how to become a police officer in Minnesota

Table of Contents

3 Red Flags That Police Agencies Watch Out
For When hiring a New Applicant


No employer like liars especially in law enforcement. Misrepresenting yourself during the Application process, or lying on documents directly related to the hiring process that assesses your suitability for employment is an automatic disqualifier.

Poor Communicator

Whether you want to works as a sheriff deputy, state trooper, or a city cop, the ability to communicate is a huge part of being a police officer. If an applicant is poor at returning emails, misses scheduled appointments, or is unclear in his communication this is a very bad sign.

Punctuality Matters

Police applicants need to be punctual at all times. You cannot be late to scheduled meetings like the polygraph, fitness test, or panel interview. Law Enforcement Agencies won't waste their time on candidates who are routinely late during the selection process.

WATCH: Pros and Cons Of Being A Police Officer

Minnesota Police Requirements:

Minimum Qualifications

Disqualification factors to be aware of:


Process to become a cop in Minnesota:

Hiring Process

Police Training Academy Courses


Career Pathway - Specialized Units in MN

A Community Outreach Program (ACOP)
Crisis Negotiator
Field Training Officer (FTO)
K-9 Unit
Firearms Instructor
Defensive Tactics Instructor
School Resource Officer (SRO)
Property Code Enforcement
Forensic Services Unit
Bike Patrol
Focusing Our Resources on Community Empowerment (FORCE)
Motors (Motorcycles)
Traffic Unit
Gang Unit
Mounted Patrol
Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC)
Missing Persons
Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT)
Family Sexual Violence Unit (FSVU)
Police Athletic League (PAL) Program
Mentoring Program
Fraud & Forgery
Internal Affairs (IA)
Special Investigations Unit (SIU)
Community Services

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

$ 1 *
Average Salary

Compensation 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 Minnesota

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Becoming a Police Officer in Minnesota

***IMPORTANT*** The information below may have changed, therefore visit the official webpage of the agency you are interested in working for.

Assuming that you meet certain minimum selection standards, the procedure you have to follow to become a police officer in Minnesota is to complete a two- or four-year Law Enforcement or Criminal Justice degree through a  Professional Peace Officer Education program.

You must apply for and pass the Peace Officer Licensing Exam or the Reciprocity Licensing Examination to become eligible to be licensed and be hired by a law enforcement agency. You can find more details about the degree program at the bottom of this article.

The minimum standards have been established by the Minnesota Board of Police Officer Standards (POST) They require candidates to be U.S. citizens at least 21 years old and possess a valid Minnesota driver’s license.

Disqualification Factors

 A thorough background investigation will be conducted, including searches by local, state and federal agencies, for any criminal record that would be a disqualifying factor. One of these is a requirement that the applicant not be required to register as a predatory offender under Minnesota law.

Also, candidates will be disqualified if they have been convicted of a felony. As part of the application process fingerprints will be taken to be used in the criminal and background investigation, utilizing the files of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

 Requirements & Qualifications

Applicants will also have to undergo a medical examination to assure they are free from physical conditions that will adversely affect performance of law enforcement duties.

A psychological examination also will be performed for the same purpose, and finally applicants will under go physical strength and agility testing to demonstrate they will be physically capable of carrying out the duties of a law enforcement officer. Although these are minimum standards set by the state, local jurisdictions are may require more rigid standards as part of their hiring process.

Minnesota Police Training Standards

 The two- or four-year degree programs offered by colleges and universities certified by POST focus on five broad categories. Practical Applications and Techniques; The Criminal Justice System; Community Policing; Victims and Victims Rights; and Leading, Managing and Communicating.

 The first category contains the various elements of policing such as the use of force, firearms training, traffic enforcement and crash investigation, evidence collection and controlled substances and narcotics, to name a few course areas.

 The Criminal Justice System element deals with constitutional and criminal Law, the Minnesota Criminal Code, juvenile law, civil liability and process and civil law. Community Policing deals with diversity and bias motivated crime.

