New York City Police Department Officer Requirements

The New York City Police Department (NYPD) works to prevent and combat crime through deterrence as well as through prosecution. The NYPD uses The Five Ts as guidelines in its approach to policing: Trust, Training, Technology, Taking on Terror, and Tackling Crime. Approximately 35,400 uniformed officers work for the NYPD, serving the nearly 8.5 million residents of the NYC metro.1 In addition to preserving public safety, the NYPD works to build trust with the community. One unique departmental initiative is its “in-house press,” office space within NYPD headquarters that is reserved for the use of local and visiting news media.

Steps to Becoming a NYPD Officer

  1. Meet the minimum qualifications for prospective officers (see below).
  2. Take the New York City civil service exam.
  3. Complete an online application.
  4. Pass the medical exam.
  5. Complete the personal character assessment.
  6. Complete oral and written psychological assessments.
  7. Pass the physical abilities test.
  8. Appear for a pre-hire interview.
  9. Complete police academy training.
  10. Begin working as an officer with the NYPD.

How to Become a New York City, New York Police Officer

Before applying to become an officer with the NYPD, candidates who meet the hiring prerequisites outlined below must first take the written civil service exam. Candidates who pass the civil service exam must next apply to the department. Eligible applicants will be contacted to complete medical and psychological screenings, a character investigation, a physical fitness test, and a pre-hire interview. Prospective recruits who perform well throughout these stages will be conditionally hired and invited to proceed to the final step, attending the New York City Police Academy.

New York City Police Officer Job Description

The mission of the NYPD is to improve the quality of life in New York City. NYPD police officers work to maintain order and enforce local laws by preventing and investigating crimes and upholding the legal system. As the largest municipal police force in the US, the NYPD houses numerous specialty divisions, including bureaus dedicated to counterterrorism, housing, intelligence, transit and transportation, and detective and patrol services.1 Officers may also specialize in aviation, emergency services, highway patrol, or crime scene investigation. With so many departments and chances for specialization, there are always opportunities to pursue career interests and seek promotion within the NYPD.

New York City Police Officer Training, Prerequisites, and Education Requirements

To be eligible to sit for the written civil service exam, applicants must be between the ages of 17.5 and 35. To be hired as an officer with the NYPD, candidates must be US citizens and at least 21 years of age, hold a high school diploma plus at least 60 college credits with a minimum 2.0 GPA, have a valid New York driver's license, and reside within the five boroughs of New York City or surrounding counties. The college experience requirement may be waived with two years of full-time service with the US Armed Forces.

Once hired as a police recruit, prospective officers attend the New York City Police Academy. The rigorous training program lasts six months. Courses cover such topics as law, behavioral science, physical training and tactics, police science, firearms training, and First Aid/ CPR. Classes in terrorism, identity theft, and other advanced law enforcement skills are also part of the curriculum. Recruits must pass 4 separate exams with a score of 75% or higher to graduate from the academy and be sworn in as NYPD officers.

New York City Police Officer Salary and Job Outlook

The starting salary for a New York City police recruit is $42,819, which is raised to $45,673 after six months.2 With typical step increases, an NYPD officer's base salary is $78,026 after five-and-a-half years of service.2 Officers also earn additional pay for overtime, longevity, and holiday work. Those who earn higher ranks earn commensurately higher salaries; for example, the top base pay for sergeants with the NYPD is $103,584 per year.2 All officers are entitled to paid vacation days, paid sick leave, competitive health and life insurance programs, and various retirement plan options.

Contact Information

Twitter: @NYPDnews

New York Police Department
1 Police Plaza
New York, NY 10007

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Is the NYPD hiring?

Answer: The New York City Police Department continually recruits for qualified officers. To learn more about the application and hiring process, visit

Question: Can I be hired as an NYPD officer without a college degree?

Answer: All prospective NYPD recruits must have either 60 semester hours of college credit or two years of full-time experience in the United States Armed Forces. Those who do not meet these guidelines may be interested in the NYPD's Police Cadet Corps. This work-study program places cadet recruits in paid NYPD support assignments while providing tuition assistance to help candidates meet the college experience requirement.

Question: How much do police officers in New York City make?

Answer: According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for police officers in the New York City metro was $77,420 as of 2015.3 The starting salary for NYPD officer recruits is $42,819 per year.2

1. New York City Police Department:
2. NYPD Recruit:
3. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA:

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