Texas State Trooper Requirements
Texas State Troopers work for the Texas Highway Patrol, which is a division housed within the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). The Texas Highway Patrol Division has responsibility for rural highway traffic and criminal law enforcement across the state. 2,162 commissioned officers work for the Texas Highway Patrol.1 In addition to traffic patrol, Texas State Troopers may work in such areas as executive protection, training and education, and counterterrorism.
Steps to Becoming a Texas State Trooper
- Submit an online application, which includes a background investigation questionnaire.
- Pass the physical readiness test.
- Pass the Trooper Trainee exam.
- Complete a polygraph exam.
- Complete an oral board interview.
- Complete a psychological evaluation.
- Pass a medical exam, which includes a vision test.
- Pass the Texas DPS background investigation.
- Attend the DPS Law Enforcement Education (LEE) training program in Austin.
- Complete 12 months of field training as a probationary trooper.
- Begin working as a Texas State Trooper.
How to Become a Texas State Trooper
To become a Texas State Trooper, prospective recruits are required to have completed at least 60 credit hours at a regionally accredited college or have at least 24 months of active duty military or peace officer service. A combination of college and military service will also be accepted. Applicants must be US citizens at least 20 years of age with no felony convictions and have a valid driver's license. Those who qualify must also pass a physical readiness test and a written exam. Those who meet these qualifications and rank based on their placement in these categories will be invited to attend an oral interview. Candidates who are still in the selection process at this stage will be required to complete psychological and medical exams. Qualified applicants will be invited to attend the Texas DPS Law Enforcement Education (LEE) training program. After graduating from the LEE training program and completing a probationary period, recruits will become fully sworn Texas State Troopers.
Texas State Trooper Job Description
A Texas State Trooper ensures the safety of citizens and visitors within state boundaries. Texas State Troopers are primarily tasked with enforcing state motor vehicle and criminal laws on the state's thousands of miles of roadways. Texas DPS Troopers are often first responders to rural traffic accidents. These officers also work to recover stolen vehicles and property and assist other state agencies in emergencies. Troopers additionally provide public education on traffic safety and crime prevention and are responsible for security for the State Capitol Complex.
Texas State Trooper Training, Prerequisites, and Education Requirements
A successful applicant to the Texas Highway Patrol will meet the minimum requirements outlined above and have qualifying education and/or military or law enforcement experience. Prospective state troopers in Texas will also be required to pass a physical examination and vision test. Those who rank highly enough based on their qualifications and exam results will be invited to complete the Texas Law Enforcement Education (LEE) training program.
The LEE training program for Texas trooper recruits is 23 weeks in length and takes place in Austin. The curriculum is physically and mentally intense and includes courses on the use of force, the operation of tactical vehicles, report writing and communication skills, and first aid for first responders. Physical conditioning is also an integral component of the LEE program. LEE graduates move forward in the recruitment process to complete a 12-month field training and probationary period before being promoted to the rank of Trooper I.
Texas State Trooper Salary and Job Outlook
The application process to become a Texas State Trooper is quite competitive, but new recruits are always needed. During recruit training, the initial salary is $4,623 per month.1 Upon successful graduation from LEE training, the starting monthly salary for a probationary Texas State Trooper is $5,051.1 After a 12-month probationary period and promotion to Trooper I, the salary grade is increased to $6,100 per month.1 Further salary increases are available for Texas State Troopers based on years in service and promotion to supervisory ranks. Other benefits include generous paid leave and pay stipends based on duties and qualifications, as well as a competitive retirement plan.
Texas Highway Patrol Division
PO Box 4087 MSC 0500
Austin, TX 78773
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Do I need a college degree to become a Texas State Trooper?
Answer: The Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol Division requires all prospective troopers to have at least 60 credit hours of college experience from a regionally accredited school. However, candidates who have at least 24 months of active duty military experience in lieu of college credit are eligible to apply. The DPS will also consider applicants with a combination of military and college experience.
Question: What is the average Texas State Trooper salary like?
Answer: After graduating from the training academy and completing 12 months of field training, Texas State Troopers are paid an annual wage of $73,208.1 After four years of service and promotion to the position of Trooper II, Texas State Troopers earn an annual salary of $89,264.1 Troopers can expect additional increases every four years up to a maximum of $107,038 after 20 years of service.1 Promotion to the supervisory ranks will result in additional salary increases.
Question: What types of work do Texas State Troopers do?
Answer: In addition to enforcing laws and ensuring public safety, Texas State Troopers may be assigned to executive protection for government officials or to provide security for the State Capitol Complex in Austin. Other assignments include Explosive Ordinance Disposal and the Tactical Marine Unit. Texas State Troopers may also seek promotion or transfer to other areas within the Texas Department of Public Safety, such as the Texas Rangers.
1. Texas Department of Public Safety Recruiting: http://www.dps.texas.gov/trainingacademy/recruiting/index.htm