Become a Deputy

$15,000 Hiring Bonus

Deputy Sheriff Qualifications

What qualifications do I need to be considered for employment as a Deputy Sheriff?

Minimum qualifications:

  • At least 21 years of age at the date of Fairfax County Criminal Justice Academy graduation and at least 20 years of age at the date of application
  • High school diploma or successful completion of a U.S. Department of Education recognized GED testing program
  • U.S. citizen

Special requirements:

  • Must never have been convicted of a felony, serious misdemeanor or crime of moral turpitude
  • Must be able to obtain a Class “A” medical rating in the assigned medical group before an appointment
  • Must be a non-smoker at time of appointment and willing to sign a Condition of Employment Agreement to refrain from smoking both on and off duty
  • Must possess a valid motor vehicle driver’s license without a negative point balance at the time of appointment

Upon graduation, all new Deputy Sheriffs are assigned to a Confinement squad in the Adult Detention Center on a shift for approximately 12 weeks where you will shadow the deputy, work calls together and ultimately be evaluated at the end of the training period. Upon successful completion of the Field Training period, you will be assigned to a shift where you will work either a fixed-day schedule, beginning at 6:30 a.m. and ending at 7 p.m., or a fixed-night schedule, beginning at 6:30 p.m. and ending at 7 a.m.

New Deputy Sheriffs are on probation for 12 months following graduation (this includes the 12 week Field Training period).


The Fairfax County Criminal Justice Academy provides the recruits of Fairfax County with highly trained, competent, capable and professional law enforcement officers. The Academy was established in 1985 and is accredited by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services and the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission. The Academy serves the Fairfax County Police Department, the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office, the towns of Herndon and Vienna Police Departments and the Fairfax County Fire Marshal’s Office. The training environment instills a culture of integrity, safety, excellence, professionalism, leadership, continual learning and service. All students are challenged to always commit themselves to protect and enrich the quality of life for the people who reside and work in our neighborhoods and diverse communities. During your journey in the Academy, you will receive over 1,000 hours of training, which will include over 700 hours of academic studies, driving instruction, control tactics, physical fitness and weapons training.


What will happen if I omit important information or am found to be deceptive in the hiring process regarding my background history?

Honesty and integrity are important values found in our Deputy Sheriffs. If you are found omitting important information or are found to be deceptive at any point throughout the hiring process, you will be permanently disqualified. All applicants must successfully complete a background investigation and polygraph in order to continue in the hiring process.

What kind of training will I receive?

All Deputy Sheriff recruits attend the six-month Fairfax County Criminal Justice Academy, which includes classroom and practical training as well as training with firearms and emergency vehicle operations. Prior to the Academy, Deputy Sheriff recruits receive an additional four weeks of training to earn certification in jail operations, court security and civil process. Recruits are Sheriff’s Office employees; therefore, all training, uniforms and equipment are paid for by the Sheriff’s Office. At the completion of Academy training, successful recruits will graduate and take an oath to become sworn law enforcement officers. New Sheriff’s deputies must successfully complete a 10-week field training program under the mentorship of a tenured deputy.

What is the starting salary for a Deputy Sheriff?

Starting salary: $58,331 – $90.492

Check out Pay and Benefits page for more information.

Do I have to pay for my equipment or training?

No, the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office provides all needed equipment, gear, vehicles and training!

Do I get paid while I am in the Academy?

Yes! You get your full salary while in the Academy. Your time starts toward your retirement on the first day that you are hired.

When I join the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office, do I have to live at the training Academy?

No. Work hours are typically Monday – Friday from 7 a.m. – 4 p.m. However, depending on the lesson plan or project, there are several training sessions during the Academy that will require evenings and/or weekends. Regardless of your schedule, you typically do not work more than 40 hours in a given week while in the Academy.

Deputies who retired from other law enforcement agencies may be offered assignments in the courts rather than the ADC, depending on position availability. That schedule is typically 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

What are the steps in the hiring process?

Visit Fairfax County’s Career Pages:

Search Deputy Sheriff. Click on the job title to read the full job description. Then click Apply in the top right corner.

