This page will explain our hiring process for both Regular and Modified Academy classes. There are a number of steps which must be completed prior to receiving an offer for employment. For some candidates, the order of steps may be rearranged slightly--regardless, all steps in the hiring process must be successfully completed in order for you to be hired. Applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements will be disqualified. Please note: out of town applicants will be required to travel to Austin at least three times throughout the hiring process.
All applicants must meet the following minimum requirements to apply for the position of police cadet:
Must be at least 20.5 and younger than 46 years of age at time of application
Must possess a High School Diploma or GED
Must have a valid driver's license
Must be a U.S. citizen (by birth or naturalized)
Must read, write, and speak English
Step 1: Online Application
All police cadet candidates must submit an online application and provide an updated copy of your Experian credit report. By submitting an application you are also registering for the Civil Service Exam to be held on Saturday, January 5, 2019. This exam will serve as our written test. Failure to sit for the exam or failure to earn a passing score of at least 70 will result in your disqualification from the hiring process.
IMPORTANT: We contact all applicants via email throughout the hiring process. It is recommended that you "whitelist" or add iCIMS to your Approved/Safe Sender list to ensure that our emails are properly delivered to your inbox and not marked as spam. Not taking this step may result in you missing important updates regarding your application. Please click here for instructions on whitelisting iCIMS.
SUBMITTING INFORMATION: Applicants will be asked to submit a number of documents electronically as part of their hiring packet throughout the process. Applicants should not send any personal information, such as a credit report, social security card, or driver's license information to us via email. Submitting personal information by email is not a secure form of communication. Instead, please upload these documents when prompted directly into the iCIMS portal by logging into the system. Applicants with questions are asked to contact the Recruiting office directly at 512-974-4211 for assistance on this matter.
Step 2: Civil Service Exam
The Civil Service Exam serves as our written exam and is a mandatory part of the hiring process. Failure to sit for the exam or failure to earn a passing score of at least 70 will result in your disqualification from the hiring process. The exam will be held on Saturday, January 5, 2019. A study guide will be posted here once it is made available.
Following the exam, the Civil Service Commission will provide the Recruiting Unit with a list of candidates who received passing scores. This list will be placed in descending order with the highest score at the top. Note: Active or veteran Military candidates who score a minimum of 70 on the exam will receive an additional 5 points added to their exam scores. Candidates who pass with a score of 70 or above will move on to the Intake Review process.
Step 3: Intake Review
Applicants who pass the Civil Service Exam with a score of 70 or above will have their initial applications reviewed for disqualifying factors (in descending order by Civil Service Exam scores). Those who pass the Intake Review will be contacted via email and scheduled for Phase I Testing. Candidates will also be provided with a link to complete an electronic Background History Statement (BHS) at this time. You must complete the BHS form prior to attending Phase I Testing.
Those who do not pass the Intake Review process will be contacted via email and provided with an eligibility date to reapply, if applicable. Some disqualifiers are permanent. Please visit the Common Disqualifiers page of our website for information on potential disqualifiers.
Step 4: Phase I Testing
Applicants who pass the Civil Service Exam with a minimum score of 70 and pass the Intake Review process will be scheduled for Phase I Testing. The electronic Background History Statement (BHS), which is requested upon successful completion of the Intake Process, must be completed and submitted online prior to attending Phase I Testing.
This portion of the process is a one day event and includes the row test and a series of psychological questionnaires. Applicants will be required to bring the following documentation to Phase I Testing:
Original/Certified Birth Certificate
Naturalization documents, if applicable
High School Diploma, Official High School Transcripts, or GED
Current Driver's License
Social Security Card
Because the row test will be conducted on this day, applicants are encouraged to wear athletic attire and to bring snacks or drinks to testing.
Physical endurance is a key component to being a successful law enforcement officer. This rowing test is designed to evaluate your body's ability to utilize oxygen. A 2000 meter row is approximately 1.25 mile in distance and is a challenging test. If you have not practiced on a rowing machine recently we highly recommend that you do so as soon as possible. Do not underestimate this physical test. Reflect on how long it takes you to strenuously run a mile and triple that feeling. Rowing will measure your endurance using both the horizontal and vertical planes as you will be pulling with your arms and pushing with your legs so it takes more energy than just running.
To pass you must complete the test within the 60th percentile or above according to your age, gender and weight at the time of the test.
Once you start the exam you will not be able to stop rowing until you have completed the 2000 meters.
The damper setting must be set to 5 for this test, no higher or lower.
You must give 100% effort the entire time.
Stopping before the test is complete will result in disqualification from the hiring process.
Not meeting the minimum standard for your gender, age, and weight will result in disqualification from the hiring process.
Rowing technique is an essential part of completing the rowing test successfully. Please refer to Concept2’s website to learn how to row, use proper rowing technique, and common errors. http://www.concept2.com/indoor-rowers/training/technique-videos. You can also research TABATA rowing programs to prepare for this test. You will increase your chances of a passing score if you spend a fair amount of time preparing for the test. Consult your physician prior to starting any strenuous physical exercise program.
If you are hired, the minimum standard for graduating the academy is to pass at the 80th percentile or above for your age, gender, and weight at the time of the test. Keep in mind that physical workouts during the academy are cross-fit style workouts. The most common reason people drop out of the academy early on is because they underestimate the physical demands and are not physically ready. It is in your best interest to use the time it takes to get hired to be at your peak physical condition when starting the academy.
