

It has never been easy for a woman police officer on the force. It wasn't until the early 1970's that Congress passed an amendment to the Civil Rights Act, prohibiting employers to discriminate based on gender, when women were able to become full-fledged police officers.

And they still have trouble today fitting in with their male counterparts.

There have been a number of psychological and sociological studies done about the advancement of women in society and the hurdles they still have to face, and most of them seem to conclude that there's as much a problem now as there was before the 1970's--it's just that today's discrimination is more silent.

Females make up about 15% of the police officers in the United States, and that number is steadily on the rise--but until the balance evens out a bit more, they may still be treated as inferior. That is the sad, terrible truth.

Police Officer Jobs

If you are thinking about becoming a police officer, you need to do a bit of research and see where you want your focus to lie. There are far more positions open that you may think there are.

Here's a look at just a few of the many police officer jobs out there:

  • Police Officer
  • Recruit Officer
  • Recruit Trainer
  • Detective
  • Sergeant
  • Chief
  • Technician
  • And much, much more

As you can see, there are many positions to choose from when you decide on becoming a police officer. The trick is to find an area that you're passionate about and do a job that will make you happy.

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