How to Become a Police Officer in Missouri

In order to learn more regarding how to become a police officer in Missouri, candidates should go through the guidelines listed in the following article. The board that administers the pre-enrollment examination is quite tough in this state and the more details an applicant knows, the better he will score on the exam and the interview.

A noteworthy aspect is that the population of Missouri (comprising in 16% of Mexican) deems learning a foreign language such as Spanish an important asset in the arsenal of the aspiring candidate. Moreover, the authorities that manage law enforcement certification and enrollment processes place an important emphasis on the candidate’s academic performances.

Minimum Requirements

  • At least 21 years of age.
  • A U.S. citizen.
  • A resident of Missouri.
  • Must be willing to live anywhere in Missouri.
  • Possess a valid Missouri driver’s license at the time of appointment.

Educational Requirements

In addition to the standard educational requirements (GED or high school graduation), most police academies in Missouri mandate that the candidate should have completed a minimal college education (60 credits) for eligibility. Bypassing the college education can be achieved in two ways:

  • Being part of the military service for the minimum duration of 2 year (honorable discharge is a must)
  • Active experience as licensed POST officer (2 years)

Nevertheless, considering the strict selection process of candidates for a police officer position in the state of Missouri, the candidates with the highest academic (or active experience) are most likely to be chosen. For instance, an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree in criminal law will constitute an important advantage and will enhance the “marketability” of the applicant.

Disqualifying Factors

To maximize the chances and eligibility, candidates should also avoid taking part in activities that are considered immediate disqualifiers according to the Missouri POST. Experience and higher education are viewed as beneficial, but even candidates that excel at both could be deemed ineligible on the following grounds:

  • The presence of an objectionable tattoo or a brand on the specified body areas: arm (upper 6 inch section), head, arms or neck
  • Subpar physical strength
  • Mental or physical conditions (according to the standards developed by the current superintendent)
  • Unwillingness to relocate in another city of the state of Missouri
  • Crimes or felonies according to the legislation of the state (E.G. moral turpitude crimes, a pending indictment, misdemeanor, violent crimes, assaults with deadly weapons, etc.)

Medical and Fitness standards

In addition to the written examination, the applicant is required to take the Fitness for Duty Assessment test, the psychological examination and interview, the vision and hearing verifications, the drug screening and the checkup that will determine the presence of illnesses or injuries that conflict with the job description.

The Academy Training

The standard duration of police academy training in the state of Missouri is between 12 and 14 weeks, incorporating both the coursework and field training (under the direct supervision of certified peace officers). However, candidates will not receive field training until the age of 21 and their job duties will generally imply clerical tasks.


For more information on becoming a police officer in Missouri, visit the Missouri state highway patrol website or call 1-800-796-7000.

Click here to check out the various police officer jobs in Missouri.

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