Starting a Career in Pennsylvania as a Police Officer

Police officers must be decisive, discerning, respectful, and flexible. In order to find people who would do well in this career, Pennsylvania has specific requirements. If you are ready for employment as a police officer in Pennsylvania, you should first discover the requirements for the city in which you hope to apply. It is best to directly contact the department to which you are applying to find out this information. If you find that you fulfill the essential requirements, you can then apply. You will then need to pass various tests, some oral and some written. Following these are other tests including polygraph, physical, medical, psychological, and reading. If you successfully complete the testing and are considered for an open position, you will then complete the process by attending a police academy which offers training.

Starting a Career as a PA Police Officer




The base level requirements of police officers in Pennsylvania vary slightly between cities. Pittsburgh’s requirements are that a candidate be twenty-one, hold a legitimate driver’s license, have graduated high school and have 30 college credits. Some cities in Pennsylvania may not mandate any college credit as a prerequisite for a police officer job, but it can be beneficial to attain such credits or even a degree to make oneself a more desirable candidate.

Salary Information for PA Police Officers

An average salary for a Pennsylvania  patrol officer is 56,400 per year. This salary is slightly higher than the national average police salary. As with most any job, there is room for increase in salary for those who work many years in good standing. Promotions in rank are possible as well as achieving higher education or specific training which can increase an individual’s pay. Detectives and other special investigators in Pennsylvania can make around 71,600 a year.



Law Enforcement Training in Pennsylvania

Despite the fact that a high school education is the minimum requirement for applicants pursuing a police career in most Pennsylvania cities, it could be a smart move to go for a degree in a subject such as criminal justice or science and law before applying to the force. Having a degree may make your more marketable, desirable and also may mean starting at a higher pay. Also, if you are wishing to work in Pittsburgh, then some college credit hours are required.

  • Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania

400 E Second Street, Bloomsburg, PA 17815

570-389-4000

  • Cedar Crest College

100 College Drive, Allentown, PA 18104

800-360-1222

  • Chatham University

106 Woodland Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15238

412-365-1100

  • Chestnut Hill College

9601 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19118

215-248-7001

  • Duquesne University

600 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15282

412-396-6000

  • Elizabethtown College

1 Alpha Drive, Elizabethtown, PA 17022

717-361-1000

  • Harrisburg Area Community College

1 HACC Drive, Harrisburg, PA 17110

717-780-2300

  • King’s College

133 North River Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18711

570-208-5900

  • Kutztown University of Pennsylvania

15200 Kutztown Road, Kutztown, PA 19530

610-683-4000

  • La Roche College

9000 Babcock Blvd., Pittsburgh, PA 15237

412-367-9300

  • Lehigh Carbon Community College

4525 Education Park Drive, Schnecksville, North Whitetail Township, PA 18078

610-799-2121

  • Lehigh Valley College

2809 Saucon Valley Road, Center Valley, PA 18034

610-791-5100

  • Lincoln University of Pennsylvania

1570 Baltimore Pike, Lincoln University, PA 19352

484-365-8000

  • Marywood University

2300 Adams Avenue, Scranton, PA 18509

570-348-6211

  • Mercyhurst College

501 East 38th Street, Erie, PA 16546

814-824-2000

  • Messiah College

1 College Avenue, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055

717-766-2511

  • Neumann University

One Neuman Drive, Aston Township, PA 19014

610-459-0905

  • Penn State Harrisburg

777 W Harrisburg Pike, Middletown, PA 17057

717-948-6250

  • Pennsylvania State University

201 Old Main, University Park, PA 16802

814-865-4700

  • Point Park University

201 Wood Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

412-391-4100

  • Saint Francis University

117 Evergreen Drive, Loretto, PA 15940

841-472-3000

  • Seton Hill University

1 Seton Hill Drive, Greensburg, PA 15601

724-834-2200

  • Slippery Rock University

1 Morrow Way, Slippery Rock, PA 16057

724-738-2015

  • South Hills School of Business & Technology

480 Waupelani Drive, State College, PA 16801

814-234-7755

  • Temple University

1801 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122

215-204-7000

  • Thiel College

75 College Avenue, Greenville, PA 16125

724-589-2000

  • University of Scranton

800 Linden Street, Scranton, PA 18510

570-941-7400

  • Villanova University

800 Lancaster Ave, Villanova, PA 19085

610-519-4500

  • Waynesburg University

51 W College Street, Waynesburg, PA 15370

800-225-7393

  • West Chester University of Pennsylvania

700 South High Street, West Chester, PA 19383

610-436-1000

  • Widener University

One University Place, Chester, PA 19013

610-499-4000

  • Wilkes University

84 W South Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18766

800-945-5378

  • York College of Pennsylvania

441 Country Club Road, York, PA 17403

800-645-3226