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Career Change Tips - Going from Accountant to LEO?


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  • Career Change Tips - Going from Accountant to LEO?

    I am 26 and currently work for Pepsi in their financial department as an accountant. I make much more than almost all of the starting salaries for LEO's in my area, but everyday I realize how much I don't have a passion for finance, and the money really doesn't matter. I have a solid resume for finance, but what are the most important things required for a police officer?

    I want to make the career change and become a police officer. I took the NYS Trooper Exam and am waiting for the results, but I have a few concerns...

    #1- I am 220lbs, 25% BF, 5'10". I am chubby, but far from disgusting. I have been doing the diet/gym thing for awhile now and have lost weight, but I am seeing physical testing requirements that are pretty intimidating and I am not sure I can even get past them. Does that pretty much screw me out of this career field?

    #2- I have a degree in business administration, not criminal justice and no relevant law experience. My entire background is finance and accounting. Is that going to screw me as well?

    I definitely want to make the career change, but I sometimes feel defeated by the points mentioned above. Any advice??? Thanks.

  • #2
    I served in the Marines out of high school but I spent the 8 years before becoming a police officer as an accountant. Didn't help or hurt me in any way that I can see. Well, besides in the bank account but that is a given.


    • #3
      Originally posted by kzx87 View Post
      #2- I have a degree in business administration, not criminal justice and no relevant law experience. My entire background is finance and accounting. Is that going to screw me as well?
      Don't consider yourself "screwed" with a business administration degree. Several of us on this forum attempt to dissuade folks from a CJ degree. First off, it has almost no relevance with other career choices, and second, it provides that person with something to fall back on should LE not work out for them or they're forced out of the position (ie... terminated, medically retired, etc). Having the degree will, in all likelihood, place you above a good number of applicants.

      I don't know about where you're at... but here in Wisconsin, most positions are "entry level law enforcement." No prior experience is needed in the field. You'll learn the basics in the academy, and gradually get deeper in the water during field training.

      Good luck in pursuing your career change.


      • #4
        1. There is a physical agility test. Assuming NY is the same as CA, you must pass it or you cannot graduate the academy. It's not too difficult and you have months of time while in the academy to train up for it. If you feel that you are behind the curve, you might consider postponing your application a few months to get in better shape.

        2. As said, what your degree is in matters less than the fact that you have one. Better to have one in something other than CJ in case you get broken on the job and need that security blanket.


        • #5
          You need to meet with a personal trainer and a nutritionalist. Bring the trainer a copy of the agility testing for the police agency. The trainer should be able to set up a program that will assist you in getting physically fit for the academy as well as for passing the agility test. DO IT NOW. Do not delay. Good Luck to you..


          • #6
            And keep in mind that the Federal Agencies love accountants! FBI used to hire only accountants and lawyers (which could explain a lot about them). In most Federal Agencies, a lot of effort goes into following the money. Plus, the physical side is less than most police agencies, although there are some requirments.

            All in all, your degree and experience make you a more, rather than less, desirable hire.
            "A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself."
            John Stuart Mill


            • #7
              With your accounting/finance background you may want to look at the IRS Criminal Investigations Division (CID). I know quite a few people that came straight out of college with an Accounting degree to get hired on as a Special Agent.

              Running is not a plan, running is what you do when a plan fails. -Tremors


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