How to Become a Police Officer in Ohio

Those who want to know how to become a police officer in Ohio should know that this state does not require any special skills or procedures, compared to other states in the US.

In fact, becoming licensed and bonded as a police officer with full arrest and firearm authority is a straightforward task. This does not go to say that everyone can join the Ohio police force, but rather that candidates know exactly what to expect before submitting the application and few aspects vary, according to the law enforcement agency of choice.

Let’s start with the basics.

Basic Requirements

  • At least 21 years of age at the time of appointment. Take note that some cities in Ohio like the Columbus Police Department does not have a maximum age restriction.
  • A citizen of the United States.
  • Should be a resident of Ohio.
  • Must have a high school diploma or GED.
  • Must have a valid driver’s license.
  • Ohio places a high premium on character in it’s police officers, they are looking for individuals who are honest, safe drivers, respects the rights of all citizens, respects the law, good employment history, and has good judgement.

Basic Steps to Become a Police Officer in Ohio

  • All applicants will have to complete the peace officer basic training in any of the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission accredited schools. There will two types of students in the academy, the sworn in peace officer and the open enrollment student. Each one will have to complete at least 579 hours of training in order to be considered to become a cop.
  • Appointed out of state police officers who are want to become a peace officer in Ohio can have the basic training waived by apply for a prior equivalent training analysis. The OPOTC will review the records submitted and compare the applicant’s prior training records to the current Ohio curriculum, if prior training is deemed an equivalent then it will be credited.
  • Candidates must then pass the Ohio Peace Officer Certification Test.
  • Candidates will have to pass the physical exam that includes both the medical exam to check a candidates overall health and a physical test.

The Peace Officer Basic Training Program Physical Fitness Requirements

Age and Gender Minimum

Sit-ups (1 minute)

Push-ups (1 minute)

1.5 Mile Run

Males (under 30)





Females (Under 30)





Sit-ups (1 minute)

Push-ups (1 minute)

1.5 Mile Run

Males (30 to 39) 




Females (30 to 39) 





Sit-ups (1 minute)

Push-ups (1 minute)

1.5 Mile Run

Males (40 to 49) 




Females (40 to 49) 





Sit-ups (1 minute)

Push-ups (1 minute)

1.5 Mile Run

Males (50 to 59) 




Females (50 to 59) 


13* modified



Sit-ups (1 minute)

Push-ups (1 minute)

1.5 Mile Run

Males (60 and above) 




Females (50 to 59) 


8* modified


*Modified form per OPOTC Lesson Plan


Academic Prerequisites

It is important to acknowledge that while for some police departments in the state of Ohio a high school diploma (the GED is also accepted in its place) will suffice, others require a predetermined number of college credits. Typically, the number of college credits requested by the less pretentious Ohio law enforcement agencies is 30, but it can go as high as 60 credits for others.

Well, individuals who have served in the military can partially or fully compensate for the lack of college credits based on the amount of time they have been in service. This is not mandatory for all the police departments in Ohio, but rather for those in which military skills are relevant to the profession.

Driver’s License Requirements

Regardless of the department, enrolling in the peace officer force of Ohio means they require a valid driver’s license. Moreover, the license needs to be valid in the state by the time the applicant will meet with the interview committee. The easiest way to obtain the accredited driver’s license is via the DMV in Michigan. On a side note, some departments consider defensive driving courses a plus for the candidate.

Pre-enrolling Screening in Becoming a Police Officer in Ohio

As opposed to other states, such as New Jersey for instance, candidates applying for a position in an Ohio peace officer force will need to pass tests administered by two agencies.

The first test, the physical aptitude test, is administered by the department of choice and will aim to verify whether the candidate has the necessary physical condition for the task. It is necessary to point out that the fitness requirements are tailored to the age of the applicants.

The second assessment, the written exam, is administered by the Civil Service, and will put the candidate’s wits, grammar skills and other knowledge accumulated in high school, to the test.

At the same time, medical personnel working within the law enforcement agency or accredited by it will be performing examinations on the candidate to determine their state of health, visual and audio acuity, and possible conditions that could prevent them from carrying out a police officer’s duties.

Ohio Police Officer Training Academy Course

The Ohio Police Academy is where the body, mind and personality of the future officers are shaped, in order to help them overcome the difficulties of the police duties. The number of hours included in these courses and required for graduation is 550 in Ohio. Chiefly, these courses feature topics like:

  • Dealing with suspects
  • Handling volatile situations
  • Collecting and analyzing evidence
  • Legal aspects
  • Human relations
  • Firearms
  • Civilian disturbances

It is important to note that while attending the Ohio Police Academy courses, the cadets will live on the premises. However, the good news is that during this period, the police department is sponsoring their training and education. More often than not, the pay is received weekly for every 40 hours completed.

Ohio Police Officer Training Academy Contact Information

Telephone Number: 740-845-2700
Email: askOPOTA [at]

Ohio Police Officer Training Academy Main Campus

1650 State Route 56SW
P.O. Box 309
London, OH 43140

Click here for the complete list.

Graduation and Certifications

Having completed the training at the Ohio Police Academy, the cadet is free to request an examination from the Ohio Peace Officers authorities. The test also aims to verify the cadet’s knowledge of police procedures and his physical aptitudes. In order to pass, a cadet must score above 80 percent for both of them.

Exceptions in Police Training in Ohio

The state of Ohio affirm that cadets who have completed their training out of state are free to request the certification test without having to retake the courses at the police academy.

Those who successfully pass the test become certified as Ohio law enforcement agents with full authority. However, documents attesting the background check, fingerprinting, psychiatric evaluations and so on should also be presented.

The Average Salary

The average value of a police officer in the state of Ohio is 6 percent under the national average. To put it simply, the average law enforcement agent, at entry level, should expect to earn around $47,000 per year. However, there are additional perks and salary gains with experience.

For more information on becoming a police officer in Ohio, visit the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission website or call them at 740-845-2700 or 800-346-7682.

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

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