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Pay & Benefits 

What are the pay and benefits?

Police officer starting pay is $58,961 annually. Our comprehensive pay and benefits suite includes:

  • Base pay of $58,961 - $79,690
  • Shift differential pay
  • Special event and other overtime pay
  • $2,400+ initial uniform reimbursement
  • 11 - 21.5 yearly paid vacation days (10 hour day)
  • 9.5 yearly paid sick days (10 hour day)
  • 11 yearly paid holidays
  • Bilingual pay of 3%
  • Special assignment pay of 3% - 7%
  • 4 day/10 hour schedule
  • Ballistic vest reimbursement
  • Health, dental, and vision insurance plans (.pdf)
  • Life and supplemental life insurance
  • Flexible spending accounts (health & dependent care)
  • Employee training and development opportunities
  • $6,000 yearly tuition reimbursement
  • Public Safety Personnel Retirement System 
  • Deferred compensation plans (401k & 457)
  • Mind, body and financial wellness programs
  • Auto and home insurance discounts
  • Deductible medical reimbursement 

What are the pay, benefits, and seniority for a lateral officer?

Current police officers hired by Tempe PD receive compensation and benefits which take previous years of sworn service into account.  Lateral police officers are eligible for:

  • pay raise for each full year of sworn service
  • Enhanced paid vacation days for each full year of Arizona PSPRS contributions

A decision related to pay and benefits is made prior to a conditional offer of employment. Current police officers hired by Tempe PD do not receive seniority for time worked at another agency.

Preparation & Minimum Qualifications

What is the first step to become a police officer?

Complete the online application during an open application window. You must be 20 years, six (6) months old at the time of application and should read AzPOST and TPD minimum requirements (.pdf). 

What can I do to prepare myself for the test?

You must have high moral character and be physically fit. You can improve your education in a variety of ways to include higher education, mastering a foreign language or attending technical schools. There are no preferred degree programs or job history. Diverse schooling, military and work backgrounds are welcome.

An SJWAT written examination candidate orientation guide can also be purchased from the test company.  Follow download and payment instructions on the test company website.


How does the testing process work and how long does it take?

You will complete a physical agility test and written exam on the first day. When you successfully complete both you'll be placed on the background list for one year from your application date.  Click here for information about the testing process. 

How does the testing process work for a lateral officer?

You complete the physical agility test on the first day. Upon successful completion you will be placed on the background list for one year from your application date.  Arizona and out-of-state officers complete the same background process.

Upon hire, Arizona POST certified officers move directly to a post-academy and field training.

There are two possibilities for out-of-state officers. One is getting hired and attending the academy in Arizona.  The other is completing a waiver exam and moving to a post-academy and field training. We don't know which route you'll go until you are in the testing process but most attend the academy in Arizona.

Applicants have to be in Tempe to complete testing.  We minimize travel for out-of -state applicants by consolidating test phases.  More information is included in the email you receive after applications close.  Click here for information about the testing process.  

When is the next police officer testing process?

We host several tests throughout the year. Please refer to the police officer testing schedule to find the best time for you.  If you want a reminder for the next police officer test, email a recruiter and we'll add you to our reminder list. 

 The Tempe PD Mounted Unit was established in 1974 and originally patrolled the newly forming 128 acre Kiwanis Park.  The unit has since grown and serves the community in a variety of ways; most often in Downtown during busy Friday and Saturday nights.  The unit also patrols numerous areas in the community and can be seen at large special events.

Did You Know?  The Tempe PD Mounted Unit has its own Facebook page where you can learn more about their work in the community.

  TPD Mounted with Community 2

I've tested or applied before. Do I need to complete the entire process again?

If you move onto the background list you'll remain there for one year from the date you applied. If you're no longer on the background list you are encouraged to reapply.  If you applied online and did not test, or did not pass the physical agility test or written exam, you need to reapply.

What is the Tempe PD tattoo policy?

Tempe PD permits tattoos.  The tattoo policy and the rest of our department orders are available online for you to read. 

Can I go on a ride-along with Tempe PD?

Tempe PD doesn't have a ride-along program for the general public. If you reach a certain point in the testing process you'll be scheduled for a ride-along by your background detective. 

How many police officers will be hired?

There are over 355 Tempe police officers.  The number we hire each year varies based on different factors but we hire the same percentage of applicants as other agencies.  This means up to approximately 20 to 25 officers each year. 


Tempe PD has been driving distinct black-and-white vehicles for years, displaying our badge and sleek design.

Did You Know?  We are dedicated to serving our community and proud of the relationships we have with our residents.  We are thankful 82% of residents are very satisfied or satisfied with the quality of service we provide.

Can out-of state residents participate in the testing process?

Out-of-state recruit and lateral applicants have to be in Tempe to complete testing.  We minimize travel by consolidating test phases.  More information is included in the email you'll receive after applications close. 

What police Academy does Tempe PD use?

Tempe police officer recruits attend a variety of academies in the Valley.  Recruits commute to the academy each weekday.  Recruits learn in several rigorous and fulfilling training environments - to include pre-academy, the academy, post-academy and field training - before working solo in the community.  |  480 858-6098 or 1 877 TPD AND U (1 877 873-2638)