 The segment on Victims and Victim’s Rights includes courses on domestic family abuse and assault, child abuse, vulnerable adult investigations, response to crime victims and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) concerns for peace officers.

 The last course of study in order to be eligible for licensing as a police officer in Minnesota deals with leadership, ethics, critical thinking, human behavior communications, report writing, courtroom testimony, media relations, stress and conflict management and computers.

Police Officer Salary – Average Cop Pay in Minnesota

According to the Bureau Of Labor Statistics (2010), a police officer in the state of Minnesota makes between $54,500 – $60,270 per year. However the data collected by BLS isn’t as accurate as originally thought. You see, BLS does not take into account overtime pay or off duty work of a police officer. These two factors, if included in the data, would increase the average salary of a police officer in MN.

Police Officer Jobs in MN

There are several law enforcement job openings in Minnesota. 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. 

About Minnesota State Trooper

The Minnesota State Patrol is comprised of 11 patrol districts located in Rochester, Mankato, Marshall, Oakdale, Golden Valley, St. Cloud, Duluth, Brainerd, Detroit Lakes, Eveleth, and Thief River Falls. Each District is divided into geographic work areas referred to as “stations”. There are a total of 61 stations throughout the state. The State Patrol has 730 total personnel, of which 511 are uniformed and 219 are civilian.

The Minnesota State Patrol serves current and future roadway users and assists other law enforcement agencies. Additional customers include dignitaries, state government, and other service organizations. Services provided by the Minnesota State Patrol on a uniform statewide level include:

  • Flight Section: Assists the State Patrol and other law enforcement agencies in activities such as traffic enforcement, emergency relays, surveillance, search and rescue missions and photo flights of accident and crime scenes.
  • Executive Protection and Capitol Security: Provides security to the Governor and his family and at the State Capitol complex during various functions including the state legislature and other public events such as the Taste of Minnesota.
  • Special Response Team: Assists the State Patrol in special events such as protests at the State Capitol and helps in search and rescue missions at the request of other agencies.
  • Auto Theft: Investigates crimes relating to motor vehicles including title fraud, odometer tampering, auto theft and car dealership violations.
  • Criminal Patrol/Canine Unit: Investigates drug interdiction cases involving motor vehicles and assists other agencies upon request.
  • Safety Education: Safety Education Troopers provide education to the public in the areas of seat belt use, speed, drinking and driving and general traffic safety.
  • Commercial Vehicle Enforcement: Provides staffing and supports services for weight enforcement through fixed and mobile weight programs, civil weight investigations, commercial vehicle inspections and school bus inspections.
  • Training: Provides continuing education for Troopers and other law enforcement agencies in traffic related areas such as radar, accident investigation, DWI detection techniques and drug recognition expert training. Facilitates the State Trooper hiring process and the Trooper Candidate School.


  • Professional position with a unique employment opportunity.
  • Affiliation with a proud organization and share in a priceless heritage.
  • Train with experts and acquire specialized skills in many fields such as accident reconstruction, traffic enforcement, safety education.
  • Receive top level compensation combined with the total package of benefits available to state employees.
  • Opportunity to serve the State of Minnesota, your community and neighbors in a positive, constructive profession.
  • Learn more today-explore all your options for a future as a Minnesota State Trooper.


The proud tradition of protecting and assisting the millions of citizens traveling the state’s 12,200 miles of trunk highways and interstate freeways began in 1930.

Thirty-five men graduated from the first trooper candidate school which was housed on Patrol Chief Earle Brown’s farm in Brooklyn Center.

The sophisticated, high quality equipment utilized by today’s Patrol is drastically different from the equipment used by the first troopers. During the 1930’s and 40’s a trooper’s “normal” duties meant driving motorcycles in the summer and squad cars in the winter. Minnesota winters proved a real hardship because the cars lacked built-in heaters. Some troopers improvised by filling 10-gallon cream cans with hot water at local creameries and would occasionally stop along their patrol routes to “recharge” the cream can heaters.

