Are you considering entry-level jobs in policing? If so, your first step should be to check with the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training in your state to learn about the different law enforcement positions available and the requirements for each. While requirements will vary from one state to another and from one position to another, there are a few things that are generally required for those seeking to obtain any and all jobs in policing. These include being a US citizen, being at least eighteen years of age, having at least a high school diploma or its equivalent, holding a valid driver’s license, and being in adequate physical and psychological health.
When a person takes on a policing entry-level job, he or she becomes a standard and an example for the community. The person also holds the fate of many people in his or her hands and must be trustworthy enough to handle that power responsibly. For those reasons, some things may disqualify applicants for the police jobs they seek. Generally, if you have a felony conviction, severe financial or credit problems, a misdemeanor conviction related to a sexual crime or to domestic violence, use drugs, or have a very poor driving record, you will not qualify for these positions.
Aside from police academy training, a high school diploma or its equivalent is the only educational requirement. However, for many positions, bear in mind that having an undergraduate degree in criminal justice, police studies, or in another relevant area can greatly help your chances of landing the job you want, so your education can definitely work for you in this competitive environment.