Houston PD Job Overview:

Learn Pay Scale & Starting Salary for HPD Cops, Job Openings, Requirements, Disqualification Factors, Hiring Process

Table of Contents

2 Reasons to Pursue a Police Officer
Career at HPD

7% Raise

According to the Houston Chronicles The new police salary deal grants officers a 4 percent raise July 1, 2019, and a 3 percent raise the following year. 7 percent pay raise for police officers over two years, a deal that includes an option for a 2 percent “cost of living increase” for a third year if the two sides do not reach a new agreement.

Career Advancement

One of the benefits of working for a large agency like HPD is the many career advancement opportunities available like SWAT, Detectives, aviation, Air Support, Traffic and Accident, Missing Persons, Narcotics, Criminal Intelligence, Major Offenders, Recruiting, Hostage Negotiations, Crime Scene, Investigator, Traffic, CSI, K-9, gang unit, mounted patrol & more

WATCH Why These Officers Became a Cop for Houston PD

Houston PD Police Requirements:

Minimum Qualifications

Note: HPD will require that you pass a comprehensive background check before becoming a police officer for their agency (no exception).

6 step Process to become a cop for Houston PD:

Application Process

Join Specialized Units at HPD

  • *salary does not reflect overtime, career promotion, longevity, shift premium, education or other incentives, overtime,  etc.


$ 1


$ 1 - $65,825

Senior Police

$ 1 - $73,388


$ 1 - $84,601


$ 1 - 94,817


$ 1 - $111,926


$ 1 - $84,601

Yearly Incentive

Education Pay *
Bachelor’s Degree $3,640
Master’s Degree $6,240
Doctorate Degree $8,840

Equipment Allowance** $2,000
Shift Differential Pay** $1,800
Weekend Pay (2 days)** $1,800
Weekend Pay (1 day)** $900
Training Pay** $1,400

Rank Structure & Career Promotion Chart

Assistant Chief
Executive Assistant Chief
Chief of Police

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Steps to become a Cop for Houston PD

If you have any questions, make sure to contact an HPD recruiter directly as we are not associated with HPD

If you are looking for a rewarding and meaningful career, if you want to be a positive role model for your community, and if you want to make a real impact in the lives of people in your community then a career with the Houston Police Department is right up your alley. 

HPD has an on-going need for police officers who are committed to public service, professionalism, and peaceful neighborhoods. Show that you care … wear the badge of the Houston Police Officer.

Houston Police Officers enjoy a competitive salary and benefits package, including educational incentive pay, bilingual pay, special duty pay, paid vacations, and paid sick leave. In addition, medical, dental, and retirement plans are available. HPD offers excellent advancement potential and many challenging career opportunities!

Selection process

On the average, the selection process lasts approximately six months. All applicants must successfully pass each of the following phases in order to qualify for the academy:

Preliminary Questionnaire and Interview
Complete Application paperwork and return documents
Reading Comprehension Test
Physical Agility Test
Polygraph Examination
Final Interview
Fingerprints and Photos
Background Investigation
Medical Examination and Drug Testing
Psychological Testing and Evaluation
train with the best

Your HPD future begins at the Officer Training Academy … a model for the nation. You’ll study Community Policing, Evidence, Patrol Procedures, the Penal Code, and more. 

Physical fitness, self defense, driving, and use of firearms are emphasized. After 24 weeks in the academy, you’ll put your new skills to work in HPD’s Officer Field Training Program, where you’ll work under the guidance of a veteran officer.

Here are only a few of the many career opportunities at HPD:

Solo Motorcycles
Dive Team
Crime Scene Unit
Auto Theft
Training Academy
Bike Patrol
Robbery Burglary and Theft
Bomb Squad
Community Services
Mounted Patrol
Traffic and Accident
Missing Persons
Criminal Intelligence
Major Offenders
Hostage Negotiations

The Phases of the Hiring Process

Preliminary Process

Phase 1

Review Requirements
Completes Screening Checklist and Data Entry Form
Preliminary Interview
Phase 2

Return Documents, City Application, and Additional Information Questionnaire
Review Additional Information Questionnaire, City Application, and Documents
Schedule for Testing (Must have a completed packet before test can be given)
Phase 3

