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Pay & Benefits 

What are the pay and benefits?

Police officer starting pay is $58,961 annually. We offer a comprehensive pay and benefits suite to include:

  • 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, life, and vision insurance plans
  • 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)
  • Employee wellness programs
  • Auto and home insurance discounts
  • Deductible medical reimbursement 

What are the pay, benefits, and seniority for a lateral officer hired by Tempe PD?

Current police officers hired by Tempe PD are compensated at a pay rate and receive benefits taking into account previous years of sworn service. In addition to the benefits listed, current police officers hired by Tempe PD may be eligible for:

  • Up to a 3% pay raise for each full year of sworn police officer service
  • Enhanced yearly paid vacation days for each full year of Arizona PSPRS contributions

A decision related to pay and benefits is made prior to you signing a conditional offer of employment with the department. Current police officers hired by Tempe PD do not receive seniority for time worked at another police 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 the Arizona POST and Tempe PD minimum qualifications (.pdf). 

What can I do to prepare myself for the test?

You must have high moral character and physical fitness. 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. 


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 phases you will be placed on the eligibility list for one year from your application date.  It could take as little as a couple months or several months to complete the process. Click here for information about the testing process. 

How does the testing process work for a lateral officer?

You will complete a physical agility test and written exam (Arizona POST certified officers do not take the written exam) on the first day. Upon successful completion you will be placed on the eligibility 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 do not know which route until you are in the testing process.  Click here for information about the testing process.  

When is the next police officer testing process?

Tempe PD conducts several testing processes throughout the year. You should refer to the police officer testing schedule to find the best test dates and for more information. 

 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 before. Do I need to complete the entire process again?

If you are placed on the eligibility list you will remain there for one year from the date you applied. If you are no longer on the eligibility list you participate in all test phases, even if you have completed some in the past.

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

Tempe PD does not have a ride-along program for the general public. If you reach a certain point in the testing process you will 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 candidates who apply as other agencies.  This means up to approximately 20 - 25 officers each year. 

Tempe PD Patrol Utility  

Tempe PD has been driving distinct black-and-white vehicles for years.  The newest look proudly displays our badge with a sleek and modern 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. 

What if I don’t have my AzPOST background questionnaire notarized or all the required paperwork when I arrive at the test?

At test check-in, you need to have completed and notarized questionnaires and certain documents including copies of a college degree or high school diploma, transcripts or GED equivalent; a birth certificate, naturalization documentation or US passport; and a valid state or federal government-issued driver license or identification card.  Please ensure you have these or you may not be able to test. 

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

Out-of-state residents participate in the same testing process and need to be in Tempe to test. The department will make efforts to limit your travel as you progress further in the process. 

I am in the testing process. Why haven't I heard from Tempe PD?

Once you have successfully completed the physical agility test and written exam you are placed on an eligibility list for one year from the date you submitted your online application. Being moved forward in the process depends on several factors to include attrition. If you move forward in the process you will be notified. 

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 day and work a 4 day/10 hour schedule.  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)