North Dakota State Trooper Training

The North Dakota State Highway Patrol was authorized to have 144 sworn Highway Troopers in July 2011. If you want to join the ranks of this elite law enforcement group, you will be helping to make the roads safe for drivers in the state by monitoring traffic and making investigations into accidents and crimes that have been committed on the state’s highways.  Here are the steps you need to go through to get hired and trained as a State Trooper in North Dakota.

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7 Steps to Become a State Trooper in North Dakota:

  1. Meet the Basic Qualifications
  2. Submit your Application
  3. Pass Written and Psychological Exams
  4. Pass an Interview
  5. Background Check
  6. Physical Examination, Psychologist’s Interview, and Physical Agility Testing
  7. Train at the Academy in Bismarck

Step 1. Meet the Basic Qualifications for North Dakota Trooper Candidacy

To be considered for North Dakota State Trooper jobs, you must meet certain requirements:

  • You must have been a U.S. citizen for at least two years prior to appointment.
  • You must have a Bachelor’s degree or
    • Associate degree and 2 years of work experience with the public
    • Associate degree and 2 years of military service
      • You can have 60 hours of college credit instead of an Associate degree
      • Your degree must be from an institution that has regional accreditation by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education
      • You can verify this by checking with the registrar’s office of your school or at this site.
  • You must have excellent vision (You must be able to correct your vision to 20/30 and not be color blind.)
  • You must possess a valid unrestricted driver’s license, with the exception of corrective lenses.
  • You must not have any convictions for felonies or domestic violence.
  • You must be in excellent health and have a weight proportional to your height.
  • You must be willing to live and work anywhere in North Dakota.
  • You must be willing to be on call all 24 hours

Step 2. Submit Your Application

Applications can be obtained on-line.

You must submit these items with your application:

  • Resume
  • Transcripts
  • Cover letter

Step 3. Pass Written and Psychological Exams

If you seem like you have the appropriate background and skills to be a State Trooper in North Dakota, you will be contacted to proceed with your application.

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On the scheduled day, you will start in the morning with two written tests.  These tests measure whether or not you have the primary skills to become a Trooper.  The tests are:

  • The National Police Officer Selection Test (POST)
  • The Wonderlic Personnel Test
    • You must get a score of at least 21 to pass onto the next round of testing.
    • You can review the types of questions that will be asked.

If you pass these tests, you will have two psychological tests administered in the afternoon.  They will help the review board to gauge whether you have the appropriate interests and temperament to become a State Trooper in North Dakota.

  • The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2)
  • The California Psychological Inventory (CPI)

If you pass the psychological tests, the department psychologist will make a conditional employment offer.

Step 4.  Pass an Interview

Within three days of these tests, you will undergo a 30 minute oral interview by the North Carolina Patrol Applicant’s Review Board.  If you are from out of state, you will be scheduled first.

It is important to prepare in advance for this interview.  The panel will be looking for these things:

  • Knowledge about the department
    • Read written material such as brochures
    • Talk to State Troopers and employees of the Highway Patrol
  • Communication skills
    • Be prepared to speak clearly and succinctly
  • Appropriate personal appearance

To be hired as a State Trooper in North Dakota, you must get a favorable recommendation from the board that interviewed you before you can proceed with the hiring process.

Step 5.  Background Check

Once you have been recommended by the Review Board, North Dakota Highway Patrol employees will thoroughly examine your background to see if you meet the standards to become a State Trooper in North Dakota.

They will contact your family, neighbors, employers past and present, business associates, courts, and local law enforcement agencies.

Items that could result in your rejection:

  • Felony conviction
  • Drug use or conviction for drug violations
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Anti-social behavior
  • Bad work record
  • Bad driving record
  • Poor credit rating

The information from this background check is made available to a screening committee that will review your total application.  They will then decide whether or not you are considered suitable to become a State Trooper in North Dakota.  If so, you will be sent a letter of conditional employment

Step 6.  Physical Examination, Psychologist’s Interview, and Physical Agility Testing

After you have received your letter of conditional employment, you will be required to travel to Bismarck for two days to undergo a physical examination and an interview with a psychologist.

The physical examination

  • Is conducted by the department’s physician
  • Includes drug screening

Then you will meet with a psychologist who is under contract with the North Dakota State Highway Patrol.  If you are given a favorable recommendation, you will be tested on your physical agility.

Physical agility testing includes:

  • Pushing a Disabled Vehicle
    • You will need to be able to push a passenger vehicle for 30 feet
  • Weight Drag
    • This is to see if you are strong enough to remove an adult from a car and drag them.
    • You will need to take a human simulator dummy out of a car and drag it 30 feet.
  • Changing a Tire
    • You will have to take the spare tire out from trunk of a car.
    • You will also have to remove the wheel lugs, all within ten minutes.
  • Controlling a Weapon
    • Using an unloaded duty weapon, you will need to
      • Manipulate the slide functions
      • Load practice ammunition into the magazine

 Step 7.  Training at the Academy in Bismarck

Once you have contacted about an open position, you will undergo 25 weeks of training at the Law Enforcement Training Academy (LETA) at 1320 Schafer Street in Bismarck.  Your room and board will be paid for.

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You will undergo three sets of training:

  • North Dakota Law Enforcement Academy training for 12 weeks
  • Highway Patrol Academy training for 13 weeks
  • Field Training Program for 8 weeks

You should train physically before starting training at the Highway Patrol Academy, since you will be undergo daily physical fitness training.  You will be expected to achieve performance standards for pushups, sit-ups, running, and a flexibility test before you graduate.

You will be tested weekly with practical and/or written examinations, and you must get a grade of 70% on them.  If you do not, you will have to meet with the training director.  You will have to pass a final exam to get your certificate.

Some of the aspects of training at the Highway Patrol Academy include:

  • Traffic enforcement
  • Criminal investigations
  • Driving in pursuit
  • Weapons training
  • CPR and first aid training
  • Learning tactics for defense
  • Relations with violators
  • How to stop and approach violators
  • Roadblocks
  • Inspections of vehicles and school buses
  • Enforcing motor carrier weights
  • Investigating crashes
  • Participating in a mock trial

While you are attending the recruit academy, you will be paid $3,500 a month.  Once you have graduated, you will be paid $3,939 a month and receive annual increases in salary depending on your merit.  The rate of pay for State Troopers in North Dakota can go up to $5,216 a month.  Most of the assignments are in the western part of the state.

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