How Do I Become A SWAT Member?

A member of a police department’s SWAT team has extensive knowledge in handling weapons and administering rescue plans for hostages. SWAT stands for “Special Weapons and Tactics.” SWAT team members are prepared to handle drug riots and execute antiterrorism measures. One may have to handle heavy firearms as a SWAT team member. When you are a member of a SWAT team, you become part of an elite and highly-respected group of society. SWAT team members may be directly involved in resolving a conflict with drug traffickers or individuals involved in terrorist activities. They may also work in the background of a crime and do all of the research that is required for resolving a crime. Maybe you have wondered, “How do I become a SWAT member?” When you want to become a SWAT member, it is important for you to gain experience as a patrol officer in a police department.

What’s it like to be a SWAT member?

Being part of a SWAT team can be an intense experience. You may receive a phone call in the middle of the night to dispatch to a city where gunshots have been fired in an altercation surrounding drug money. You may also need to patrol a neighborhood that has experienced an increase in its crime rates. Protecting society from terrorism is another aim of SWAT team professionals. The average SWAT team member works about 40 hours a week. He or she may work additional hours if there has been a violent outbreak in a society or a sudden terrorist attack.

Education Requirements

To become a SWAT team member, you will need to obtain a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or a similar field. You will also need to work at a police department as a patrol officer for a minimum of three years. You are not automatically considered for openings in the SWAT team at your police department. Instead, you will need to submit a separate application in order to be considered as part of the SWAT team. To become part of a SWAT team, you will also need to pass certain physical fitness tests. You will have to complete weightlifting exercises, sprints and pushups in order to be considered as part of a SWAT team. You will also need to receive specialized training from a police department to become part of this elite squad. SWAT team members will learn how to use specialized equipment like night vision optics and heavy body armor.

Salary & How to Get a Job

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary of a SWAT team member is about $57,000 a year. Members who work for local SWAT teams usually earn about $51,000 a year. If one works for a SWAT team at the federal level, then he or she will earn about $69,000 a year. To get a job as a SWAT team member, one will have to submit an application to a police department. One can stand out from the competition by being in excellent physical shape. After submitting an application, individuals will have to go through a rigorous interview process in order to be considered for SWAT team positions. One should find out within a few months of submitting an application of whether he or she qualifies to be on a SWAT team.