Police Officer

Police Officer

If you have a passion for justice and fighting crime, then choosing to become a police officer will enable you to get actively involved in protecting your fellow man.

In this profile:

Career Overview

A police officer prevents combats and investigates crime. They are called to criminal situations such as robberies, domestic incidents, drug busts and the like.  In addition to this, policer officers patrol the streets to look out for suspicious activity.  They are trained to defend themselves and those in need of defence.  Within a police station, there is a ranking system.  The ranks in the police force are as follows:

  • Detective
  • Corporal
  • Sergeant
  • Lieutenant
  • Captain
  • Deputy chief
  • Chief

Required School Subjects

In order meet the minimum requirements for police training, you will just need to have completed the standard subjects at school.  This consists of the compulsary subjects as well as three additional subjects.

There are no recommended school subjects for policing.

Recommended Institutions and APS

Becoming a police officer doesn’t require a diploma or degree.  Therefore, you won’t need a certain APS.
That being said, police training is required.  The recommended training facility is SAPS itslef.  They run trials throughout the year.
Keep an eye out for ads in the paper.

Calculate your own APS Below

Required Qualification/s

In order to qualify as a police officer, you will need to meet the following requirements:

  • be a South African citizen
  • have a Matric certificate
  • pass a fitness test
  • be at least 18 years old
  • have a valid drivers licence
  • have no criminal record

Required Skills

You will need to have skills and traits:

  • physically and mentally fit
  • good communication skills
  • ability to act decisively and without hesitation
  • calm and even-tempered

Where can you work

You will be able to work in police stations across the country.  The department you work in will depend on where the demand is.  Whether you are doing desk work or “out in action”, you will be employed by the police force.

Working Hours

Your working hours will divided into shifts.  These shifts are 12 hours long – day or night. Once you work your way up the ranks, you can move to office hours, but you can be called out if there is an emergency.


In terms of a paycheck, police officers start on an average salary of R12 000 and this can go up to R30 000 per month. It isn’t the highest paying occupation but you get great benefits such as medical aid, housing subsidies and pension.

What to expect

The reality of a career as a police officer includes the following:

  • shift work – night and day
  • possibility of physical altercations
  • putting your life in danger
  • having to shoot to harm or kill someone

Related Articles

Traffic and Metropolitan Policing

How to be a Hero with Criminology

Recommended Courses


How to Build a Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Register for the Course

How to get your Driver's

Register for the Course