How to become a police constable: Dylan's story

Meet Dylan from North Wales and find out about his role as a constable for the police service. Part of our Bitesize world of work series.

"No day's the same in the police."

  • Dylan's goal was to be a paramedic but, at 18, he was told he didn't have enough life experience
  • He was advised that a good way of getting life experience would be to join the special constabulary – the volunteer section of the police
  • Dylan joined the special constabulary and enjoyed the practical experience so much that he decided to pursue policing as a career
  • He joined as a police constable two and half years ago and is one of the youngest members of North Wales Police
  • He enjoys helping the community and keeping members of the public safe.

What to expect if you want to be a police officer

Typepolice officer's average payAverage UK pay
Weekly£840£505
Annually£43,680£26,260

Figures from 2017 and based on gross pay which is before taxes. Data supplied by LMI for all.

On average, 43 hours per week

Figures from 2015. Data supplied by LMI for all.

You'll need to contact your local police force to apply. Each police force has its own recruitment rules, but the basic guidelines are the same. You'll need to: be aged 18 or over, be a British or Commonwealth citizen, a European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) citizen, or a foreign national with the right to stay and work in the UK for an indefinite period. You'll also need to pass background and security checks, and give details of any previous convictions. If your application is successful, you'll be invited to an assessment centre where you'll:
  • have an interview
  • take written tests
  • take a physical fitness test
  • take a medical and eyesight test.
If you've got a degree, you could apply for the Police Now Graduate Leadership Development Programme. The College of Policing has more information on careers in the police service.

This information is a guide (source: LMI for All, National Careers Service)

For careers advice in all parts of the UK visit: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.