How to Work in Arkansas as a Police Officer

The pathway to working as an Arkansas police officer is similar to that of other states. Minimal requirements of having at least a GED, being 21, living as an American citizen, and possessing a good driver’s license are all a part of the basics a person should have before applying. However, Arkansas has its own requirements that differ, and even within cities the physical ability test may differ drastically from one city to another. If you can meet or exceed the minimum standards, it is best to determine where you will be applying and then contact that particular police department to determine next steps and specific requirements for that city. This will give you a good indication of what needs to be done or if it is even possible for someone of your qualifications and background to attain a job as cop in that particular city.

Arkansas State Requirements for Police Officers

As stated above, many of the minimum requirements are the same as other states, but unlike other states, in Arkansas there can be specific requirements that differ from one city to the next. For instance, some cities require a background with no felony convictions; however, Springdale Police Department requires a candidate to have no misdemeanors as well in order to be considered for an officer position. Each police department has its own list of physical exercises that a candidate must prove they are capable of in order to pass the physical ability test. The activities that are expected of candidates to perform differ greatly from city to see. For instance, how many push-ups or sit ups can be done, or how quickly a candidate must be able to complete a mile and half run, or what percentage of their body weight a candidate must be able to bench press. This is why it is important to contact agencies to find out about their specific requirements.

Arkansas Average Police Officer Salary

The average Arkansas officer salary is lower than the nation’s average. This may be due to Arkansas’ population and cost of living. The average annual salary in Arkansas for police officers is 35,600 thousand a year, according Law Enforcement Some cities start almost 10,000 dollars a year less than that, however.

Higher ranking officers only make about 38,070 a year (on average), slightly more than a patrol officer. Keep in mind, however, that Arkansas has a rather low income per capita compared to the rest of the country. Therefore cost of living is lower, which means a police officer on this salary can live a similar lifestyle to those officers making more in another state where cost of living is increased. One of the ways to start at a higher salary than others, is to have a background degree in a related field, such as criminal law or criminal justice. Below are some schools in Arkansas that offer programs in Criminal Justice.

Law Enforcement Schools in Arkansas

  • Arkansas Northeastern College

2501 S Division St., Blytheville, AR 72316


  • Arkansas State University

2105 E Aggie Road, Jonesboro, AR 72401


  • East Arkansas Community College

1700 Newcastle Road, Forrest City, AR 72335


  • Harding University

915 E Market Ave., Searcy, AR 72149


  • National Park Community College

101 College Drive, Hot Springs, AR 71913


  • Northwest Arkansas Community College

One College Drive, Bentonville, AR 72712


  • Remington College

7131 Business Park Lane, Suite 200, Lake Mary, FL 32746


  • Southern Arkansas University Tech

100 Carr Road, Camden, AR 71701


  • University of Arkansas at Little Rock

2801 S University Avenue, Little Rock, AR 72204