How to Become a Deputy Sheriff in the State of Florida

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Sheriffs have a wider jurisdiction than city police.
Sheriffs have a wider jurisdiction than city police. (Image: Joe Raedle/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

When you are interested in working as a deputy in a Florida, you should apply to do so at one of the over 60 county sheriffs' departments. While most sheriffs' departments refer to the officers as deputies, some, such as Miami-Dade County, refer to them as police. The starting salary of sheriff deputies in Florida ranges between $30,000 and $41,000, depending on geographic location. Deputies in Miami-Dade County earn a higher wage than those in Escambia County, for example, because the cost of living may be higher and because of greater dangers associated with the area.

Meet the age qualifications. In most counties, you must be at least 18 to work as a deputy, though some counties require you to be at least 19 years old.

Be a U.S. citizen.

Have a high school diploma or an equivalent. The majority of counties do not require you to have a college education, but possessing even an associate’s degree may make you more attractive as a candidate.

Possess a valid Florida driver’s license.

Pass a background investigation. In many Florida counties, such as Manatee County, you cannot have any misdemeanor or felony convictions related to domestic violence, perjury or providing false statements.

Receive a Florida Department of Law Enforcement certification. In order to receive the FDLE certificate, you must pass the Basic Abilities Test, which is a written exam. Then you must pass the Florida Basic Recruit Training Program at a training school certified by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement or the state’s Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission. The final step to receiving the FDLE certificate is the successful completion of the State Officer Certification Examination.

Have a year of law enforcement experience. Experience can include work as a reserve police officer or a courtroom security officer, jobs relating to internal investigations, or work with a department’s K-9 unit. When applying for a job as a deputy with a Florida sheriff's department, you should already know basic investigative techniques, CPR, and how to use a firearm, as well as have familiarity with state and federal laws.

Pass the medical, psychological, and fitness evaluations, and a polygraph test. If you need corrective lenses, your eyesight must be corrected to 20/30 or better. When uncorrected, you eyesight cannot be worse than 20/100. In addition, you cannot be colorblind, and your height and weight must be proportional. In some counties, you must be a non-smoker, or have abstained from tobacco products for a minimum of six months.

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