Pennsylvania State Trooper Training

The Pennsylvania State Police enforce traffic laws, stop drunk drivers, and work to identify potential terrorists.  There are 4,677 sworn Troopers in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

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Follow these steps if you’re interested in learning how to become a State Trooper in Pennsylvania:

  1. Meet the Basic Qualifications
  2. Submit your Application
  3. Pass Qualifying Examinations and Physical Readiness Tests
  4. Polygraph Examination and Background Check
  5. Medical and Psychological Evaluation
  6. Attend Trooper Academy for Training

Step 1. Meet the Basic Qualifications for Pennsylvania Trooper Candidacy

To be considered for jobs as a Pennsylvania State Trooper, you must meet certain requirements:

  • You must be a U.S. citizen at the time you apply.
  • You must be at least 20 years old on or before the date on which you complete your application.
  • You must be at least 21 years old to be appointed as a State Police Cadet.
  • You must be under 40 years on the day you are appointed as a State Police Cadet.
  • You must have a high school diploma or a GED equivalent.
  • You must have an Associate’s Degree or 60 college credit hours
    • 30 credit hours will be waived in one case if
      • You worked for 2 full years as a police officer full-time
      • You worked for 2 full years as a law enforcement agent that had the power of arrest under State and/or Federal Law
        • Corrections Officer
        • Fish and/or Game Commission Officer
        • Liquor Enforcement Officer
        • Probation and Parole Officer
      • You have at least 2 years of fully active military duty or have completed Officer Candidate School and do not have a term of obligation
    • 15 credit hours are waived if you have
      • Successfully completed Basic Police Academy (Act 120) training at a school certified by MPOETC in Pennsylvania.
        • You can check for MPOETC standing here.
      • Have been trained to be a law enforcement officer in another state in a manner is the equivalent and is POST certified.
      • Your vision must be excellent (as least 20/70 in the dominant eye and at least 20/200 in the weak eye.  You must be able to correct your vision to at least 20/20 in the dominant eye and at least 20/40 in the weak eye.)
      • You cannot be color blind.

Step 2. Submit Your Application

To start the process of becoming a State Trooper in Pennsylvania, you must complete your application online.

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Step 3. Pass Qualifying Examinations and Physical Readiness Tests

You will have to take both an oral and written test to determine if you are qualified to join the Pennsylvania State Troopers.

You will given five exercises to test your ability.  You must pass each of them to continue with your application.  You will have one set of standards of the physical readiness tests for applicants and a more stringent set for graduates of the Academy.

You will also under a drug screen as part of this process.

Step 4. Polygraph Examination and Background Check

Once you have performed all of the exercises satisfactorily and passed the drug screen, you will be given a polygraph test.

After you have passed the polygraph test, the Pennsylvania State Troopers will thoroughly investigate your background to make sure that you are suitable to become a State Trooper.

Step 5. Medical and Psychological Evaluation

If your background check was successful, you will then be invited to be evaluated by the State Police Medical Officer.  This will include a hearing test.

Along with this letter, you will receive a processing packet with documentation that you will need to get from physicians.  This includes:

  • Dental Examination
  • Medical History Report
  • Physical Examination
  • Vision Examination Certificate

You will also undergo an examination by a psychologist.

Step 6.  Attend Trooper Academy for Training

Once you have passed your medical and psychological evaluations, you will be undergo 27 weeks of Cadet Training to become a Pennsylvania State Trooper.  You will stay at the training facility during the week.

Things to work on before you start the academy

  • Driving in both rural and urban areas
  • Learning to swim if you do not know how
  • Rigorous fitness program including aerobic exercise and strength training

Training will take place at the following times:

  • Special Duty Assignments and Training:  evening and nights, including weekends
  • Normal Training:  5:30 A.M. to 10:45 P.M.

The type of coursework you will take includes:

  • Firearms training:  shotgun and service pistol
  • First Aid and CPR
  • Police knowledge and skills
  • Pursuit driving techniques
  • Weapons training:  pepper spray (be prepared to be sprayed)
  • Weapons training:  police batons, tear gas, etc.

You must score at least this percentage on the following topics:

  • 70% on Academics
  • 75% on Firearms score
  • 80% on your American Red Cross First Aid and CPR class.
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You will under rigorous physical training, including:

  • Cross-country running:
    • Beginning at 1.5 miles
    • Progressing to approximately 3 miles of terrain that is hilly and wooded.
    • You must average about 8.5 minutes/mile by the end of training.
  • Physical conditioning:  boxing, calisthenics, defensive tactics, fighting techniques, weight training.
  • Swimming:
    • Continuously for 5 minutes while performing a sidestroke and crawl stroke for at least 50 yards
    • Jumping into deep water
      • Swimming approximately 4 body lengths
      • Treading water for 1 minute

When you have successfully completed your training, you will be:

  • Promoted to the rank of Trooper
  • Assigned to a Troop for an 18 month probationary period

You must remain in your first assignment for 3 years.  After that, you be reassigned to any Pennsylvania State Police Field Installation in the state.

The starting yearly salary of Pennsylvania State Troopers is $58,211.

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