how to become a police officer in Massachusetts

Table of Contents

3 Behavioral Red Flags That will Likely
Turn Off An Agency

Poor Online Reputation

Research shows that around 36% of companies around the country have actually disqualified job applicants after doing an online web search or viewing a candidate’s social media posting and behavioral tendencies online.

Privatizing your account

If the background investigator can’t find you on social media, or you've switched them to private, it’s not a good sign. It looks like you have something to hide. Instead of hiding your social media activity, be more conscious of what you're posting.

Alcohol & Drugs Photos

Posting pictures of yourself getting drunk and using drugs on social media is one way to get eliminated from the hiring process. Agencies are looking for recruits with good characters, and posting tasteless photos aren't a good sign.

WATCH: Pros and Cons Of Being A Police Officer

MA Police Requirements:

Minimum Qualifications

Disqualification factors to be aware of:


More Likely Disqualifiers

  • must not have been committed to an institution for mental illness
  • must not have been treated or confined for drug addiction or habitual drunkenness
  • Must not be  under age 21
  • Must not be an illegal alien in the US
  • Must not have a protective order in place, or similar domestic violence restraining order
  • Must not be subject to an outstanding arrest warrant
  • Must not have been convicted of a misdemeanor offense punishable by imprisonment for more than two years
  • Must not have been convicted of a violent crime
  • Suspended License
  • Poor Credit History
  • Some crimes against people (e.i. History of defrauding others)

Police Training Academy Courses


Career Advancement - Specialized Units in MA

Canine Unit
Bomb Squad
Hazardous Materials Response Unit
Truck Team
Highway Patrol
traffic enforcement
crowd control
special weapons and tactics (SWAT)
Traffic (motorcycles)
Accident Investigation
Community Relations
Bicycle Patrol
School Resource Officers
Self-Defense Instruction
Crime Analysis
Professional Standards
Public Information Office
Criminal Investigations Section
Domestic Violence Investigations
Warrant Apprehension
Dignitary Protection
Special Investigations (Narcotics)
Tactical Operations
Tactical Patrol Force (TPF)
Special Response Team (SRT)
Explosive Ordinance Unit
Crisis Negotiation
Peer Stress Team
Training Unit
Firearms Instructors
Defensive Tactics
Honor Guard
Air Wing
Canine Search and Rescue
Collision Analysis/Reconstruction
Crime Scene Services Analysis and Investigation
Hazardous Devices
Hostage Negotiation
Investigative Services (drug, gang and major crimes)
Marine Unit
Special Emergency Response Team
Underwater Recovery

According to U.S. labor of bureau statistics (2018) the average salary for a police officer in MA is...

$ 1 *
Average Salary
$ 1 /HR*

*The base salary does not reflect overtime pay, longevity, educational level, shift differential & more

State of Massachusetts

Compensation Breakdown For Cops

The percentile wage estimate below is the value of a wage below which  certain percent of workers fall. Data collected from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2018)

10th Percentile
25th Perentile
50th percentile
75th percentile
90th percentile

Find Best Police Jobs in MA

Click below to search for police jobs near me in MA. Browse jobs by city/county or zip code

Steps to become a police officer in MASS

If you want to become a cop in the state of Massachusetts, you must know that it’s not going to be easy. There are several hurdles you’ll need to cross in order to wear the badge. The first thing you can do to make yourself more attractive to potential departments in MA is to enroll yourself in the police training academy.

Here are the requirements needed to become a police officer as well as qualifications needed to enter the police academy in MA:

For appointments into the Boston Police Academy, applicants must take and pass the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Written Police Examination. The civil service exam is given every two years.

In order to become a police officer in Massachusetts, you must pass the background check. In addition,  if you want to work for the Boston Police Department you must be a resident of the city for at least one year prior to taking the civil service exam.

