As a police officer your role is to maintain law and order, protect members of the public and their property, prevent crime, reduce the fear of crime and improve the quality of life for all citizens. You'll use a range of technology to protect individuals, identify the perpetrators of crime and ensure successful prosecutions against those who break the law. You’ll work in partnership with the communities you serve to make them safer, with a varied and challenging day-to-day role.

Police officers work closely with members of the criminal justice system, social workers, schools, local businesses, health trusts, housing authorities, town planners and community groups. By doing this they are able to provide advice, education and assistance to those who want to reduce crime or have been affected by crime. You’ll need a confident and responsible attitude with strong communication skills so that you can support members of the public and speak respectfully to perpetrators.

Day-to-Day Activities

  • responding to calls for help from the public
  • interviewing suspected criminals
  • taking statements
  • writing crime reports
  • gathering prosecution evidence
  • giving evidence in court
  • fostering good relationships with the public
  • patrolling areas by foot and car
  • making and processing arrests
  • searching suspects
  • responding to emergencies
  • offering advice and reassurance to the public
  • controlling traffic/crowds
  • keeping the peace/mediating in tense situations.

Technology Skills

  • Data base user interface and query software: e.g. Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System IAFIS, Microsoft Access
  • Graphics or photo imaging software: e.g. DesignWare 3D EyeWitness, Microsoft Visio, SmugMug Flickr, The CAD Zone The Crime Zone
  • Map creation software: e.g. Crime mapping software, ESRI ArcGIS
  • Office suite software: e.g. Apple iWork, Corel Office Suite, Google Drive, LibreOffice, Microsoft Office,

Employment Prospects

  • 171,842 police officers are employed in the UK.
  • New job opportunities are likely in the future.

Working Environment

  • In the Field
  • Nights
  • Office
  • Outdoors
  • Part-Time
  • People
  • Shift Work
  • Weekends & Public Holidays
  • Hands-On

Time - Average of 43 hours per week.

Compare with the paid time worked by full-time employees in the UK.

Pay - Average of £810 per week.

Compare with the pay, excluding overtime, for full-time employees across the UK.


Route to Employment

graph TD; id0(<label>Employment<br>as a<br> Police Officer</label>); id1(<label>GCSEs</label><section><p>Mathematics<br>English Language</p></section>); id2(<label>A-Levels</label><span><p>Any</p></span>); id3(<label>UG Degree</label>); id4(<label>Degree<br>Apprenticeship</label><section><p>Police Constable</p></section>); id1-->id2; id2-->id3; id3-->id0; id2-->id4; id4-->id0; class id0 employ;



  • Any

Other Information

The role is open to graduates and non-graduates. There are three new routes available to become a police officer, depending on your qualifications and experience. These are: Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA) - available in England and Wales. Degree holder entry - graduates with a degree in any subject can apply for a two-year work-based training programme, paid for by the force you work for, that includes off-the-job learning; Pre-joining degree - a self-funded, three-year academic degree in professional policing undertaken at a university or college before you join the police. Completion of the degree doesn't guarantee you a job.

Popular Degree Subjects

The most common degree subjects to be a Police Officer

Skills Needed

Skills Key:

  • Oral Communication
  • Customer Service
  • Teamwork
  • Written Communication
  • Critical Thinking
  • Judgment & Decision Making
  • Negotiation & Persuasion
  • Emotional Intelligence

Interests Needed

Interests Key:

  • Realistic
  • Enterprising
  • Conventional

Knowledge Needed

Knowledge Key:

  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • English Language
  • Psychology
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Education and Training
  • Telecommunications
  • Administration and Management

Abilities Needed

Abilities Key:

  • Problem Sensitivity
  • Oral Expression
  • Reaction Time
  • Deductive Reasoning
  • Inductive Reasoning
  • Oral Comprehension
  • Selective Attention
  • Near Vision

Work Styles Needed

Work Styles Key:

  • Integrity
  • Self Control
  • Dependability
  • Attention to Detail
  • Stress Tolerance
  • Leadership
  • Concern for Others
  • Initiative

Develop your Skills

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