Civilian Careers

How to Apply

The Howard County Police Department is a nationally accredited agency dedicated to creating a better quality of life for the citizens of Howard County. Our employees demonstrate the highest standards and are guided by the agency’s values: Integrity, Pride and Community.

Full list of current Howard County career opportunities

Animal Control

Animal Handlers care for animals at the County Animal Shelter, maintain related records, and assist with shelter clerical functions. Assignments include cleaning and maintaining all facilities at the Animal Shelter and surrounding area; food preparation and feeding of animals; and providing animal health care. The starting salary for Animal Handlers is $34,652.

Animal Control Officers work to enforce the Howard County Code's animal control provisions. Assignments include capturing domestic and wild animals and transporting them and working at the animal shelter. The starting salary for Animal Control Officers is $38,251.

Openings for these civilian positions are posted on the county's main jobs page here.

Emergency Communications Operators (Dispatchers)

The Communications Division is a mixture of specially trained call-takers, dispatchers and supervisors who handle all police, fire and emergency medical services calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The division is managed on a day-to-day basis by a combination of police and fire supervisors, under the command of a police lieutenant.

The starting salary is $39,208.

Emergency communications operator qualifications:

  • U.S. citizen
  • High school diploma or GED
  • No criminal record

Applicants must be able to pass a typing test (30 wpm), video dispatch test, panel interview, background investigation, psychological screening, and pre-placement drug screen.

You must apply on prior to testing day; candidates must provide a valid form of identification upon arrival at the test. 


UPDATE (March 26): April testing dates for entry-level officers and cadets have been canceled. You may still apply for future testing dates.

A police cadet is a pre-entry level civilian position in the police department. The cadet assists police officers and members of the public with non-criminal incidents and provides support for various divisions of the police department. Some of the typical duties include providing assistance with clerical and communications functions, presenting programs to the public, transporting evidence and providing personnel support at special events in the county.

Starting salary for a full-time cadet is $31,721.

Police cadet qualifications:

  • 18-21 years old
  • U.S. Citizen
  • High school diploma or GED 
  • Possess a valid driver’s license
  • No criminal record

The next testing process will open in March, 2020.

Police application steps
Sample written test
Physician’s authorization form (required for physical testing)

For additional information, contact the recruiter at 410-313-HCPD or email


Crossing guards

School crossing guard is a part-time, contingent, non-benefitted position that works 10-20 hours per week. The position pays $14 an hour. No experience needed. Uniforms provided. 

Crossing guards are needed at the following locations for the 2019-2020 school year:

  • Bollman Bridge Elementary (Savage)
  • Bonnie Branch Middle (Ellicott City)
  • Fulton Elementary (Fulton)
  • Ilchester Elementary (Ellicott City)
  • Laurel Woods Elementary (Laurel)
  • Lime Kiln Elementary (Fulton)
  • Patuxent Valley Middle (Savage)
  • Phelps Luck Elementary (Columbia)

Apply here. For more information, contact Jillian Hershberger at