Paychecks didn’t reflect the number of hours worked either. The first 35 patrol graduates earned $120 a month, worked a grueling schedule of 10- to 12-hour days, seven days a week, and had only one day off a month. In spite of the long hours, little pay, and an uncertain future, which faced the fledgling Patrol, there were always people waiting to join,

The attraction of Patrol work continues to hold true today, and its ranks now include both make and female troopers. These expertly trained, high caliber individuals are responsible for making the Minnesota State Patrol one of the most modern law enforcement organizations in the nation.


The men and women of today’s Patrol are trained law enforcement professionals. When you are accepted as a trooper candidate, you’ll begin a 15-week instruction course given at the training center located in Shoreview, just north of the Twin Cities. An while you’re learning about this exciting career, you’ll already be earning a salary. Besides your salary, your room and board will be provided during this time.

Your training as a trooper will include the skills you will need to assist and protect motorists in their travels throughout the state including the enforcement of motor vehicle traffic laws. Troopers handle a wide variety of responsibilities, and when you are assigned to duty in one of the Patrol’s 11 statewide districts, you can be involved in:

  • providing support and cooperative services to other police agencies
  • promoting safety education through community projects and programs
  • conducting search and rescue operations
  • assisting with emergency medical/blood and organ transplant deliveries
  • conducting motor vehicle inspections
  • conducting accident investigations-Minnesota is internationally recognized for its accident reconstruction program, which is a method used to determine the exact cause of a motor vehicle crash

You will also receive training in many additional subjects such as criminal and traffic law, public relations, defensive tactics, communication skills and other vital areas which will allow you to perform your job with the highest efficiency.

The State Patrol provides continuing education for all troopers on an annual basis.

As a trooper, you will be provided with complete equipment including weapons, a patrol squad car, and uniforms for all seasons.

The Patrol’s continuous learning environment offers your more than compensation-it’s an opportunity to develop professional leadership skills and lifetime friendships.


The Patrol is looking for certain qualities in the individuals interested in becoming state troopers. Qualities like pride, motivation, and a desire to serve in a demanding and challenging profession. One of the reasons that the Minnesota State Patrol has been able to main its high level of achievement and provide quality service to the people of our state is that competition for the position of state trooper is very high.


  • be a citizen of the United States
  • possess or be eligible to obtain a valid Minnesota driver’s license
  • not have been convicted of a felony or theft in Minnesota or any other state of federal jurisdiction which would have been a felony or theft if committed in Minnesota.

meet one of the following by the start of the academy:
possess a valid Minnesota Peace Officer’s License OR successfully complete academic instructions and skills training in a law enforcement curriculum certified by the Minnesota Peace Officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.) Board and pass P.O.S.T. Board academic and skill licensing examinations and the required first aid course for full-time peace officers; OR complete basic police training and be certified as a full-time peace officer in a state or with a federal law enforcement agency with which Minnesota has a reciprocity and pass the P.O.S.T. Board reciprocity examination.
Further information regarding such standards may be obtained from:


  • You can learn valuable new skills
  • You can improve your present skills
  • You’ll be serving your community
  • You’ll be well paid
  • You can earn advancement
  • You can demonstrate your ability as a leader

Those who receive a qualifying score on the written examination may be called for an oral interview. Those receiving a qualifying score on the oral interview must successfully complete a background investigation, medical & psychological examinations.

If you are selected as a candidate for the trooper candidate school you will be advised when the school will start. Upon successful completion of the training school you will be eligible for appointment as a state trooper.

A three-step procedure for attaining a Minnesota Peace Officer license is as follows:


  • To become eligible for a Minnesota Peace Officer License, students must earn a two- or four-years degree from one of fifteen POST-certified Peace Officer education programs (list available). Interested individuals should contact any of the PPOE program coordinators for enrollment information.

    The coordinator can explain more about the program at that school and whether or not any previous course work may be applied toward their program.