Complete Release Forms
Testing – Reading Comprehension / Test & Work Sample Test
Fingerprint & Photos
Review Folders

FAVORABLE APPLICANT POOL. Selections are made for further processing based on the qualifications of the individual applicant and the department’s goals. Your application will be periodically reviewed and your qualifications will be measured against the qualifications of the other candidates at that time. Applications will be valid for one (1) year. Recruiting personnel will contact you if you are selected for further processing.
Final Processing

Phase 4

Polygraph Examination
Final Interview
Review Folder

Phase 5

Background Investigation
Job Offer (Conditional)
Phase 6

Medical Examination & Drug Testing
Psychological Testing & Evaluation
FAVORABLE APPLICANTS. Applicants will be notified for positions in the Police Academy as the positions become available.

Selection Process

The minimum time for processing an application to become an HPD cadet is between four months to one year. The amount of processing time required is determined by several factors. These are:

The beginning date of the next academy class

Number of applicants

Date application was submitted

Submittal of required documents by applicant and preliminary testing consisting of:
Civil Service Examination
Physical agility test
Psychological Test
Background investigation
Polygraph and final physical

Due to these factors, the in-depth probe of your personal life and HPD uncompromising goal of hiring only those individuals with unsullied backgrounds, you may experience frustration or confusion during the application process. 

HPD assure you their only goal is to select the applicants that will reflect the high standards of the Houston Police Department.

Example: For a class of 70 police cadets, approximately 140 applicants will be considered (to obtain the 140 applicants, approximately 1,000 applications are processed). 

Applicants not chosen will be maintained in a pool within the Recruiting Division, and will be considered for future classes. However, future consideration does not guarantee entry into an academy class.

At various intervals after your date of application, if you have not been selected for an academy class, you will be notified and asked to update your application for future consideration.

Keep in mind, the Houston Police Department Training Academy is a quasi-military organization, with an emphasis placed on physical, mental and emotional conditioning. 

Protracted classroom instruction is interspersed with extensive physical training, firearms training, driver training, as well as numerous other areas pertinent to becoming a Houston Police Officer. 

All applicants are expected to perform at their maximum potential in order to meet the rigorous demands of training.

Upon completion of the 26 week academy class, you will have developed a close relationship and positive relationship with your classmates that will continue throughout your career with the Houston Police Department.

Police Written Exam:

The entrance exam is basically a filtering tool for the Houston Police Department. As I mentioned earlier the Houston Police Department is flooded with applications. So the only legitimate way to eliminate some of these people who will not be good cops is through the police exam. 

Normally the entrance exam will wipe out around 50% of all applicants and the polygraph will take out another 10%. 

The good thing about the police exam is that it’s predictable and you can actually prepare for it by getting a good police exam study guide.

Commonly asked questions by Police Applicants

Question: Isn’t police work dangerous?
Answer: Surprisingly, police work is a lot less dangerous than many other occupations. After extensive training (26 weeks) you are prepared to do the job.

Question: Am I too small and not strong enough to be a police officer?
Answer: You find yourself using your mind more that your physical abilities. Once again the extensive training you receive in the police academy will make you proficient in defensive tactics and verbal commands.

Question: I’m afraid of guns, will I have to use one?
Answer: Unfortunately, firearms are a needed tool of our profession. The good thing is the majority of police officers go their entire career without having to discharge their weapon. The fear will eliminate itself as you become proficient in firearms training.

Question: Will my family agree with me choosing this profession?
Answer: Your family will overcome their reservations once they realize the important and vital role you play in our community.

Question: Do male officers treat female officers as equal?
Answer: Yes. Officers understand the need to work as a team and for that reason they assist each other regardless of gender.

Question: As a police officer, will I have to ride patrol?
Answer: Yes, for the first few years you will be required to ride on patrol.

Question: Is the training very hard or intense?
Answer: Yes. The physical training is very intense and strenuous. If an individual has not exercised in sometime, the physical training could be difficult. The staff at the police academy will provide assistance to any cadet that needs additional training.

Question: Will I be required to have a partner when I work patrol?
Answer: Yes. While you are a probationary police officer you will be required to ride with a senior officer. After probation you will have the option to work patrol alone or choose a partner.

Question: How do I find out more?
Answer: Call (713) 308-1300 or 1-800-252-0473 and ask for a recruiter.