Police protect and preserve property, public order and safety through the enforcement of laws.

    The Australian Federal Police (AFP) and State/Territory Police forces have varying requirements to become a Police Officer. Most require you to complete secondary education. A course in justice administration, law or criminology might be helpful.

    Tasks

    • investigating and prosecuting offences committed in areas such as organised, corporate and computer crime, environmental offences, drug trafficking, fraud, counterfeiting and terrorism
    • securing and examining scenes of crimes and accidents to locate and obtain evidence for analysis
    • protecting witnesses and investigating official corruption
    • maintaining public order and safety
    • patrolling assigned areas to minimise potential for public disturbance and crime
    • investigating accidents, crimes, minor offences and citizens' complaints, gathering evidence, and pursuing, arresting and interviewing suspected offenders
    • testing persons suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs and issuing infringement notices for traffic offences
    • directing and re-routing traffic at congested areas
    • attending community meetings and answering inquiries from the public where necessary
    • providing advice and assistance to victims of crime and their families
    • maintaining records and preparing reports

    More about Police

    All Police

    All Police

    • $2,036 Weekly Pay
    • Strong Future Growth
    • Lower unemployment Unemployment
    • 61,500 workers Employment Size
    • High skill Skill level rating
    • 93% Full-Time Full-Time Share
    • 43 hours Average full-time
    • 40 years Average age
    • 27% female Gender Share

    The number of people working as Police (in their main job) is about the same as 5 years ago and is expected to grow strongly over the next 5 years:
    from 61,500 in 2018 to 66,600 by 2023.
    Job openings can come from new jobs being created, but most come from turnover (workers leaving).
    There are likely to be around 9,000 job openings over 5 years (that's about 1,800 a year).

    • Size: This is a very large occupation.
    • Unemployment: Unemployment was below average in 2018.
    • Location: Police work in many regions of Australia.
    • Industries: Most work in the Public Administration and Safety industry.
    • Earnings: Full-time workers on an adult wage earn around $2,036 per week (higher than the average of $1,460). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
    • Full-time: Most work full-time (93%, much higher than the average of 66%).
    • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 43 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
    • Age: The average age is 40 years (compared to the average of 40 years).
    • Gender: 27% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

    Employment Outlook

    Number of Workers

    Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2018 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2023.
    YearNumber of Workers
    200853100
    200959700
    201050300
    201152100
    201253100
    201361900
    201458100
    201558200
    201658500
    201763400
    201861500
    202366600

    Weekly Earnings

    Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

    Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours (cat. no. 6306.0), May 2018, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
    EarningsPoliceAll Jobs Average
    Full-Time Earnings20361460

    Main Industries

    Main Employing Industries (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
    Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
    Public Administration and Safety99.2
    Education and Training0.5
    Professional, Scientific and Technical Services0.1
    Other Services0.1
    Other Industries0.1

    States and Territories

    • NSW

    • VIC

    • QLD

    • SA

    • TAS

    • NT

    • ACT

    Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    StatePoliceAll Jobs Average
    NSW28.931.6
    VIC24.025.6
    QLD21.220.0
    SA8.27.0
    WA11.010.8
    TAS2.12.0
    NT2.31.0
    ACT2.21.9

    Age Profile

    Age Profile (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    Age BracketPoliceAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    15-190.2-5.05.0
    20-244.0-9.39.3
    25-3427.8-22.922.9
    35-4433.9-22.022.0
    45-5426.8-21.621.6
    55-595.9-9.09.0
    60-641.2-6.06.0
    65 and Over0.3-4.24.2

    Education Level

    Highest Level of Education (% Share)

    Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
    Type of QualificationPoliceAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate6.4-10.110.1
    Bachelor degree22.1-21.821.8
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma44.1-11.611.6
    Certificate III/IV8.6-21.121.1
    Year 1214.9-18.118.1
    Year 112.2-4.84.8
    Year 10 and below1.8-12.512.5

    The Australian Federal Police (AFP) and State/Territory Police forces have varying requirements to become a Police Officer. Most require you to complete secondary education. A course in justice administration, law or criminology might be helpful.

    Checks, licences and tickets

    You may need:

    • Bronze Medallion or swimming certification
    • manual drivers licence
    • national police check
    • first aid certificate
    • medical test
    • fitness test
    • Psychometric or aptitude tests

    Thinking about study or training?

    Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

    • Search and compare thousands of higher education courses, and their entry requirements from different institutions across Australia at Course Seeker website.
    • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
    • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
    • You might be interested in Public Safety VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

    Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

    Useful links and resources


    The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

    Employers look for Police who are caring, compassionate, empathetic and can communicate clearly with a diverse range of people.

    Filter Skills & Knowledge

    Knowledge

    These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

    1. Customer and personal service

      86% Skill level

      Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

    2. Psychology

      78% Skill level

      Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.

    3. Public safety and security

      76% Skill level

      Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.

    4. Education and training

      75% Skill level

      Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

    5. Law and government

      73% Skill level

      How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 33-3051.01 - Police Patrol Officers.

    Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

    Filter Work Environment

    Demands

    The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

    1. In an enclosed vehicle or equipment

      100% Important

      Work in a closed vehicle (e.g., car).

    2. Face-to-face discussions

      99% Important

      Talk with people face-to-face.

    3. Contact with people

      98% Important

      Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.

    4. Contact with the public

      98% Important

      Work with customers or the public.

    5. Being exact or accurate

      97% Important

      Be very exact or highly accurate.

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 33-3051.01 - Police Patrol Officers.

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