To become a police officer in the Commonwealth of MA, applicants must:

  1. Be a U.S. citizen (birth or naturalized)
  2. Be at least 21 years of age
  3. Possess a High School Diploma or have a G.E.D. Certificate or served at least 3 years in the United States Armed Forces with an honorable discharge or release.
  4. Possess a valid Massachusetts motor vehicle operator’s license

History of Mass State Police

The Massachusetts State Police was created in 1865, which makes it the oldest statewide law enforcement agency in the nation. The State Police traces its origin to the year 1865 when it consisted of a Constable and thirty-three men. The early agency was rather obscure until 1921, when the uniformed branch was finally organized with a group of fifty men, whose duties were to police the rural communities of the Commonwealth, particularly where there was no protection.

The first training site for the “State Police” as it was known, was the old Framingham Poor Farm. This building was large enough to house the fifty men and their equipment, including the horses that were used in the winter in place of motorcycles.

Trooper John Burns, Class of 1948 On November 1, 1921 the first class graduated and set out to police rural Massachusetts. As time passed the Uniformed Branch increased its compliment. After several years of varied training locations, the State Police Training School settled on the site of the Old Muster Field at Framingham for seventy one years.

In June 1992, the State Police Academy took up residence at the former site of the Pioneer Valley academy in New Braintree. Although the location has changed, the dedication to hard physical training has not changed. The curriculum of the training program has devoted many hundreds of hours to military drills, firearms training, legal education and patrol procedures as well as many other topics that go into the making of a well rounded trooper.

The 178 members of the 70th RTT who graduated in late 1992, represents the first class to graduate into the newly consolidated Department of State Police. They and many more to come will carry on the ideals and traditions of our academy by rendering efficient service to all of the citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Today, the Massachusetts State Police is comprised of 2,300 highly trained Troopers who provide a wide range of services to the citizens and law enforcement agencies of the Commonwealth.


High school diploma or G.E.D. Ability to obtain a valid Massachusetts Class A firearms license At least 19 years old on the date of the examination Must pass written entrance examination

  • Must pass a thorough background investigation prior to employment.
  • No person, who has been convicted of a felony or any offense punishable under Chapter 94C of the Massachusetts General Laws (drug law violations), will be considered for employment
  • Must pass physical ability test
  • Must pass medical examination
  • Must pass psychological examination
  • Must successfully complete swimming requirements
  • Must be a United States citizen upon appointment to the State Police Academy
  • Must have a valid Massachusetts driver’s license
  • Must be a Massachusetts resident prior to Academy graduation

MSP Frequently Asked Questions

What is the application process for the position of Massachusetts State Trooper?
The first step in the application process is to take and successfully pass the Trooper entrance examination.

When is the next scheduled exam?
Visit MSP recruiting page here for details

What is the passing score for the Trooper exam?
Applicants must attain a score of 70 or higher in order to receive further consideration.

Is there any preference given to individuals?
Yes, with proof of veteran status, individuals are given an additional two points if they pass the exam. Individuals whose parent were killed in the line of duty are given special consideration. There is no preference given based on race or gender.

What materials should I read to prepare for the next exam?
There is no recommended study material to prepare for the exam, other than what is issued by the Department of State Police, or the Massachusetts Human Resources Division. All individuals who apply to take the exam will receive the official Entry Level Trooper Examination Orientation and Preparation Guide. This is the only study material necessary to prepare for our exam

What is the starting salary for State Trooper?
The salary is subject to change please visit MSP for details

What is the educational requirement for a Trooper?
The current education requirement is a high school diploma or a GED.

Is there a minimum age to apply?
Yes, applicants must be at least (21) years of age on the date of the examination.

How long is the academy training process?
The academy training process is approximately six months.

How will I know about the next exam?
The next exam date will be widely publicized via newspapers, radio, television, cable TV, and the internet.

Trooper Benefits

The Commonwealth offers an excellent benefits package, which includes: Life, Health, Dental and Optical insurance, tuition assistance to any state college or university, equipment and uniforms, clothing allowance.

