How to Become a Police Officer in Alabama

In Alabama there is the APOSTC (Alabama Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission). The APOSTC sets the standards and requirements that all police officers must meet to be a certified police officer. One of the main requirements to be admitted into one of the 10 police training academies in the state of Alabama is that a person first needs to be a full-time cop. Within the first 6 months of being a cop, a person must complete the academy training. If they don’t, they will lose their position and the chance of becoming certified. So, in the state of Alabama, step one is to apply for any open full time cop positions.

How to Become a Police Officer in Alabama

Most of the minimal requirements are the same as most states (a person must have a valid driver’s license, a clean criminal record, and be a United States Citizen), however the minimum age to become a police officer in Alabama is 19 (which is 2 years last than the national average). You also need to have the minimum of a high school diploma or GED equivalent. Once these requirements are met you can apply for any open positions available for police officers.

Just as with any other state, there is a fairly lengthy application process including physical and psychological examinations. If a person is not hired on as a full-time police officer (averaging 40 hours a week) then a waiver may be available for the candidate to still be able to attend an academy for proper training and certification. The academy training consists of 480 hours of basic training. All the candidates test scores should be 70% or higher, the candidate must pass the physical fitness test, and they must pass a total of 43 hours’ worth of fire arms training.

Police Officers have undergone academy training and been a certified police officer in another state may qualify for a waiver to prevent undergoing academy training again. If approved the police officer may be required to take an 80 hour refresher course which will also cover state specific information that a police officer would need to know when transferring to Alabama. In order to qualify for this waiver an officer from another state must have a minimum of a years’ experience as a full time police officer and they can’t have left the profession for more than 2 years.

Any military personal seeking work as a civilian police officer in Alabama cannot have experienced a dishonorable discharge from the service. In fact, any previous dark mark on a person’s record (be it from school, work, military time etc.) may influence a person’s ability to work as a law officer.

Average Police Officer Salary in Alabama

As far as police officer salary in Alabama: the bureau of labor statistics has it around 41,040 a year as an average. Starting salary for a police officer in Alabama may start as low as 26,000 a year and go as high as 59,000 a year. Factors that may affect starting pay are things like education, experience, town or city size, cost of living, and crime rate. All of these components factor in to how much a cop will make depending on where in Alabama they are employed as an officer.
Once you reach a higher rank as law enforcement officer pay would increase accordingly. On average, criminal investigators and detectives in the state of Alabama can make around 68,000 a year. Again, much of this depends on the area in which you are working. Higher paid officers work in the Birmingham area, where southeastern rural officers make substantially less than those working in the more heavily populated areas of the state. With police officers, as with most jobs, there is opportunity to move up in rank (and pay) fairly quickly. More years of experience means chances of promotion and ultimately a higher pay bracket.

Law Enforcement Schooling programs in Alabama

In Alabama there are only 10 police academies that are accredited by the Alabama Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission (APOSTC). A cop must attend one of these academies to be properly certified as a law enforcement officer in the state of Alabama:

  • Alabama Criminal Justice Training Center

1005 Charles Byrd Blvd., Selma, AL 36703


  • APOSTC Law Enforcement Academy at Tuscaloosa

7601 Robert Cardinal Road, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401


  • APOSTC Law Enforcement Academy-Baldwin County

15950 Mosley Road, Stapleton, AL 36578


  • Birmingham Police Academy

401 6th Avenue South, Birmingham , AL 35205


  • Department of Corrections Training Academy

351 Craig Industrial Park, Selma, AL 36701


  • Huntsville Police Academy

1220 11th Street, Huntsville, TX 77340


  • Jefferson County Law Enforcement Academy

3500 Happy Hollow Road, Fultondale, AL 35068


  • Mobile Police Academy

8080 Airport Blvd., Mobile, AL 36608


  • Montgomery Police Academy

5880 Old Hayneville Road, Montgomery, AL


  • Northeast Alabama Law Enforcement Academy

100 Gamecock Drive, Fort McClellan, AL 36205