How to Become a Cop in Missouri

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

Table of Contents

Top 3 Reasons to Pursue a Law Enforcement
Career in Missouri

cost of living

Missouri had the 8th lowest cost of living in the United States for the third quarter of 2019. In general, the most expensive places to live are Hawaii, Alaska, the Northeast, & the West Coast.

Career Advancement

One of the benefits of working for a police agency in MO is the many career advancement opportunities available like SWAT, Detectives, drug unit, FTO, Canine handler, mounted patrol & more

Perks & Incentives

Some law enforcement agencies in MO offer a bump in pay if you are bilingual, as well as tuition reimbursement if you want to pursue higher learning, Shift differential pay & much more.

WATCH How to Become A Police Officer in Missouri

Minimum Qualifications

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

Police Academy Curriculum

Constitutional Law
Missouri Statutory Law
Traffic Law
Domestic Violence
Crisis Intervention/Domestic Violence
Child Abuse & Neglect
Jail Population Management
Processing & Documentation Procedures
Basic Security Principles
Skill Development
Defensive Tactics (PPCT) – Certification
Firearms – Multiple Qualification
Driver Training
Interviewing & Interrogation
Courtroom Testimony & Demeanor
Practical Application Exercises
DWI – NHTSA Certification
OC Spray (OCAT) – CertificationPatrol
Traffic Accident Investigation
Offense Investigations
Criminal Investigation
Report Writing
Juvenile Justice & Procedures
First Responder – National Certification
Interpersonal Perspectives
Human Behavior & Tactical Communications
Cultural Diversity
Community Problem Solving
Crime Prevention
Dealing with Death
Stress Management
Health, Fitness, & Nutrition

Types of police Jobs in Missouri

According to GoBankingRate Missouri is ranked #40 for cop pay with an average salary of $47,080

  • *salary below does not reflect overtime, career promotion, longevity, shift premium, educational or bi-lingual incentives, bonuses, overtime,  etc.

St. Louis County Deputy

$ 1 *
$ 1 *
10+ Yrs

St. Louis (SLMPD)

$ 1 *
Trainee pay
$ 1 *
Police Pay

Clayton Police Department

$ 1 *
$ 1 *
7 yr MAX pay

Washington Police Department

$ 1 *

Hannibal Police Department

$ 1 *

Rank Promotion Pay chart

Police Chief

Find Best Police Jobs in Missouri

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

Steps to become a Cop in Missouri

 If you are looking to become a municipal police officer in Missouri, be prepared to pay your own way for basic academy training. In Missouri, peace officers must be licensed by the Missouri Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission (POST).

Most departments require that you obtain that license before being hired and in order to get the license you complete mandatory basic training that is given at police academies and licensed colleges and universities around the state.


 Enrolling in one of these schools is the first step to take on the path to becoming a peace officer in Missouri. You can find a list of these schools on the POST web site here.

 The basic training curriculum will be between 400 and 600 hours, depending on the academy or institution chosen. It generally will be around 25 weeks. By state mandate part of the training will be 30 hours in the investigation and management of cases involving domestic and family violence.

 A good site to look at to learn more about the examination process is this one.


 There also are eligibility requirements to meet in order to be licensed. In Missouri they include:

  • Minimum age of 21 upon graduating from a basic training academy
  • U.S. citizenship
  • A high school diploma or GED equivalent
  • A minimum of 60 college credit hours or two year’s active duty military service with an honorable discharge
  • Passing the Missouri Peace Officer License Exam
  • No criminal history that includes a felony conviction.
  • Good character, with no crime involving moral turpitude, no pending indictments, or certain misdemeanor offenses including any involving aggressive or violent behavior (i.e., domestic violence, criminal assault, etc.), disregard for the safety of others, or the misuse of deadly weapons.
  • Be free of objectionable tattoos/brands. No tattoos/brands are permitted on the head, neck, hands, or below the upper six-inch portion of the arm.
  • Be willing to live anywhere in the State of Missouri.
  • Possess a valid Missouri Driver License at the time of appointment.
  • Possess ordinary physical strength.
  • Pass the physical and mental examinations prescribed by the superintendent.


