Want To Become a Police Officer Straight Out of School [6 Top Tips]


I Want To Be A Police Officer As Soon As I Finish School

It’s common for younger applicants to hear people say, ‘you’re too young, you won’t get in, you don’t have enough life experience’. Let’s discuss what you can do to increase your chances of becoming a police officer after finishing school.

Video Summary

00:15 – Who is Russell?
00:35 – People will tell you that you’re too young
00:50 – What life experience do you need?
01:04 – Find some customer-facing work experience
02:02 – The value of volunteering
02:35 – Participate in team sports
03:20 – Do some traveling

Success Story

If you follow the advice in this article, you too can be successful like James, who at only 19 was successful in passing his police application.

What else can I do?

Consider spending 1 to 2 years in a retail or hospitality role before you apply to become a police officer. This will give you the opportunity to develop the skills you need to be a police officer, but, it will also give you some real-life examples you’ll need to share when you get to the interview stage of your police application.

The police force will always be there, so take your time, do the right things first so that you only have to apply once 😉


If you’re finishing your last couple of years of school but you already know that you want to be a police officer, this video will be helpful for you. Let’s get into it.

G’day. I am Russell from Prime Motion Training and over the last 15 years, I’ve helped more than 4,000 people become police officers. I spent 12 years as a police officer myself in Victoria, and I want to share some information with you that will help you increase your chances of becoming a police officer if you’re just finishing off your school years, but you’re already really keen to move into a career in policing.

The first thing is that often you’ll hear from people around you that you’re too young. You won’t get into the police force. You need more life experience. But what is life experience? Relevant life experiences to help you with a police application, things that we’re going to talk about in this video.

1. Work Part-Time

The first one is that we need the ability to be able to communicate with people, people from all sorts of walks of life. So one of the most important things you could do to help you get ready for a police application is to start working part-time, if you’re not already doing so and it needs to be in a role where you’re facing the customer or a customer-facing role, something like hospitality or retail is ideal because you’ll be required to speak to lots of different types of people and you’ll have some very happy customers to deal with and some not so happy customers to deal with. It’s that range of experiences dealing with people and having to be able to communicate with different types of people, that is really valuable when it comes time to submit a police application.

It’s one of the reasons why younger applicants struggled to be successful with a police application. That is because you haven’t yet had the exposure to having to deal with people and you will have to deal with people in a police role. So get yourself some part-time work. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but it does need to be in a role where you’re dealing with customers. Any kind of customer service role will be really helpful.

2. Do Some Volunteering

The next thing that you can do to help improve your chances of a successful police application is to do some volunteering and it doesn’t matter what it is. It could be life-saving. It could be the SES. You could do some sort of local community volunteering work but if you’re volunteering your time, it shows a genuine interest in helping other people and helping your community. So volunteering is a really important thing to start doing, again if you haven’t already started to do so. That will set you up well for your police application.

3. Play a Team Sport

The next thing you can do, again, if you’re not already doing so, is to join a community group, some sort of sporting club, where you have to learn the value of teamwork and communicating with other team members. That contribution to a team effort and team goal is really important. You might have the opportunity to show leadership. It’ll give you the opportunity to keep your fitness up. You need to be reasonably fit to do the physical work required of police officers sometimes. So get involved in a sporting team, not necessarily something that’s an individual sport. A team sport would be better because of that ability to demonstrate you’re capable of working within a team environment, you’re capable of contributing to a team goal, and you’re capable of communicating and sticking to the plan that other team members will be following as well.

4. Do Some Traveling

Now, the last thing that I wanted to mention is travel. If you can do some traveling, if you’ve traveled interstate, certainly if you’ve traveled overseas, whether it be for a sporting competition or just the holiday, exposure to different cultures, different rules, different regulations, and just different ways that people do things; different food, different language, all of these things give you well-rounded life experiences and will enhance the chances of you having a successful police application.

So a really quick wrap-up. Get some part-time work. Do some volunteering. Join a sporting team and do some travel if you can and if you can tick off all of those things, certainly if you can do that over a period of 12 months or so leading up to your first police application, that would be really helpful.

5. Consider Working For 1-2 Years Before Applying

The last thing that I want to mention, I know you’ll probably find really difficult because we’re so impatient and 12 months or two years might seem like a lifetime when you’re just about to finish year 12, but make sure you finish your schooling as to the highest level that you can and spend the next 12 or 18 months, or even two years, out in the workforce, working full time.

6. Consider An Apprenticeship First

If you can do an apprenticeship of some type before submitting an application, that would be a really big help. You’ll always have that to fall back on if the police application doesn’t work out. But even if you don’t do any type of apprenticeship, to do some work experience on a full-time basis, will show the police force that you’re committed to your work, you can turn up on time, you’re disciplined, you can follow instructions, you can work as part of a team, you can communicate with happy customers and not so happy customers. All of the responsibilities that come with holding full-time work will put you in a much, much stronger position than you could possibly get to if you’re applied straight out of school at 18 years of age.

I know that’s going to be hard to accept and you won’t want to do that, but it will give you a huge advantage if you do. But if you’re not prepared to do that, those first few tips that I shared with you will be very helpful if you intend to apply straight out of school.

Good Luck!

Download the tips here!

About the Author

Russell Kempster

Russell Kempster

Russ spent 12 years as a police officer with Victoria Police. The last four years of that time was spent at the Victoria Police Academy as an instructor, where he taught everything from fitness to firearms. He has trained police applicants, as well as recruits undergoing their initial training, experienced serving police officers and was even called on by Victoria Police to help train other would-be police academy instructors.

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