Police Training Requirements by Country 2023

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The United States

Apparently, it only takes an average of about 18-21 weeks to complete police officer training in the United States. However, many people do pursue a police science associate degree, which takes about two years.

Others might attend a police academy that takes about 18 months, and newly trained officers still spend at least six months shadowing a more experienced police person.

Still, a report has indicated that the U.S. has had 8000+ killings, but this didn’t mean all police brutality cases. This reported data also didn’t indicate whether it was the police who were shot or the civilians who were shot.

However, it does relate to how the U.S., like 10 other developing countries, has the highest numbers of gun ownership (120.5 per 100) and the most reported gun violence. On the other hand, Norway also has made the top 10 list of most owned guns in the nation, so more guns don’t necessarily mean more violence.

Other reports about the U.S., which seem high in contrast to what’s said about other countries, still total about 946 police shootings (and killings) for 2020. That’s in the top ten list of most shootings worldwide.


Cops must train for three years in Norway, which includes on-the-job experience after the second year. A total of four people were killed since 2002, and only one police killing is on record as of 2016.

In 2018, Norway reportedly had 31 guns per 100 residents for private ownership. Even though they made the top 10 countries with the most civilian guns, it’s not nearly as high as the U.S. However, they do have strict laws.

You must document your intended use of a gun before receiving a permit, and the allowed reasons usually involve hunting and sport shooting. It also requires extensive training on gun handling and the environmental impacts of hunting.


Finland requires two years of training which includes classroom and field experience time. Some experts believe that it’s the reason they had only seven people dead instead of hundreds or thousands of people since the year 2000. They have only one police shooting on record reported in 2018.

Finland only has a bit more guns per person than Norway -- 32.4 per 100. You must have a license for each gun and indicate intended usage. Ownership also requires an interview and applicants must have history of “health and good behavior” among other rules.


Police must train for at least two years, during which time they would obtain a police science diploma. The country reportedly only had one person die in the process ever related to police activity. That was in 2013, and they haven’t had any gun-related murders since 2007.

Gun ownership is about 31.7 per 100 people, and Icelanders must have a gun license for five years before obtaining a collector’s permit. Guns also must only be fired at approved shooting ranges, and civilian applicants must study for a usage exam and take a three-day course.

Police Training Requirements by Country 2023

Police Training Requirements by Country 2023