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Your Police Career in Massachusetts Begins Here

2021 Municipal Police Officer, MBTA Transit Police Officer and State Trooper Examination Application Available!

Table of Contents

Learn how to become a police officer in a Massachusetts Civil Service Department

Being a police officer is a meaningful way to serve a community. As a police officer, you will be a public servant responsible for responding to fires and other emergency situations in your community.  You often respond to risky and physically demanding calls and work shifts that operate around the clock with your fellow police officers.

Please read the steps to becoming a police officer;

First step is to take the written exam. Check the exam schedule to find the next exam being offered. Requirement to take the exam is;

You do not need to be a resident of Massachusetts to take the exam. More detailed information can be found on the exam poster.

After taking the written exam, your name will be placed on the eligible list. When a police department is ready to hire, they request the eligible list and the Civil Service Unit sends a list of names.

If your name is reached, the hiring process will begin and may include the following;

  • complete an extensive employment packet
  • thorough background check
  • interview

If you are offered a job you can expect to first complete the following as part of the conditional offer of employment;

Once you have successfully passed the medical exam and PAT as well as any additional requirements from the department, you will begin your new rewarding career as a police officer.

Police officer in training

Frequently Asked Questions for the Police Officer Exam

Q: Am I qualified to take the Police Officer exam? 

A: Any entrance qualifications and requirements for the position will be listed on the examination announcement. Please carefully review these qualifications and requirements to be sure you meet them before you apply.

Q: How do I apply for Police Officer exam? 

A: Read the 2021 exam poster and apply for the exam online when it is available.

Q: When will the Police Officer exam be open?

A: Please check the Civil Service Exam Schedule periodically. The exam schedule is continuously being updated.

Q: What are components of the written exam?

The written exam has 3 parts, each measuring qualities that are important to succeed as an entry-level police officer:

  • Written Ability Test (WAT) — Evaluates cognitive abilities essential to performing a police officer’s responsibilities, including verbal expression, verbal comprehension, problem sensitivity, deductive reasoning, inductive reasoning, and information ordering
  • Work Styles Questionnaire (WSQ) — Assesses certain motivational, value-related, and attitudinal characteristics that can help police officers succeed
  • Life Experience Survey (LES) — Consists of a series of multiple-choice questions related to candidates’ past history and experience that are relevant to the duties of a civil servant

You can use the Police Officer Written Exam Preparation Guide to find out more about the exam process, learn test-taking techniques, and practice with sample questions.

Q: After I apply for the exam how will I know when and where to take the exam?

Approximately 7-10 business days before the examination date you will receive a notice to appear by email. The notice will tell you the location and the time to appear for your written exam. 

Q: When will I receive my exam results?

A: Results will be emailed to you as soon as they are available.


Additional Information




Telephone (617) 878-9700
Toll Free within Massachusetts 1-(800)-392-6178


(617) 727-0399


100 Cambridge Street, Suite 600
Boston, MA 02114