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


  • Cedar Crest College

100 College Drive, Allentown, PA 18104


  • Chatham University

106 Woodland Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15238


  • Chestnut Hill College

9601 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19118


  • Duquesne University

600 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15282


  • Elizabethtown College

1 Alpha Drive, Elizabethtown, PA 17022


  • Harrisburg Area Community College

1 HACC Drive, Harrisburg, PA 17110


  • King’s College

133 North River Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18711


  • Kutztown University of Pennsylvania

15200 Kutztown Road, Kutztown, PA 19530


  • La Roche College

9000 Babcock Blvd., Pittsburgh, PA 15237


  • Lehigh Carbon Community College

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


  • Lehigh Valley College

2809 Saucon Valley Road, Center Valley, PA 18034


  • Lincoln University of Pennsylvania

1570 Baltimore Pike, Lincoln University, PA 19352


  • Marywood University

2300 Adams Avenue, Scranton, PA 18509


  • Mercyhurst College

501 East 38th Street, Erie, PA 16546


  • Messiah College

1 College Avenue, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055


  • Neumann University

One Neuman Drive, Aston Township, PA 19014


  • Penn State Harrisburg

777 W Harrisburg Pike, Middletown, PA 17057


  • Pennsylvania State University

201 Old Main, University Park, PA 16802


  • Point Park University

201 Wood Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222


  • Saint Francis University

117 Evergreen Drive, Loretto, PA 15940


  • Seton Hill University

1 Seton Hill Drive, Greensburg, PA 15601


  • Slippery Rock University

1 Morrow Way, Slippery Rock, PA 16057


  • South Hills School of Business & Technology

480 Waupelani Drive, State College, PA 16801


  • Temple University

1801 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122


  • Thiel College

75 College Avenue, Greenville, PA 16125


  • University of Scranton

800 Linden Street, Scranton, PA 18510


  • Villanova University

800 Lancaster Ave, Villanova, PA 19085


  • Waynesburg University

51 W College Street, Waynesburg, PA 15370


  • West Chester University of Pennsylvania

700 South High Street, West Chester, PA 19383


  • Widener University

One University Place, Chester, PA 19013


  • Wilkes University

84 W South Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18766


  • York College of Pennsylvania

441 Country Club Road, York, PA 17403