HomeFeaturesState Police see cadet applications rise with updated standards

State Police see cadet applications rise with updated standards

The Pennsylvania State Police are heralding a significant increase in applications for its most recent cadet selection cycle. The uptick in applications this cycle is the second since Gov. Josh Shapiro waived a college credit requirement for applicants. Each three-month cycle corresponds with a new incoming cadet class.

The latest cycle, from Nov. 1 to Jan. 31, saw 1,830 applicants for the state trooper’s exam. That’s an increase from 1,545 applicants during the first cycle after the governor’s edict. There were 1,374 applicants in the final cycle before the college credit requirement was waived.

Roughly 40 percent of the new applicants would not have been eligible to pursue careers with the state troopers under the previous standard.

“We’re pleased to see this increase in applications from women and men with the passion and determination to be part of something bigger than themselves, individuals willing to go above and beyond to serve and protect, with character and strong moral fiber not exclusive to those with a college education,” Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Col. Christopher Paris said. “I wish them success as they pursue a challenging but rewarding career as a state trooper.”

On Aug. 28, Shapiro directed the PSP to suspend its educational requirement of 60 college credits, setting in motion the welcome increase in applications.

Qualified applicants in the most recent cycle have until Feb. 7 to complete the state trooper exam, the next step of the hiring process.

Current applicants are required to have a high school diploma or GED equivalent, a valid driver’s license from any state and be at least 20 years old when they complete their application.

Upon entry into the training academy, entrants must be at least 21 but not more than 40 years old. Upon graduation, all trainees must become Pennsylvania residents with a valid Pennsylvania driver’s license.

Cadet training takes about 28 weeks, which includes comprehensive training and Pennsylvania criminal and vehicle codes, law enforcement procedures and principles, firearms and special equipment training, plus rigorous physical fitness requirements.   

Cadet training graduates are promoted to state trooper upon graduation, with a salary currently set at $66,911 annually.

On his first day in office, Shapiro mandated that nearly all state government jobs — 92 percent, or about 65,000 positions — would no longer require a four-year college degree. The governor further ordered all state agencies to take steps to emphasize relevant work experience in their hiring practices.

For more information on becoming a Pennsylvania State Police trooper, visit patrooper.com.

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