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North Carolina Highway Patrol Requirements

How to Become a North Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper

Requirements for North Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper positions are similar to those in many other states. Candidates must be at least 21 years of age and no older than 39, a US citizen, a resident of North Carolina at the time training begins, and willing to live and work anywhere in the state. Candidates must also have a high school diploma or GED and pass a fitness exam as well as reading and writing skills exams. Unlike some other states, however, North Carolina does not stipulate specific height and weight requirements. Candidates who meet these qualifications will be invited to complete Patrol Basic School and the state’s Field Training and Evaluation Program, upon graduation from which they will become sworn North Carolina Highway Patrol Troopers.

North Carolina Highway Patrol Job Description

North Carolina Highway Patrol Troopers are charged with keeping the roadways and public thoroughfares of the state safe for law-abiding motorists by exercising their skills in traffic patrol and surveillance, road safety, crime and crash scene investigation, and identification of illegal drugs and firearms. Specific duties include search and arrest, investigation, and educating the public on traffic safety and awareness. Recruiters place an emphasis on hiring criminal justice professionals who can discharge these duties as part of a team, in addition to being able to take the initiative to keep the community safe from harm.

North Carolina Highway Patrol Training, Prerequisites, and Education Requirements

Additional prerequisites in becoming a North Carolina Highway Patrol officer include passing reading comprehension and writing tests, a background check, and psychological evaluation. The North Carolina Highway Patrol requires applicants to have a minimum of a high school diploma or GED; however, recruiters favor individuals with a college education who can demonstrate a particular interest in becoming a criminal justice professional. As in most states, felony convictions are an automatic disqualifier. Other disqualifiers include having convictions for driving while impaired or intoxicated and pending criminal or traffic charges.

If these requirements are met, applicants must successfully complete Patrol Basic School and the state’s Field Training and Evaluation Program. Patrol Basic School is a 17-week program that develops recruits’ physical fitness and law enforcement skills. After this program is completed, candidates move to a 12-week Field Training and Evaluation, during which each recruit is paired with a Field Training Officer.

North Carolina Highway Patrol Salary and Job Outlook

The base salary for a North Carolina Highway Patrol trooper is $34,000 per year.1 Troopers receive increased salaries based on years of service, up to a maximum of $52,000, which is generally reached in the seventh year of service.1 Troopers also receive paid sick days, holidays and vacation, time off for National Guard service, and opportunities for specialized training. After eight years of service, troopers are eligible to apply for promotion to higher ranks, which leads to higher salary tiers.

Contact Information

Twitter: @ncshp

North Carolina Highway Patrol
2650 Governors Island Rd
Bryson City, NC 28713

1. North Carolina State Highway Patrol Application Orientation Package: https://www.nccrimecontrol.org/div/HP/RecruiterForms/HP-720.pdf