How do I become a trooper?
Complete the online Application. You will find the directions under the Application Process tab.
What are the requirements?
The minimum requirements for consideration are:
- Must have a high school diploma or GED
- Must be a U.S. Citizen
- Must be a resident of Ohio upon commission and graduation from the Academy.
- Must have a valid driver license (No SR22s/High Risk Insurance or six or more points on a driver's license)
- Must be a minimum of 20 years of age and must be able to complete processing and enter an Academy Class before reaching the 35th birthday.
The processing requirements include successful completion of:
- The application process, which includes a background and polygraph examination, a medical examination, a physical fitness evaluation, and a written examination;
- 24-26 weeks of intensive Academy training.
How will I be trained?
Prospective troopers receive 24-26 weeks of intensive training at the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy in Columbus, Ohio. The curriculum is divided into 15 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.
Is there a fee to attend the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy?
No, you are an employee of the Ohio State Highway Patrol the day you start the academy. You will be paid $18.66 an hour for 40 hours per week along with health benefits.
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?
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 Ohio or other states are not accepted.
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?
If you are interested in working for the Ohio State Highway Patrol in a role that is not a state trooper, you can choose from a wide variety of civilian positions located throughout the state. These include dispatchers, 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.
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.
What are the salary and benefits for a cadet in training and for a trooper upon graduation?
Visit our Benefits page for more info.
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 their assignment from a list of available openings throughout the state based on your overall class ranking.
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 7:00 a.m. Monday morning. You may return to the academy on Sunday evening between 8 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 7:00 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.
Is a college education required?
A college education is not required to be considered for a trooper position.
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 23 semester hours towards an associate's 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.
Do you earn college credits while attending the Academy?
Troopers who graduate from the Academy receive 23 semester hours toward an A.A.S. Degree in Criminal Justice from Columbus State Community College. These 23 credit hours are free. A transcript of the 23 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.
Do you have an internship program?
Yes. Visit our Cadet Intern page for more info.
Does the Ohio State Highway Patrol offer a ride-a-long program?
Due to COVID-19 we are unable to conduct ride-a-longs at this time.
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 "All uniformed employees, shall not have any visible tattoos, brandings, or body art while wearing any class of issued uniform. Optional wear uniform items or any other item that would cover/conceal a visible tattoo, branding, or body art may not be used in order to comply with the standard."
Does my military credit count toward my final exam score for entrance into the academy?
No, you will not receive any credit for prior military service.
I was in the military. Can I apply my military time to my retirement with the Ohio State Highway Patrol?
Yes, you can buy your years of military service to count toward the 25 years of service required for you to retire with full benefits.
Does the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy qualify for the G.I. Bill?
Yes. You will receive further instruction on completing the designated paperwork required at orientation.
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 Expiration Term of Service or terminal leave date.
How do I become an Ohio State Highway Patrol Auxiliary Officer?
Visit the Auxiliary tab to review the requirements and find out how to apply.