Colorado state troopers proudly wear a star-shaped badge with seven arms that represent the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) guiding principles of character, integrity, judgment, loyalty, courtesy, honor and knowledge. If you would like to join this family of dedicated men and women who utilize state-of-the-art equipment to ensure the safety and security of Colorado roadways, the CSP might be the right career choice for you.
This guide describes the actions you must take to become a Colorado state trooper. You can expect the application-to-hiring process to take about seven months to complete. The five steps involved are:
- Meet minimum requirements/fill out application
- Attend initial testing
- Undergo background check and polygraph examination
- Medical/physical evaluation
- Attend CSP training academy
Step 1. Meet Minimum Requirements and Apply with the Colorado State Patrol
The first step toward becoming a Colorado state trooper is to fill out an application online. You will be asked to provide basic identifying information to determine if you qualify. Minimum requirements are:
- You must be at least 20 years, 6 months of age to apply and 21 to begin training.
- You must have a high school diploma or GED.
- You must have a current, valid Colorado driver’s license to attend the academy.
- Although it is not essential to be a U.S. citizen, you must have federal documentation granting you the right to live and work in the U.S.
- You must be able to communicate effectively (speaking and writing) in English
- You must be able to pass a pre-employment drug screen.
- You need to have 20/20 vision (corrected or uncorrected), normal color and night vision, and an acceptable range of hearing (aided or unaided).
- You must be willing to be fingerprinted.
- You need to be available 24/7, including weekends and holidays..
Your application will be denied if you falsify, fabricate or omit information; if you have used or possessed marijuana in the previous 24 months; if there is evidence of alcohol addiction; if you have felony or domestic violence convictions; and/or if your discharge from the military is anything but “honorable.” Additional grounds for rejection include a DUI conviction, license suspension or hit-and-run accident in the last three years and/or more than three moving traffic violations in the past 12 months. You may re-apply after one year if your application is rejected.
Step 2. Take Part in Initial Testing
You will be given a date for initial testing upon notification that your application has been approved. Initial testing days are available in January, February, July or August.
You must be prepared for the tests to take a full day. As you successfully complete each test you will proceed to the next one but if you fail to pass a test you will be removed from the process. It is necessary to dress appropriately. Be prepared to change clothes for the physical agility tests. Initial testing includes:
- Mini background check.
- Written examination. Focuses on reading comprehension, math, reasoning ability and logical thinking. No law enforcement questions are included. Test has 75 questions and will take you approximately one and a half hours.
- Physical agility test. Includes three minutes of continual stepping up and down on a 12-inch-high block; one-minute of sit-ups and one minute of push-ups. The required numbers are adjusted for age and gender.
- Personality Inventory test. A standard test that identifies potential psychological problems.
Step 3. Comprehensive Background Investigation and Polygraph
Once you are notified that you have successfully completed the initial testing, your background will be thoroughly investigated, including your police record (if any), bank records, credit report, school transcripts, DMV records, employment history, personal references, etc.
You will be given a standard lie detector test.
Step 4. Post-Conditional Tests
These include a routine medical examination and possibly some additional physical fitness evaluations.
Step 5. Hiring Offer – Attend the CSB Training Academy
You will be given a formal offer of employment with the CSP after which you will be scheduled to attend the Colorado state trooper training academy near Denver for 22 weeks. Academy graduation will be followed by 11 weeks of field training.
You will receive a salary of $3,598-$5,114/month while in training. That will be increased to $4,167-$6,225 when you become a full-fledged trooper. Uniforms will be furnished. You will also be given a retirement plan and medical/dental insurance for you and your dependants.