Career Details

Police - Patrol Officer - SWAT Operator

Career Overview

Police officers (in general) enforce laws by patrolling particular areas, respond to emergencies, collect evidence related to crimes, and testifying in courts (along with doing many other things). A SWAT operator is called in when situations present significant risks to police officers or to the public. SWAT operators receive significantly more training than other police officers.


Educational requirements for becoming a police officer may vary by geographic area. A high school diploma or equivalent is required to obtain this position. Graduating from an agency police academy is also often required. Completing a two-year college program or four-year bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or a related field will definitely help one to move up within a police department. Many people who become SWAT operators have previous military experience.

Salary Expectations

Low End:
High End:
$34,000 /yr
$61,000 /yr
$101,000 /yr

Recommended Courses

  • Psychology
  • English - as much as possible!
  • Criminal Justice
  • Communication
  • Government
  • Foreign Languages
Future Outlook

The job outlook for this position looks good over the next 10 years, keeping in mind that geographical differences may exist. Because there aren't many SWAT Operator positions, these positions will be more difficult to obtain.

Jobs: Check Available Jobs!

Work Environment

Police officers work for any level of the government. These jobs can be extremely stressful and potentially life threatening at times. They may require long hours and working nights, weekends, and holidays.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook

Explore Careers, Labour Market Information, Government of Canada