Police Academy Instructor

Drill the next crop of Police Officers.
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Quick Stats

Salary Range
$28,000 – $85,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Police Academy Instructors do?

A Police Academy Instructor turns freshman recruits into full-time Police Officers. If you were alive in the 1980s, you’re no doubt familiar with the “Police Academy” franchise of films, which are chock-full of comedic cadets and their ill-tempered trainers. Don’t let the films mislead you, however: A Police Academy Instructor is not paid to be the butt of jokes; instead, he or she is a serious law enforcement trainer.

As a Police Academy Instructor, you’re a Teacher who works for a police academy that’s run by a city’s police department for the purpose of training new recruits in the skills they’ll need to become Police Officers. Like a College Professor, your primary objective is academic instruction, which requires typical classroom duties like planning curriculums, designing lesson plans, delivering lectures, giving exams, and grading student work.

Make no mistake, however: You’re not a typical Teacher. Consider, for instance, the subjects you teach. Instead of science, math, history, and English, you teach courses in titillating topics like victimology, property crimes, narcotics, search and seizure, use of force, crowd control, gangs, arrest and booking procedures, crisis intervention, missing persons, domestic violence, first aid/CPR, self-defense, and — a perennial cadet favorite — firearms.

In fact, you have a lot more in common with a Drill Sergeant than a Teacher sometimes, as many of the courses you teach — in areas like unarmed combat, handgun usage, and athleticism — have hands-on components requiring physical training, demonstration, and exercise.

Forget Lieutenant Thaddeus Harris from “Police Academy,” therefore. At the end of the day, you’re more like the famous General from “Patton”!

Should I be a Police Academy Instructor?

You should have an associate's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.
  • Independent: You enjoy flying solo and doing things your own way.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.

  • Also known as: Aviation Maintenance (Airframe and Powerplant) Instructor

    How to Become a
    Police Academy Instructor

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