How do I Become a Deputy Sheriff?

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  • Written By: Jessica Ellis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 26 February 2020
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A deputy sheriff is an entry-level job that may include duties in corrections, court security, public safety, and law enforcement. In order to become a deputy sheriff, a person must complete intensive training and pass a variety of physical, mental, and psychological tests. It is important to remember that requirements needed to become a deputy sheriff may vary by region. For local information on how to become a deputy sheriff, contact the nearest sheriff's office or look online for their website.

Before entering a training program, it is important to understand the basic requirements for a deputy sheriff's job. In many places, a deputy sheriff must be able to prove excellent physical fitness. Poor hearing or sight may disqualify a candidate automatically, although most jurisdictions will allow candidates with poor vision as long as they have corrective lenses. Felony convictions or convictions for domestic violence may disqualify a person in some areas. Generally, a person must be over 21 to become a deputy sheriff, but this limit may be as low as 18 in some areas.


The hiring process for a deputy sheriff may be very different depending on the region. In some areas, a person must be hired based on meeting prerequisites, then take training classes before beginning work. In other regions, a person must independently train, pass certification tests, then look for a job. Training may take between three to six months, with additional field training often required in the first few months of starting work. Training courses are generally offered by the local law enforcement office.

There are many different types of tests for a person trying to become a deputy sheriff. Some tests may be physical or skill-based, including agility, speed, and firearm safety. Many areas have written tests that measure the comprehension of local laws, regulations, and other important mental concepts. Candidates for a deputy sheriff's job may also undergo psychological analysis.

Other tests are scenario-based, meaning that a person is given a situation in which he or she must figure out the correct response for the given circumstances. These tests may be written, presented through role playing, or done through computer simulations. Scenario tests help teachers and trainers understand how a candidate will behave under stress and in complex situations.

After training is completed, a candidate for a deputy sheriff job will go through an interview process before being hired. He or she may be subject to extensive background checks to ensure no history of convictions, domestic violence, or other disqualifying factors. Once hired, additional training may be given to help a new deputy sheriff adjust to the procedures and regulation of his or her particular office.


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