Police Officer


As a San Jose police officer, you never know how your day will go. You may think, “It’s going to be a nice easy day.” And then, right out of the barn, you are thrown into a high priority situation. It might be a weapons call or a robbery, chasing a suspect or backing up another officer. That’s the exciting part of patrol: no two days are alike.


The San Jose Police Department has one of the best academies to train you in all aspects of policies and procedures. The goal is to assure your success as a solo beat officer: able to serve and protect the public, able to listen and communicate effectively to strengthen bonds with the community.


There is a camaraderie and a tradition of regarding everyone in the department as family. You always have the support from your fellow officers. As Assistant Chief of Police Dave Knopf states, “The San Jose Police Department culture … I see all the officers in the department, at every rank, every color, gender, everything, as brothers and sisters. And, if you ask anybody in this department, you’ll probably get the same answer.”


When you are an officer in the San Jose Police Department, you are part of a large force serving a large and diverse community. The opportunities for advancement are enormous. You can promote from within and there is training to back up the promotion. You can build a great and rewarding career.


San Jose Officers have entered into a new three year contract with the City of San Jose (2017-2019).  Each year, the annual salary for top-step officers increases.


Annual base pay range from Police Recruit to top-step Police Officer is $82,306 to $152,415 (at the end of contract).



  • Paid academy training.
  • Annual base pay increase in seven (7) annual steps
  • Over 50 specialized units and six (6) promotional ranks
  • Domestic partnership benefits
  • Paid vacation and paid sick time accrual
  • Uniform allowance
  • 4-day work week, 10 hours shift each day



  • No experience is necessary for Entry Level or Academy Graduate
  • At least 20 1/2 years old at time of application.  Maximum age is 70 years old (mandatory retirement age)
  • A valid United States driver's license
  • United States high school diploma or general education diploma (GED). Waived, if you have a college degree from an accredited college within the United States
  • 40 semester college credits, 60 quarter college credits from an accredited college or university, or 4 years of military experience
  • United States Citizenship or Permanent Resident Alien who has applied for citizenship.
  • Must have at least 20/40 corrected vision
  • No felony, domestic violence, misdemeanor assault convictions or currently on probation or parole

Make your SJPD career a reality

  1. Look over the job description and requirements. If you have a question or want to communicate with a recruiter, click Contact.
  2. Submit an application.
  3. After your application is reviewed and accepted, you will take both written and physical agility tests. What next … ?

    After filling out a personal history questionnaire and taking an oral board exam interview, SJPD will do a background investigation. Passing the investigation, you attend The San Jose Police Academy as a police recruit and also go through the SJPD Field Training Officer program.



The Lateral position is someone with police/peace officer experience within the State of California.  Lateral applicants must fill out an application, complete Personal History Questionnaire and take Oral Board examination.


• Lateral applicants do not need to take the written exam or the physical agility test.


The San Jose Police Department does not accept out-of-state lateral police officer transfers or federal law enforcement transfers who have completed the California P.O.S.T. Basic Course Waiver. All law enforcement officers wishing to transfer from out-of-state or from a federal law enforcement agency must apply as police recruit applicant and then attend the San Jose Police Academy.


Academy Graduate

An Academy Graduate is someone who has successfully completed a California POST Basic Academy within the last twelve (12) months. Academy Graduates will be required to attend the San Jose Police Department Academy.


• Academy Graduates do not need to take the written exam or the physical agility test.


Out of Area / Out of State Applicants

The San Jose Police Department offers “All-in-One” weekend of testing for out-of-area / state applicants who live THREE (3) OR MORE HOURS from the City of San Jose or are active military personnel. “All-in-One” weekend of testing will allow eligible applicants to complete all testing phases applicable to the position they are applying for.


Check the Calendar page for upcoming testing dates.


Former SJPD Officers

If you are a former SJPD Officer we miss you!  The Department is heading in a positive direction and the work you love is still here.  Click the button below to learn about contract changes and how to come back home.

San Jose Police Department

201 W. Mission Street

San Jose, CA 95110