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Joining the Force: Everything You Need to Know

Joining the Force: Everything You Need to Know


A career as a police officer is like no other. Ask any cop and they’ll tell you that it’s a way of life and they wouldn’t want to do anything else.

But do you really know what it takes to set yourself apart from the other candidates in the exceedingly fierce competition for your coveted law enforcement positions?

PoliceLink has pulled together some of law enforcement’s most well known individuals to provide you with the information you’ll need to set yourself apart from the competition.

10 Steps to Joining the Force
Get the basics on the different types of law enforcement careers, how to best prepare yourself, what to study, who to talk to and when to talk to them. Learn how to get your foot in the door and why an education will set you apart. Access the guide…

Recommended resources: Police Exam Study Guides, FBI & Cooper Standard Workouts

10 Steps to Joining the Force – For Military Service Members
Candidates with military service are highly sought after by law enforcement recruiters. Learn how to take advantage of your time in the military to best position yourself. This exclusive guide includes a special checklist to follow during your last year in the service. Access the guide…

Recommended resources: State Trooper & Highway Patrol Study Exam, Advanced Police Workouts, Military Workouts

LEO Career Profiles
Ever wonder what the different jobs are within police work, their specific requirements, and average salaries? We have put together career profiles on several of the most sought after positions, including: detectives, patrol, crime scene investigators (CSI), FBI agents / federal agents, and SWAT operators.

Recommended resources: Criminal Justice School Finder, PoliceLink Scholarship Finder, Which School is Right For You?

So You Wanna Be a Cop…
Written by a 30+ veteran of both big city and suburban law enforcement, this series will give you a true insider’s view of the pros and cons of a career in law enforcement. With an emphasis on the pre-employment interviews, polygraph, and application process, this series is a must read for everyone interested in a law enforcement career. Access the guide…

Recommended resources: Landing a Career in Law Enforcement

Expert Oral Board Guide
Get expert advice on how to prepare for and ace your oral board exam.

Find a School with a Law Enforcement Degree Program

While reading through the above career guides you’ll notice that all of our law enforcement career experts all stress the same theme: the importance of an education. Most mid to large sized agencies now require at least 60 college credits to even be eligible to apply. Those agencies that don’t have the requirement will almost always choose a candidate with college experience over one that is lacking an education.

Don’t get stuck at the bottom – take the first steps to getting a degree today by using PoliceLink’s School Finder to connect with schools with programs designed to help you become a police officer or federal agent.

PoliceLink School Finder

Save time in your search for a degree program. Use PoliceLink's School Finder to locate schools online and in your area.

* In the event that we cannot find a program from one of our partner schools that matches your specific area of interest, we may show schools with similar or unrelated programs.