Georgia State Patrol Trooper Requirements
The Georgia State Patrol (GSP), housed within the Georgia Department of Public Safety, has primary responsibility for patrolling Georgia’s highways. Georgia State Patrol Troopers work to enforce traffic laws and collaborate closely with other law enforcement agencies. The GSP is divided into nine regions covering the state. Currently, the GSP is focused on hiring patrol troopers in the Atlanta metro area. Below you will find an overview of the duties of a Georgia State Patrol Trooper as well as job requirements and salary information.
Steps to Becoming a Georgia State Patrol Trooper
- Submit an application to the Georgia Department of Public Safety (DSP).
- Pass the physical fitness assessment.
- Complete a polygraph exam.
- Pass the background investigation.
- Complete the written entrance exam.
- Complete a psychological exam.
- Appear for a panel interview.
- Complete medical screening and drug screening.
- Attend Trooper School (patrol training) at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center.
- Begin working as a Georgia State Patrol Trooper.
How to Become a Georgia State Patrol Trooper
Candidates for Georgia State Patrol Trooper positions must be at least 21 years of age, have a high school diploma or GED, be a US citizen, and be available for assignment anywhere within the state. After submitting an application, qualified candidates will be contacted to take the physical fitness assessment. Those who pass will need to complete a polygraph exam and background investigation. Next, candidates will take a written exam, the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council (POST) Entrance Exam. Candidates who pass will be invited to complete a panel interview with command staff, followed by medical and drug screening. Successful applicants will then complete Trooper School at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center in Forsyth.
Georgia State Patrol Trooper Job Description
Duties for Georgia State Patrol troopers include traffic law enforcement, assisting motorists, participating in criminal prosecutions, and providing security services for elected officials. Other duties involve securing crash sites and evidence, participating in criminal investigations, and generally ensuring the safety of citizens. Georgia State Patrol recruitment places an emphasis on supervisory evaluation and internal promotion, so entry-level troopers are given professional guidance on how to discharge their duties as efficiently and effectively as possible. Officers who perform well may qualify for transfer or promotion to specialized units such as the Specialized Weapons and Tactics Unit, the Criminal Interdiction Unit, and the Governor’s Task Force/Drug Suppression Unit.
Georgia State Patrol Training, Prerequisites and Education Requirements
Though all candidates must meet the minimum requirements mentioned above, Georgia State Patrol recruiters place preference on candidates with advanced qualifications. Qualifications taken into consideration include previous law enforcement experience, prior military service, public service, and/or an associate’s degree, preferably in criminal justice. All candidates must also pass a physical fitness assessment, a polygraph exam, a background investigation, a written exam, a panel interview, and medical and psychological evaluations.
Once accepted as a recruit, cadets will complete Trooper School at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center in Forsyth. The training course is 31 weeks in length, which includes 18 weeks at the academy, 12 weeks of field training, and a final training week at the academy prior to graduation. In addition to physical training and testing, recruits study enhanced driving skills, defensive tactics, Spanish, criminal law and procedure, firearms skills, and other key competencies for state troopers. Graduates will be sworn in as qualified Georgia State Patrol Troopers.
Georgia State Patrol Salary and Job Outlook
Applications to be a Georgia State Patrol Trooper are accepted on an ongoing basis by the Georgia Department of Public Safety. The starting salary for a Georgia State Patrol trooper recruit is $32,418 per year.1 After graduating from Trooper School, officers earn a base salary of $35,741 per year.1 The State of Georgia offers its law enforcement personnel full health and dental benefits, paid holidays and vacation, and retirement benefits after 10 years of service.
Georgia State Patrol
959 E Confederate Ave SE
Atlanta, GA 30316
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Do I need a college degree to work as a trooper for the Georgia State Patrol?
Answer: A college degree is not required to be hired as a Georgia State Patrol Trooper. However, the GSP prefers applicants who have at least 60 semester hours (90 quarter hours) of college credit, or who have military or police experience.
Question: What are the Georgia State Patrol physical fitness standards?
Answer: The GSP physical fitness requirements follow Cooper’s Institute Standards. Candidates must be able to run a 300-meter sprint in 90 seconds or faster; bench press 67% of their body weight using free weights; do 21 consecutive push ups (no time limit); and complete 30 sit ups within one minute.1
Question: What types of jobs do Georgia State Patrol Troopers do?
Answer: Besides duties related to highway patrol, GSP Troopers may work in criminal interdiction; aviation; specialized collision reconstruction; executive security; or DUI enforcement. Opportunities are also available to work on such units as the Governor’s Task Force, which focuses on drug enforcement.
1. Georgia Department of Public Safety: https://dps.georgia.gov/georgia-state-patrol-trooper