Phase I Testing also involves completing the written psychological testing phase, which consists of two different tests. The first is the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) and the second the Inwald Personality Inventory (IPI). Applicants will spend 3 to 4 hours completing these tests. They are designed to measure a variety of personality and psychological factors related to police work. The results of these questionnaires will be reviewed and follow-up questions will be asked during the psychological interviews at a later date.
Step 5: Background Investigation Phase
Applicants will submit an electronic Background History Statement (BHS) and a list of required documents to the Recruiting Unit online through the iCIMS portal prior to attending Phase I Testing. In order to prepare for the amount of information required in the Background Investigation phase, it is highly recommended that applicants begin gathering this information immediately after submitting the initial application. You will be asked to provide:
Last 10 years of chronological work and volunteer history, including phone numbers and email addresses for a supervisor and coworker at each place of employment or for each volunteer position.
Last 10 years of chronological residence history.
Last 10 years of relationship history including names, contact phone numbers and email addresses of all current and past relationships within this time frame.
Life history of vehicle crashes, citations, and warnings.
Contact information for all immediate family members including parents, step-parents, adoptive parents, in-laws, siblings, half-siblings, step-siblings, adoptive siblings and all children.
Contact information for five (5) personal references that the applicant has known for at least two (2) years. These references cannot be family members, current/prior relationship, or current/prior supervisors/coworkers that are already listed in your work history section.
Documentation that must be submitted electronically through the iCIMS portal:
Social security card
High school diploma, official high school transcripts or GED
Original or certified birth certificate
Naturalization documents, if applicable
College transcripts, if applicable
DD214 (Member 4 or Service 2 versions only) or good standing letter from Commanding Officer if active military, if applicable
Marriage license(s), if applicable
Divorce decree(s), if applicable
Last 2 earnings statements from your current job or last filed tax return if unemployed
Current or prior law enforcement: Copy of personnel file and any Internal Affairs investigations in which you have been involved. If you are unable to obtain this documentation, you must provide an addendum explaining the reason(s) why and what you did to attempt to obtain this information.
You may be asked to supply an updated Experian credit report at some point during the background investigation phase.
Once the applicant has provided all of the required information, uploaded copies of required documentation to the iCIMS portal, and passed Phase I Testing, a Background Investigator will conduct the investigation. Applicants are expected to communicate with their assigned investigators in a timely manner throughout this stage of the hiring process. Failure to respond with required information, or a failure to communicate in a timely manner will result in your disqualification.
Step 6: Phase II Testing
Applicants who successfully complete the background investigation stage of the hiring process will be invited to complete Phase II Testing. This is a 2-day process and consists of:
Psychological Interview - The psychological interview is conducted by a Department psychologist and consists of a one-on-one interview with the applicant along with a review of the previously taken psychological questionnaires (MMPI & IPI). The psychologist will determine whether or not the candidate meets the mental and emotional fitness to function successfully as a police cadet and upon graduation, as an Austin Police Officer. Candidates should dress in business formal attire for this interview. The psychological interview and oral board interview are scheduled to occur on the same day.
Oral Board Interview - The candidate will be sat in front of a panel of Austin Police officers ranging from the rank of officer to lieutenant. During the oral board, the applicant will be asked questions designed to demonstrate certain knowledge, skills and abilities considered basic for the effective performance as a police officer. Candidates should dress in business formal attire for this interview.
Polygraph Examination - The candidate will receive instructions on how to prepare for the polygraph examination. A pre-polygraph questionnaire will be completed during Phase I Testing. The polygraph examiner will develop your examination from the information you give on the pre-polygraph questionnaire and from the report provided by your background investigator. The polygraph examination is approximately a 2 hour process.
Medical / Physical Assessment - Applicants who successfully complete all previous stages of the hiring process will be required to take a general fitness assessment and medical examination conducted by Austin Police Wellness staff. Each candidate's physical and medical condition will be evaluated to ensure that he/she can function safely as a police cadet. If the applicant's medial history or the physical findings by the Department physician indicate the need for further clarification the applicant will be required to submit their medical records to the Austin Police Staff Physician. Upon completion of the physical assessment, the candidate will be given directions to proceed directly to a medical facility to undergo a collection of bodily fluids and hair samples. The samples will be analyzed to detect the use of illegal drugs.
Step 7: Conditional Offer for Hire
Applicants who successfully complete Phase I Testing, the Background Investigation, and Phase II Testing will be offered a conditional offer of employment. This offer is conditional upon the successful completion of the remaining portions of the application process and upon funding by the City of Austin. For Modified Academy cadets who are not from Texas, this offer is also conditional upon completion of the TCOLE out of state process. See the Modified Academy page of our website for additional information about this process.
Step 8: Mandatory Orientation
All applicants must attend a mandatory orientation session at the Training Academy approximately 3-5 weeks prior to the start of the Academy. Applicants who do not attend orientation are subject to disqualification and the conditional offer of employment will be rescinded. At orientation you will meet Cadet Training staff, members of the APD executive team, and your classmates. Cadet Training staff will outline expectations for the first day of the Academy. You are encouraged to bring a close friend or family member with you to orientation. Keeping them involved in the process is important and this opportunity allows them to establish friendships with other spouses, family members, etc. A strong support system starts here.