If the minimum standards are met, the selection process to become a police officer is this:

  • Pass a written exam 
  • Undergo a fitness for duty assessment 
  • Pass a polygraph and background investigation 
  • Undergo an oral interview by a board 

Once these steps are completed, a candidate may receive a conditional offer of employment. However, they still have to pass:

  • Psychological exam 
  • Psychological interview 
  • Medical exam 
  • Vision and hearing exam 
  • Drug screening 

Only after successfully completing these final steps can the final offer of employment be made by the police agency.


According to GoBankingRate, a police officer in the state of Missouri makes $47,080 per year. However the data collected by GoBankingRate aren’t very accurate because it does not record overtime pay or off duty work. These two factors, if included in the data, would increase the average salary of a police officer in MO.


There are several law enforcement job openings in Missouri. Simply visit our Career Job Opening or go to the official website of the agency you are interested in to complete an application of employment. 

Trooper Selection Process Description

The Pre-Employment testing portion of the Trooper Selection Process is comprised of several phases, which include written examinations, a physical fitness for duty assessment, polygraph examination, background investigation, oral interview board, medical examination, drug screening, and a psychological examination and interview. You are expected to successfully complete each phase of the selection process to be considered for employment.

After each testing phase, you will receive written notification of your status. Due to this, it is imperative the Human Resources Division has a current mailing address and telephone number on file for you. You are responsible for immediately notifying Human Resources of any address or telephone number change. All individuals are notified of their status and informed of the application procedures for future testing periods.

A detailed explanation of each phase of the selection process is listed below:

1. Written Examination

  1. ALERT Examination (Reading Comprehension and Writing Skills) – This examination is designed to measure an applicant’s reading comprehension and writing skills. This test measures important basic abilities that are required for performing the job of a law enforcement officer. The first part of the test contains sixty (60) questions that deal with reading comprehension. It contains several passages of reading material concerning police subject matter; following each passage are a number of multiple-choice questions. Answers are chosen based upon what is said in the passage, not on information from other sources. The second part of the test contains one hundred (100) multiple-choice questions that deal with writing skills. The areas examined are clarity, detail, spelling, and grammar. Each part of the test has its own separate instructions. The time limit for the ALERT test is two hours.
  2. PAF Examination (Police Attitudinal Factors) – This examination is an employment device designed to evaluate law enforcement applicants. This test measures attitudes, which are highly relevant to one’s effectiveness in dealing with the public as an officer. For each question, there are two statements. You must choose the one statement in each pair with which you most agree. There are a total of 125 questions. The time limit for the PAF test is one hour.
  3. FCS Examination (Field Contact Scale) – This examination is designed to determine how you feel about issues relating to police work. Each question consists of a brief statement. You must indicate whether you agree or disagree with each statement. There are a total of 40 questions. The time limit for the FCS test is twenty minutes.

NOTE: Preparation for the ALERT examination should include reading comprehension, writing skills, basic spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Since the PAF and FCS examinations relate to the applicant’s attitude, no preparation is necessary.

2. Fitness For Duty Assessment

The fitness for duty assessment was developed following an in-depth task analysis and validation study of the daily responsibilities an entry-level trooper performs. The assessment is comprised of eight events. A test monitor demonstrates each event while another test monitor simultaneously reads the event instructions. Applicants are encouraged and allowed time to ask questions necessary to thoroughly understand each event prior to their participation. This phase of the selection procedure is normally conducted at the Law Enforcement Academy in Jefferson City. Listed below is the name and description of each event:

NOTE: Preparation for the Fitness For Duty Assessment should include cardiovascular endurance, upper body strength, and overall body conditioning.

