Police Officer

Job Description

Police Officers have a responsibility to protect public life and property. Police officers enforce the law by arresting criminals and detecting and preventing crimes. They undertake extensive on-the-job training and perform a diverse range of duties, including: maintaining public order and safety; being first responder to emergency calls; investigating and prosecuting criminal offences; enforcing traffic law; securing and examining crime scenes; and dealing with violent offenders or people under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

Careers Ladder


All Australian Police Officers must hold Australian citizenship or permanent residency and must also pass an extensive application process including background checks, examinations and a series of health, fitness, and psychological tests.

Before you apply for any position, check that you meet the AFP's minimum requirements.


You also need to have;

  • Achieve a higher school certificate or equivalent if under 21 years of age.
  • Hold a full driver’s licence.
  • Achieve level 1 First Aid Certificate.
  • Demonstrate active work experience.

Undertake the application process, including: eligibility checks; entrance exam; background checks; fitness testing; psychological testing; health checks; comprehensive checks; and a final interview.


  • Assertive
  • Calm
  • Communicator
  • Ethical
  • Honest
  • Interpersonal
  • Initiative
  • Open-minded
  • Resilient
  • Responsible
  • Secure

Key Skills

  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Maturity
  • Respect and Knowledge of Laws
  • Common Sense
  • Civility

Future Prospects

Policies vary from department to department, but a year or two after you've completed your probationary year, you might be eligible to make a lateral move into a specialty post, such as a K-9 unit, a detective or investigator, a training officer, a member of SWAT, or many other specialised positions.

If you're really serious about taking your career as far as you can go, it's a good idea to get exposure to the many different units in your department. Promotions to corporal, sergeant, lieutenant, and captain usually are made according to scores on a written examination and on-the-job performance.

You may like to think about moving on from this career, some transferable skills can be utilised in roles such as;