If you're thinking of becoming a police officer, there are some obvious pros and cons to the job. Consider the downside of the profession before applying:

It's a very dangerous job. The U.S. Labor Department rates police work number 5 in The Most Dangerous Jobs in America.

After many years of service it is difficult to accept people at face value. Let's face it, in this career you will be dealing with troubled people in crisis. Everyday you will be meeting people who don't appear to have any common sense, may want you dead, or may have just battered or killed someone else. It's not a pretty job and becoming hardened toward people is a common defense mechanism for officers.

In police work it is difficult to go "off-duty" when not at work. Stan, now retired, was always scanning the horizon every time he got into his personal vehicle. It was impossible for him to even go to dinner without being "on alert."

The job demands and hours are enormous. Occupational stress and burnout are high in this career field. Everyday is a stressful day at work. Some people thrive on the drama, others just become worn out. You've got to love high energy and conflict to love this job.

You've also got to have a downtime which provides you with the reassurance that not all in the world are criminals. Many officers devote time and energy to non profit organizations, helping others in the community.

It's difficult to have a normal family life when you are a police officer. Because officers are reluctant to admit they are having personal problems, for fear of jeopardizing their careers, there's often a high incidence of alcohol and substance abuse. Suicide rates are higher than average in this profession.

Because of the long hours and overtime, many officers do not make it home in time to share meals with their families.

However, most police officers admit that, if given the chance, they wouldn't choose any other profession. They love their work. Some of the benefits they mention are:

1. Great work benefits, which include, insurance, paid holidays, sick leave, pension plans, uniforms and weapons.

2. Employment opportunities are expected to remain high as crime rates increase. You will be at a distinct advantage to compete for job openings if you score well on the physical and mental portions of your tests. Those with some college background have an even better chance of being hired.

3. In most communities police officers are awarded citizen respect and admiration. In a society where we are always looking for heroes, police officers are frequently given that title.

4. Variety and challenge-oriented people love this job. Also, those coming out of the military find an easy transition into this work.

5. Police work offers a variety of types of work within the force. You may be an officer who rides horses on patrol, cars, boats, helicopters, motorcycles, bicycles or be on foot during your work shift.

7. While this is not the highest salaried market, the work is steady and the paychecks are dependable.

8. You can retire after 20 years with ½ pay income.

9. According to Owain F. Carter, you get the chance to risk your life for people you don't know, and some who don't care. But best of all, you learn to love life because you get the chance to see and deal with death every day.

If you have the courage, health and ability to let go of your job at the end of the day; if you have values which include the love of family and community and if you love the high adrenalin rush of your workday, every day, then police work is the job for you.

A wide variety of police jobs are available in different fields:

Park ranger
Military police
Child Protection
Diplomatic Protection
Undercover Detectives (drug enforcement, vice, organized crime)
Investigating major crimes, such as fraud, rape, murder, robbery and people or drug trafficking.
K-9 Handler
Bomb Squad
Special Assignments Unit (SWAT)
Field Training Officer
Gang Squad Officer
School Resource Officer
Helicopter Pilot
Jails or Prisons

The job positions are varied and you can easily find one to fit your personality. It is always best to know what to expect from your career choice, before you make that choice.

If police work still calls you, go to, email or call your local police department and ask for an application. You will take a civil service examination and you will also take a physical exam which tests your agility, strength, vision and hearing.

If these tests are passed, you will then be required to take drug & lie detector tests and a series of interviews with the police department. If accepted, you will be sent to the police academy for a period of anywhere from three months to one year and then onto the streets to begin your work.

Author's Bio: 

Godseer is a company which teaches the art of Discovering Your Life's Work, using spiritual principles. Throughout history humans have explored spirituality and attempted to make sense of it in their own lives. Is there reason & purpose for my life? Yes, there is. Can I know what it is? Yes, you can.

Certified Behavioral Therapist and Spiritual Career Counselor, Kathi Calahan is “The Idea Queen & Go-To Person” for solutions to your everyday career problems. Using the principles of spirituality, she will help you find the work best suited to your personality and Soul’s desire.

Through the use of her Solid Gold Coaching Program, her Finding God - Practical & Spiritual Solutions to Everyday Career Problems Ebook Study Course, Career Meditation MP3 and Teleseminars, detailed instruction is given in a very intensive 30 day program designed to put you in the soul-longing job of your dreams, matching your spiritual gifts with your personality.

Her background includes teaching at two different California community colleges, a business representative at the Camp Verde Chamber of Commerce and for many years developed her spiritual side by working as an intuitive.

Helping you discover your life's work is done through her company, Finding God, Practical & Spiritual Solutions to Everyday Problems.

For your free monthly Career Newsletter which helps you find your best career/personality match, go to www.godseer.com
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