State Peace Officer Job Opportunities


Job Opportunities

Minimum Qualifications

Human Resources Information

10 Step Selection Process

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Peace Officer Candidate Selection Process


The selection process for the Academy includes ten phases.  Failing any step will result in elimination from the process.  Applicants should work to produce their best test scores during each test phase.  This will allow the greatest opportunity for a Conditional Offer and Final Offer of Employment.

1. Minimum Qualifications Screening:

Applicants are required to determine from the list of minimum hiring qualifications whether or not they believe they are suitable for hire as a peace officer with the State.  Computerized record files (driver’s license and criminal history) will be searched on each applicant prior to testing.  All applicants meeting the minimum qualifications screening will be invited to test.


2. Physical Fitness Assessment:

The physical fitness assessment consists of sit-ups, push-ups, a stretch & reach test (flexibility), and a 1.5 mile run.  Time and repetitions vary depending on the age and sex of the applicant.  Feel free to review the full physical fitness assessment standards.  Applicants cannot score a zero in any of the four areas tested and must have a minimum of 8 points to advance.  Applicants passing the physical fitness assessment will advance to the written exam.


3. Written Exam (POST):

Each applicant must pass the Police Officer Selection Test (POST).  The POST is a timed aptitude test divided into four sections.  The specific sections are: basic arithmetic, reading comprehension, grammar/spelling/punctuation, and writing skills.  Applicants cannot score less than 70% on any of the four sections of the test and the overall average must be 80% or greater. 

After successfully completing the physical fitness assessment and written exam, applicants will be provided with a score.  The score is based upon the physical fitness assessment total points, written test average and veteran's points if applicable.  Applicants are required to have a minimum of 88 total points to advance to the oral board interview.

Example: Applicant J. Smith
Physical Fitness Assessment = 8 points
Written Exam Average 85% = 83 points
Veteran's Points = 5 points
Total Points = 96 points

Applicant Smith advances to Oral Board Interview.


Example: Applicant J. Doe
Physical Fitness Assessment = 4 points
Written Exam Average 80% = 80 points
Veteran's Points = 0 points
Total Points = 84 points

Applicant Doe does not advance to Oral Board Interview.

Veteran's Points are awarded in accordance with Iowa law.  Five points will be awarded to applicants for federal active service during specific dates set forth in the Code of Iowa.  Ten points will be awarded to applicants with a service related disability which occurred during the same dates set forth in the guidelines.

To qualify, applicants must have served during one of the following periods:

  • Persian Gulf/Iraq Conflict -- August 2, 1990 through (End date yet to be determined by Congress)
  • Panama Service -- December 20, 1989 through January 31, 1990
  • Lebanon or Granada Service -- August 24, 1982 through July 31, 1984
  • Viet Nam Conflict -- February 28, 1961 through May 7, 1975     

The State of Iowa basic training academy is approved for G.I. Bill benefits under the on-the-job-training program.  This benefit is extended to National Guard members and Reservists also.  For additional information, please contact the Veteran's Affairs Office at one of the following numbers: 1-800-838-4692 or (515) 242-5331.


4. Oral Board Interview:

Each applicant advancing to the oral board interview phase will be interviewed and evaluated by three interviewers.  The average of the combined scores becomes the applicant's final interview score.


Conditional Offer of Employment
After careful review and consideration of applicant materials, test scores, oral board interviews, etc., selected applicants are given a "Conditional Offer of Employment."  These applicants are invited to continue in the selection process and complete the remaining test phases.


5. Polygraph Evaluation:

During the polygraph evaluation information on all applicant materials and oral board responses will be verified.  Emphasis is place on illegal drug use/abuse, detected and undetected criminal conduct, and misrepresentation of information given during the previous test phases.


6. Psychological Evaluation:

Applicants are required to complete the MMPI (Minnesota Multi-Phasic Personality Inventory).  The MMPI consists of 567 true/false questions.  Applicants are scheduled with a State psychologist where the MMPI is scored and evaluated.  The psychologist will make a hiring recommendation based on the results of the MMPI and the interview.


7. Background Investigation:

Once an applicant has passed the above mentioned test phases, a careful review of application materials, test results, oral board interview, etc., is done by the division of choice.  Selected applicants will advance to the Background Investigation phase.    During the Background, an applicant's references, employers, schools, co-workers, and other sources are contacted and interviewed.

8. Final Offers:
Final Offers of employment are extended to applicants at the conclusion of the selection process.  The final selections are based on qualifications and merit, as well as availability of positions.


9. Medical Examination:

A medical examination is scheduled with one of the State’s medical doctors.  The doctor will determine if the applicant is physically able to perform the duties of a law enforcement officer.


10. Basic Training Academy:

The Basic Training Academy is conducted at Camp Dodge in Johnston, Iowa and runs Monday through Friday. Applicants are dismissed over the weekends.