How do I become a trooper?
To become an Ohio trooper first have to complete a series of application forms. Upon completion, contact your local recruiter to set up a time to take the fitness and written examination. Prospective troopers are subjected to an extensive testing process before receiving final acceptance to the OhioState Highway Patrol. Once placed into an Academy Class, a cadet will undertake a 20 week training process which requires the individual to live at the Academy. Those successfully completing all steps and the training process will be appointed to the rank of trooper.
The processing requirements include successful completion of:
How will I be trained?
Prospective troopers receive 20 weeks of intensive training at the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy. The curriculum is divided into 14 major disciplines: Administration; Intro to Highway Patrol; Crash Investigation and Enforcement; Patrol Car Operations; Police Technique and Procedures; Investigation; Criminal Law, Evidence, and Procedure; Motor Vehicle Laws; Human Behavior; Firearms; Civil Disorders; Officer Safety; First Aid; and Human Diversity.
I am already a police officer. Do I still have to attend the Patrol Academy to become a trooper?
Yes, all Ohio State Highway Patrol Troopers are required to successfully complete the Patrol's Academy training.
How do I apply?
You much first complete the application forms.
What are my chances for advancement?
There are many advancement opportunities within the Patrol. Every new trooper has the potential to rise through the ranks, all the way to Colonel. All troopers have the opportunity to participate in the promotional process, which is conducted through a written test and a series of assessment center exercises which simulate real-life scenarios. Afterwards, the candidate is evaluated on knowledge, skill, and his/her reflection of the Patrol's Core Values.
What other job opportunities are available?
There are a wide variety of support positions within the Patrol. Included in these are: dispatchers, driver examiners, motor vehicle inspectors, load limit inspectors, motor carrier enforcement officers, and police officers. In addition, there are a number of civilian positions encompassing nearly every educational discipline. To check current employment opportunities within the Patrol and other areas of state government, visit the State of Ohio Job Search website.
What are the salary and benefits for a cadet in training and for a trooper upon graduation?
Visit our Benefits page for more info.
Can a waiver be obtained for the maximum age of 34 due to prior military service or law enforcement experience?
The Ohio Revised Code 5503.02 stipulates that applicants must enter academy training prior to their 35th birthday. There are no exceptions or waiver.
If a person is already a police officer in Ohio or another state, do you still have to complete training and graduate from the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy to become a state trooper?
The answer is yes. Every applicant whether already a police officer or not and wishes to be an Ohio State Trooper must complete the training at the Ohio state Highway Patrol Academy as part of an academy Class. Lateral entries from other states are not accepted.
Does my military credit count toward my final exam score for entrance into the academy?
Prior military service is counted toward the Civil Service Examination which is administered to all cadet trainees prior to graduation from the academy. The entrance examination is a separate exam that does not recognize military service, or college, etc.
How are assignments determined upon graduation?
By the last four weeks of training, cadet trainees will be aware of his/her post assignment as determined by the Division. Assignments are based on field post openings. Each member of the cadet class will be given the opportunity to select five assignments from a list of available openings throughout the state. Although they will not be guaranteed one of the five listed, the Division takes their requests into consideration along with any extenuating circumstances they may have.
When I am in the academy can I go home during the week, have visitors, and receive telephone calls?
Liberty may be granted after phase one of training. Liberty is from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Wednesday evenings. Cadets may also have friends visit in the main lobby of the academy and make telephone calls during liberty. Liberty is not guaranteed and is earned based upon class performance. During all other times, you will not be permitted to make or receive telephone calls of a non-emergency nature. In emergency situations special permission to make telephone calls may be granted by the Academy Commandant.
Since the highway patrol academy is a live-in academy, when will my time off begin?
Your time off will begin at approximately 6 p.m. on Friday evening and will conclude at 7:30 a.m. Monday morning. You may return to the academy on Sunday evening between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. or Monday morning between 6 a.m. and 7 am. You must sign “in” and “out” of the academy for liberty and time off throughout your training period.
Because of the intense training schedule all recruits will be confined to the academy complex from 7:30 a.m. Monday until Friday evening except for Wednesday night liberty. Free time will be available during this time period, and you must learn to use it wisely.
For those individuals who have set the goal of becoming a state trooper and who are not 21 years of age and have decided to further their education, what major should they select?
The Ohio State Highway Patrol encourages their officers to further their education beyond high school. It is not necessary criminal justice be selected as a major. Many officers elect to pursue a degree in a management field in anticipation of pursuing advancement within the Division. It may be beneficial to pursue a particular trade that may be of interest to you.
Enlistment into one of the Branches of the United States Military is also an option that may be considered. The training program that is experienced while attending the Ohio State Highway Patrol, although not exactly emulating military style “boot camps”, is a para-military academy teaching both core values and recognizing rank structure and protocol. Prior military experience can be beneficial in adjusting to the para-military atmosphere at the academy.
Upon completion of the academy, the newly appointed trooper may enroll in a college program through Columbus State Community College. This program will award 41 college quarter hours towards an associates degree in criminal justice on condition of further participation in completion of college classes through Columbus State. This opportunity will be explained further upon acceptance and entrance into the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy.
It is also important to know that tuition reimbursement is available to all troopers who desire to further their education. The course of study must be through an institution that is authorized by the Ohio Board of regents or is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Prior approval must be received before the start of the course and the course work must be job-related or related to a higher-level position within the Division.
Can I have tattoos?
The Ohio State Highway Patrol has an appearance standards policy that includes information to address tattoos and body art. The policy reads: “Tattoos or body art shall not be visible while in short-sleeve uniform.” Applicants who have tattoos or body art that fit these criteria will be required to have them removed in order to continue in the application process.
Does the Ohio State Highway Patrol offer a Ride-A-Long program?
Yes. The recruitment ride-along program is an informational experience which places prospective applicants with a working trooper for a pre-selected amount of time. The participant will observe the trooper’s operations to help them better understand police practices and aspects of traffic safety while assisting them in making an informed decision about a potential career. If interested in the Ride-A-Long program, a prospective applicant will need a recommendation of participation by the school/program director before contacting their local patrol post to apply for consideration.
I was in the military. Can I apply my military time to my retirement with the Ohio State Highway Patrol?
You can buy your years of military service to go toward your retirement. However, you have to have 25 years of State of Ohio service with the Division to retire at full benefits. You should also remember, you can not be any older than 34 to enter our Academy training and we must retire at 60.
Do you earn college credits while attending the Academy?
Troopers who graduate from the Academy receive 41 college credits toward an A.A.S. Degree in Law Enforcement from Columbus State Community College. A one time matriculation fee will be assessed to each student wishing to attain the 41 credit hours. A transcript of the 41 credits, plus any other credits earned, will be available to the student upon the completion of at least one additional Columbus State Community College credit course.
I am active military when is the best time to apply?
Since the application process requires applicants appear in Columbus for various stages, it is best to apply when the applicant reaches their ETS or terminal leave date.