After over 250% jump in Trooper recruits, PSP opens new cadet application cycle

10 November 2023- The Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) has opened a new cadet application cycle with no college credit requirement for women and men seeking careers as state troopers. Waiving the requirement for the previous hiring cycle proved highly successful at increasing the number of cadet applicants.

“We streamlined the process for those who want to serve as a state trooper, and we’re pleased to see people taking advantage of this opportunity,” said Colonel Christopher Paris, Commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police. “If you’re willing to work hard to make our communities safer and possess the qualities we value, college credits will not stand between you and a rewarding career among our ranks.”

At the direction of Governor Shapiro, the PSP suspended the educational requirement of 60 college credits on August 28, when it opened a two-month hiring cycle that resulted in 1,545 eligible cadet applications received. During the next stages of the hiring process, 1,074 candidates took the written examination and 1,054 moved on to the next phase of the process. Of those applicants, 624 previously would not have been eligible due to the college credit requirement.  In comparison, the PSP received 1,374 eligible applications during a six-month hiring cycle that opened on February 1, 2023, and required candidates to have the college credits. Of those applicants, just 898 took the written exam.

Over a six-month period with a college credit requirement, approximately 150 people per month took the state trooper exam. During the two-month period without a college credit requirement, 537 people per month took the state trooper exam. That’s a 258% increase in applicants taking the test to become state troopers.

Applications for the current cycle remain open through January 31, 2024.

Cadet applicants must possess a high school diploma or GED certificate and a valid driver’s license from any state. Applicants must be at least 20 years old at the time of application, and they must be at least 21 years old and cannot have reached age 40 upon entry into the training academy. Cadets must be a Pennsylvania resident and possess a valid Pennsylvania driver’s license at the time of graduation.

Applicants who meet all eligibility requirements move on to a qualifying written examination. Applicants who pass the qualifying exam must have a polygraph examination, background investigation, physical readiness test, medical screening, and psychological screening before training at the academy.

Cadet training lasts approximately 28 weeks and is paramilitary in nature. The comprehensive and rigorous training includes coursework in Pennsylvania’s crimes and vehicle codes, law enforcement principles and practices, firearms and special equipment training, and physical fitness activities.

Upon completion of the training academy, cadets are promoted to trooper and receive an increase in salary, currently set at $66,911 annually.