How To Become A Police Officer In BC:5 Best Steps

Do you want to know how to become a police officer in BC? This article contains the detailed steps and requirements to become a cop in Victoria BC, Surrey and Vancouver as well as how long it takes to become a cop.

British Columbia (B.C.) is one of the most appealing places to settle in Canada.

In addition to its abundance of natural beauty, there are many reasons that make B.C. a very desirable destination to work, study, and live in.

This include; a quality standard of living, good health care, different opportunities, and a low crime rate.

A job as a police officer is really demanding and challenging.

These police officers perform service based on preserving the peace, protecting of life and property, preventing crime, apprehending offenders, and enforcing the laws.

Furthermore, Police may spend much of their time patrolling to prevent crime before it occurs. So being a police officer, you have to always be on guard.

So in this article, we’ve compiled the essential points you need to know if you want to become a cop in BC, Victoria, Surrey and the larger city in Canada, Vancouver.

We pointed out how long it will take you to become a police officer in Bc and also how much they make.

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How Long Does It Take to Become a Police Officer in B.C.?

Becoming a police officer necessitates a large time commitment.

The time taken varies depending on how fast and precisely the paperwork and assessments are completed. This is also determined by the police department where you apply. 

Between the time you apply and the day you become an official police officer in British Columbia, a long application process takes place. However, this time taken depends on the police agency.

Nevertheless, the application procedure should take about 6 months. 

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Victoria police department do not offer a time frame for their application processes, while the Royal Canadian mounted police carry out their cadet training in 26 weeks.

The recruit training at the Vancouver Police Department might last up to 44 weeks.

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How Much Do Police Officers Make In B.C?

The yearly provincial median wage for police officers in British Columbia is $83,200. The provincial hourly rate ranges from $26.45 to $54.00 per hour, with a typical hourly income of $40.00. 

However, we will state how much these police officers make in various districts of British Columbia. 

The Vancouver Police Department initially pays up to $70,154 per year, increasing to $90,198 after three years.

Benefits include paid vacation, medical and dental coverage, and membership in the BC Municipal Pension Plan.

The Victoria Police Department’s beginning wage is $70,158 per year. The annual income rises to $80,180 after the third year.

Subsidies for continuing education, basic and extended health plans, dentistry and eye care, Group Life Insurance, and maternity and parental leave are among the benefits.

How to Become a Police Officer in BC, Canada

Here’s all you need to know about how to become a police officer in British Columbia. 

1. Obtain an Education 

In Canada, being a police officer requires at least a secondary school diploma.

Obtaining a degree as a police officer or in criminology is advantageous and offers you an advantage in the application process.

Graduate police officers are also more likely than non-graduates to get promotions and higher responsibility.

2. Comply With the Minimum Standards 

To become a police officer in Canada, you must complete a number of prerequisites.

Most police departments require prospective officers to meet the following criteria: 

  • You must be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident. 
  • You must be at least 19 years old. 
  • You must be fluent in English and/or French. 
  • Be in good bodily and mental health. 
  • Meet eyesight and hearing requirements 
  • You must have a great personality. 
  • You must not have any outstanding criminal accusations or previous convictions. 

The requirements may differ amongst law enforcement agencies.

Some police departments require candidates to have a valid driver’s license and knowledge of first aid administration, while others do not.

In addition to the above, if you want to become a police officer in Vancouver, here are some certain requirements you need to meet:

  • A bachelor’s degree or a certification in any subject of study (preferred) or a minimum of 30 academic post-secondary credits (at minimum) 
  • Knowledge of a second language 
  • Volunteer work in the community. 
  • Possess a valid Class 5 BC driver’s license with no restrictions. 
  • Have a clean driving record. 
  • Have a current standard first aid / CPR “C” certification that is valid. 
  • Have at least 30 more academic post-secondary credits

Furthermore, if you want to know how to become a police officer in  Victoria B.C, here’s their list of requirements in addition to the general requirements stated above:

  • If the candidate is a Permanent Resident, they must have held that status for at least two years.
  • Computer abilities and keyboarding competence are essential.

3. Apply to Become a Police Officer

Now that you’re aware of the basic requirements needed if you want to know how to become a police officer in BC, you can start applying.

However, this phase is really strict. This is to make sure they accept the best applicants. Candidates must also pass various tests during this level.

To be considered for the next step of police training, you must complete and pass all of the tests. Among the tests in the set are: 

  • Written examination 
  • Physical examination 
  • Psychological evaluation 
  • Medical examination 
  • Polygraph examination 
  • Research into the past 

When you pass these tests, you must prepare for interviews and other assessments in order to stand out from the crowd.

Acceptance into the police force is competitive, especially in densely populated places. Passing all of the examinations also wins you a conditional job offer and admission to cadet training school.

4. Complete Cadet Training

You are now ready to begin cadet training after passing all of your tests. The length of training differs amongst law enforcement departments.

For example, Calgary Police Service training lasts three to six months, whereas Vancouver Police Department training lasts 44 weeks.

Cadet training with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police lasts 26 weeks. 

Cadet training includes both classroom and field instruction. Among the programs covered are:

  • Police sciences
  • Firearms handling
  • Defensive tactics
  • Operational conditioning
  • Drill and deportment

At the conclusion of the training, trainees must have bettered their conduct both personally and professionally and their police abilities.

