The Montana Highway Patrol has two different training and application tracts, depending on previous work and education experience:
- The first tract is for entry-level applicants that have no previous law enforcement experience or education.
- The second tract is the lateral process, which requires the applicant to be a graduate of the Montana Law Enforcement Academy’s Law Enforcement Officer Basic Course. Graduation must have occurred within the last 5 years or the applicant must have otherwise held a law enforcement certificate from Montana or another state within the last 5 years.
This guide will instruct you on how to become a Montana State Trooper by following these steps:
- Satisfy basic eligibility requirements
- Complete the screening and selection process
- Pass the physical ability test and background check
- Pass the medical exam and psychological exam
- Attend the Missouri State Highway Patrol Training Academy
Step 1. Satisfy Basic Eligibility Requirements
In order to qualify for Montana State Trooper jobs, you must meet the following requirements before filling out an application:
- Must have a valid driver’s license from any state and at least 3 years of driving experience
- Must be a citizen of the United States
- Must be a Montana state resident upon completion of academy training
- Must be at least 18 years old when filling out the application
- Must have 20/30 vision with corrective lenses and must have normal color vision (to distinguish between red, yellow and green)
- Must have no felonies and be in good mental and physical condition
- Must be willing to relocate to any place in Montana and be able to work all hours of the day, every day of the year
- Strayer University - Bachelors of Science Degree in Criminal Justice
- Rasmussen College - Law Enforcement Associate's Degree and Post-Degree Certificates; Criminal Justice Bachelor's Degrees
- Michigan State University - Online Master of Science in Law Enforcement Intelligence and Analysis
- Saint Joseph's University - Online Master of Science in Criminal Justice
- Utica College - Online Bachelor's of Science in Criminal Justice
Education requirements – Applicants must have graduated from high school or have a GED. College graduates are preferred, especially in areas of study that involve law enforcement, criminal justice or military, security and policing experience.
Step 2. The Screening and Selection Process
Montana State Trooper training will not begin until you go through all of the steps in the selection process.
The first step is a screening process via application. The agency will review the application to make sure you meet all basic requirements and that the information provided in the application is complete and accurate.
Written Test and Interview: The next step is a written examination and an interview. The written test takes 75-minutes to complete and includes a section on mathematics, reading comprehension, grammar and then a series of multiple-choice and true/ false questions. There is also a section about the proper way to write an incident report. If you pass the written test, an interview will be conducted.
Panel Interview: This interview will test how you would handle certain situations that are common in the line of duty.
Job Suitability Testing: This involves a questionnaire and two separate personality tests to see if you are mentally capable of handling the stress involved with the job.
Step 3. Physical Fitness Testing and Background Investigation
Applicants then must meet the basic physical fitness standards for the job, which include a mile-long run, push-ups, sit ups and strength and agility testing.
Before moving onto academy training, a thorough background check will be conducted in the following areas: credit, education, work history, family history, medical history, driving record, criminal history and a review of the application packet.
Step 4. Psychological Testing and Medial Examination
The final step is to ensure you are physically and mentally capable of performing the duties and finishing the academy training.
Step 5. Training at the Montana Highway Patrol Training Academy
Upon completion of all the steps, you will then move onto the academy, which is made up of two separate training courses. The first course is 12-weeks of basic training. The second set of courses is 9-weeks in Advanced Traffic Enforcement.