How to become a swat team officer

Learn Pay Scale & Salary for SWAT officer, Job, Requirements, Disqualification Factors, selection Process

Top 3 Best Reasons why Joining The SWAT Team
is one of the Most Desired Police Careers

Famed Career

The interest of becoming a SWAT Team officer has spiked over the years as countless positive portrayals in Hollywood TV films, which sometimes introduce a very heroic figure running into very Ultra Risky situations to apprehend a gun toting fugitive holed up in a sleazy motel.

Alluring Career

Police Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) teams have an air of mystery and mystique about them That has been fed to the public by hyper sensationalizing TV Shows in which footage are shown with team members bursting into a smoke filled house & capturing the bad guy.


Like the US Military, SWAT team members are attached to the terms bravery & heroism. SWAT team officers are usually considered the elite of the elite in their respective police agency. They enter dangerous situations with sometimes armed individuals laying in wait.

WATCH The Most Elite SWAT Team on The Planet (LAPD)

Swat Officer Requirements:

Minimum Qualifications

In many agencies, in order to become a SWAT officer, you must move through the
promotional leader. These requirements are mandatory to even be considered as SWAT member candidate.

What Do SWAT Officers Do?

SWAT Average Salary & Pay Scale

How Much Money Do SWAT officers Make?

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

SWAT Member*

$ 1 **

*Upon completion of the academy and FTO, A 1-2 year experienced officer is eligible to interview for a spot on the SWAT team. requirements vary from agency to agency.

** members have an average yearly salary of around $65,400 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics however salary vary by agency.

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

How to become SWAT Team Member

The Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT) depending on the police agency normally consists of around 30-50 Police Officers that provide specialized services in support of a Police Department’s mission. The main goal of the SWAT Team is to provide protection and safety for innocent civilians and Police personnel while reducing the possibility of injuries or death at high risk incidents.

Organizationally, the SWAT Team depending on the size of the agency is comprised of a one Lieutenant, 3-4 Sergeant, 25-30 SWAT Officers and six Marksman. The SWAT Team reports directly to the Criminal Investigations Division’s Commander.

Every SWAT Officer has a primary duty in the  Police Department, such as; a Road Patrol Officer, School Resource Officer, Detective, Motorcycle Officer etc. The Officer’s assignment to the SWAT Team is voluntary and is an additional responsibility to their normal duties.

Incidents in which the SWAT Team (also known as the Special Response Team – SRT) is needed:

Sniper Situations
Barricaded Suspects
Hostage Situations
Dignitary Protection
Civil Disturbance
Search & Arrest Warrants
Armed Suspect
Narcotics Raids
Anti Terrorism

Duties & Responsibilities:

SWAT COMMANDER: The SWAT Commander is responsible for presenting tactical operations for the safe resolution of an incident. Additional responsibilities range from the selection and training of a SWAT Officer to maintaining administrative and logistical records.

TEAM LEADER: The Team Leader is a senior SWAT Officer who has been selected to command the entry team in a high risk situation.

TEAM MEMBER: An Officer trained in the use of special weapons and tactics who is utilized in various capacities which include: inner perimeter security, building entry and suspect apprehension, hostage rescue, team security, delivery of chemical agents, anti-sniper techniques, dignitary protection.

SCOUTS: A two man team that is sent out ahead of the main body of the team to ascertain any information that will assist in the safe deployment of the team.

UTILITY MAN: The Utility Man carries additional equipment and a fully stocked back pack and is considered Rear Security for the team. He is armed with a shotgun to deploy chemical weapons and breaching rounds.

BREACHER: Team members that are responsible for forcibly opening secured doors and clearing blocked avenues of entrance for the SWAT team to make their entry.

GAS TEAM: Two man teams that deploy chemicals into a structure.

MARKSMAN: A SWAT Officer trained in the use of a scoped rifle.

Qualifications, Job Training, and Promotions

  • Tests of vision, hearing, strength, and agility are required.
  • Participate in written competitive examinations.
  • At least a high school education is required though many entry-level applicants have completed some formal postsecondary education and a significant number are college graduates.
  • Aspirants should enjoy working with people and meeting the public.
  • Interviews by senior officers, character traits and backgrounds investigation and, in some agencies, interviews by a psychiatrist or a psychologist, or given a personality test are required.
  • Submission to polygraph examinations or drug testing is also required.
  • Knowing a foreign language can be an asset.
  • Going through a training period prior to their first assignment, state and large local department recruits are trained in their agency’s police academy for about 12 to 14 weeks. A regional or state academy is for recruits for smaller agencies. Classroom instruction in constitutional law and civil rights, state laws and local ordinances, and accident investigation is included in training.
  • Training and supervised experience in patrol, traffic control, firearms, self-defense, first aid, and emergency response is required.
  • After a probationary period ranging from six months to three years, promotions to corporal, sergeant, lieutenant, and captain usually are made according to a candidate’s position on a promotion list, as determined by scores on a written examination and job performance.
  • Self-defense tactics, firearms, use-of-force policies, sensitivity and communications skills, crowd-control techniques, legal developments, and advances in law enforcement equipment are required as a part of annual training.

Average Salaries, Earnings, Annual Salary Of a SWAT Officer

The average salary for s.w.a.t. jobs is $64,000. Average s.w.a.t. salaries can vary greatly due to size of agency, location, experience and benefits.

This salary was calculated using the average salary for all jobs with the term “s.w.a.t.” anywhere in the job listing.

Articles You Might Like...

Browse The Best Police Jobs

Speaking Events Best Fit:

  • LEO Academy Graduations
  • Any Public Safety Events
  • Men’s Groups
  • Church Conferences
  • Military Veteran Events
  • At Risk Youth Programs
  • Business Growth Events
  • Recruitment Conferences
  • AI Implementation Strategy
  • Online Marketing Events

About Me

Speaking Events Best Fit:

  • LEO Academy Graduations
  • Any Public Safety Events
  • Men’s Groups
  • Church Conferences
  • Military Veteran Events
  • At Risk Youth Programs
  • Business Growth Events
  • Recruitment Conferences
  • AI Implementation Strategy
  • Online Marketing Events

With an unparalleled charisma and a captivating stage presence, EL Forestal, the founder and creator of  Hero Helper AI,  has the ability to captivate audiences and leave a lasting impact. Drawing upon his immigrant upbringing, law enforcement background and expertise in AI automation, strategic recruiting growth & business development, EL Forestal delivers powerful messages that resonate with both personal and professional aspirations. 

During his keynote address, EL Forestal will delve into the depths of motivation, sharing valuable insights and practical strategies to unlock hidden potential and drive success. He will inspire attendees to break through barriers, overcome challenges, and reach new heights in their lives.

EL’s unique perspective and experience make him the perfect keynote speaker for your event. With over 20 years of experience in law enforcement, EL has seen it all. He has a deep understanding of the challenges law enforcement professionals face daily and knows how to motivate and inspire them to overcome those obstacles.

Whether you are a law enforcement professional seeking to excel in talent acquisition or a leader looking to inspire your team, EL Forestal’s keynote speech is a must-attend event. Prepare to be energized, motivated, and empowered as EL Forestal imparts his wisdom and passion to ignite the fire within.

Tell Us About Your Needs and We'll Be In Touch!