Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT ARE THE BASIC REQUIREMENTS FOR THE JOB?
Requirements vary between organizations in terms of desirable background, education, and experience. Most require an entry-level examination, oral interview, and the ability to pass a thorough background investigation. A conviction for a felony offense is a disqualification. Many agencies also require a successful polygraph examination, drug screening, and physical fitness test.
WHAT OTHER TYPES OF QUALIFICATIONS ARE IMPORTANT FOR THE OCCUPATION?
While there is no single list of factors that makes a person, either male or female successful in the occupation of law enforcement. There are however some specific skills in varying combinations which have proven to be successful over time. That list, although not all-inclusive follows:
- mental and physical fitness
- common sense
- writing skill
- interpersonal skills
Additionally, the occupation is dynamic in nature and continues to require different skill sets to meet emergent threats to public safety. These include:
- multiple languages
- information technology
- computer forensics
- scientific training
DO I HAVE TO CARRY GUNS?
Almost without exception, a sworn law enforcement officer/agent must be proficient in the use of a firearm and meet specific qualification standards.
The specific qualification standard and annual requirements may vary between organizations. Candidates for the occupation are not expected to have any pre-existing knowledge in this area.
The skills are taught in the academy and are reinforced with continued training throughout the career. A special section on firearm safety and training is now under development for sameshield.com.
WHERE CAN I FIND INFORMATION ABOUT JOBS WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT?
Initially, the best place to start is at the Office of Personnel Management.
If you have an idea of what you may want to do and where you may want to work I suggest you access individual agency websites, many of which you can access from this site.
I AM NOT SURE THIS IS THE RIGHT CAREER CHOICE FOR ME, WHAT SHOULD I DO?
Actually, that is a very easy question. Investigate first through accessing the various websites for background information, and then visit the offices and ask questions.
There are often a number of opportunities for volunteer assignments as well as paid internships, which provide a sense of organizational mission. Many agencies have arrangements with colleges and universities that provide for academic credit while gaining practical experience.
There are also provisions for outstanding scholars, often which provide for a priority in subsequent hiring. If a career in law enforcement is what you are seeking, begin that search with investigating the myriad of opportunities available. Search through this site and its links to academic institutions and organizations for an additional reference.