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Pennsylvania State Police Sees Another Significant Boost in Cadet Applications

Second Application Period Following Removal of College Credit Requirement, PSP Sees 1,830 Applicants, An Increase from 1,545 Applicants During the First Cycle Without the Requirement and 1,374 Applicants During the Final Cycle Requiring College Credits

02/02/2024

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) today announced its most recent cadet selection cycle yielded 1,830 applicants eligible for the state trooper exam, another substantive increase in applications nearly six months after Governor Shapiro waived the college credit requirement for applicants. Many of those eligible applicants, 41 percent, previously could not pursue careers as state troopers due to the college credit requirement.

"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," said Colonel Christopher Paris, Commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police. "I wish them success as they pursue a challenging but rewarding career as a state trooper."

During the three-month cycle from November 1 to January 31, PSP received eligible applications from 752 individuals who listed a high school diploma or equivalent as their highest level of education, while 581 applicants had some college but no degree. Of the remaining applicants, 170 attained an associate degree, 288 earned a bachelor's degree, and 39 completed a master's degree.

At the direction of Governor Shapiro, PSP suspended its educational requirement of 60 college credits on August 28, 2023. During the last hiring cycle with the credit requirement in the first half of 2023, PSP received 1,374 eligible applications over six months. The first hiring cycle without the college credit requirement was open just two months, yet PSP received 1,545 eligible applications.

Applicants have until February 7, 2024, to take the state trooper exam, the next stage of the hiring process.

During the previous selection cycle, the first without the college credit requirement, 1,074 candidates took the written examination and 1,054 moved on to the next phase of the process. Of those applicants, 624 would not have been eligible due to the college credit requirement. 

The next cadet application cycle is scheduled to open February 12, 2024.

Applicants must possess a high school diploma or GED certificate, a valid driver's license from any state, and be at least 20 years old at the time of application. They must be at least 21 years old and cannot have reached age 40 upon entry into the training academy. At the time of graduation, cadets must be a Pennsylvania resident and possess a valid Pennsylvania driver's license. No prior law enforcement experience is required.

Cadet training lasts approximately 28 weeks and is paramilitary in nature. The comprehensive and rigorous training includes coursework in Pennsylvania's crimes and vehicle codes, law enforcement principles and practices, firearms and special equipment training, and physical fitness activities.

Upon completion of the training academy, cadets are promoted to trooper and receive an increase in salary, currently set at $66,911 annually.

Governor Shapiro, on his first full day in office, announced that 92 percent of state government jobs - about 65,000 positions - do not require a four-year college degree. Governor Shapiro also ordered all state agencies under his jurisdiction to take steps to emphasize work experience in their hiring.

For more information on becoming a Pennsylvania State Police trooper, visit patrooper.com. For more information on the Pennsylvania State Police, visit psp.pa.gov.

Contact: Lt. Adam Reed or Myles Snyder, 717-783-5556, ra-pspcomm@pa.gov

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