how to become a police officer in Utah

Table of Contents

3 Factors that are a major turn off to
law enforcement agencies


Making false statements in any pre-employment documents that attempts to gather information about you, or withholding information, practiced or attempted to practice any deception or fraud in the application process.

Incomplete application

Failure to complete the employment application correctly, or failure to fill in all blanks, failure to provide notary seals required, missing documents, including missed appointments, failure to return necessary paperwork

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: How to Train To Become a Cop

Utah Police Requirements:

Minimum Qualifications

Disqualification factors to be aware of:





Police Training Academy Courses


  • Taser
  • First Aid
  • DUI/OWI Enforcement
  • Traffic Enforcement
  • Criminal Law
  • Traffic Law
  • search and seizure
  • ethical issues
  • use of force;
  • firearms
  • defensive tactics
  • drug investigations

Specialized Units in Utah

Bomb Squad
K9 Squad
Detective Division
Narcotics Task Force
Homicide Unit
Gang Unit
Bike Patrol
Intelligence Division
Forensic Investigations Unit
Violent Crimes
Narcotics Unit

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

$ 1 *
Average Salary
$ 1 /HR*

* The base pay above does not Include holiday pay, longevity pay, education level, uniform allowance, shift differential and overtime. Cops can potentially earn more than the figure above suggest.

Average Pay Percentile Breakdown

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 Utah

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

Steps To Become a Police Officer in Utah

Certification to become a peace officer in Utah can be obtained only after complete basic training course at either the state’s training academy in Sandy, Utah, a suburb of Salt Lake City, or at one of five satellite academies. The state offers two choices in getting this basic training.

In the first, prospective police officers can find a job prior to training and have the jurisdiction in which he or she has been hired enroll the new officer in the Sandy, Utah, academy.

The second is for individuals who wish to be certified but who have not been hired by an agency. These individuals will have to enroll in one of the satellite academies and pay for the training themselves, then find a job. A list of Utah police agencies can be found at here.

Minimum Requirements

Which ever method is selected, prospective officers will have to meet certain minimum requirements for hiring set by the Utah Peace Officer Standards and Training Council (POST), which establishes standards and training requirements and which is the agency that certifies all officers ( The site provides prospective officers with a full list of minimum qualifications, factors that will disqualify a candidate, and links to the satellite academies that offer training in addition to the state academy in Sandy.

Here are some of the minimum qualifications that have to be met in Utah in order to become a police officer.

The prospective officer must be a U.S. citizen at least 21 years old at the time of appointment, a high school graduate or have an equivalency certificate and free of any physical, emotional or mental conditions that could adversely affect performance of peace officer duties.

Disqualification Factors

A number of factors will prevent a candidate from becoming a police officer in the state. A less than honorable discharge from the U.S. armed forces disqualifies a candidate, as does any felony conviction that could have resulted in imprisonment in a federal or state penitentiary.

Convictions of misdemeanor crimes are not automatic disqualifiers but require a waiting period from the date of conviction, depending on the type of crime involved, before a candidate can be accepted.

For example, misdemeanor crimes concerning drugs or controlled substance have a two- to five-year waiting period, depending on the type of drug or controlled substances involved.

Misdemeanor crimes of dishonesty, unlawful sexual conduct or physical violence have a four-year waiting period. A DUI offense has a two-year waiting period and minor crimes may require a one-year wait.

Police Training Academy & Background Check

Candidates will be fingerprinted and a search made through local, state and federal data bases for any criminal history.

After being hired by a police jurisdiction, the candidate officer will be sent to training at the Sandy, UT academy, where he or she will be put through 15 weeks of training that will include, but is not limited to, training in firearms and emergency vehicle operations, canine training, defensive tactics and physical fitness. Students at satellite academies will be put through training that mirrors that of the state academy.

Police Jobs in UT

There are several law enforcement job openings in Utah. 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. 

A candidate for Trooper with the Utah Highway Patrol requires the following preparation and training.