  1. Half-mile Shuttle Run – Applicants are required to demonstrate their cardiovascular endurance. The applicant begins behind a start line in a standing position. After a “Get set, Go” signal, a stopwatch is activated. The applicant runs 15 round trips around two traffic cones set 88 feet apart for a distance of one-half mile. When the applicant crosses the finish line, the time is stopped and recorded as the applicant’s score.
  2. Side Step – Applicants are required to demonstrate their physical agility, coordination, and running ability by performing side steps for a 60 second period. Side steps are performed on a hard surface that is marked with three parallel lines spaced 48 inches apart (e.g., covering a total distance of 96 inches). The applicant starts in a slightly crouched position with their feet centered on the middle line about two feet apart. The applicant slides back and forth across the centerline touching each of the two outside lines with the foot nearest the line. One point is scored each time the centerline is crossed with both feet and an outside line is touched. Side stepping must be done with the body facing forward and without crossing the feet during the side-to-side motions.
  3. Grip Strength – Applicants are required to demonstrate their grip strength using a Handgrip Dynamometer. The applicant exerts their maximum grip strength using their right and left hand. The results are measured in pounds. The right and left hand scores are recorded separately then added to formulate a composite score for the event.
  4. Standing Long Jump – Applicants are required to demonstrate their leg power by performing a standing long jump. After a “Get set, Go” signal, the applicant, who is standing at the take-off line, must jump as far forward as possible. The measurement is made from the take-off line to the heels, or any part of the body, which touches the floor nearest the take-off line. The measurement, to the nearest half-inch, is recorded as the applicant’s score.
  5. Shoulder Strength – Applicants are required to demonstrate their shoulder strength using the Shoulder Strength Adduction Device. The applicant exerts their maximum pressure in pushing the two handles together and holding that position for two seconds. The maximum score is recorded.
  6. Trigger Pull (Pistol firing simulation) – Applicants are required to demonstrate their ability to pull the slide of a Patrol pistol back and pull the trigger six times with their right and left hand. They will also required to load and unload the magazine of the pistol with their right and left hand, then lock the slide to the rear with either hand. Applicants are allowed a maximum of two and a half minutes to complete this pass or fail event.
  7. Dynamic Arm Strength – Applicants are required to demonstrate their dynamic arm strength using an ergo meter, fitted with handgrips. The applicant is seated on the floor behind the apparatus. The resistance on the ergo meter is set to 2.5 KP. The applicant is required to crank the handles as quickly as possible for 30 seconds. A counter records revolutions.
  8. Push-ups – Applicants are required to demonstrate their upper body strength by doing as many push-ups as possible in a sixty-second time period. Push-ups are performed in a manner that keeps the back straight with no bow. Only the hands and toes may touch the floor. The plane of the back must go below the top of the elbows in the down position for the push-up to be counted. Resting is allowed, but only in the up position. The back may be bowed up or down during the rest period only. This event is for statistical purposes only.

PRELIMINARY ELIGIBILITY LIST – The Human Resources Division combines scores achieved on the PAF, FCS, and Fitness for Duty Assessment. The ALERT is a pass/fail examination, therefore is not included with the other scores. Only top scoring applicants are selected to proceed within the selection process. Candidates for the polygraph examination and background investigation phases are selected from the preliminary eligibility list.

3. Polygraph Examination

The applicant must undergo and successfully complete a polygraph examination, administered by a Patrol polygraphist. The examination is used to assist the background investigator in conducting a comprehensive investigation of an applicant. The main recording in the polygraph examination is blood pressure. The polygraph examination can be stressful for some applicants. Conditions such as hypertension, pregnancy, respiratory or heart ailments, etc., may affect the results of the polygraph examination. While there is no medical evidence that a polygraph examination effects a person’s health, applicants are encouraged to discuss this step with their physician prior to the examination to determine if it is suitable to be tested. If an accommodation is needed, the applicant must discuss that with the Human Resources Division at the time the examination is scheduled. Those applicants who are pregnant will not be tested until after the birth of the child. All applicants are required to sign a waiver form prior to taking the polygraph examination. The areas covered in the polygraph examination are as follows:

  1. Employment history
  2. Traffic record
  3. Financial history
  4. Current illegal drug usage
  5. Record of criminal convictions
  6. Basic honesty

4. Background Investigation

A uniformed member of the Patrol conducts an extensive pre-employment background investigation, in order to determine the applicant’s character and overall suitability for employment. Information obtained through the background investigation is held strictly confidential. To assist the background investigator, applicants are required to obtain a standard list of documents, such as:

  1. Certified copy of birth certificate obtained from the birth states’ Department of Health (an original birth certificate, photocopy of the original or certified copy, or a notarized copy are NOT acceptable)
  2. Valid driver’s license (photocopy)
  3. Military service discharge papers, if applicable (DD214 and/or DD215)
  4. High school diploma or GED certificate (photocopy)
  5. High school transcript (official copy)
  6. College diploma(s) (photocopy)
  7. College transcript(s) (official copy)

5. Background Review and Oral Interview Board

Each applicant’s background investigation is submitted to a board composed of uniformed members who evaluate the information presented and assess the applicant in specific, pre-determined dimensions. The same board conducts an oral interview of the applicant in order to rate the individual’s oral communication skills and suitability for the position.

