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    A career in the South African Police Service (known as SAPS for short) can be immensely rewarding for the right people. If you want to carve out a career in the police you can look forward to many job opportunities in the service.

    Here we focus on some of the police officer jobs /  positions that are available for those who have what it takes to become a part of the South African Police Service.

    Police constable

    This is the lowest rank in the police service – the rank at which all new police officers start at. Some never go beyond this rank but others will be promoted from here to take on another role within the service. You must successfully complete the required training in order to achieve this rank and embark on your career as a police officer.

    Police sergeant

    This is the next step up from a constable and means the serving officer taking on the role will have more responsibility. The pay will also be better than that of a police constable, to reflect the higher importance and responsibility of the role.

    Civilian employees

    If you decide to take a role other than that of an actual police officer, you can still work with the South African Police Service in a civilian capacity. This may mean working in career management, strategic management or another area such as communications.


    If you progress in your position as a police officer you may be able to work with the Detective Service in the SAPS. There are several different areas in the South African Police Service that have detectives working there, including forensic science, organised crime and serious and violent crime. Depending on which area you would be working in, your duties may differ from those in other areas.

    Are there other roles within the police as well?

    Yes – there are lots of potential jobs you could go on to do as part of the South African Police Service. But most officers start as constables and then discover the other opportunities available in the police force once they have completed their basic training and gone on to serve as police officers.

    There are lots of training opportunities to look forward to once you are ‘on the inside’, so to speak. Indeed there are literally hundreds of training opportunities available, each one focussed on a different job role within the police. For example there are courses on diving, detective work, firearms, domestic violence and handling explosives, to name just a few. There are lots of ways you can go once you are serving as a police officer, but the way in is to train as a constable first.

    A career with the police force can be a long and rewarding one. You will never have two days that are exactly the same, and you may move from role to role throughout your career as well. Police officer jobs are many and varied; which ones do you think you might excel in once you are part of the SAPS?

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