  • Individuals who hold a two- or four-year degree from a non-POST certified or out-of-state educational institution are not required to complete another degree program. These individuals are eligible to complete a certificate program of study which generally requires the completion of only the law enforcement education courses. Contact program coordinators for more information.

Participation Requirements for Admissions to a PPOE Program (Minnesota Rules 6700.0300 subp.5)

No student may admitted to a professional Peace Officer education program who:

  1. Poses a serious threat to the health or safety of themselves or others;
  2. Has been convicted of a felony;
  3. Has been convicted under Minnesota Statutes sections 609.221 to 609.224 (Assault) or 609.52(theft);
  4. Has been convicted of a crime for which the penalty was enhanced under Minnesota Statutes, section 626.5531 (bias motivated);
  5. Has been convicted of a crime listed under Minnesota Statutes; section 214.10, subdivision 2a (crimes against vulnerable adults and theft);
  6. Has been convicted of misconduct by an officer under Minnesota Statutes, section 609.43; or
  7. Has been convicted of any of the crimes in this item in another state or federal jurisdiction, or under a local ordinance, that would be a conviction if committed    in Minnesota.

Minimum Selection Standards for Hiring a Person Eligible for Licensing by Law Enforcement Agencies (Minnesota Rules 6700.0700)

Applicants should also be aware of the Minimum Selection Standards for hiring a person eligible for licensing by law enforcement agencies. The following is a summary of those standards as set forth in Minnesota Rules 6700.0700.

The applicant must:

  1. Be a citizen of the United States;
  2. Possess a valid driver’s license or be eligible to obtain such in Minnesota or a contiguous state;
  3. Complete a comprehensive written application;
  4. Submit to a thorough background investigation;
  5. Not have been convicted of a felony;
  6. Be fingerprinted for background check;
  7. Undergo a thorough medical examination;
  8. Undergo an evaluation by a licensed psychologist
  9. Pass a job-related examination of physical strength and agility; and
  10. Successfully complete an oral examination demonstrating
    communications skill.


After successfully completing the degree program, or the certificate program, students must pass the Minnesota Peace Officer Licensing Examination.

“Violations of the following standards,” according to Minnesota Rules 6700.06001,” shall be grounds to deny an applicant to take an examination or to deny eligibility for a license.”

The standards are summarized as follows:

  1. Making any false material statement to the board;
  2. Communicating with any other person the examination;
  3. Unauthorized reference to books or study materials during the examination;
  4. Obstructing a board investigation;
  5. Unauthorized possession of any board examination;
  6. Aiding another person in the violation of the above standards;
  7. Having been convicted of a felony; or
  8. Having been convicted of a crime which would be grounds for denial of admission to a PPOE program. (Minnesota Rules 6700.0300, subpart 5.)


Students who have successfully completed the required PPOE and passed the Peace Officer Licensing Examination are termed “eligible to be licensed.” However, completing the education requirements and passing the licensing examination does not result in licensure. Individuals who are “eligible to be licensed” are not licensed until they are hired by a law enforcement agency and can satisfy the minimum selection standards listed earlier. In their hiring process a law enforcement agency may apply its own additional standards. The hiring agency also determines the physical standards its own personnel must meet.

