How To Become a State Trooper

If you consider yourself a good leader and care about helping and protecting others, you may wonder how to become a state trooper. Law enforcement is a challenging but rewarding field. At the state level, police officers serve and protect the public mainly by monitoring traffic throughout the state in which they are employed, helping to deter motorists from driving recklessly and injuring others. Because they work so extensively with traffic patrolling, state troopers are often called highway patrol officers or simply state police officers.

State troopers spend much of their time patrolling state roads to ensure that everyone on the road is following traffic safety laws and write tickets, or citations, to those who fail to observe those laws. Like other types of police officers, they may also be called upon to help people in need, especially those who have witnessed or been victimized in a crime. They have full authority to enforce laws of all kinds, not just traffic laws, and may make arrests when necessary. As part of their official duties, state troopers may have to document crimes or violations in official reports and even testify in trials. Unlike police officers at a municipal level, state troopers must often travel elsewhere in the state to assist other law enforcement agencies.

Law enforcement is an active job. Even while on highway patrol, state troopers need to be healthy and fit enough to perform any responsibilities that come their way, such as chasing suspects on foot. They must meet all physical fitness requirements set by their law enforcement agency. Aspiring state troopers should also realize that the profession can be dangerous, especially when their job requires them to approach violent criminals or chase fleeing perpetrators on foot or in cars. For the ideal candidate, the threat of danger won’t diminish their desire to serve the public.

Becoming a police officer is a multi-step process. In terms of education, some agencies will consider a candidate with only a high school diploma, but others seek candidates with an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or a related field. Candidates must pass a written exam as well as physical fitness tests, background checks, and various other assessments to determine if they are a good fit for a law enforcement position. Before officially beginning their careers as state troopers, candidates must attend police academy. There, they learn the laws they will be expected to enforce and how to enforce those laws and conduct investigations appropriately.
State troopers earn a median annual salary of $50,914, according to Actual wages vary based on experience, education and location, but range from $33,782 to $85,558. For many state troopers, the real reward is knowing that their work helps and protects citizens across the state. If you have a calling to serve others and the ability to be an empathetic but assertive leader, knowing how to become a state trooper could be the start of a satisfying new career.

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