Illinois State Police Officer Requirements

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The Illinois State Police (ISP) works to ensure public safety across the state of Illinois. Illinois highway patrol officers work within the ISP’s Division of Operations to patrol state highways and enforce traffic laws. The division is divided into seven zones comprised of 21 districts.1 On this page, you will find more information about what Illinois highway patrol officers do, salary information, and how to become one.

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Steps to Becoming an Illinois State Police Officer

  1. Submit an online application.
  2. Schedule and take the written recruitment exam.
  3. Pass the physical fitness test.
  4. Complete a background investigation.
  5. Appear for a two-part oral interview.
  6. Complete medical and psychological evaluations.
  7. Complete recruit training at the Illinois State Police Training Academy.
  8. Begin working as an Illinois State Police officer.

How to Become an Illinois State Police Officer

To become an Illinois State Police officer, candidates must be 21 years of age and a citizen of the United States, have no felony convictions, possess a valid driver’s license, and be willing to accept assignment anywhere in Illinois. Candidates must also have a bachelor’s degree or must have an associate’s degree with at least three years of service as a police officer or in active military duty. The education requirement may be waived for those with exceptional military service who have earned a qualifying service medal.

After submitting an online application, qualified applicants will be contacted to take the written recruitment exam, which will be proctored at a local community college. Those who pass will next complete a physical fitness test and background investigation. Next, candidates will appear for a two-part interview. The first part consists of a formal panel interview. During the second part, candidates must complete a written assignment and give an oral presentation to a panel of ISP officers. Those who are still in consideration will then complete medical and psychological evaluations before moving on to training at the Illinois State Police Training Academy in Springfield.

Illinois State Police Job Description

Officers with the Illinois State Police are required to perform a range of duties including traffic duty, preliminary investigation, reporting, search and arrest, canine patrol, crowd control, and surveillance. ISP highway patrol officers also perform roadside checks, including DUI enforcement. All troopers begin their careers with “road” service, performing routine traffic patrol and enforcement duties. After two years, troopers are eligible for transfer to special operations commands in such areas as fugitive apprehension, riverboat gaming, intelligence, and forensic services.

Illinois State Police Training, Prerequisites and Educational Requirements

Candidates who have no prior military or law enforcement service are required to hold a bachelor’s degree with at least a “C” average. A combination of education and prior military or law enforcement experience are weighed when considering requirements. In addition to meeting the minimum requirements outlined above, applicants must pass a physical fitness test; a written recruitment exam measuring character and fitness for duty as well as problem-solving and other basic skills; an interview with the oral review board; and medical and psychological evaluations.

Accepted recruits must then complete training at the Illinois State Police Academy. The ISP training academy is a rigorous 25-week program that is designed to provide all of the skills and knowledge that state troopers need to be effective law enforcement officers. Training includes courses in crash investigation, control and arrest tactics, first aid for first responders, criminal surveillance, and emergency vehicle operations, in addition to other investigation and enforcement skills.

Illinois State Police Salary and Job Outlook

The starting salary for Illinois State Police cadets is $2,673 per month.1 Upon graduation from the academy, officers earn a starting salary of $57,708 per year.1 Benefits include health and dental insurance and a competitive pension plan. Officers are also eligible for tuition reimbursement and merit and longevity pay, as well as rank differentials based on promotion. Officers who wish to pursue promotion must have at least a bachelor’s degree with a “C” or better average earned from a regionally accredited school.

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Contact Information

Twitter: @illinoistrooper

Illinois State Police
801 South 7th Street
Springfield, IL 62703

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I become an Illinois State Police officer without a bachelor's degree?

    The ISP will consider officer applicants who do not have a bachelor’s degree if they have an associate’s degree plus three years of experience as a police officer with the same agency or three consecutive years of active duty military experience. In certain cases, the ISP will consider military veterans who do not have an associate’s degree if they have at least three years of service and have been awarded a qualifying medal.

  • What can I expect if I am accepted to the Illinois State Police Training Academy?

    Each day at the Illinois State Police Training Academy lasts from 8 AM to 5 PM. The daily schedule includes one hour of physical training. Recruits are periodically tested on their physical fitness throughout the academy. Recruits are also regularly tested on their academic learning as they prepare to become Illinois State Police officers.

  • What are Illinois State Police recruiters looking for?

    Recruiters seek out individuals who can demonstrate the ability to work on a team as well as take the initiative. They favor candidates who can articulate a specific interest in and dedication towards being a criminal justice professional. Those who have related education and experience will be the most competitive in the selection process.

1. Illinois State Police Merit Board:

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