List of Law Enforcement Agencies in Minnesota

Aitkin County Sheriff Department
Anoka County Sheriff Department
Becker County Sheriff Department
Beltrami County Sheriff Department
Benton County Sheriff Department
Big Stone County Sheriff Department
Blue Earth County Sheriff Department
Brown County Sheriff Department
Carlton County Sheriff Department
Carver County Sheriff Department
Cass County Sheriff Department
Chippewa County Sheriff Department
Chisago County Sheriff Department
Clay County Sheriff Department
Clearwater County Sheriff Department
Cook County Sheriff Department
Cottonwood County Sheriff Department
Crow Wing County Sheriff Department
Dakota County Sheriff Department
Dodge County Sheriff Department
Douglas County Sheriff Department
Faribault County Sheriff Department
Fillmore County Sheriff Department
Freeborn County Sheriff Department
Goodhue County Sheriff Department
Grant County Sheriff Department
Hennepin County Sheriff Department
Houston County Sheriff Department
Hubbard County Sheriff Department
Isanti County Sheriff Department
Itasca County Sheriff Department
Jackson County Sheriff Department
Kanabec County Sheriff Department
Kandiyohi County Sheriff Department
Kittson County Sheriff Department
Koochiching County Sheriff Department
Lac Qui Parle County Sheriff Department
Lake County Sheriff Department
Lake of the Woods County Sheriff Department
Le Sueur County Sheriff Department
Lincoln County Sheriff Department
Lyon County Sheriff Department
Mahnomen County Sheriff Department
Marshall County Sheriff Department
Martin County Sheriff Department
McLeod County Sheriff Department
Meeker County Sheriff Department
Mille Lacs County Sheriff Department
Morrison County Sheriff Department
Mower County Sheriff Department
Murray County Sheriff Department
Nicollet County Sheriff Department
Nobles County Sheriff Department
Norman County Sheriff Department
Olmsted County Sheriff Department
Otter Tail County Sheriff Department
Pennington County Sheriff Department
Pine County Sheriff Department
Pipestone County Sheriff Department
Polk County Sheriff Department
Pope County Sheriff Department
Ramsey County Sheriff Department
Red Lake County Sheriff Department
Redwood County Sheriff Department
Renville County Sheriff Department
Rice County Sheriff Department
Rock County Sheriff Department
Roseau County Sheriff Department
Saint Louis County Sheriff Department
Scott County Sheriff Department
Sherburne County Sheriff Department
Sibley County Sheriff Department
Stearns County Sheriff Department
Steele County Sheriff Department
Stevens County Sheriff Department
Swift County Sheriff Department
Todd County Sheriff Department
Traverse County Sheriff Department
Wabasha County Sheriff Department
Wadena County Sheriff Department
Waseca County Sheriff Department
Washington County Sheriff Department
Watonwan County Sheriff Department
Wilkin County Sheriff Department
Winona County Sheriff Department
Wright County Sheriff Department
Yellow Medicine County Sheriff Department
Ada PD
Adrian PD
Aitkin PD
Albany PD
Albert Lea PD
Alexandria PD
Annandale PD
Anoka PD
Apple Valley PD
Appleton PD
Arlington-Green Isle PD
Atwater PD
Austin PD
Avon PD
Babbitt PD
Bagley PD
Barnesville PD
Battle Lake PD
Baudette PD
Baxter PD
Bayport PD
Becker PD
Belgrade PD
Belle Plaine PD
Bemidji PD
Benson PD
