Police Officer Job Qualifications and Requirements

Communities all over demand a lot out of its police officers. In an attempt to meet some of these expectations and hire cops that are more qualified, many police departments across the nation require candidates to go through and pass a  lengthy selection process.

Potential cops not only need to be able to do all the functions of a police officer, but they have to meet all the requirements of the job and be able to do the job well enough to work independently.

As you pursue a career in law enforcement, you must understand there are no shortcuts and there are several requirements and qualifications you must meet before you are hired. They are listed below.


1. You must not be convicted of a felony or  domestic battery

2. You must pass a polygraph test and background check

3. You must have a good driving history

4. You must pass a drug screen (previous drug use will be reviewed on a case by case basis)

5. If you have served in the military, you must not have been dishonorably discharged.

6. You must be able to pass the  Pre-employment Written exam.

7. You must pass the oral board interview and the psychological test.

Education Requirements

1. You must possess a high school diploma or GED

2. Higher education  is a plus, but not mandatory

3. College level degree in a major such as criminal justice is preferable, but not mandatory

4. Red Cross Certification is required.

The following information is a general summary of the requirements and qualifications needed to become a police officer. I may have missed a few things as there’s so much to cover. I recommend visiting your local police department’s website. They will give you more in-depth information on what hiring bodies expect from you as a potential recruit.