  • Bullet – Blue Cone Leave
  • paid holidays
  • paid personal days
  • Family and Medical leave
  • Military leave as authorized by law
    2 weeks vacation after one year and up to five weeks (based on length of service)
  • Fifteen sick days per year

Browse The Best Police Jobs
in Massachusetts

List of Law Enforcement Agencies in Massachusetts

Barnstable County Sheriff Department
Berkshire County Sheriff Department
Bristol County Sheriff Department
Dukes County Sheriff Department
Essex County Sheriff Department
Franklin County Sheriff Department
Hampden County Sheriff Department
Hampshire County Sheriff Department
Middlesex County Sheriff Department
Nantucket County Sheriff Department
Norfolk County Sheriff Department
Plymouth County Sheriff Department
Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department
Worcester County Sheriff Department
City agencies
Agawam PD
Attleboro PD
Barnstable PD
Bedford PD
Boston PD
Boston Housing Police
Braintree PD
Brockton PD
Cambridge PD
Chelsea PD
Chicopee PD
Everett PD
Fall River PD
Fitchburg PD
Haverhill PD
Holyoke PD
Hull PD
Lawrence PD
Lowell PD
Lynn PD
Malden PD
Melrose PD
Marlborough PD
Methuen PD
New Bedford PD
Newton PD
Northampton PD
Peabody PD
Quincy PD
Revere PD
Salem PD
Sommerville PD
Springfield PD
Taunton PD
Waltham PD
Watertown PD
Westfield PD
West Springfield PD
Weymouth PD
Woburn PD
Worcester PD
Town agencies
Abington PD
Acton PD
Acushnet PD
Adams PD
Agawam PD
Andover PD
Amherst PD
Ashburnham PD
Ashby PD
Ashland PD
Aquinnah PD
Athol PD
Auburn PD
Avon PD
Belchertown PD
Belmont PD
Berkley PD
Berlin PD
Blackstone PD
Bolton PD
Bourne PD
Braintree PD
Brewster PD
Bridgewater PD
Brookfield PD
Brookline PD
Burlington PD
Canton PD
Carver PD
Chatham PD
Chester PD
Chilmark PD
Danvers PD
Dartmouth PD
Dedham PD
Deerfield PD
Dennis PD
Dighton PD
Dracut PD
Duxbury PD
East Bridgewater PD
East Brookfield PD
Eastham PD
East Longmeadow PD
Easton PD
Edgartown PD
Fairhaven PD
Falmouth PD
Foxborough PD
Framingham PD
Franklin PD
Freetown PD
Gloucester PD
Gosnold Constables
Great Barrington PD
Greenfield PD
Hadley PD
Halifax PD
Hampden PD
Hanover PD
Hanson PD
Hardwick PD
Harwich PD
Hingham PD
Holden PD
Holland PD
Hudson PD
Hull PD[48]
Kingston PD
Lee PD[49]
Lakeville PD
Ludlow PD
Malden PD
Manchester PD
Mansfield PD
Marion PD
Marblehead PD
Marshfield PD
Mashpee PD
Mattapoisett PD
Middleborough PD
Millbury PD
Monson PD
Monterey PD
Nahant PD
Nantucket PD
Needham PD
New Braintree PD
Newbury PD
North Andover PD
North Attleborough PD
North Brookfield PD
Northborough PD
Northfield PD
Norton PD
Norwell PD
Norwood PD
Oak Bluffs PD
Orleans PD
Palmer PD
Pelham PD
Pembroke PD
Pittsfield PD
Plymouth PD
Plympton PD
Raynham PD
Provincetown PD
Randolph PD
Rehoboth PD
Rochester PD
Rockland PD
Sandwich PD
Saugus PD
Scituate PD
Seekonk PD
Shrewsbury PD
Somerset PD
Southwick PD
Spenser PD
Stoneham PD
Stoughton PD
Sudbury PD
Swansea PD
Swampscott PD
Tewksbury PD
Tisbury PD
Truro PD
Upton PD
Uxbridge PD
Wales PD
Walpole PD
Wareham PD
Warren PD
Wellesley PD
Wellfleet PD
Westborough PD
West Bridgewater PD
West Tisbury PD
Westport PD
Westwood PD
Whitman PD
Wilbraham PD
Winchester PD
Yarmouth PD