Big Lake PD
Bird Island PD
Biwabik PD
Blaine PD
Blooming Prairie PD
Bloomington PD
Blue Earth PD
Bovey PD
Boyd PD
Braham PD
Brainerd PD
Breckenridge PD
Breezy Point PD
Brooklyn Center PD
Brooklyn Park PD
Brownton PD
Buffalo PD
Buffalo Lake PD
Buhl PD
Burnsville PD
Caledonia PD
Cambridge PD
Canby PD
Cannon Falls PD
Cass Lake PD
Champlin PD
Chaska PD
Chatfield PD
Chisago City PD
Chisholm PD
Circle Pines PD
Clara City PD
Clarkfield PD
Cloquet PD
Cold Spring PD
Coleraine PD
Columbia Heights PD
Coon Rapids PD
Corcoran PD
Cottage Grove PD
Crookston PD
Crosby PD
Crosslake PD
Crystal PD
Cuyuna PD
Dassel PD
Dawson PD
Deephaven PD
Deer River PD
Deerwood PD
Detroit Lakes PD
Dilworth PD
Duluth PD
Dundas PD
Eagan PD
Eagle Lake PD
East Grand Forks PD
Echo PD
Eden Prairie PD
Edina PD
Elbow Lake PD
Elk River PD
Elko New Market PD
Ely PD
Emily PD
Eveleth PD
Fairmont PD
Faribault PD
Farmington PD
Fergus Falls PD
Fisher PD
Foley PD
Forest Lake PD
Fosston PD
Frazee PD
Fulda PD
Gaylord PD
Gibbon PD
Gilbert PD
Glencoe PD
Glenwood PD
Goodview PD
Grand Marais PD
Grand Rapids PD
Granite Falls PD
Hackensack PD
Hallock PD
Hancock PD
Hastings PD
Hawley PD
Hector PD
Henderson PD
Hendricks PD
Henning PD
Hermantown PD
Hibbing PD
Hokah PD
Hopkins PD
Houston PD
Howard Lake PD
Hoyt Lakes PD
Hutchinson PD
International Falls PD
Inver Grove Heights PD
Isle PD
Ivanhoe PD
Jackson PD
Janesville PD
Jordan PD
Kasson PD
Keewatin PD
La Crescent PD
Lake Benton PD
Lake City PD
Lake Crystal PD
Lakefield PD
Lakeville PD
Lamberton PD
Le Center PD
Le Sueur PD
Lester Prairie PD
Lewiston PD
Lindstrom PD
Lino Lakes PD
Litchfield PD
Little Falls PD
Long Prairie PD
Lonsdale PD
Madelia PD
Madison PD
Maple Grove PD
Mapleton PD
Maplewood PD
Medina PD
Melrose PD
Menahga PD
Mendota Heights PD
Milaca PD
Mille Lacs Band PD
Minneapolis PD
Minneota PD
Minnetonka PD
Minnetrista PD
Montevideo PD
Montgomery PD
Moorhead PD
Moose Lake PD
Mora PD
Morgan PD
Morris PD
Mound PD
Mounds View PD
Mountain Lake PD
Nashwauk PD
Nett Lake PD
New Brighton PD
New Hope PD
New Prague PD
New Richland PD
New Ulm PD
New York Mills PD
Newport PD
North Branch PD
North Mankato PD
North St Paul PD
Northfield PD
Oakdale PD
Olivia PD
Ortonville PD
Osakis PD
Osseo PD
Owatonna PD
Park Rapids PD
Parkers Prairie PD
Paynesville PD
Pelican Rapids PD
Perham PD
Pierz PD
Plainview PD
Plymouth PD
Preston PD
Princeton PD
Prior Lake PD
Proctor PD
Ramsey PD
Red Wing PD
Redwood Falls PD
Renville PD
Richfield PD
Robbinsdale PD
Rochester PD
Rogers PD
Roseau PD
Rosemount PD
Roseville PD
Rushford PD
Sartell PD
Sauk Centre PD
Sauk Rapids PD
Savage PD
Sebeka PD
Shakopee PD
Sherburn PD
Silver Bay PD
Silver Lake PD
Slayton PD
Sleepy Eye PD
South Lake Minnetonka PD
Spring Grove PD
Spring Lake Park PD
Springfield PD
St. Anthony PD
St. Charles PD
St. Cloud PD
St. Francis PD
St. James PD
St. Joseph PD
St. Louis Park PD
St. Paul PD
St. Paul Park PD
Staples PD
Starbuck PD
Stewart PD
Stillwater PD
Thief River Falls PD
Tracy PD
Truman PD
Twin Valley PD
Two Harbors PD
Tyler PD
Virginia PD
Wabasha PD
Wadena PD
Waite Park PD
Walker PD
Warren PD
Warroad PD
Waseca PD
Waterville PD
Watkins PD
Wayzata PD
Wells PD
West Concord PD
West St Paul PD
Westbrook PD
Wheaton PD
White Bear Lake PD
Willmar PD
Windom PD
Winnebago PD
Winona PD
Winsted PD
Winthrop PD
Woodbury PD
Worthington PD
Wyoming PD
Zumbrota PD