How Do You Become a SWAT Team Member?


Quick Answer

To become a SWAT team member, train and work as a police officer for several years. Once a SWAT team position becomes available, undergo a battery of physical, mental and skill exams. Exact requirements vary based upon state and operational jurisdiction.

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Full Answer

  1. Apply for a police academy training program

    Complete a police academy training program. While requirements vary by state, an aspiring police officer must typically hold a high school diploma or GED, be an American citizen, hold a valid government-issued ID and have a clear criminal background.

  2. Secure employment as a police officer

    Upon graduating a police academy training program, gain employment as a law enforcement officer. Make sure the jurisdiction offers a SWAT division before agreeing to employment.

  3. Work as a police officer

    SWAT team members are promoted from within police officer ranks. Therefore, expect to serve for several years before becoming eligible for specialty police divisions. Discuss your career goals with your superiors.

  4. Pass physical examinations

    Once eligible to train as a SWAT team member, you must pass a rigorous physical exam. While each jurisdiction features different physical requirements, most SWAT divisions follow the FBI HRT physical requirements. Be prepared to showcase weapons-based skills as part of this exam.

  5. Pass mental examinations

    Successful SWAT members are physically and mentally strong. Be prepared to undergo psychological and knowledge testing.

  6. Complete advanced training

    Upon passing physical, skill and psychological exams, you must undergo advanced training to enter the field as a SWAT team member.

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