Requirements for a State Trooper Job


Each of the 50 states has state police officers, or troopers, that have jurisdiction anywhere within the state lines. These officers are best known for their patrol of state highways, but they also assist local agencies when needed. They can do everything from covering narcotics stings to settling domestic disputes, and they can make arrests anywhere in the state. Although each state has individual regulations to make sure troopers comply with state laws and needs, there are some basic requirements that apply to all 50 states.

Citizenship Status

  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and State University/Net Industries, the first basic requirement for state troopers is U.S. citizenship. Anyone who wants to be a state trooper but doesn't have citizenship must go through the legal procedures to obtain citizenship status before they begin training or trooper work.

Age Requirements

  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and State University/Net Industries concur that the minimum age for state troopers is 21 years old. However, some state agencies hire people who are under this age limit as cadets. These cadets do basic office work and learn about police procedures and laws until they reach the minimum age requirement. Becoming a cadet is a good option because it permits aspirants to receive some valuable insights into how the troopers function on a daily basis before committing to this career.

Required Tests

  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and State University/Net Industries affirm that state troopers must pass several tests before beginning their work and training. These tests measure the mental, emotional, and educational level and stability of applicants. They also determine how much an applicant knows about the law. There also are physical tests covering such things as agility, hearing. and strength. They are designed to make sure that the state trooper can handle the physical challenges of the job.

Educational Levels

  • Most states have a minimum education requirement of a high school diploma for state trooper positions, with some states requiring up to a four-year degree. The Vocational Schools Database notes that even in states where the official minimum education requirement is a high school diploma, state agencies still prefer applicants who have an associate's or bachelor's degree in criminal justice.

Academy Programs

  • All state troopers must successfully complete police training at a police academy. The BLS asserts that training programs usually last 12 to 14 weeks, but according to Police Link (Monster), some programs may take up to a year for a trooper to complete.

Background Checks

  • Police Link (Monster) claims that a clean background history greatly improves the odds of passing the initial screening process. to be a state trooper. This means that applicants should not have any convictions or arrests. Even things like a lot of traffic tickets can make an application look unfavorable.

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