Boston Police Department Officer Requirements

The Boston Police Department works to reduce crime and improve quality of life in the Boston metropolitan area. The department has embraced community policing and depends on its community partnerships to successfully combat crime. As part of this effort, the Boston Police Department promotes district-based violence prevention initiatives as well as neighborhood advisory councils, safe street teams, and street outreach teams.

Steps to Becoming a Boston Police Officer

  1. Meet the minimum qualifications for prospective officers (see below).
  2. Apply for and take the Mass State Civil Service Exam.
  3. Apply to the Boston Police Department during an open hiring period.
  4. Pass the physical exam.
  5. Pass the medical and psychological exams.
  6. Pass the background check and drug test.
  7. Complete police academy training.
  8. Complete six months as a probationary officer.
  9. Begin working as a fully-fledged Boston police officer.

How to Become a Boston, Massachusetts Police Officer

The Boston Police Department hiring process is quite involved and can be broken into three parts: Part one is applying for and taking the Mass State Civil Service Exam. The exam is only offered once every two years and requires a fee of $100 for on-time registration. Candidates who pass the exam may move forward in the hiring process and apply to the Boston Police Department during an open police recruiting period.

In part two of the hiring process, eligible candidates who are contacted by the department after submitting an application will complete physical, medical, and psychological exams, as well as a background check and drug test. Those who remain in the selection pool after these steps may be conditionally hired as police recruits and invited to complete the third part of the selection process, attending training at the Boston Police Academy.

Boston Police Officer Job Description

Boston police officers work to serve and protect the residents of Boston. Job duties are varied as officers are responsible for many tasks, including responding to service calls, patrolling the streets, and aiding residents during emergencies. Additionally, there are many specialized divisions in the Boston Police Department where officers work in specific areas of law enforcement, such as homicide or narcotics.

Boston Police Officer Training, Prerequisites, and Education Requirements

In order to become a police officer in Boston, candidates must meet certain qualifications. The first qualification is to have established residency in Boston for at least one year prior to taking the Mass State Civil Service Exam. To be hired as a police officer, candidates must be US citizens between the ages of 21 and 38, have a high school diploma or GED, and be licensed to drive in Massachusetts. Each applicant must also meet physical fitness standards. Candidates who have college credits or an associate's or bachelor's degree may have a greater chance of being hired, are paid higher salaries with the department's education bonuses, and may be positioned to advance through the ranks more quickly. Military veterans are also given hiring preference.

After being hired, recruits complete approximately 20 weeks of intensive physical and academic training at the Boston Police Academy. The program is rigorous and recruits are discouraged from holding outside employment during training.

Boston Police Officer Salary and Job Outlook

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for a police officer in Boston in 2015 was $66,800.1 Officers are eligible to work overtime and paid details in order to increase their salary potential. Earning a college degree can also lead to additional pay. As city employees, all officers are eligible for health and life insurance benefits as well as paid time off and sick leave.

Contact Information

Twitter: @bostonpolice

Boston Police Department
1 Schroeder Plaza
Boston, MA 02120

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What is the typical Boston police salary range?

Answer: As of 2015, the average salary for Boston police officers was $66,800.1 First-line supervisors of police and detectives, such as lieutenants and sergeants, earned an average of $97,460 during the same year.1

Question: What job opportunities are there at the Boston PD?

Answer: The Boston Police Department offers numerous opportunities for officers. Specialty units include investigative planning, major cases (organized crime), and criminal investigations.

Question: Is the Boston Police Department hiring?

Answer: The Boston Police Department recruits candidates on a periodic basis. Note that the first step to becoming a Boston police officer is passing the Mass State Civil Service Exam, which is only offered every two years. Once you have passed the exam, check for hiring announcements.

1. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Boston:

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