Police Patrol Officers

Education

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

See a list of colleges that offer this major >
Average Tuition (excluding room and board) for Schools with this major: $5,884.00 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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Knowledge

  • 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

Schools with the Highest Enrollment for Featured Major
Learn more
School
Number of Students
Houston Community College
87,344
Austin Community College District
67,145
College of Southern Nevada
54,113
East Los Angeles College
52,110
Rio Salado College
48,333
George Mason University
47,271
College of DuPage
47,219
Florida State University
46,733
Columbus State Community College
46,023
Santa Ana College
45,832
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.

Financial aid is only available for those who qualify.