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Florida Highway Patrol Officer Requirements

Florida State Troopers are sworn officers who work for the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP). The Florida Highway Patrol embraces the values of Courtesy, Service, and Protection as it works to ensure safety and enforce laws on Florida’s highways and rural roads. The Florida Highway Patrol has an authorized force of 1,946 sworn officers, which is supplemented by 529 non-sworn support positions.1 Florida State Troopers specialize in traffic safety, including commercial vehicle laws, and may also be found working on special response teams and criminal investigations.

Steps to Becoming a Florida State Trooper

  1. Submit an employment application to the Florida Highway Patrol.
  2. Schedule and complete pre-employment testing,
  3. Pass the written Florida Criminal Justice Basic Abilities Test (FCJ-BAT).
  4. Pass the physical ability test.
  5. Undergo a credit check.
  6. Complete a polygraph exam and psychological screening.
  7. Pass the medical exam, which includes a vision test.
  8. Pass the FHP’s background investigation.
  9. Attend the Florida Highway Patrol Training Academy.
  10. Complete approximately 12 weeks of field training.
  11. Begin working as a Florida State Trooper.

How to Become a Florida State Trooper

In order to become a trooper with the Florida Highway Patrol, one must be physically fit, at least 19 years of age, and have either a GED or a high school diploma. A successful candidate will also have completed at least 30 credit hours of college coursework, or have at least one year of law enforcement experience, or have two years of continuous active duty experience in the US military. After these minimum requirements are fulfilled, candidates must formally apply to the Florida Highway Patrol. Qualified applicants must complete a rigorous screening process, which includes written and physical exams as well as medical and psychological screening. Candidates who successfully complete screening will be invited to attend the Florida Highway Patrol Training Academy as trooper recruits. Following graduation, recruits will be sworn in as fully-fledged Florida State Troopers.

Florida State Trooper Job Description

A Florida State Trooper ensures that state and federal laws and regulations are followed, especially as these apply to motor vehicle laws. A Florida State Trooper specializes in ensuring the safety of citizens and visitors on Florida’s highways. Troopers may also be called upon to prevent and investigate cases of fraud, homicide, and drug crime. The safety and security of motor vehicles and passengers are paramount, and routine patrols are necessary to prevent as well as prosecute criminal activity.

Florida State Trooper Training, Prerequisites, and Education Requirements

After from meeting the minimum requirements listed above, which include having a high school diploma and 30 credit hours of college coursework, prospective Florida Highway Patrol troopers will need to pass a physical ability test and a written test. The physical ability test requires that the candidate by physically capable of performing the tasks typically expected of a Florida State Trooper. The test consists of alternating between an obstacle, running, and moving a 150-pound training dummy. The test must be completed in six minutes and four seconds (6:04). The written exam, the Florida Criminal Justice Basic Abilities Test (FCJ-BAT), tests candidates’ verbal, linguistic, spatial, and memorization abilities. Candidates must also complete a psychological exam and medical screening before being invited to complete the Florida Highway Patrol Training Academy.

The Florida Highway Patrol Training Academy is a 28-week program that involves rigorous physical activity as well as academic study. The academy is a live-in paramilitary training environment that emphasizes teamwork and physical fitness. Following graduation, recruits complete 12 weeks of field training, after which they will be able to work independently as Florida State Troopers.

Florida State Trooper Salary and Job Outlook

The Florida Highway Patrol is always on the lookout for talented candidates. While in the training academy, trooper recruits earn a monthly salary of $2,514.1 Upon graduation, the salary will rise to $33,977 annually.1 Troopers posted to Broward, Dade, Monroe, Palm Beach, Collier, or Lee County earn an annual salary of $38,976 per year.1 Troopers with five years of experience of may qualify to be promoted to supervisory positions. Other benefits include health and life insurance and take-home patrol car privileges. The Florida Highway Patrol offers a contributory retirement system; full retirement benefits are awarded after 30 years of service, at which time members will receive 90% of their final salary with a 3% benefit increase per year.1

Contact Information

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FLHSMV
Twitter: @flhsmv

Florida Highway Patrol
133 S Semoran Blvd
Orlando, FL 32807
https://www.flhsmv.gov/

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: How much do highway patrol officers in Florida make?

Answer: The starting salary for Florida State Troopers is $33,977; officers posted to select counties start at an annual salary of $38,976.1 Troopers may increase their salary potential by working overtime or qualifying for incentive pay. Pay increases are available based on earning a degree in criminal justice or law enforcement; completing approved career development courses; or qualifying for promotion. Florida State Troopers may also receive salary increases based on their length of service.

Question: Besides patrol, what other jobs do Florida State Troopers do?

Answer: Florida State Troopers may be assigned to a variety of duties. These include executive protection, safety education, drug interdiction, and emergency and tactical response.

Question: Do I need a college degree to be hired as a Florida State Trooper?

Answer: Candidates who do not have prior police or military experience must have at least 30 semester hours of college credit. Additionally, candidates who have at least an associate’s degree have a competitive edge in the hiring process. Troopers who hold an associate’s or bachelor’s degree also earn education pay incentives.

References:
1. Florida Highway Patrol: http://beatrooper.com/career-opportunities/state-trooper/