State Trooper Career Outlook & Description

Each state has a force that is dedicated to traffic safety and the enforcement of motor vehicle laws. The officers who perform these tasks are known as state troopers. State troopers, state patrol or highway patrol have jurisdiction and authority to affect an arrest of anyone in violation of the laws of the particular state in which they work. Their actual working title is dependent upon the state in which they work. Some state troopers are referred to as State Highway Patrol, some as Highway Patrol and others as State Patrol.

State TrooperThe primary task of the state trooper is to enforce vehicle safety laws on the areas highways and interstates. They are first responders at accident scenes and conduct accident investigations. State troopers prepare court reports and testify in courts. State troopers have the authority to enforce any of the laws of the state in which they are employed. Other tasks include public education, heavy motor vehicle law enforcement (such as 18-wheelers and other shipping or large capacity vehicles on state highways and interstates), and public safety. In rural areas or areas with small police forces, state troopers are often the back-up for local and county officers.

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How to Become a State Trooper

State troopers are uniformed, sworn law enforcement officers. The minimum requirement for a position with the state police includes a high school diploma or GED, successful completion of specialized training for state officers, a clean criminal record and ability to work well with the public. State troopers must also be self-motivated, have good communication skills, and have the ability to work in all weather conditions. They must also be in good physical condition and have the ability to work alone or with others. Many states are now recommending candidates for trooper school have an associate’s degree or higher. State trooper squads are set up in a para-military manner. Promotions through the ranks are possible; however, most troopers are career officers, so higher ranking positions usually do not open until individuals reach retirement age.

State Trooper Salary

State trooper salaries vary depending on state of employment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary nationally is $58,720 for police and sheriff’s patrol officers.1

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State Trooper Career Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects job growth for police and detectives to be about 5% from 2012-2022.2

Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Programs

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American InterContinental University Online
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  • Bachelor's of Science in Criminal Justice - Law Enforcement

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Walden University
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  • PhD in Criminal Justice - Law and Public Policy
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Grand Canyon University
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  • M.S. in Criminal Justice: Law Enforcement
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Capella University
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Keiser University Graduate School
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  • Criminal Justice, MA (Online)

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Liberty University
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  • BS in Criminal Justice
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California University of Pennsylvania
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Popular Degrees:

  • MA in Social Science (Applied Criminology)


References:
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes333051.htm
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/protective-service/police-and-detectives.htm

Page Edited by Charles Sipe.