FINAL ELIGIBILITY LIST – The background review/oral interview board score is tabulated and added to the PAF, FCS, and Fitness for Duty scores in order to formulate a final eligibility list. Applicants are notified in writing of their standing within the selection process. Applicants not selected to continue are given instructions concerning application procedures for future processes. Selected applicants are extended a Conditional Offer of Employment.

6. Conditional Offer of Employment

  1. Medical Examination – Contracted doctors conduct the medical examinations. Applicant must meet minimum medical standards and be determined to be medically capable of performing the job. The initial medical examination, as prescribed by the Superintendent, is given at Patrol expense. However, additional examinations to prove an applicant’s eligibility may be at the applicant’s expense.
  2. Drug Screening – Applicants must successfully pass a Patrol administered drug test. The drug screening consists of a urine sample, tested for specific drugs, using cutoff levels established by the Patrol and/or the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
  3. Psychological Examination and Evaluation – A battery of psychological tests, that measure individual responses to law enforcement, behavioral, and societal psychodynamic factors, are administered. A contracted clinical psychologist completes the evaluation during a one-on-one interview.

7. Final Offer

Budget constraints and the number of vacant openings determine the exact number of applicants who receive a Final Offer of Employment. This offer is extended to applicants who successfully completed the medical examination, psychological evaluation, drug screening, and an overall final review. Additionally, applicants must sign a three-year commitment contract. This contract requires the applicant to remain employed with the Missouri State Highway Patrol for at least three years; otherwise, the applicant must reimburse the Patrol the cost of training and uniform expenses based upon a prorated basis.

