If you're up for the challenge and want to launch a law enforcement career, join the New York City Police Department as a traffic enforcement agent. Although writing tickets is the most visible part of the job, you'll also clear hazards from roadways, direct traffic, operate a tow truck, prepare reports and testify at administrative hearings. First you must meet the agency's minimum standards and pass a multiple-choice exam administered by the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, or DCAS.
Check Your Eligibility
Review the eligibility requirements before applying. You must be at least 18 years old, hold a valid driver's license, and have earned a high school diploma or GED. You must also live in one of New York City's five boroughs within 90 days of being hired. Passing a background check and drug test is also required. Expect to pay a fingerprinting fee as part of the background investigation.
Pass the Exam
Check the DCAS website for exam dates and times, which are posted on the first day of every month. An application fee and proof of citizenship are required to take the test. The questions are designed to evaluate 10 areas, including written comprehension and expression, math skills and reasoning abilities. A 70 percent or better score is required to get on the city's appointment list.
Prepare for Training
If you meet all initial requirements, the city will assign you to a 12-week training course in parking and traffic rules and regulations; intersection control; and ticketing. The final step is a comprehensive evaluation of your academic, practical and fitness skills -- plus 11 additional categories such as attitude, judgment and professional image -- before you're appointed to the position.
- City of New York: Department of Citywide Administrative Services Application Unit: Notice of Examination
- NYPD Press Release: Traffic Enforcement Agent Graduation: The New York City Police Department Graduated 57 Traffic Enforcement Agents December 9
- NYPD Police Academy: Recruit Officer Standards
- NYPD Training Bureau/Police Academy: Homepage
- NYPD Traffic Enforcement Agents: DCAS Testing Centers
- NYPD Traffic Enforcement Agents: Overview
- CWA Local 1182: Representing New York City's Uniform Traffic and Sanitation Agents: TEAs
- New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services
- New City Department of Transportation: Motorists and Parking
- The New York Daily News: Traffic Enforcement Agents Deserve Our Thanks
- The New York Times: Bangladeshis Build Careers in New York Traffic
- The New York Times: Sensitivity Trainers' Advice for Traffic Agents
- Spencer Platt/Getty Images News/Getty Images