Ohio State Highway Patrol Requirements
The Ohio State Highway Patrol is responsible for enforcing traffic and criminal laws on Ohio's roadways and state-owned properties. Ohio State Highway Patrol Troopers conduct routine patrols, vehicle inspections, and crash investigations, and also provide security for state facilities. Over 1,500 sworn personnel work for the Ohio State Highway Patrol.1 This provides information on what Ohio State Highway Patrol Troopers do, salary expectations, and how to become one.
Steps to Becoming an Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper
- Submit an online application.
- Submit certified vision and hearing reports from appropriately licensed medical specialists.
- Pass the written exam.
- Pass the physical fitness assessment.
- Complete a polygraph exam.
- Complete the background investigation.
- Pass a drug screen.
- Complete recruit orientation, which includes a psychological assessment.
- Attend approximately 24 weeks of training at the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy.
- Complete approximately 60 working days of field training.
- Begin working as a certified Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper.
How to Become an Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper
To become an Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper candidates must be at least 21 years of age and not older than 35, be a US citizen with a valid driver’s license with no violations for two years prior to application, and must not have any felony convictions. Cadets must also become a resident of the State of Ohio prior to graduating from the training academy. The screening process includes vision and hearing exams, a written exam that measures basic skills and problem-solving abilities, a physical fitness assessment, a background investigation, and a psychological evaluation. Candidates must pass each stage of the selection process to move on to the next step. Accepted recruits will complete 24 weeks of training at the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy, followed by 60 days of field training. During field training, recruits will rotate three sets of 20 working days on the morning, afternoon, and evening shifts. Recruits who successfully complete training will become fully sworn Ohio State Highway Patrol Troopers.
Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper Job Description
The responsibilities of an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper are focused in the areas of traffic surveillance and safety and crime prevention on Ohio’s roadways and public thoroughfares. Specific duties include conducting traffic stops and vehicle searches; identifying illegal firearms, drugs, and drug paraphernalia; directing traffic; and providing emergency assistance to travelers. Troopers also have the responsibility of securing vehicle crash sites and crime scenes, preserving evidence, and assisting motorists in avoiding danger in such areas. The Ohio State Highway Patrol also places emphasis on public education regarding the Highway Patrol mission and traffic safety, and troopers are required to make presentations and visit schools in furtherance of this effort.
Ohio State Highway Patrol Training, Prerequisites and Educational Requirements
In addition to the minimum requirements outlined above, the Ohio State Highway Patrol requires applicants to have a high school diploma or GED. Qualification for admission to the Ohio State Highway Patrol takes four to six months and is competitive. Requirements include meeting vision, hearing, weight, and height standards; passing a written exam as well as a physical fitness test on the same testing day; and passing the comprehensive background check.
Those who meet these requirements and are accepted as cadets must complete 24 to 26 weeks of law enforcement and paramilitary-style training at the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy in Columbus. This training includes study in crash investigation, traffic enforcement, advanced driving skills, police techniques, and criminal law, among many other areas integral to effective law enforcement. Academy graduates then complete approximately 60 working days of field training before becoming certified Ohio State Highway Patrol Troopers.
Unique for a law enforcement training academy, successful completion of the Academy leads to 23 semester hours that can be transferred towards an Associate of Applied Science degree in Criminal Justice at Columbus State Community College.
Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper Salary and Job Outlook
Placement in the Ohio State Highway Patrol is competitive. The base salary for an Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper begins at $44,481 per year, plus shift differentials, pay supplements, and overtime pay.1 In addition to yearly increases in base pay, troopers also begin receiving longevity pay after their fifth year in service. The state of Ohio provides its employees full health and dental insurance, competitive retirement benefits, and paid holidays and vacation time.
Ohio State Highway Patrol
Piqua, OH 45356
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: What is included on the written entry exam to become an Ohio State trooper?
Answer: The written exam includes 54 questions based on ethical decisions, spelling and vocabulary choices, map reading, math, and hypothetical scenarios. Prospective troopers must score at least 75% on the exam to pass. Those who do pass will immediately be scheduled for a physical fitness assessment on the same day as the exam.
Question: What types of jobs do Ohio State troopers do?
Answer: The primary responsibility of Ohio State Highway Patrol Troopers is traffic safety and enforcement. However, specialized opportunities for qualified troopers include plainclothes investigations, traffic and drug interdictions, and crash reconstruction. The Ohio State Highway Patrol also has a special response team specializing in weapons and chemical agent use and response, extraction, and rapid response.
Question: How much do highway patrol officers make in Ohio?
Answer: The starting salary for Ohio State Highway Patrol Troopers is $44,481 per year.1 Troopers receive regular annual increases thereafter. With typical pay supplements, longevity pay, and paid holiday overtime, after six years of service, troopers can reach a total annual salary of $73,035 or more.1
1. Ohio State Highway Patrol: https://statepatrol.ohio.gov/recruit/benefits.html