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Overview

Police Officers patrol public areas, maintain public order, enforce laws and make arrests. They gather evidence and investigate crimes to protect the public and support the criminal justice system.

Work locations are varied and may include offices, courts, urban streets and rural areas. Night and weekend shifts are common, and some travel may be required.

Suits people with an interest in public safety, security, the legal system and government policy. The ability to deal with stressful situations, and skills in active listening, critical thinking, social perceptiveness and negotiation are important.

Day-to-day

  • patrol assigned areas to prevent public disturbance and crime
  • secure and examine crime and accident scenes to obtain evidence
  • investigate corruption, crime, accidents, minor offences and citizen complaints
  • gather evidence and protect witnesses
  • arrest and interview suspected offenders
  • record vehicle speed, administer drug and alcohol tests and issue infringement notices
  • provide advice and assistance to crime victims and their families
  • keep records and prepare reports.

Considerations

  • physically demanding
  • requires driving
  • stressful
  • working outdoors.

To become a Police Officer

  • Australian citizenship or permanent residency is essential. Candidates must complete background checks and a variety of health, aptitude and fitness tests as a part of the application process.

    Study in justice administration, law or criminology can contribute to a successful application and ongoing specialisation.

    Apply for the recruit program directly with your state or territory police force, or with the Australian Federal Police. Federal and state police forces will each have different entry requirements.

    Find a certificate or diploma in policing

  • You may need:

    • Bronze Medallion or swimming certification
    • manual or automatic driver's licence
    • national police check
    • Level 1 First Aid Certificate
    • medical and fitness testing
    • psychometric or aptitude testing.

Skills employers are looking for

  • Communication Skills

  • Animal Control

  • Conflict Management

  • Customer Service

  • Facility Management

  • Written Communication

Careers to explore