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Virginia State Trooper Training

The Virginia Department of State Police (804-674-2000, personnel@vsp.virginia.gov) provides statewide law enforcement services and serves the Commonwealth of Virginia and its residents and visitors through enforcement, investigation, education, technology, and analytical resources.

Learning how to become a Virginia State Trooper starts with following these steps:

  1. Meet the minimum requirements for Virginia State Troopers
  2. Submit an application
  3. Complete Work Performance Testing and a written examination
  4. Complete a polygraph examination and a background investigation
  5. Undergo a thorough physical examination, psychological evaluation and drug screening
  6. Attend the Virginia State Police Academy

Step 1: Meet the minimum requirements for Virginia State Troopers

Before applying for a job as a Virginia State Trooper you should first ensure you meet all of the minimum requirements for employment. In particular, all candidates for State Troopers in Virginia must meet the following qualifications:

  • Must live in one of the states east of the Mississippi River.
  • Be at least 21 years of age on the date of hire
  • Possess a high school diploma or GED (college and/or related experience in preferred)
  • Be a citizen of the United States
  • Possess a valid driver’s license and a good driving record
  • Possess a 20/20 vision (corrected or uncorrected) without color blindness
  • Have normal hearing
  • Must have no tattoos or body modifications that are visible when in uniform
 

All candidates must be willing to relocate anywhere in the state of Virginia, and all candidates must be in accordance with the Department’s height and weight restrictions (You can view the height/weight chart here.).

Step 2: Submit an Application

Once you have determined you meet all minimum eligibility requirements you must submit an application for employment as a Virginia State Trooper. The employment application for a Virginia State Trooper is available online when applications are being accepted. Should you meet all minimum requirements for employment, you will be contacted by the Department to begin Phase 1 of the employment process.

Step 3: Complete Work Performance Testing and a Written Examination

Phase 1 of the employment and recruitment process for Virginia State Troopers begins with work performance testing, a written examination, and a web-based personal history questionnaire (PHQ).

Work performance testing is conducted at a 150-yard course that is designed to measure all applicants’ stamina and cardiovascular fitness. All applicants must complete 10 obstacles (running, sprinting, climbing, trigger pull, etc.) within 1 minutes and 36 seconds to pass the work performance testing. The Department regularly holds training sessions for those who wish to familiarize themselves with the obstacle course.

The written examination includes four tests, which includes two cognitive tests and two personality trait tests.

Step 4: Complete a Polygraph Examination and a Background Investigation

Only those individuals who pass Phase 1 testing can go on to complete Phase 2 testing, which includes a polygraph examination and a background investigation. You will be contacted by the Department to schedule an appointment for the polygraph examination upon successfully completing Phase 1 testing. Only those individuals who pass the polygraph examination will move on to the background investigation portion of the Virginia State Trooper hiring process.

Step 5: Undergo a Thorough Physical Examination, Psychological Evaluation
and Drug Screening

Individuals who pass the background investigation may be invited by the Department to complete a physical examination by the agency physician, which also includes a drug screening and a psychological evaluation.

It is important to remember that not all applicants will receive a job offer following all State Trooper employment phases.

Step 6: Attend the Virginia State Police Academy

Upon receiving a conditional job offer, you must attend the Virginia State Police Academy, located in Richmond, Virginia. Training for Virginia State Troopers includes 1,776 hours of instruction and more than 100 courses. The first 20 weeks of training are spent at the Academy, while the following four weeks are focused on field training. Students then return to the Academy for an additional 12 weeks of training.

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