Browse The Best Police Jobs
in Missouri

List of Law Enforcement Agencies in Missouri

Adair County Sheriff Department
Andrew County Sheriff Department
Atchison County Sheriff Department
Audrain County Sheriff Department
Barry County Sheriff Department
Barton County Sheriff Department
Bates County Sheriff Department
Benton County Sheriff Department
Bollinger County Sheriff Department
Boone County Sheriff Department
Buchanan County Sheriff Department
Butler County Sheriff Department
Caldwell County Sheriff Department
Callaway County Sheriff Department
Camden County Sheriff Department
Cape Girardeau County Sheriff Department
Carroll County Sheriff Department
Carter County Sheriff Department
Cass County Sheriff Department
Cedar County Sheriff Department
Chariton County Sheriff Department
Christian County Sheriff Department
Clark County Sheriff Department
Clay County Sheriff Department
Clinton County Sheriff Department
Cole County Sheriff Department
Cooper County Sheriff’s Department
Crawford County Sheriff Department
Dade County Sheriff Department
Dallas County Sheriff Department
Daviess County Sheriff Department
Dekalb County Sheriff Department
Douglas County Sheriff Department
Dunklin County Sheriff Department
Franklin County Sheriff Department
Gasconade County Sheriff Department
Gentry County Sheriff Department
Greene County Sheriff Department
Grundy County Sheriff Department
Harrison County Sheriff Department
Henry County Sheriff Department
Hickory County Sheriff Department
Holt County Sheriff Department
Howard County Sheriff Department
Howell County Sheriff Department
Iron County Sheriff Department
Jackson County Sheriff Department
Jasper County Sheriff Department
Jefferson County Sheriff Department
Johnson County Sheriff Department
Knox County Sheriff Department
Laclede County Sheriff Department
Lafayette County Sheriff Department
Lawrence County Sheriff Department
Lewis County Sheriff Department
Lincoln County Sheriff Department
Linn County Sheriff Department
Livingston County Sheriff Department
Macon County Sheriff Department
Madison County Sheriff Department
Maries County Sheriff Department
Marion County Sheriff Department
McDonald County Sheriff Department
Mercer County Sheriff Department
Miller County Sheriff Department
Mississippi County Sheriff Department
Moniteau County Sheriff Department
Monroe County Sheriff Department
Montgomery County Sheriff Department
Morgan County Sheriff Department
New Madrid County Sheriff Department
Newton County Sheriff Department
Nodaway County Sheriff Department
Oregon County Sheriff Department
Osage County Sheriff Department
Ozark County Sheriff Department
Pemiscot County Sheriff Department
Perry County Sheriff Department
Pettis County Sheriff Department
Phelps County Sheriff Department
Pike County Sheriff Department
Platte County Sheriff Department
Polk County Sheriff Department
Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department
Putnam County Sheriff Department
Ralls County Sheriff Department
Randolph County Sheriff Department
Ray County Sheriff Department
Reynolds County Sheriff Department
Ripley County Sheriff Department
Saline County Sheriff Department
Schuyler County Sheriff Department
Scotland County Sheriff Department
Scott County Sheriff Department
Shannon County Sheriff Department
Shelby County Sheriff Department
Saint Charles County Sheriff Department
Saint Charles County PD
St. Charles City PD
Saint Clair County Sheriff Department
Saint Francois County Sheriff Department
Saint Genevieve County Sheriff Department
Saint Louis County PD
Stoddard County Sheriff Department
Stone County Sheriff Department
Sullivan County Sheriff Department
Taney County Sheriff Department
Texas County Sheriff Department
Vernon County Sheriff Department
Warren County Sheriff Department
Washington County Sheriff Department
Wayne County Sheriff Department
Webster County Sheriff Department
Worth County Sheriff Department
Wright County Sheriff Department
City agencies
Adrian PD
Advance PD
Alba PD
Albany PD
Allendale PD
Anderson PD
Appleton City PD
Arnold PD
Ash Grove PD
Ashland PD
Aurora PD
Ava PD
Ballwin PD
Bates City PD
Bel-Nor PD
Bel-Ridge PD
Bell City PD
Bella Vista PD
Bellefontaine Neighbors PD
Bellflower PD
Belton PD
Berkeley Hills PD
Berkeley PD
Bernie PD
Bethany PD
Beverly Hills PD
Billings PD
Birmingham PD
Bismarck PD
Bland PD
Bloomfield PD
Blue Springs PD
Bolivar PD
Bonne Terre PD
Booneville PD
Bourbon PD
Bowling Green PD
Branson PD
Braymer PD
Breckenridge Hills PD
Brentwood PD
Bridgeton PD
Brookfield PD
Browning PD
Brunswick PD
Buckner PD
Buffalo PD
Butler PD
Byrnes Mill PD
Cabool PD
California PD
Calverton Park PD
Camdenton PD
Cameron PD
Carthage PD
Cassville PD
Charleston PD
Chesterfield PD
Chillicothe PD
Claycomo PD
Clayton PD
Columbia PD
Country Club Hills PD
Crocker PD
De Soto PD
Doniphan PD
Eastborough PD
East Prairie PD
Edmundson PD
Edwardsville PD
Eureka PD
Excelsior Springs PD
Fair Grove PD
Ferguson PD
Flordell Hills PD
Florissant PD
Frontenac PD
Garden City PD
Gladstone PD
Grain Valley PD
Hanley Hills PD
Hawk Point PD
Hazelwood PD
Hillsdale PD
Independence PD
Jefferson City PD
Jonesburg PD
Joplin PD
Kahoka PD
Kansas City PD
Kirksville PD
Kirkwood PD
Ladue PD
Lakeshire PD
Lake Lotawana PD
Lake Winnebago PD
Lee’s Summit PD
Liberty PD
Licking PD
Lone Jack PD
Maplewood PD
Moline Acres PD
Montgomery City PD
Mount Vernon PD
Nevada PD
Nixa PD
Normandy PD
North Kansas City PD
North Woods PD
O’Fallon PD
Oakview PD
Old Monroe PD
Pacific PD
Pagedale PD
Parkville PD
Parma PD
Peculiar PD
Pine Lawn PD
Platte City PD
Platte Woods PD
Pleasant Hill PD
Pleasant Valley PD
Poplar Bluff PD
Raymore PD
Raytown PD
Richland PD
Riverside PD
Rock Hill PD
Rolla PD
Saint Ann PD
Saint Joseph PD
Smithville PD
St. Louis PD
St. Louis Airport PD
St. Robert PD
Sedalia PD
Sparta PD
Springfield PD
Sunset Hills PD
Town and Country PD
Troy PD
Truesdale PD
Velda City PD
Warrensburg PD
Warrenton PD
Warson Woods PD
Washington PD
Waynesville PD
Webb City PD
Webster Groves PD
Wentzville PD
Weston PD
Wright City Police Deparment

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!