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Police Officer - State

Australian Citizen VOC Course Year 12 Preferred University Course Subject Prerequisites Licence First Aid Police Check Aptitude Tests Medical Exams Minimum Age 18+

Police officers protect the community from crime and disorder by providing services to uphold the law, protect life and property, preserve the peace, prevent crime, detect and apprehend offenders, and help those in need of assistance.

All newly appointed police officers are initially required to perform station and patrol duties.

After gaining experience, police officers may seek entry to specialist areas such as criminal investigation (detective work), radio communications, prosecutions, juvenile aid, accident investigation, water police, dog handling, traffic control, the mounted unit, education and training, and human resource management.

Police officers are required to work shifts, including weekends and public holidays, and serve in any part of the relevant state or territory


    Police officers may perform the following tasks:

  • promote crime prevention and undertake community policing activities to improve the quality of community life
  • patrol assigned areas on foot or in vehicles to check security of property and watch for unusual activity
  • apprehend law breakers
  • investigate criminal offences and question suspicious people about their activities
  • gather information about crimes and accidents by talking to victims and witnesses and taking notes and statements in writing
  • direct and re-route traffic at congested areas
  • respond to citizens' complaints and attend scenes of disturbances and reported illegal activities
  • guard prisoners
  • detain and search suspects for weapons, stolen goods or drugs
  • work with ambulance, firefighting and defence force personnel to control emergency situations such as floods, bomb threats and chemical spills
  • assist injured and distressed people and search for missing or lost people
  • carry out routine clerical work
  • issue infringement notices for traffic offences
  • attend special events (such as football matches) and control crowds where necessary
  • give evidence in court from previously prepared briefs and notes
  • perform random breath tests of drivers to detect those driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • secure crime and accident scenes, and locate or obtain evidence for analysis
  • give sympathetic, constructive and reassuring assistance and feedback to victims of crime.


  • enjoy helping people
  • able to stay calm in difficult situations
  • able to cope with the physical demands of the job
  • tolerant of people from all backgrounds and cultures
  • honest and reliable
  • willing to accept responsibility
  • socially mature with a degree of mental toughness
  • able to analyse and solve problems
  • have an acceptable traffic/criminal record
  • Australian or New Zealand citizenship or permanent residency
  • able to satisfy medical requirements
Good Outlook
Good Outlook for this career!

Interest Area

Helping/Community Service Influencing/Personal Contact Outdoor


Australian Citizen VOC Course Year 12 Preferred University Course Subject Prerequisites Licence First Aid Police Check Aptitude Tests Medical Exams Minimum Age 28+

To become a police officer in NSW you usually have to undertake a NSW Police approved VOC qualification in policing practice. Contact Charles Stuart University for more information as requirements may change.

You can also become a police officer by studying policing at university. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your HSC/ACT Year 12. A number of universities in Australia offer degrees in policing.

Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact Open Universities Australia or the universities you are interested in for more information as requirements may change. Alternatively, you can contact the NSW Police Force for more information.

To become a police officer in the ACT you need to join the Australian Federal Police. See the separate entry for Police Officer - Australian Federal Police.

Additional Information

    You will also need to:

  • have a full motor vehicle drivers licence (a provisional licence may be acceptable at assessment stage)
  • have a current Provide First Aid Certificate (or equivalent)
  • complete an Aquatic Rescue Sequence certificate
  • have a typing speed of 25 words per minute and 98 per cent accuracy
  • demonstrate suitable performance in medical, psychological and physical fitness assessments.
  • You must be at least 18 years of age to commence policing studies, and 19 years of age to commence work as a probationary constable.


If employed, you would initially perform general operational policing duties for at least three years. Depending on the needs of the NSW Police Force at the time, you may be posted in a regional or metropolitan command. As a probationary constable, you may deal with domestic violence, motor vehicle incidents and crowd control.

You can continue to develop your career in the operational stream or specialise in investigation, intelligence, education and development, legal or one of the many other career path opportunities available in the NSW Police Force.

Applications are accepted throughout the year, depending on the needs of the organisation. Entrance requirements are strict and competition for selection is very strong.

The NSW Police Force encourages applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, women and people from non-English- speaking backgrounds.

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More Information - External Links

Job Outlook for Police Officer - State NSW Police Recruitment Branch

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