Iowa State Trooper Training

The Iowa State Patrol employs about 355 troopers who are responsible for safeguarding almost 110,000 miles of roadways in the state. In addition to enforcing state and federal laws regarding transportation, Iowa State Troopers also investigate crimes, help quell riots and provide security at special events. The Iowa Department of Public Safety hires well-qualified individuals to fill Iowa State Trooper jobs.

Sponsored Content

To learn how to become an Iowa State Trooper, start by reviewing the following steps.

  1. Review your basic qualifications
  2. Submit an test registration form to the Iowa Department of Public Safety
  3. Pass the physical and written tests
  4. Complete three Oral Board interviews and pass the polygraph test
  5. Pass the psychological and medical evaluation plus background investigation
  6. Complete the Iowa State Trooper Training Program

Step 1. Review Your Basic Qualifications

In order to join the Iowa State Patrol, you must possess the following qualifications

  • Have a high school diploma or a GED certificate
  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Possess at least 20/100 vision in each eye without correction
  • Possess normal color vision
  • Possess normal hearing or be able to perform professional duties with hearing aids
  • Be at least 18 years of age before attending the Academy

If you possess the following disqualifications you may be prohibited from obtaining an Iowa State Trooper job.

  • Conviction of a DUI
  • Driver’s license suspension within the past three years
  • Had five moving violations within the past three years
  • Conviction or commission of a felony
  • Conviction or commission of a serious or aggravated misdemeanor (to be reviewed)
  • Conviction of domestic violence or child abuse
  • Consistent pattern of financial insolvency
  • Habitual and excessive use of alcohol (to be reviewed)
  • Sale of a narcotic or controlled substance
  • Use of any illegal drug other than marijuana
  • Use of marijuana within the past two years
  • Lying on the Iowa State Patrol job application

Step 2. Submit a Test Registration Form to the Iowa Department of Public Safety

The application begins by visiting the Iowa Department of Public Safety website and completing the Test Registration Form. It is important to note that Registration Forms have a deadline early in the year and will not be accepted after the deadline has passed.  Once you submit the form, your basic personal information will be queried to determine if you meet minimum qualifications to become an Iowa State Trooper.

Step 3. Pass the Physical and Written Tests

In order to determine if you are qualified to become an Iowa State Trooper, you will be required to successfully complete a series of tests.

    1. Physical fitness assessment—This test consists of four components which award 1 to 4 points each.  No component can be failed and a minimum score of 8 points is required to pass.  All results are scaled according to age and gender (charts with minimum results can be found here).
      1. 1.5 mile run
      2. Push-ups
      3. Sit-ups
      4. Sit and reach


  1. Police Officer Selection Test—This is timed test with four sections.  A score below 70 percent on any one section is disqualifying and a minimum of 80 percent on all four is required to pass.
    1. Reading comprehension
    2. Arithmetic
    3. Grammar/punctuation/spelling
    4. Writing

The points from the physical fitness and written tests are combined, and you may advance to the stage only if you achieve a combined score of 85 or higher.

Step 4. Complete Three Oral Board interviews and Pass the Polygraph

You will be interviewed by three members of the Oral Board and receive scores from each.  If the average of your three interview scores meet or exceed the required minimum, you advance to the next step.

Sponsored Content

The materials submitted to the DPS will be verified through questioning while connected to a polygraph lie detector.  Particular emphasis will be placed upon use of illegal substances, criminal wrongdoing and false information submitted to the Iowa State Patrol.

Step 5. Pass the Psychological and Medical Evaluation Plus Background Investigation

You will be interviewed by a state psychologist and required to answer 567 true/false questions included on the Minnesota Multi-Phasic Personality Inventory test.

A physician will test various physiological features including vision and hearing to determine if you are capable of performing the duties required of an Iowa State Trooper.

Using the personal information submitted as well as answers provided during the interviews, polygraph tests and psychological evaluation, a thorough background investigation will be conducted.  Your education and employment history will be verified as well as references and reputation checked.

Step 6. Complete the Iowa State Trooper Training Program

If your extended an offer of employment, you must attend the Basic Training Academy  at the Camp Dodge military facility and include a variety of courses.

  • Arrest techniques
  • Search and seizure
  • Defensive tactics
  • Criminal law
  • Motor vehicle law
  • Precision driving

Following completion of the Iowa State Trooper training, you will be assigned to six months of field training before instatement as an Iowa State Trooper.

Back to Top