Illinois State Trooper Training

Illinois state trooper candidates are chosen by the Illinois state police (ISP) merit board. This guide identifies the steps you must take in order to join the highly trained and respected men and women who serve as Illinois state troopers with “integrity, service and pride.”

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The eight steps needed for those interested in learning how to become an Illinois state trooper are as follows :

  1. Review Minimum Regulations
  2. Apply
  3. Complete Recruitment Tests
  4. Background Investigation
  5. Oral Interview
  6. Certification/Medical Examination
  7. Attend Academy

Step 1. Review Minimum Requirements

Carefully review all pre-employment requirements. Your application will not be accepted if you fail to meet any of the following prerequisites:

  • Must be a U.S. citizen.
  • Must be at least 21 years old. (Exception: you can apply at age 20 if you have been honorably discharged from active-duty military service AND have been awarded an Afghan or Iraq Campaign Medal.)
  • Must have a valid driver’s license.
  • Must not have any felony convictions on your record.
  • Must be willing to serve anywhere in Illinois.
  • Must have a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university/college OR an A.A. degree in law enforcement/criminal justice PLUS served three consecutive years as a police officer or on active duty military service. (Exception: same as for age requirement above.)

Step 2. Apply

Go to the Illinois state trooper website to see if they are currently accepting applications for new recruits. If they are, fill out and submit the online application. After your application has been reviewed you will receive notification of a time and place to take the recruitment tests.

Step 3. Take Recruitment Tests

Components of the one-day recruitment tests are:

  • Orientation Session. Explanation of the Illinois state trooper recruitment and selection process.
  • Fitness Test. You will be required to do sit-and-reach exercises, consecutive sit-ups, bench presses and a 1.5-mile run.
  • Written Tests. You will take two written tests:
    • The first test will evaluate your ethical/moral character, work attitude and suitability for state trooper work
    • The National Criminal Justice Officer Selection Inventory has a cognitive (problem-solving) element and an attitude/personality component

Step 4. Background Investigation

There will be a thorough investigation of such things as your school transcripts, employment history, driving record, traffic violations, criminal activities (if any), illegal drug usage, alcohol abuse, incidents of violence and credit history. You may be asked to take a polygraph examination.

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Step 5. Oral Interview

You will be questioned for about one and a half hours about any and all aspects of your life. Among other things, the interviewer will evaluate your ability to communicate effectively.

Step 6. Certification/Medical Exam

You will receive a notice that you have, or have not, been certified for cadet training. If certified you will have a routine medical exam.

Step 7. Attend Academy

You will be required to attend a 26-week cadet training at the four-acre Illinois state trooper academy in Springfield, Illinois.

You will receive a salary of $2,673/month while at the academy and during a six-month probationary period, after which your salary will be increased to $57,708/year. Illinois state trooper benefits include medical, dental and life insurance, and a retirement plan.

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