How to Become a Police Officer in Mn

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Although a career in the Police Force can be risky and stressful, it does come with many benefits and rewards. If you think that you have what it takes to join this profession, then you might want to take a look at this guide that explains how to become a police officer in Minnesota.

Duties of a Police Officer

As a police officer, you will be expected to do the following activities:

  • Protect people by deterring and fighting crime
  • Conduct criminal investigations and arrest suspects
  • Respond to non-emergency and emergency calls
  • Patrol the assigned areas
  • Search buildings, and gather/secure evidence from crime scenes
  • Observe and report suspicious activities

Requirements to Become a Police Officer in Minnesota

In order to be eligible to be part of Minnesota’s police force, the applicant need to meet the following requirements; must be a US citizen, has a minimum age of 21, hold a Minnesota driver’s license, and has a clean criminal history.
Minnesota has a Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Board that outlines the criteria for judging aspiring police officers. If you wish to submit an application to a police force in Minnesota, you will also be required to fulfill the POST requirements and guidelines. In order to obtain the POST certification, you will have to clear certain exams that include the POST Licensing Exam and the Reciprocity Licensing Exam.

Educational Requirements High school diploma or equivalent
Experience/Training Training from Police Academy, Moderate on-the-job training
Key Skills Courage, Agility, Physical and Mental Strength, Empathy and Compassion, Written and Oral Communication, Public Relations, Problem-Solving Skills, Ability to Gauge Situations, Critical Thinking, Observation.
Annual Mean Salary – Minnesota, MN (2021) $76,960 (Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers)
Job Outlook – Minnesota, MN (2018-2028) 5% (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 Minnesota

Police officers require proper academy training and on-the-job training to be able to carry out their job properly. They are exposed to dangerous and unpredictable situations and time spent in academy prepares them for real-life incidents. Below are the mandatory steps required to become a police officer in Minnesota.

  1. Basic Education
  • To pursue a career as a police officer, the state of Minnesota requires two years associate or four years post-secondary degree.
  • There are around 30 peace officer’s programs in Minnesota that offer board-approved peace officer education program.
  • Other requirements include criminal background clearance, clean chit on speeding tickets, drug abuse, and other serious convictions.
  1. Passing Police Enforcement Entrance Exam
  • To become a police officer in Minnesota, it is important to take the entrance exam.
  • Candidates are tested on math skills, writing, reading comprehension, and grammar.
  1. Graduating from Police Training Academy
  • Enter Minnesota Police Academy and complete 16 weeks of training.
  • During the program cadets go through rigorous physical training, attend criminal law courses, and learn various aspects of policing.
  • Following graduation, new recruits are given patrol assignment.
  1. Obtaining License & Finding Job
  • Next step is to pass the Minnesota licensing exam and start applying for a police officer position near your area.
  • To be able to qualify for promotion in future, five years after continuous service at the Minnesota Police Department, officers can take sergeant exam.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Police Officer in Minnesota?

Once the applicant has fulfilled the basic requirements set out by the POST Board, he/she can apply to the specific job opening. Candidates will be expected to go through a series of stages which include the written and the physical exam, interviews, background checks, psychological exam, medical exam and a drug screening test.
Those candidates who are successful in clearing all these stages will then be handed the appointment letter and will be expected to attend the Minnesota Police Academy for further training. At the academy, they will have to study a number of courses like Laws of Arrest, Fire Arms, Report Writing, Unarmed Self-Defense, Criminal Law and Building Search.

Salary of Police Officers in Minnesota

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers in Minnesota earned an annual mean wage of $69,060 in May 2018.

Career Outlook for Police Officers in Minnesota

According to the 2021 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, the mean annual wage for police and sheriff’s patrol officers in Minnesota, MN was $76,960. The national corresponding income for this job is $70,750.
BLS forecasts a 5% increase in employment opportunities for police and sheriff’s patrol officers in Minnesota between 2018 and 2028. The corresponding national average for this occupation is 7% between 2020 and 2030.
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)

Below are the states with the highest employment level in Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers:

State Employment 
California 70,050
Texas 60,440
New York 49,910
Florida 45,360
Illinois 30,640

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics (2021)

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