Police Officer Career Profile

A police officer career can provide you with a way to help society and have a great job at the same time. Police officers are needed in every city in the country and there will always be demand for them. Here are the basics of being a police officer and what you can expect out of the job.

Becoming a Police Officer

In order to become a police officer, you will need to at least have your high school diploma. While this is the requirement for many police stations, others are starting to require a college education as well. After you have completed your formal education, you will have to go through a police academy in order to land a position. This will entail physical training as well as learning about the laws that you will enforce. You will have to take written exams as well as meet certain physical demands. The police academy is a very involved process that is designed to make you competent as a police officer.

Basic Tasks

Police officers are in charge of keeping the peace in their particular jurisdiction. Police officers regularly patrol their area in a police car, on foot, and on motorcycles. Police officers enforce laws and do their best to protect citizens from danger. They will investigate crimes and try to apprehend criminals. Police officers are also charged with the responsibility of filing reports on incidents that take place. Therefore, there is a fair amount of paperwork involved with being a police officer. Sometimes, police officers will be in charge of controlling traffic at busy intersections. They will also respond to emergency calls from citizens as quickly as possible. Some police officers will work in the crime lab or work with records in the police station. 

Work Schedule

A police officer could work a number of different shifts on the police force. Police officers are needed at all hours of the day and night. Therefore, you might find yourself working the night shift or during the day. You will have to work weekends and holidays in most cases.


The average salary for a police officer in the United States is approximately $50,000 per year. With experience, their opportunity for extra compensation is earned.

Opportunities for Advancement

There are many different opportunities available for police officers to advance. By taking civil tests, police officers can move up in the ranks. You will also need a solid record and experience as a police officer in order to move up to a higher rank. You could potentially become a lieutenant, sergeant, lieutenant, and captain within the force. Police officers that demonstrate the ability to investigate crimes successfully can eventually move up to detective.

Many police officers also choose to move on to other similar types of careers. For example, you might choose to move on to the highway patrol, the U.S. Marshals, or the FBI.

Finding a Job

If you are looking for a job as a police officer, you should consider looking at www.realpolice.net/articles/career-info/the-police-officer-career.html.