San Antonio PD Job Overview:

Learn Pay Scale & Starting Salary for SAPD Cops, Job Openings, Requirements, Disqualification Factors, Application Process

Why Serve?

Top 3 Reasons to Pursue a Police Officer
Career at SAPD


San Antonio PD is one of the most diverse law enforcement agencies in the state of Texas. SAPD is an agency that prioritize inclusion & diversity. They actively recruit candidates from different backgrounds and ethnic groups. SAPD is truly an equal opportunity employer that walks the walk.

Career Advancement

One of the benefits of working for a large agency like SAPD is the many career advancement opportunities available like SWAT, Detectives, helicopter Air Support,Executive Protection Unit, bicycle unit, negotiation team, K-9, gang unit, motorcycle unit, homicide & more


Once you become a police officer and earn that coveted badge, you're part of a brotherhood that extends well beyond your city/state. when one officer is in need everyone usually comes to help. for instance, First responders chipped in to raise $20,000 for a SAPD officer battling thyroid cancer

WATCH How to Correctly Perform The SAPD Obstacle Course
Also Known as the Physical Ability Test (PAT)

SAPD Police Requirements:

Minimum Qualifications

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

Disqualification factors to be aware of:


9 step Process to become a Police Officer for SAPD:

Hiring Process

Join Specialized Units at SAPD

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


$ 1 *
Salary per year
$ 1 *
monthy pay

*Salary don’t reflect educational level (AA, BA, MA,Ph.D. ), shift differential, overtime, promotion, lateral transfer pay, bonuses & incentives, etc.

1-Yr Exp.

$ 1 *
yearly Salary
$ 1 *
Monthy Pay

*Salary don’t reflect educational level (AA, BA, MA,Ph.D. ), shift differential, overtime, promotion, lateral transfer pay, bonuses & incentives, etc.

3-Yrs Exp.

$ 1 *
Yearly Salary
$ 1 *
Monthly Pay

*Salary don’t reflect educational level (AA, BA, MA,Ph.D. ), shift differential, overtime, promotion, lateral transfer pay, bonuses & incentives, etc.

5-Yrs Exp.

$ 1 *
Yearly Salary
$ 1 *
Monthly Pay

*Salary don’t reflect educational level (AA, BA, MA,Ph.D. ), shift differential, overtime, promotion, lateral transfer pay, bonuses & incentives, etc.

10-Yrs Exp.

$ 1 *
Salary per year
$ 1 *
monthy pay

15-Yr Exp.

$ 1 *
yearly Salary
$ 1 *
Monthy Pay

20-Yrs Exp.

$ 1 *
Yearly Salary
$ 1 *
Monthly Pay

25-Yrs Exp.

$ 1 *
Yearly Salary
$ 1 *
Monthly Pay

Rank Structure & Career
Promotional Pay Chart

Police Officer
Deputy Chief
Assistance Chief

Find Best Police Jobs in Texas

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

Why become a Cop for San Antonio PD

If you are looking for information on the San Antonio Police Department Hiring Process you’ve landed on the right web page. However you must understand that the SAPD selection process is a long and tedious one. Sometimes taking up to a year before you are hired.

The length of the recruiting process is pretty standard at any law enforcement agency across the country. It is is a bit longer in larger agencies like SAPD where the applicant pool is enormous. Below is the steps you’ll need to complete before you are offered the job.

There are several steps applicants must successfully pass before being appointed to The San Antonio Police Academy Cadet program.

Preference Point System:

To be considered for Veteran’s Preference: Applicants can receive 5 points with a qualifying DD214.  TCLEOSE Peace Officer Certified: With an Intermediate or higher can receive 2 points. A Bachelors Degree: or higher, an applicant can receive 2 points. Associates Degree: An applicant can receive 1 point. San Antonio Resident: If applicants are and have been residing within San Antonio for 180 days or more they can receive 1 point toward their exam score.  A minimum of 70% is required to receive any preference points.  The max number of points you can receive is 5.

The process begins once your PHS (Personal History Statement or Application) has been reviewed and accepted.

Once your PHS has been accepted applicants will go through the following steps.

  • Written Exam
    • The written exam is the first step in the hiring process. It primarily tests the applicants reading/writing comprehension skills, spatial orientation (map reading), visualization skills, memorization & problem solving skills.  The exam consists of 100 multiple choice questions which will be taken on a computer.  Please go to TESTING READINESS page to download the study guide. The exam is graded immediately upon completion. Applicants who successfully pass the written exam with a 70% or better will be scheduled to take the PT test.

    Physical Fitness Test

    • The physical fitness test (PT test) consists of 4 events and is on a pass or fail system.  The criteria to pass is based upon your age and gender. Please go to theTESTING READINESS page to review the passing criteria and additional information.

    Background Investigation

    • A complete background investigation is conducted into the applicant’s general personal reputation, education, military history, driving record, arrest record, drug usage, employment history, credit history, special qualifications and skills. Please review the
      SUITIBILITY FACTORS to see the Civil Service Standards.

    Assessment Board Interview

    • A panel composed of three (3) experienced San Antonio PoliceOfficers will assess the applicant’s character through job related and hypothetical situations/scenarios.  Key points in one’s character are flexibility, a sense of self preservation, confidence, integrity, one’s ability to explain and articulate responses, decision making skills and common sense.

    Medical Physical Examination

    • Applicants must be certified by a licensed physician approved/selected by the City of San Antonio.  Applicants must be declared physically sound and free from defect, which may adversely affect the performance of the duties of a police officer.

