If you want to become a police officer, you will be required to graduate from the police academy. During your training you will take criminal justice courses, learn how to safely use and maneuver with firearms, and develop your physical fitness to the level required to become a law enforcement professional. You will have to undergo their recruitment and enrollment process before being able to join.

Check with your local police department to determine your local police academy's entrance requirements. Generally speaking, most academies require potential recruits to possess a valid driver's license, be over 18 years old and a high school graduate.

Prepare for written and practical examinations. Most, if not all, police academies require applicants to take the Police Officer Exam, which measures your aptitude for criminal law and police procedures. There are commercial self-study guides that are available to help you succeed on the exam.

Be physically fit enough to undertake the demands of police training. Make sure that you are healthy enough, physically and mentally, to begin the police academy.

Apply for entrance to the police academy. Depending upon your state, the entrance requirements will vary. For example, in some states you will be required to be hired by the police department before you can attend the academy, while in others, you may be required to attend community college to receive your training.


  • You are encouraged to apply for and take security jobs, before applying for the police academy. This will give you an idea of what is required of you to protect people and property. You should also get a checkup from your doctor to make sure you can physically handle the training process.


  • You will need to pass a drug test and background check before being accepted into the police academy, so be sure to stay out of trouble before applying.