Illinois Law Enforcement Training

The Illinois State Police Merit Board has set the requirements and standards by which any police officer will be selected and trained in Illinois. After a candidate is found to have met the requirements and the education requirements (listed in the following section) then they may apply for employment as a Illinois police officer. The process for evaluating new candidates is lengthy and includes a written test, a physical ability test, a psychological test and a medical exam. If you meet or exceed all requirements, you may be selected to attend academy training at one of the following academies in Illinois:

  • Chicago Police Academy – Chicago
  • Cook County Sheriff’s Police Academy – River Grove
  • Illinois State Police Academy – Springfield
  • Police Training Institute – Champaign
  • Southwestern Police Academy – Belleville
  • Suburban Law Enforcement Academy – Glen Ellyn

Requirements for How to Become an Illinois Police Officer

As far as the requirements for Illinois officers go, most are similar to other states, applicants have to be US citizens, have a valid driver’s license and be at least 21. If these requirements are met and a person has a clean background check then the only other major requirement that Illinois has is education. Illinois (unlike most other states) requires that police officer applicants have one of the following:

  • A bachelor’s degree, OR
  • An associate’s degree AND 3 consecutive years with the same police department or 3 consecutive years in military service, OR
  • Has no education but was honorably discharged from the military and has one of the qualifying medals, or serves with the National Guard and has one of the qualifying medals

It is important to follow these education guidelines or you won’t be a viable candidate for police work. Illinois takes the education portion of their requirements very seriously. Anyone who was dishonorably discharged from the military will not be considered for employment in law enforcement in the state of Illinois.

Police Officer Salaries in Illinois

In Illinois the average salary for a patrol officer is around 70,000 a year. However this number is a bit misleading as most officers do not make near that amount in Illinois, but the pay difference between a rural areas and say, Chicago, is drastically different. Police officers in a rural area of Illinois may make as low as 33,000 a year, whereas Chicago area officers make an average of 72,660. As for Detectives and Criminal Investigators: the average salary is around 81,640 in Illinois. Again that number reflects that detectives in Chicago make more, and detectives in less populated areas make substantially less than the average.

Illinois Law Enforcement Training

Since Illinois requires more education than most states for becoming a police officer, we have included some schools which have criminal justice degree or other related law enforcement schooling programs:

  • Argosy University

Chicago, IL / Schaumburg, IL- 866-290-2777

  • Aurora University

347 South Gladstone Avenue, Aurora, IL 60506


  • Blackburn College

700 College Avenue, Carlinville, IL 62626


  • College of DuPage

425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn, IL 60137


  • Danville Area Community College

Locations across Illinois- 217-443-3222

  • Eureka College

300 E College Avenue, Eureka, IL 61530


  • Governors State University

1 University Parkway, University Park, IL 60484


  • Greenville College

315 E College Avenue, Greenville, IL 62246


  • Illinois Eastern Community Colleges

Mount Carmel, IL / Olney, IL / Robinson, IL- 618-393-2982

  • Illinois State University

100 North University Street, Normal, IL 61761


  • ITT Technical Institute

Burr Ridge, IL / Mount Prospect, IL / Orland Park, IL- 630-455-6470

  • Lewis University

One University Parkway, Romeoville, IL 60446


  • Lincoln College

300 Keckuk Street, Lincoln, IL 63656


  • Loyola University Chicago

1032 W Sheridan Road, Chicago, IL 60660


  • MacMurray College

447 E College Avenue, Jacksonville, IL 62650


  • Millikin University

1184 West Main Street, Decatur, IL 62522


  • Northeastern Illinois University

5500 North St. Louis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60625


  • Olivet Nazarene University

One University Avenue, Bourbionnais, IL 60914


  • Quincy University

1800 College Avenue, Quincy, IL 62301


  • Rasmussen College

Aurora, IL / Rockford, IL- 815-316-4800

  • Robert Morris University

401 S State Street, Chicago, IL 60605


  • Roosevelt University

430 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605


  • Saint Xavier University

3700 West 103rd Street, Chicago, IL 60655


  • Southern Illinois University-Carbondale

1220 Douglas Drive, Carbondale, IL 62901


  • Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville

State Route 157, Edwardsville, IL 62026


  • University of Illinois at Chicago 

1200 West Harrison Street, Chicago, IL 60607


  • University of Illinois-Springfield

One University Plaza, Spingfield, IL 62703


  • Waubonsee Community College

Route 47 at Waubonsee Drive, Sugar Grove, IL 60554


  • Western Illinois University

1 University Circle, Macomb, IL 61455