Career Profile: Police Officer
People who are attracted to being a police officer highlight the many benefits associated with this position. They want to work as a police officer because of the thrill of working to promote a crime free city or country, or they want to have the structure that working for a large organization like the city police or the federal police offers. The job of being a police officer is often unglamorous and involves a lot of paperwork – not like the movies would have you believe. It does, however, involve working on a team and also being responsible for your own independent work. In order to prepare to be a police officer, there is training to be done either at the college or university level. This training involves taking courses in law or another social justice type field, like police foundations.
In Ontario there are many colleges and universities that offer these types of courses. If you’re looking for something in French, you could try the College Boreal in Sudbury. If you’re looking for something that will allow you to get through your schooling in the timeliest manner possible, you can check out the program at Mohawk College in Hamilton which has a duration of one year. Advanced Police Studies at Conestoga College in Kitchener will also have you through courses and ready to work in a year. If you’re on route to a university degree already, you may choose to enroll in a program at Georgian College in Orillia for a Bachelor of Human Services (Police Services) with a co-op option. Fleming College in Peterborough offers a program of 4 semesters for a total of 2 years of Police Foundations studies.
Once you have your college or university degree you are all set to apply to the organizations for which you are qualified. If you chose a co-op option, you will be even more prepared for the work journey ahead of you. Once you get in with an organization, you will be able to earn a comfortable living starting at $46,000 per year and progressing to $83,000 per year after 36 months (OPP website, 2013). You also receive a set amount to cover travel expenses and benefits from the beginning of your employment. This will vary as per the organization that you are working for, but it gives you a good idea of what to expect.
If being a civilian police officer is not for you, then you can look into being a military police officer – a position in which you will have many opportunities to travel. This is a great option for someone looking for structure and the protection that comes with working in a large organization like the Canadian Forces. In order to be a police in the military, you have to go through basic training (which is mostly physical in nature) and then you have to go through 6 months of training to become an officer. Starting wages as a military police officer are approximately $33,000 per year(Canadian Forces website, 2013).