5. Develop Your Skills

Candidates are now prepared to be deployed into the community after completing cadet training satisfactorily.

Under the supervision of more experienced police officers, recent graduates manage simpler tasks.

To equip police officers to face new problems like terrorism and cybercrime, further training is frequently necessary.

What Is The Application Process For Police Officers In BC? 

The majority of police departments in Canada, including those in B.C., adhere to a set protocol that includes a number of tests, checks, and interviews, such as: 

  • Panel interviews, interviews for screening purposes, the inspector’s interview, and more. 
  • Investigating the past 
  • Physical examinations 
  • A written admissions test 
  • Polygraph testing 
  • Assessment of the working conditions 
  • An evaluation of the mind 
  • Medical examinations 

At any point during the application process, applicants can be rejected by the majority of police departments. An employment offer is not assured even if all phases are successful.

Among those who succeed at each step, the most qualified applicants are chosen.

After being chosen, you proceed to recruit training. In essence, recruit training is an employment offer with conditions.

To become a police officer, recruits must successfully complete this training.

What Are The Essential Skills Of A Police Officer?

The following are the most crucial abilities a police officer requires in order to work as a police officer in Canada: 

Communication Abilities 

Police personnel must socialize and cultivate positive relationships both inside and outside the police rank. 

An essential component of becoming a police officer is effective coordination, which is made possible by good working relationships with other police officers.

In terms of the neighborhood, police officers must work together with residents to stop crime and risks to public safety.

Ability to Maintain Composure 

Police officers frequently deal with tense circumstances, like hostility from people or hostile crowds. To diffuse situations quietly, a police officer must practice self-control.

Whether an officer is armed, self-control is particularly crucial since they must decide when to use their weapon. 


Police personnel must treat people from all backgrounds fairly. They must act impartially when interacting with everyone, including friends, family, and strangers.

To implement the law fairly and handle problems appropriately, police officers must maintain objectivity and restrain their emotions.

Ability to communicate 

To be able to speak clearly and firmly with the public and their colleagues, police officers must possess excellent communication skills.

To remember every detail that suspects and crime victims relay to them, they must have good listening skills.

Persuasiveness and the capacity to interpret non-verbal cues like tone of voice and body language are also examples of communication abilities. 

Physical Stamina 

Police officers stand and move around for long periods of time when on patrol, directing traffic, and walking.

In addition, they might need to pursue suspects, subdue suspects who are struggling and lead them to a holding area.

To handle the physical demands of the job, they must be in good physical shape.

Aptitude for Solving Issues 

Police officers deal with a variety of difficult situations, some of which call for rapid judgment and superior problem-solving abilities.

They must be able to respond swiftly and legally to the issues raised by the community. When conducting an investigation, a police officer must tie together many lines of inquiry to create a logical chain of events. 

Observation of Details 

Police personnel must be aware of what is happening in the neighborhood.

Small indications and details that can seem inconsequential could be the beginning of a larger problem that could endanger public safety and peace.

In order to properly prosecute criminals in court, attention to detail is also essential because minor particulars may determine whether they are found guilty or innocent.

Abilities to Make Decisions 

In their daily duties, police officers encounter numerous complex circumstances that need swift decisions. Making the wrong choice could worsen an already volatile situation.

Police decisions are crucial in keeping the public calm. Being able to make wise decisions under duress is a crucial quality for police personnel.

Frequently Asked Questions On How To Become A Police Officer In B.C 

Let’s look at the questions below.

Are Police Officers In Demand?

In British Columbia right now, being a police officer is seen as a high-potential job.

A 0.6% employment growth rate is predicted from 2019 to 2024, and over 3000 job openings are anticipated up to 2022, according to the B.C. Labour Market Outlook. 

In accordance with records, 86.1% of those job openings will result from retiring police officers, while 13.9% are the result of economic expansion.

What Are The Requirements To Become A Police Officer In B.C, Surrey?

  • Age requirement: 19 or older. 
  • Proof of citizenship or permanent resident in Canada, or a birth certificate
  • Physically in shape and in good health.
  • They don’t have a history of unethical behavior or poor employment, and they don’t have any issues that would make them unsuitable for police work in the military, in the classroom, with their credit, or with their driving. 
  • A clean driving record and a valid, substantial Class 5 driver’s license (N, L). Experience behind the wheel for at least three years. 
  • To be eligible, applicants must have completed grade 12 or its equivalent (GED). 
  • At least 30 post-secondary credits, or an equal mix of education, training, and experience

What Are The Duties Of A Police Officer?

The protection of individuals and property is a police officer’s main responsibility.

Controlling traffic, monitoring neighborhoods, responding to emergency calls, writing citations, delivering warrants, making arrests, and promptly filing incident reports are just a few of the police’s regular responsibilities. 

Sometimes, police are called to the witness stand in court to describe a case they handled or witnessed.


A job as a police officer can be the right choice for you if you enjoy helping others and enhancing public safety. 

Police officers work for the local, provincial, and federal governments as public servants.

In this guide, we covered how to become a police officer in British Columbia(B.C), the necessary qualifications, and the national average pay for police officers in various regions. 

British Columbians who want to work in law enforcement can join either the federal or local police forces. A rewarding career is possible with either choice.

Therefore, if you have decided to join a municipal or federal police force in British Columbia(B.C) to serve, protect, educate, or prevent crime, you will discover important information in this article that will help you learn how to become a police officer.

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