Police Officer

Note: Completion of a TAFE SA course does not guarantee an employment outcome. Formal requirements other than educational qualifications (eg licensing, professional registration), may apply to some occupations.

Job Prospects Openings 5 years to November 2019: 25,001 to 50,000
Salary Range Median weekly earnings: $1301 to $1700 to Source: Australian Government Department of Employment 2015
Brief The South Australian Police Department provide protection, education and a range of services that enable our communities to function in a safe and positive way.

There are currently around 4,000 police officers employed in South Australia. Employment is largely full-time and most work in the personal and other services industry. Most persons in this occupation are male and most are employed in the Adelaide metropolitan area. This occupation has a younger age profile with only around a third of police officers aged 45 years or older.

Further information can be found at http://www.achievemore.com.au/

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TAFE SA courses that may be relevant for: Police Officer

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A police officer's key task is to protect people and property by upholding statute laws and regulations. Police officers assist people in emergency situations and coordinate emergency management procedures. They also assist in the prevention and control of crime and apprehend persons who disobey the law. They oversee traffic management and road safety procedures and issue traffic tickets and court summonses. In addition, they also play an important role in educating the community about crime prevention and creating safer communities.

Being able to listen to people from all walks of life is a police officer's strongest weapon. Policing is all about people, with every member of the community considered a valued customer. By forming partnerships with their local communities, police officers hope to find local solutions to local problems.

Helping and Community ServicesInfluencing and Personal ContactOutdoor

Education Requirements

To become a police officer in South Australia, you must be accepted into and successfully complete a 34 week training program through the SA Police Academy. Applicants for the program must be at least 18 years old, be an Australian citizen or hold permanent Australian residency status or hold New Zealand citizenship and have successfully completed Year 12 or equivalent. If you have not completed year 12, contact the South Australia Police recruitment section for alternative pathways. Sharpen up your keyboarding skills because you'll need to be familiar with Microsoft Windows XP and be able to type 26 words a minute with 96% accuracy.

It is also a requirement to have a current Basic First Aid Certificate (complying with Course Code HLTFA201A) and a bronze medallion swimming certification. You'll need to meet strict requirements in terms of physical agility, fitness, strength and vision. Physical, psychological and medical testing is required. Be prepared to be subjected to intense scrutiny, including an investigation into your background. Upon graduation of the program, there is an 18 month probationary period. Satisfactory completion of probation promotes an officer to permanent status.

TAFE SA offers the Certificate III in Police Studies which provides pre-entry training for a career with the South Australia Police and other law enforcement agencies. TAFE SA also offers the Advanced Diploma of Policing for serving members of the South Australia Police

Career Path

Although it is a rigorous process to become a police officer, there are good employment opportunities, provided you meet the requirements and standards. The Police Service encourages anyone who is interested in this career, including people with culturally diverse backgrounds, to apply for entry into the SA Police Service. People with specialist skills, such as the ability to speak other languages, previous police or military experience and experience of other cultures are viewed favourably during the recruitment and selection process.

Upon Graduation as probationary constables they are posted to a division where after a minimum of 18 months consideration is given to permanent appointment to the rank of constable. Areas of work include communications, firearms, crime analysis, juvenile justice, crash investigations, traffic control, dog handling, crime prevention, water policing, homicide and computer crime.

Nature of the Job

Police officers must also write reports and maintain information databases on a daily basis. They work in offices, but because of their interaction with the community, they may spend a large part of their workday outside of an office. They rely on a range of patrol vehicles to help get their work done efficiently. These include cars, four wheel drives, motorcycles, helicopters and boats, and they also conduct foot and mounted (horseback) patrols.

Typical Physical Working Environment

The Police Service has a strong organisational structure with an emphasis on teamwork and working within established procedures. Aside from being physically fit, a police officer needs to have sound interpersonal skills. And above all, if you're thinking of becoming a police officer you'll need to be a good role model and that means being honest, reliable and responsible.

Police Officers are highly trained in many areas to enable them to cope with situations where they see and do things that the normal person would never become involved with. It requires a special kind of person who has excellent communication skills and sensitivity to exhibit understanding in situations of trauma and human loss, and assertiveness and confidence in times of conflict.

Typical Occupational Example

All newly appointed police officers are initially required to perform station and patrol duties anywhere in the State and can expect to work shifts of up to 12 hours at a time. This includes weekends and public holidays.

After gaining experience, police officers may seek entry to specialist areas such as criminal investigation, radio communications, prosecutions, juvenile aid, accident investigation, water police, dog handling, traffic control, the mounted unit, education and training, and human resource management.

Further Information

For further information about all TAFE SA Courses, phone 1800 882 661 or enquire online