While highway patrol is one of the most visible duties of the New York State Police, New York State Troopers may work in a range of specialties, including narcotics enforcement, forensics, computer crime, homicide investigations, and counterterrorism.
As sworn officers with the New York State Police, New York State Troopers work to improve highway safety, detect and prevent terrorism, and prepare for and respond to emergencies. New York State Troopers also provide routine police services like patrols and answering calls for service. The New York State Police is one of the 10 largest police agencies in the US and employs over 4,500 sworn officers.1 Continue reading to find out more about what New York State Troopers do and how to become one
Steps to Becoming a New York State Trooper
- Apply to the New York State Police.
- Pass the entrance examination during an open exam period.
- Appear for Candidate Processing Weekend when contacted.
- Pass the physical ability test.
- Complete a psychological evaluation.
- Complete a background investigation and polygraph test.
- Pass a medical examination.
- Be placed on an eligibility list.
- Complete Basic School for New York State Troopers at the New York State Police Academy.
- Complete the 10-week Field Training and Evaluation Program (FTEP).
- Work for one year as a probationary trooper.
- Begin working as a fully certified New York State Trooper.
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How to Become a New York State Trooper
The minimum qualifications for New York trooper recruits include being between 21 and 30 years of age and a New York state resident with a valid driver’s license. Trooper recruits must also have a high school diploma or GED plus at least 60 credit hours of college coursework. Part of the college coursework requirement may be waived for those who have had at least two years of military service or who are POST-certified police officers.
For those who meet the minimum qualifications, the first step to becoming a New York State Trooper is to complete the application and take the entrance exam. The entrance exam is only offered once every four years. After the exam, eligible candidates are called in for a Candidate Processing Weekend based on their ranking from the exam and any applicable veteran’s preference credits. During Candidate Processing Weekend, candidates are evaluated regarding their physical performance and complete a psychological evaluation, a medical examination, and a polygraph test. Recruits who pass all stages are placed on an eligibility list. As of 2017, there were 13,000 candidates on the eligibility list to become a New York State Trooper.1 Prospective troopers may then be invited to complete Basic School for New York State Troopers at the New York State Police Academy based on their ranking on the eligibility list and the availability of training spots.
New York State Trooper Job Description
A New York State Trooper has many job duties, ranging from traditional duties to specialized investigations. They enforce vehicle and traffic laws as well as other laws across the state. In many areas, New York State Troopers are the first responders to any call for service. Troopers may be called on to testify in court and to help prosecute cases. They respond to emergency situations and are required to make split-second decisions in high-pressure scenarios. After four years of service, NYS Troopers may apply for promotion or appointment to specialized duties in areas like the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Protective Services Unit, or the Aviation Unit.
New York State Trooper Training, Prerequisites, and Education Requirements
To become a New York State Trooper candidates must be at least 20 years old and no older than 30 when their application is filed. However, this age limit may be extended by up to six years if an applicant has active duty military service. Applicants must be a citizen of the US, a resident of New York state, and have a high school diploma plus 60 college credit hours. An automatic disqualification occurs for a felony conviction. Potential state troopers must be able to work any shift, including holidays, and be willing to accept a post anywhere within the state. Candidates are also required to have at least 20/100 eyesight uncorrected and 20/20 corrected. They must not have any visible tattoos, brands, body art, or body piercings.
Those who meet the above requirements, post passing scores on the state’s written exam and physical ability test, and pass a medical exam, psychological evaluation, and background investigation will be placed on an eligibility list and may be invited to complete the Basic School for New York State Troopers.
Basic School is an intensive 26-week training program that incorporates physical training and conditioning with rigorous academics in criminal justice, all aimed at developing trooper recruits’ law enforcement and response skills. Following graduation, candidates move to a 10-week Field Training and Evaluation Program (FTEP), in which recruits perform regular duties while paired with a Field Training Officer. This step is considered part of the screening and evaluation process; recruits who pass this stage will continue to be on probationary status for one year. After successfully completing the probationary period, recruits will be fully appointed as sworn New York State Troopers.
New York State Trooper Salary and Job Outlook
The New York State Trooper base salary is $53,159 during academy training.1 After graduation from training and during the one-year probationary period, the salary increases to $70,652.1 After completion of probation and appointment as a New York State Trooper, the salary increases to $75,252.1 After five years, the base salary for an NYS Trooper rises to $84,739.1 These salary tiers do not include compensation for longevity, hazardous duty, expanded duty, or the location compensation offered for select counties. Troopers are eligible to apply for promotion to Sergeant after four years of service.
Troopers receive 120 hours of vacation time per year, which increases with the length of service, as well as 96 hours of paid holiday time. They are entitled to 104 hours of sick leave per year and 24 to 40 hours of personal leave. There are also health, dental, and vision insurance benefits as well as competitive retirement benefits that are fully effective after 20 years of service.
New York State Police
800 Crooked Hill Rd
Brentwood, NY 11717
Frequently Asked Questions
What types of police jobs are there for New York State Troopers?
How competitive is the selection process to become a New York State Trooper?
The selection process for prospective New York State Troopers is extremely competitive, beginning with the entrance exam. Typical eligibility lists from the exam number in the thousands of candidates; approximately 10 candidates are processed for each available position.1 Candidates can remain on the eligibility list for up to four years and are often contacted years after taking the exam, even if their eligibility rank is low. As a result, prospective troopers are encouraged to maintain excellent physical condition and be ready to report for the next stage in the hiring process at any time.
What is Basic School for New York State Troopers like?
Basic School for New York State Troopers at the New York State Police Academy is a 26-week, live-in, paramilitary training environment. Physical fitness, technical skills, and academic learning are emphasized. Graduates will have completed a total of 1,095 hours of training in preparation for police work and the demands of the job.
1. New York State Police Recruitment Center: http://nytrooper.com/salary_benefits
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