If you do not already have an account, you will be prompted to create an account so you can apply for the job. We do not accept resumes.

Candidates invited to continue in the process will be required to complete a comprehensive background check, medical exam, polygraph exam and psychological exam.

Will I be compensated for my college degree?

Yes! Applicants receive a higher starting salary for associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees.

Will I be compensated for my prior military experience?

Yes! Applicants receive a higher starting salary for an honorable service with a DD214.

I’m currently on active duty in the military. When should I start the hiring process?

We recommend that you submit an application when you have approximately three to six months left on your enlistment time of service.

If you are a member of any Armed Forces Reserve Component or the National Guard, you may apply at any time. The Sheriff’s Office is committed to hiring veterans from all branches of service.

How long is the hiring process?

The hiring process takes three to six months.

Where do I start my career upon graduation from the Academy?

Deputies begin their careers in the Adult Detention Center, which has 12.5-hour shifts working only 15 days a month. The day shift is 6:30 a.m.-7 p.m. The night shift is 6:30 p.m.-7 a.m. The schedule is 2 days on, 2 days off, 3 days on, 2 days off, 2 days on, 3 days off and repeat. (You will have alternating 3-day weekends off.)

When can I put in for a specialty unit?

It varies depending on the unit. Mostly, you can apply within the first two years with the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office. Please talk to a recruiter for more information.

Do you have a retirement plan?

Deputy Sheriffs participate in Fairfax County’s Uniformed Retirement System with normal service retirement after 25 years of service or age 55 with six or more years of service. For more information, please visit:

Do you have a residency requirement?


Are there overtime opportunities?

Yes. Deputies may choose to work a variety of overtime assignments. Upon graduation from the Fairfax County Criminal Justice Academy and the completion of the 12-weeks Field Training Instructor Program, a Deputy Sheriff is authorized to work overtime in a wide range of assignments throughout the different sections of the agency.

In addition, there are also many off-duty overtime assignments that are available to deputies.

Can I apply if I was discharged with a dishonorable discharge from the military?

No. No one who was issued a dishonorable discharge, bad conduct or other characterization of bad character will be accepted.

Newly hired Deputy: C17 step 1-6

Criteria A

Candidate meets the minimum requirements as advertised.

Salary $58,321

Criteria B

Candidate meets the minimum requirements as advertised and possesses an associate degree from an accredited college or university (any discipline).

Salary $61,248.30

Criteria C

Candidate meets the minimum requirements as advertised and a minimum of two years of full-time experience as a certified law enforcement officer, certified corrections officer, or jailor. Full-time experience is measured from the date of initial appointment with the respective corrections or jail employer(s). The candidate must receive favorable reference(s) from current or previous corrections or jail employer(s).

Salary $64,310.69

Criteria D

Candidate meets the minimum requirements as advertised and graduated from an accredited four-year college or university with a minimum bachelor’s degree (any discipline).

Salary $67,526.58

Criteria E

Candidate meets the minimum requirements as advertised and a minimum of three (3) years of active military service, an honorable discharge and must provide a DD Form 214, or at least six (6) years of service in the Reserve Components of the United States Armed Forces and received an honorable discharge if applicable and must provide DD Form 214 or discharge orders as applicable.
Salary $70,902.83

Criteria F

Candidate meets the minimum requirements as advertised and a minimum of two years of full-time experience as a certified law enforcement officer in the state of Virginia, holding current DCJS certification. Full-time experience is measured from the date of initial appointment with the respective law enforcement employer(s). The candidate must receive favorable reference(s) from current or previous law enforcement employer(s).

Salary $74,447.78

How diverse is your agency?

Currently, we have 385 sworn deputies of whom 44% are persons of color and 23% are female.

Persons of Color0%

% White


% Black


% Asian


% Hispanic/Latino


% Pacific Islander/Native Hawaiian


confinement check


If you have strong communication skills, a willingness to learn and a belief in treating everyone with dignity and respect, I hope you will consider joining our team.