  • If not yet certified as a law enforcement officer, the candidate spends 12 weeks in the Peace Officer Standards and Training Academy where he or she must successfully fulfill requirements in physical stamina, vision, and studies in Utah laws.
  • Vision Standards
    Vision must be correctable to 20/20 in one eye and no greater than 20/40 in the other eye with the following conditions:
    • Uncorrected vision may not be worse than 20/200 binocular for wearers of glasses. Successful long term contact lens wearers are not subject to the above uncorrected standard, on three conditions:
      1. Have successfully worn their lenses six months or more
      2. Will replace their lenses every six months to one year or more frequently if the lens becomes uncomfortable or difficult to wear.
      3. Will clean the lenses on a regular basis as recommenced by the manufacturer.
    • Distance vision corrected by surgery such as orthokeratology or radial keratotomy are new surgical procedures with no long term histories. Real concerns have been expressed to include:
      1. The strength of the cornea (and resistance to subsequent trauma)
      2. Stability of vision correction (daily fluctuations and long term stability)
      3. Glare disability,
      4. Reduced night vision.
    • Each situation will need individual evaluation.
      Significant loss of color vision (greater than one cross on the Farnsworth D-15 panel test) is unacceptable for safety positions.
      Colored soft contact lenses may not be worn, as they produce field loss range.

      Significant deficiency in peripheral vision in either eye is unacceptable. Field of vision must extend across an arc (at the horizontal meridian) of at least 140 degrees in both eyes and at least 70 degrees in each eye tested separately.

    • Eighty hours or more of instructions with the UHP Training Section for newly certified officers. This includes: Firearms, EVO (Emergency Vehicle Operation) radar and intoxilyzer training, and introduction to the FTO program.

Minimum qualifications for employment as a Utah Highway Patrol trooper include:

  • Be at least 21 years of age
  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Have a high school diploma
  • Must not have been convicted of a felony as an adult

All applicants interested in a Trooper position are required to take a written exam called the P.O.S.T. Entrance Level Test. You should take the P.O.S.T. test as soon as possible to get your score recorded into the test database.

In-Service Training

  • Forty hours each year of in-service training.
  • Eight hours every 2 years in the intoxilyzer training program to maintain certification.
  • Sixteen hours of firearms training each year.
  • Eight hours of EVO training each year.
  • Eight hours every 3 years in the radar training program to maintain certification.

Once hired and after the initial training listed above, a trooper will be required to attend regular In-Service training.

Advancement Opportunities
Troopers can apply for the Sergeant promotional examination after they have completed 5 years of work experience as a peace officer with the last 3 years preceding application for this position being in a sworn capacity with the Department of Public Safety.

Sergeants can apply for the Lieutenant promotional examination after they have completed 5 years of work experience as a peace officer of which 2 years preceding application for this position must have been in a position classified as Sergeant or an equivalent sworn position with the Department of Public Safety.

All positions above the Lieutenant rank, are exempt positions and are appointed by the Utah Highway Patrol Superintendent.


New Troopers are required to comply with the Utah Highway Patrol residency policy. The purpose of this policy is to ensure that personnel reside in locations that will permit reasonable response time, limit excessive travel, and encourage personnel to become integral members of the community.

Each section commander establishes a written residency policy for personnel within their respective commands. Personnel being hired, promoted, or transferred must comply with current residency requirements within 180 calendar days.

0All Counties15Morgan
2Box Elder17Rich
3Cache18Salt Lake
4Carbon19San Juan


The Utah Highway Patrol is paid biweekly. Salary increases are reviewed and must be funded by the Legislature each year. Increases are based on performance ratings.

New, entry level Troopers, are rated on their performance semi-annually while on probation, there is a possibility of a 2.75% increase after six months. On successful completion of an 18 month probationary period, there is a possibility of up to a 5«% salary increase.

This position is covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act. The State of Utah is subject to the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. It is a condition of employment with the Department of Public Safety that overtime be compensated with compensatory time at time and one half, or paid overtime at time and one half as determined by the Department of Public Safety.

Uniform Allowance

Troopers receive $520.00 per year  for uniform replacement and maintenance.

Work Schedules
May vary depending on work location, generally 40 hrs. per week.

