Thinking of becoming a police officer? If so, you may have questions regarding what type of degree if any you would need in order to become a cop. Do you need a criminal justice degree to become a police officer? This guide will break down and explain the requirements of becoming a police officer.
Do you need a criminal justice degree to become a police officer? While it varies from state to state haveing a justice degree will work strongly in your favor to become an aspiring police officer. Different police offices will require different types of requirements that must be met before you can find yourself in a career as a police officer. While this can be confusing to know exactly what you would need in order to become a police officer we will provide basic requirements you would need to pursue a career as a cop.
What are the career description and common tasks a police officer does?
Police offers play a vital role in making sure our communities are safe. this is trying for our entire country. Police are responsible for protecting lives within there community. Typically police officers either work for local, state, or federal government agencies. However, there are some cops that work for the school system like colleges and university campuses. When first starting out rookie cops start out at the bottom and have to work there way up the ladder to something like a homicide detective.
Cops are on the front line of most criminal activities that happen within there area. This could include cities, towns, and counties of their patrolled area. Not only do they protect against criminal activities but they may also be responsible for motor vehicle accidents along with other types of emergencies, provide routine patrols, keep schools safe, enforce traffic laws, inspect road and highways, search for people who have warrants on them, and more.
Steps to become a police officer
Depending on what state you are in the education requirements to become a cop in your area may vary. With that said the minimum level of education would be a high school diploma or a GED. While it is not necessary for some states to have a degree some police departments around the country require some college or even an associates degree in criminal justice. Like other types of careers, there is competition within law enforcement and those with the college degree or college courses will have a better chance of securing a job as a police officer.
There are also additional requirements that must be met they are:
- Must be either 18 or 21 years of age (Depends on the jurisdiction you are in)
- Must be a United States citizen
- Meet physical criteria
- Adequate vision
- Physical and mental strength for the job
- Adequate hearing
Police salaries nationwide averages
According to ZipRecruiter the average police salary in the United States was 49,312.00 as of August of 2019. Police officers depending on where they are located could see salaries on the high end of 75,500 and as low as 26,000 a year. To read the full report you can visit the page here.
Average Police Salary Across the United States
* Data from ZipRecruiter
Traning to be a police officer
If you want to become a police officer then you are required by state and local police departments to have specialized training. Training would consist of the following:
- Traning in an on-site academy
- Training in a regional or state police academy
- Training on constitutional laws
- Civil rights classes
- Accident investigations
- Firearm training
- How to control traffic
- How to patrol
- First aid
- Emergency response training
There are different types of police offers
Did you know there are different types of police officers? We will not go into great detail about what each officers roles are but we will list the different types below.
- Uniformed Officers
- State police or highway patrol
- Transit officers
- Fish and game wardens
- Special jurisdiction police
Furthering your education when you are an officer
A lot of state and local police agencies will pay for part or all of your college tuition if you want to further your education in criminal justice-related fields. Keep this in mind if you are a police officer or wanting to be a police officer and are thinking about continuing your education. This is a good perk to have and something you should look into with your agency. Remember this could help you climb the ladder in your field Even though you may not need a criminal justice degree to become a police officer it could benefit you in the long run.
[…] The question is proposed a lot to us and online. Can an arrest be made without evidence? The answer to this is no. You cannot be arrested without evidence. The arresting officer must have probable cause. The quick definition of probable cause is a legal standard less than reasonable doubt. This is when the arresting officer believes he or she has developed a case that the accused is guilty of the crime. […]