28 August 2023- Today, Governor Josh Shapiro and Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) Commissioner Colonel Christopher Paris announced that the PSP will remove the college credit requirement for Pennsylvanians who want to serve as state troopers. The previous educational requirement of 60 college credits has been in place since the 1990s, and this move will expand opportunities for individuals seeking careers as state troopers. Comprehensive and rigorous cadet training lasts approximately 28 weeks and includes coursework in Pennsylvania’s crimes and vehicle codes, law enforcement principles and practices, firearms and special equipment training, and physical fitness.
On his first full day in office, Governor Shapiro announced that 92 percent of state government jobs – about 65,000 positions – do not require a four-year college degree. Governor Shapiro also ordered all state agencies under his jurisdiction to take steps to emphasize work experience in their hiring – and today’s announcement from the PSP is the Administration’s latest step to prioritize work experience and expand opportunities for workers in Pennsylvania.
“Policing is noble profession, and this is the finest law enforcement agency in the nation. We need to show those who want to serve that this door of opportunity is open – and we want you on our team,” said Governor Josh Shapiro. “Our State Police Academy trains highly capable public servants who work hard to make our communities safer. Our Administration has worked to emphasize skills and experience in Commonwealth hiring practices, and now the PSP have dropped the college credit requirement for state troopers to empower those who want to serve their community and open even more doors for Pennsylvanians to chart their own course and succeed.”
Municipal police shortages across the Commonwealth is one of the most pressing workforce shortages the Commonwealth faces, and waiving the college degree requirement on a trial basis for this next period of cadet applications will help the PSP attract and retain quality talent. The change to the requirement will be re-evaluated pending the results of multiple application cycles.
“Filling the ranks of the Pennsylvania State Police with women and men dedicated to serving the people of Pennsylvania is of utmost importance,” said Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Colonel Christopher Paris. “The elimination of the college credit requirement will open the door to a rewarding career for many who would make exemplary troopers but would not have otherwise had the opportunity.”
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 examination must have a polygraph examination, background investigation, physical readiness test, medical screening, and psychological screening before training at the academy.
Upon completion of the training academy, cadets are promoted to trooper and receive an increase in salary, currently set at $66,911 annually.
The Shapiro Administration and the PSP will continue to regularly evaluate its hiring practices to ensure the Commonwealth is recruiting the most well-qualified public servants possible. For more information on becoming a Pennsylvania State Police trooper or to apply, visit patrooper.com. For more information on the Pennsylvania State Police, visit psp.pa.gov.