Police Patrol Officers


Education requirements range from a high school diploma to a college, or higher, degree. Most police and detectives must graduate from their agency's training academy before completing a period of on-the-job training. Candidates must be U.S. citizens, usually at least 21 years old, and meet rigorous physical and personal qualifications.

Related College Majors

Criminal Justice/Police Science - More About This Major

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Average Tuition (excluding room and board) for Schools with this major: $6,039.00 per year

Military Training

Job training consists of classroom instruction. Training length varies depending on specialty. Course content typically includes:

  • Civil and military laws
  • Investigation and evidence collection procedures and techniques
  • Prisoner control and discipline
  • Use of firearms and hand-to-hand defense techniques
  • Traffic and crowd control procedures

General Qualifications

Communication skills. Police and detectives must be able to speak with people when gathering facts about a crime and to express details about a given incident in writing. Empathy. Police officers need...

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  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • English Language
  • Psychology
  • Customer and Personal Service

Most Common Education Levels

The level of education attained by people currently working in this career.

Most Common Education

Schools with the Highest Enrollment for Featured Major

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Number of Students
Houston Community College
Austin Community College District
East Los Angeles College
College of Southern Nevada
Rio Salado College
Pima Community College
College of DuPage
George Mason University
Columbus State Community College
Florida State University
Data supplied by Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Center of Education Statistics, Defense Manpower Data Center. (View our update schedule). Contact any business, college or military service branch to answer additional questions.