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Out of state and looking to work in FL


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  • Out of state and looking to work in FL

    I have a few questiong concerning starting a career in LE in the state of FL. I am a 24 yr old male looking to get on with a PD somewhere in florida. I recently went through the entire hiring process for the city of pittsburgh PD but was ultimately not chosen in the end(along wtih 7 other young white males ). Anyway, I have always wanted to live in FL where the weather is nice year round, and I am at a point in my life where nothing is holding me back now. Onto the questions, I have heard that there are some standardized tests that I need to complete before I send out some applications(FBAT/CJBAT?). Do I take the FBAT test for Police Departments and the CJBAT for correctional facilities? Ultimately Id like to work for a PD, but also wouldn't mind starting out in corrections until I get acclimated with the area, etc. Also where do I go to sign up for these tests, and can I fly in and take both tests in 1 day? From what I have heard, these tests are standard for all departments in florida, so once I take these tests I can simply start sending out applications to any areas that interest me? If anyone can shed some light on this topic I would greatly appreciate it.


  • #2

    It is my understanding that If you are a non-certified applicant coming from out-of-state to become a police officer in the state of Florida, you are required to take the CJBAT and possibly the TABE. If you have a BA/BS degree from an accredited university, most police departments will let you skip taking the TABE, but you will still have to take the CJBAT. The TABE is a basic aptitude test, while the CJBAT focuses slightly more on Criminal Justice, but is also a very basic test. Neither test is difficult and requires very little to no studying.

    Now, many departments down here will require you to complete a Physical aptitude test as well, prior to applying (I dont think the state requires it, but most departments will). In general these physical tests are comprised of some short-distance running and an "obstacle course" per-se. Some departments will also require you to complete a Swim test. All of these physical and educational aptitude tests must be completed prior to applying (with a few exceptions).

    Now where to take these tests you ask? It's my understanding that it depends on what part of the state you plan on living and working in. In order to sign-up for these tests, you want to start looking at Community Colleges in the area in which you plan on working/applying. I believe the CJBAT and TABE are pretty standard across the state and will transfer anywhere, but most Comm Colleges will do both physical and educational tests for you at the same place and many times on the same day, so it's best to attend these tests close to where you want to work.

    For example, if you were to applying for Broward County Sheriff's office or Coral Springs police department, you would HAVE to attend the physical testing at Broward County Comm College. While you are there, you can also take the CJBAT exam. If you want to apply to Tampa PD, then taking those tests in Broward may not be a smart choice. Choosing something close to Tampa would be wiser.

    The physical testing isn't necessarily the same across the board, so ultimately it would be wise to simply check with each department you want to work for and ask what their pre-application requirements are. You can often times take all the tests in 1 or 2 days if you time it right, but plan to make multiple trips to Florida for the entire hiring process.

    You also want to determine whether or not you want to sponsor yourself (you pay all the bills) to attend a police academy, or whether you want a department sponsor you. Obviously having a dept sponsor you is nearly always a better idea, but the hiring in Florida is very competative right now so it is becoming more difficult to find depts who will sponsor you unless your resume looks very attractive.

    Your first step is finding out where you think you want to work and live. From what I have been reading, South Florida departments are still hiring in a big way, while I believe many of the North and Central parts of Florida have slowed down some. Also keep in mind Florida is made up of a lot of small municipalities/towns/cities, each with their own departments. That being said, the smaller depts usually have fewer open positions and as such, are much harder to get on. Bigger departments like Sheriff's , Highway Patrol, and other big cities (Miami, Orlando, Ft Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, etc) usually hire more officers on a regular basis.

    There is an enormous amount of good information on these forums. Click the "Search" button on the top of the forum and go do some looking around, you should find answers to many of your initial questions.

    Also you can check these websites and see which departments are actively hiring enough to put advertisements out on the internet.


    *http://www.theiacp.org/jobs/jobsindex.cfm* (do a search for Florida)

    *http://www.911hotjobs.com/default.asp* (Do a search for FL)


    • #3
      Thank you for the response. Unfortunately I have no idea where I would like to work other than wanting to be near the coastline. I am young(24), single, and very active...from what I have read/heard the east coast is a better fit for someone like me. Maybe I'll look into some departments along the southeastern coast. Thanks a lot for the information.


      • #4
        The CJBAT can be taken at any community college down here for 25-40 bucks scores are good for a year or so.

        FL DOC has ton of openings and sponsor alot. Beyond that Broward County Jail, Collier County Jail. Are always hiring and sponsoring Correctional Officers. It's going to be difficult coming from out of state with no experience and get someone to sponsor you for the road. There is no harm in doing corrections because your retirement will transfer as long as you state with either a state or county agency.


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