How To Become a Police Inspector

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 26 January 2023

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Working in law enforcement can provide you with a rewarding career and the opportunity to keep your community safe. A police inspector plays an important role in protecting and serving their community by overseeing their entire police station and making sure other law enforcement officers follow proper protocols. If you are interested in a career in law enforcement, then you may benefit from learning about the role of a police inspector.

In this article, we explain how to become a police inspector, share the average salary and job duties for this position and list some skills you can develop to advance in your career.

Related: How To Become a Police Officer in the IPS in 4 Steps

How to become a police inspector

In order to become a police inspector, you must first become a sub-inspector. Since a police inspector oversees an entire police station, gaining ample experience working in law enforcement is crucial. You can follow these five steps to begin your career:

1. Obtain a bachelor's degree

The Indian Police Service (IPS) requires candidates to earn a bachelor's degree before they can apply to take their exams. While you can earn a degree in any field and still qualify, some programmes that may help you prepare to work as a police inspector include:

  • Criminal justice

  • Criminology

  • Public safety leadership

Make sure the University Grants Commission (UGC) approves of the programme you enrol in. Any state university is typically acceptable. You may begin the application process for IPS during your last year of college or after you have graduated from your chosen stream.

2. Meet the basic requirements

The IPS and the Staff Selection Commission (SSC) have a set of basic requirements candidates must meet in order to become a police officer or sub-inspector. These requirements include:

  • Passing a criminal background check

  • Being between 20 and 25 years old

  • Passing physical examinations for your health, physical fitness and eyesight

  • Being a citizen of India

  • Passing a mental examination

You can use a search engine to research the specific physical and health requirements for both men and women.

3. Complete the SSC CPO Exam

Next, register to take the Staff Selection Commission Central Police Organisation exam by visiting the official SSC website. This exam includes four mandatory stages:

  • Paper-I: This part of the exam includes a written test that takes approximately two hours to complete. The subjects this test focuses on include general intelligence and reasoning, general knowledge and awareness, quantitative aptitude and English comprehension.

  • Physical test: This portion of the exam measures a candidate's endurance by having them complete a series of challenges, including running, long jumping and high jumping. The requirements to pass differ for men and women.

  • Paper-II: In this part of the exam, candidates have two hours to complete an English language and comprehension test. Paper-II includes multiple-choice questions that assess the candidate's vocabulary, grammar, spelling and sentence structure.

  • Medical examination: The last part of the SSC CPO exam is a medical examination. Candidates must be in good health and have the near-perfect vision to pass this portion of the test.

4. Complete training

The Staff Selection Commission places candidates who pass the SSC CPO exam on an All India Merit List. Once you are on this list, the SSC can recommend you to be appointed to sub-inspector positions when they become available. After you receive an appointment letter, you can begin your training as a sub-inspector. Training typically lasts 12 months and covers topics such as:

  • Crime prevention

  • Maintaining law and order

  • Traffic regulation

  • Building community relationships

  • Crime investigation

  • Security duties

  • Human resource management

  • Ethics and integrity

  • Enforcing special and local laws

It also includes outdoor courses such as:

  • Swimming

  • Drill squad

  • Weapons training and maintenance

  • Equestrian training

  • Recreational sports

  • Crowd control

  • Fieldcraft and tactics

  • First aid training

  • Yoga

5. Gain experience

To become a police inspector, you must first gain adequate experience as a sub-inspector. While the amount of experience may vary depending on the region you work in and the positions you apply for, it is important to hone your skills as a sub-inspector during this time to help you understand how police stations work. By working hard and staying focused, you can get promoted to the higher rank of a police inspector at your current police station.

Stay informed about police inspector vacancies at other stations as well and apply as they become available. This can improve your chances of becoming a police inspector during your career in law enforcement.

Police inspector job duties

A police inspector is responsible for managing and overseeing a police station. They organise and supervise the activities of other police officers. Some of their most common job duties include:

  • Allocating resources for different units

  • Ensuring officers use the correct procedures and comply with regulations

  • Identifying relevant contacts, witnesses and information sources when a crime occurs

  • Monitoring subordinate officers and evaluating their work

  • Investigating charges of misconduct and resolving issues with personnel

  • Creating and implementing departmental procedures and policies

  • Meeting with senior officers to provide updates

  • Collecting, handling and preparing evidence from crime scenes

  • Training officers on new techniques, laws and procedures

  • Preparing documents for lawsuits

  • Maintaining logs, reports and internal records

Police inspector work environment

Police inspectors typically split their time between working in the field and working out of the police station they oversee. In the field, they may supervise and assist other officers as they patrol neighbourhoods, respond to emergency calls and enforce traffic laws. At the police station, they may train new officers, interview witnesses to gather information and write legal documents, such as warrants and official reports. They may also appear in court to testify as needed.

Average salary for a police inspector

The average salary of a police officer is ₹41,213 per month. However, the salary of a police inspector may vary depending on the position they hold. For instance, IPS officers earn a higher salary than sub-inspectors. The Government of India has a fixed salary range for each IPS officer.

Police inspector skills

To advance to a police inspector role, you need several hard and soft skills in addition to many years of experience working as a sub-inspector. Here are some skills you can develop to move up in the ranks throughout your career:

Analytical skills

Police inspectors are responsible for gathering, preparing and analysing evidence from crime scenes. In emergency situations, they also need to make decisions quickly. Honing your analytical skills can help you may logical connections between different pieces of evidence to determine what actions to take next. You can study different problem-solving strategies and practise using them in your everyday life to improve your analytical skills.

Related: Analytical Skills: Definition, Tips and Examples


Having strong leadership skills and management experience is important as a police inspector because they oversee the entire police station. Being able to give clear directions and motivate others to work toward the same outcome can help you become an effective police inspector. Police inspectors are also leaders within their communities. Developing your leadership skills can help you build confidence and set an excellent example for other citizens.

Related: Traits of an Effective Team Leader

Legal knowledge

Police inspectors must have a good understanding of the law to make sure they enforce it properly. While police inspectors undergo extensive training to learn about different laws and policies, it is important to stay up to date on changes to these laws. This helps to ensure that you take the correct measures to maintain compliance.

Strategic thinking

As a police inspector, you may need to develop strategies to improve operations and processes within your station. Honing your strategic thinking capabilities can help you increase productivity and improve your ability to uphold the law. It can also help you set goals for your team, establish benchmarks and track key performance indicators to assess your progress.

Related: Your Guide to the Strategic Management Process

Physical stamina

Police inspectors need to have the physical stamina to protect themselves and their community. In emergency situations, they may need to chase suspects, restrain criminals and carry citizens to safety. Maintain optimal physical fitness by working out or participating in recreational sports regularly.

Ethics and integrity

A police inspector is responsible for establishing and enforcing protocols in their police station. Therefore, it is important to have strong ethics and morals to make smart decisions and earn your community's trust. You can also practise showing empathy toward individuals who are experiencing a challenging time in their life. This can help you develop a better understanding of their situation and provide you with a new perspective that can improve your decision-making skills in the future.

Please note that none of the organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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