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do you have to go to college to become a sheriff?

I have always wanted to be a police officer, fire man or a sheriff science I was a kid. #law-enforcement #police #

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Kim’s Answer


Each state sets its own requirements. Beyond that, each agency sets its own requirements, so long as they do not conflict with the state's requirements. So you want to start by researching the Peace officer requirements for the states you want to work in.

Although college is not required, more and more agencies require some college hours, or an associate's degree. Some agencies will hire you even if you don't have enough college, and give you time to get it done. But, if you don't follow through, you will be out of a job.

Law enforcement has become increasingly difficult. The ability to write a good detailed but concise report is important, as is the ability to think on your feet, stay calm under pressure, and relate to people of diverse backgrounds in sometimes stressful situations. The earlier you begin researching the requirements, the better off you will be!

In the meantime, understand that when they do your background check, they will talk to your family, friends, teachers, neighbors, ex-girlfriends, etc. You want to be known as a good person, level-headed. One who keeps their commitments, pays their bills, doesn't start fights, etc etc etc. Keep this in mind as you go about your day to day business. Also be mindful of what you post on social media.

Best of luck!


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Anita’s Answer

Each state would have their own requirements so you would need to verify. Even if it is not a requirement, it would be helpful and give you an advantage over other applicants that may not have a degree. Later down the road it could help in the ability to be promoted. Please be mindful that the things that you do now, follow you throughout life. Extensive background checks to include social media, credit, etc. will be considered so always be aware of how your actions today can affect the rest of your life. Good luck.

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Paolo’s Answer

Hi Terrence,

Police academy may be a good start for you. See if your local community college have one so you can save money. You don't need a bachelor's degree.

Here's more info: How to become a sheriff

Paolo Varquez

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David’s Answer

County Sherriff requirements vary from county to county. College may not be a requirement but it is definitely a benefit.