This page will explain the hiring process for our Regular Academy. 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 two times throughout the hiring process.
All applicants must meet the following minimum requirements to apply for the position of police cadet:
Must be 20.5 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 One: Submit Application
All police cadet candidates must submit an online application and provide an updated PDF copy of your Experian credit report. You can obtain your Experian credit report from www.Experian.com or www.AnnualCreditReport.com. Your credit report must be dated within 30 days of your application.
IMPORTANT: We contact all applicants via email throughout the hiring process. It is recommended that you 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.
SUBMITTING INFORMATION: 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 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 Two: Intake Review
After submitting an application online, each one is reviewed for disqualifying factors. Applicants who pass the Intake Review will be contacted via email and scheduled for 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 FAQ section of our website for information on potential disqualifiers.
Step Three: Phase 1 Testing
Applicants who pass the Intake Review process will be scheduled for Phase I Testing. An electronic Background History Statement (BHS) will be requested upon successful completion of Phase I Testing.
This portion of the process is a one day event and includes the written exam, a series of psychological questionnaires, and the physical fitness tests. Applicants will be required to bring the following documentation to Phase I Testing:
Original/Certified Birth Certificate
Naturalization documents, if applicable
Social security card
Current driver’s license
High school diploma, official high school transcripts, or GED
Official departmental forms (link provided in testing confirmation email)
Because the physical fitness tests will be conducted on this day, applicants are encouraged to wear athletic attire and to bring drinks or snacks.
Failure to sit for the written exam or failure to earn a passing score of at least 70 will result in your disqualification from the hiring process. Applicants must review the Reading Comprehension Manual prior to sitting for the exam - a number of questions on the exam will be based on this reading material. We also strongly suggest that you review the Candidate Orientation Guide and take the free practice exam. This will give you a better understanding of what to expect on the day of the exam.
Physical Fitness Test
The physical fitness test consists of three events: sit-ups, push-ups, and a 1.5-mile timed run. Each event is scored based on age and gender (see the chart below). You will have one minute to achieve as many sit-ups as you are able. Your push-up score is based on the number of push-ups you can execute overall (this event is not timed). You must score a combined average of 70% or higher in two of the events with a minimum of 20% in the third event to pass.
Consistent preparation well in advance of testing day is the key to performing well on the PT test.These tests will assess your core strength, upper body strength, and cardiovascular endurance. After consulting with your physician, start a daily routine of doing push-ups and sit-ups--starting in small increments will help. Doing several repetitions throughout the day of 5-10 push-ups or sit-ups at a time will pay big dividends on your PT Test. As you progress, gradually add in greater numbers of push-ups/sit-ups per set. Begin a regular running routine to develop your cardiovascular endurance. Please do not wait until test day to see if you are capable of passing—you should know about how well you will perform on the test before you get here for testing.
Candidates who pass all aspects of Phase I Testing with an average score of 70 or above will move on to the Background Investigation stage of the hiring process.
Physical Readiness for Academy Training
In addition to the initial physical fitness test which applicants are required to pass at a 70% rate during Phase I Testing and at an 80% in the academy, police cadets are required to participate in a lot of physical training. This includes, but is not limited to: sprinting, jogging, squats, push-ups, sit-ups, carrying weight overhead, planks, and intervals. We highly recommend that potential applicants begin an exercise regimen that includes cardio exercise prior to or at the time of application and to remain consistent with your training throughout the hiring process. An effective regimen should include High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) or CrossFit style workouts.
Step Four: Background Investigation
Applicants will submit an electronic Background History Statement (BHS) within 10 (ten) days of successful completion of Phase I Testing. All required documents must be submitted 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, phone numbers, and email addresses for current and past relationships
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 5 personal references that you have known for at least 2 years (cannot include family members, current/prior relationship, or current/prior supervisors/coworkers that are already listed in your work history section)
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.
Documentation that must be submitted electronically through the iCIMS application 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) and addendum(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
Step Five: Phase 2 Testing
Applicants who successfully complete the Background Investigation stage of the hiring process will be invited to complete Phase II Testing. This is a multi-step process that consists of online and in-person testing:
The psychological questionnaires administered include the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) and the Inwald Personality Inventory (IPI). Both are designed to measure a variety of personality and psychological factors related to police work. Results will be reviewed by a psychologist and follow-up questions may be asked during the psychological interview in Phase II.
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 decide 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 the oral board 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 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 medical 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 Six: Offer for Hire
Applicants who successfully pass 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 authorization by the City of Austin.
Step Seven: 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.