    Polygraph Examination

    • Polygraph examinations are conducted by a licensed polygraph examiner approved/selected by the San Antonio Police Department.  The sole purpose of examination is to verify the applicant’s truthfulness.

    Psychological Examination

    • A licensed psychologist or psychiatrist approved/selected by the San Antonio Police Departmentmust certify Applicants.  The evaluation will determine if the applicant’s psychological and emotional health is appropriate to the duties and functions of a professional police officer.

    Final Review

    • Upon successful completion of the application process, the Chief of Police reviews each candidate’s file.  Once approved by the Chief of Police candidates are appointed to the rank of “Police Cadet”.

Average Salary, Pay Scale, Earnings & Benefits SAPD


The Training Academy is certified for full-time Veteran’s Administration Education Benefits.

• Promotional Opportunities:

Promotional Opportunities: Opportunity for promotion and corresponding salary increases are based on Civil Service Exams. Officers are elligible to test for promotion after serving at least five years as a Patrol Officer and 2 years at any other rank.

• Night Differential Pay: $350.00/month

• Language Skill Pay: $50.00/month

• Standby Pay:

Officers assigned to S.W.A.T., S.W.A.T. alternates, K-9, Bomb, and Crisis Negotiators receive $157.00/month.

• Active Assignment Pay:

Officers assigned to the Blue E.A.G.L.E. Helicopter Unit or serve as coordinators for the Volunteers in Policing Program receive $157.00/month.

• Education Incentive Pay for Degrees:

Associates = $215.00/month
Bachelors = $315.00/month
Masters = $335.00/month
Doctorate = $350.00/month

• Education Incentive Pay for Accredited Hours (prior to degree):

65-94 = $60.00/month
95-124 = $90.00/month
125-154 = $120.00/month
155-184 = $150.00/month
185-214 = $180.00/month
215-229 = $210.00/month
230+ = $240.00/month

• Certification Pay:

Basic Certificate = $30
Intermediate = $130.00
Advanced = $170.00
Masters = $210.00

• Longevity Pay:

Each officer’s regular rate of pay is increased 3% for each five years of longevity, to a maximum of 30 years or 18%. The increase is independent of any other increases gained through the “Collective Bargaining Agreement.”

• Leave Conversion or Buy Back:

The City will buy back or convert either in “pay” or in “other forms of leave” at the officer’s discretion, up to fithteen (15) unused sick leave days per year.

• Court Pay

• Education Reimbursement Program

• Insurance:

Insurance: Health, Dental, Optical, Life (includes dependent coverage)

• Accumulated Leave:

Vacation, Holiday, Military, Sick, CT

• Bonus Days:

Quarterly bonus for unused sick days.

• Clothing Allowance:

New Graduating Officers $480.00 +
$840.00  Oct 1, 2010
$960.00  Oct 1, 2011
$1200.00  Oct 1, 2012
$1440.00  Oct 1, 2013

• Maximum Allowable Retirement Benefits

• Physical Fitness Incentive:

The City of San Antonio and the San Antonio Police Department are committed to a healthy, physically fit and well-trained police department. In demonstrating that commitment, officers who participate and meet standards established in a police academy-sponsored wellness program, or meet the physical standards established by the academy during the annual in-service training, are rewarded with administrative leave up to 5 days.
All applicants must meet the following minimum requirements and suitability facotrs in order to apply for the entry level position of police cadet.

Minimum Age:Must be at least 20 years and 6 months at time of written examination (contact a recruiter for minimum age exception).
Maximum Age:Must not have reached 45 years of age at time of appointment to the Police Academy.
Education:High School Diploma or
G.E.D. plus 12 college hours.
(Academic records must reflect a minimum overall grade point average of “C” or its numerical equivalent.)
Military Service:Must have an Honorable Discharge.
(Uncharacterized and Entry-Level discharges may be accepted and will be assessed on an individual basis.)
Citizenship:Must be a United States Citizen at the time of application.
All applications are screened to determine if the applicant meets the minimum requirements and qualifies for further consideration.

Entrance Examination:At the time of application, cleared applicants will be notified of a test date.REQUIREMENTS Applicants cannot have any of the following:

  • Two or more traffic violation conviction(s) within twelve months preceding the date of application.
  • Is prohibited by state of federal law from operating a motor vehicle.
  • Is currently under indictment for any criminal offense.
  • Has a conviction of a misdemeanor offense above the grade of Class “C” within the last ten years.
  • Has a conviction of any offense above the grade of a Class B Misdemeanor or any crime involving moral turpitude.
  • Has ever been on court-ordered community supervision or probation for any criminal offense above the grade of Class B misdemeanor.
  • Has been on court-ordered community supervision or probation for a Class B misdemeanor within the last ten years from the date of the court order.
  • Is prohibited by state or federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition.
  • Has been convicted of a crime involving family violence.
  • Was discharged from any military service under less than Honorable conditions. Including specifically: General (under Honorable conditions), other than Honorable, bad conduct, dishonorable, or any other characterization of service indicating bad character.


Suitability factors are defined by the Civil Service Commission. Prospective cadets must meet all suitability requirements to be considered for appointment to the police academy. Factors such as work history, academic ability, financial responsibility, truthfulness and use of elicited substances are important in identifying qualified applicants. Read the actual Civil Service Commission rules here.

Articles You Might Like...

Popular Articles

Police Resources