How to Become a Police Officer

Law enforcement offers a variety of career opportunities, many of which are available to candidates without degrees. If joining the police force would make your day, here's how you can prepare for a career in the field of fighting crime.
  1. Take high school and/or continuing education courses in business math/accounting, computer applications and behavioral sciences.
  2. Maintain your level of physical fitness. Participation in high school sports will contribute to both your athletic development and your application for appointment to the police department.
  3. Consider a period of military service. Two years in the armed forces is excellent mental and physical conditioning for police work.
  4. Use common sense. There will be a background check, and a career in law enforcement can quickly be short-circuited by "youthful indiscretions."
  5. Take the written civil service exam for police officers. You can obtain information about the exam through your local police department.
  6. Pass the physical exam, which typically includes tests of vision, hearing, strength and agility.
  7. Pass the lie detector test.
  8. Pass the drug test. In addition, should you become a police officer, you may be subject to continued random drug testing during your employment.
  9. Have an interview with a senior officer and/or take a personality test to assess your personal characteristics, such as judgment, integrity and responsibility.