We fail to realize the importance of a police officer’s job unless we need to contact them in an emergency. Unlike other jobs, a police officer’s job is full of extra-ordinary challenges. You would often find them putting their lives in danger while protecting general public. It is not just their job which is tough, but becoming a police officer is quite demanding as well. However, if you are interested in pursuing this career, you would find that it comes with a number of intangible as well as tangible benefits.The certification process in the state of Georgia is controlled and directed by the Georgia Peace Officers Standards and Training Council (POST).You would need to complete some processes through POST, while other procedures will be completed by Georgia Public Safety Training Center (GPSTC) regional academy, where you will get your training. Candidates taking the basic training but not yet hired by a law enforcement agency are known as pre-service candidates. Following are the steps you can take in order to get accepted by a police academy and acquire the certification as a Peace Officer in Georgia.

Featured Programs and Schools in Georgia

Steps to Become a Police Officer in Georgia
How to Become a Police Officer in Georgia

According to another set of data taken from O*NET OnLine, police officers in Georgia earned a median annual income of $38,430 in 2015. The job growth in this field is expected to take place at the rate of 12% from 2014 to 2024.

Job Title 2015 Median Annual Salary Job Growth (2014-24)
Police Officer $38,430 12%

Police Officer Career Requirements in Georgia

Educational Requirements High school diploma or equivalent
Experience/Training Training from Police Academy, Moderate on-the-job training
Key Skills Assertiveness, Courage, Confidence & Negotiation Skills, Open-mindedness, Team Player, Quick Response, Community Awareness, Decision-Making Skills, Communication Skills, Writing Skills, Empathy & Compassion, Physical Fitness & Endurance, Ethics & Integrity, Conflict Resolution Skills.
Annual Mean Salary – Georgia, GA (2021) $50,710 (Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers)
Job Outlook – Georgia, GA (2018-2028) 12% (Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2021) and O*Net Online

Steps to Become a Police Officer in Georgia

As the most visible members of law enforcement, police officers play an important role in maintaining law and order in a city. To become a police officer, it is important to be open-minded and motivated to make a difference in community. For anyone looking to be a police officer in Georgia, the following steps are the basic requirements.

  1. Education Requirements & Background Check
  • To become a police officer, the very first step is to complete high school diploma or obtain GED.
  • It is not mandatory to have an associate or bachelor’s degree to become a police officer but many departments across the country now give weightage to applicants who have acquired two years or four-years degree.
  • Some of the basic requirements include being a US citizen with a valid driver’s license.
  • It is a must for applicants to be physically fit, which means good vision and hearing, mental strength, and stamina, agility, and physical strength.
  • Applicant is required to have a clean criminal record and no prior felony charges or drug abuse of any kind.
  1. Clear Police Entrance Exam
  • Applicants are required to pass Georgia’s police officer selection test that is based on ASSET plus COMPASS test.
  • Applicants are tested on mathematical skills, reading and writing, grammar, and analytical skills.
  1. Graduate from Police Training Academy
  • Cadets at the Georgia Police Academy are required to complete 408 course hours which takes approximately 11 weeks to finish.
  • During the course, cadets are given thorough training in safety and survival, arrest techniques, physical security, firearms, and defensive tactics,
  • Cadets also learn about criminal law, writing reports, communications, and interviewing.
  1. Obtaining Police License & Finding Job
  • To be able to work as a police officer in Georgia, it is important to get certification.
  • After you have obtained a license, find a suitable job that meets your requirements.
  • The structure of a police department starts with police officer, moving up to sergeant, lieutenant, captain, staff inspector, chief inspector, and deputy commissioner.

Career Outlook for Police Officers in Georgia

According to the 2021 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports, the mean annual wage for police and sheriff’s patrol officer in Georgia was $50,710. The national corresponding average for this job is $70,750. O*Net Online forecasts a 12% increase in employment opportunities for police officers and sheriffs in Georgia, GA between 2018 and 2028. The corresponding national average for this occupation is 7%.

Below are the top 5 highest paying states for this occupation in the US in 2021.

State Annual Mean Wage 
California $102,920
Washington $92,390
New Jersey  91,690
Alaska $87,510
Illinois $82,800

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics (2021)

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Does Georgia have an entrance exam for aspiring police officers?

Ans: In order to become a police officer in Georgia, the Georgia Peace Officers Standards and Training Council requires all candidates to first give the COMPASS or ASSET test. This is the official entrance exam for police officers and takes around two hours to complete. For more information about this exam, please check our website.

Q: How do you become a police officer in Georgia?

Ans: To become a certified police officer in Georgia, you need to follow the certification process which is controlled and directed by the Georgia Peace Officers Standards and Training Council (P.O.S.T.). In addition, some part of the application process must be completed by attendance at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center (GPSTC) regional academy, where you will get your practical and field training. If you successfully pass all the tests, you will be certified as a Peace Officer in Georgia.