Is earned as follows:

0 through 5 years 4 hours per pay period
6 through 10 years 5 hours per pay period
After 11 years 6 hours per pay period

The maximum vacation time that can be accumulated is 320 hours.

Sick leave is earned at the rate of 4 hours a pay period with no maximum on what is accumulated.

Holiday pay  – The Utah Highway Patrol has 11 paid holidays.

An employee on official military orders, without loss of pay or loss of vacation leave, is entitled to military leave that should not exceed 15 regular scheduled working days per year. Employees who are on paid military leave shall continue to accrue annual and sick leave at their regular rate.

Troopers are covered by a fully funded, non-contributory retirement plan. The State of Utah pays the entire contribution. Retirement may be taken after twenty years of service at 50 percent of a specified average salary. The maximum is 70 percent after 30 years.

Health Insurance
There are 4 Health Insurance plans available. The State pays 90 to 100 percent of the premium cost for employees.

Dental Insurance
There are 4 Dental Insurance plans available. The State pays 80 to 100 percent of the premium cost for employees.

Life Insurance
A basic life insurance policy of $18,000 is provided by the State to all eligible employees at no cost to the employee. Optional amounts up to $200,000 are available to the employee at employee expense.

Disability Insurance
A Long Term Disability (LTD) plan is provided to all eligible employees without cost to the employee. If eligible for this benefit, an employee receives a benefit of two-thirds of gross pay. These benefits may be coordinated with other benefits such as Worker’s Compensation, Social Security, etc.

Workers Compensation – Employees and volunteers of the state are covered against injuries or illness as a direct result of job performance.

Unemployment Compensation – Employees of State Government are covered by the laws on unemployment benefits. If state employees are terminated as a result of elimination of programs, budgetary problems, etc., in most cases they will be eligible for unemployment benefits.

Social Security – State employees contribute to the Social Security program and are eligible for all benefits provided through it. Old Age benefits will be paid in full in addition to benefits received from the state retirement system.

List of Police Departments in Utah

Beaver County Sheriff Department
Box Elder County Sheriff Department
Cache County Sheriff Department
Carbon County Sheriff Department
Daggett County Sheriff Department
Davis County Sheriff Department
Duchesne County Sheriff Department
Emery County Sheriff Department
Garfield County Sheriff Department
Grand County Sheriff Department
Iron County Sheriff Department
Juab County Sheriff Department
Kane County Sheriff Department
Millard County Sheriff Department
Morgan County Sheriff Department
Piute County Sheriff Department
Rich County Sheriff Department
Salt Lake County Sheriff Department
San Juan County Sheriff Department
Sanpete County Sheriff Department
Sevier County Sheriff Department
Summit County Sheriff Department
Tooele County Sheriff Department
Uintah County Sheriff Department
Unified PD of Greater Salt Lake
Utah County Sheriff Department
Wasatch County Sheriff Department
Washington County Sheriff Department
Wayne County Sheriff Department
Weber County Sheriff Department
American Fork City PD
Bluffdale City PD
Bountiful City PD
Cedar City PD
Centerville City PD
Clearfield City PD
Clinton City PD
Cottonwood Heights City PD
Draper City PD
Farmington City PD
Harrisville City PD
Heber City PD
Hurricane City PD
Hyrum City PD
Kanab City PD
Kaysville City PD
La Verkin City PD
Layton City PD
Lehi City PD
Lindon City PD
Logan City PD
Mapleton City PD
Midvale City PD
Moab City PD
Moroni City PD
Murray PD
Naples PD
Nephi City PD
North Ogden City PD
North Salt Lake City PD
Ogden City PD
Park City PD
Payson City PD
Perry City PD
Pleasant Grove City PD
Pleaseant View City PD
Price City PD
Provo City PD
Richfield City PD
Riverdale City PD
Roosevelt City PD
Roy City PD
Salem City PD
Salt Lake City PD
Sandy City PD
Santaquin City PD
Saratoga Springs City PD
South Jordan City PD
South Salt Lake City PD
Spanish Fork City PD
Springville City PD
St George City PD
Sunset City PD
Syracuse City PD
Taylorsville City PD
Tremonton City PD
Tooele City PD