Become a State Trooper
Cadet State Trooper The Cadet State Trooper (CST) participates in the 30-week State Trooper Academy (STA) training program in Phoenix to learn the general duties of police work. Upon graduation, a Trooper will participate in 12 weeks of Field Training.
Lateral applicants who meet the qualifications for a State Trooper will be required to attend the STT, a 10-week transition academy to learn the basics of being an Arizona State Trooper. AZDPS also offers a lateral program for certified out-of-state peace officers who meet the minimum standards, including graduation from an academy plus successfully completing one-year of probation. Officers will have to submit training records and qualifying paperwork. Final approval is determined by the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board (AZ POST). Laterals will participate in Field Training upon graduation for STT for 7-12 weeks.
To become an Arizona State Trooper, in-state lateral applicants are required to pass a firearms qualification and Qualification Appraisal Board (QAB) in order to be placed on the 18-month eligibility list. Once on the eligibility list, lateral officers will need to pass a polygraph examination, medical examination, psychological examination and must pass a physical fitness test or the Peace Officer Physical Aptitude Test (POPAT) within 90 days of initial testing date. If a lateral does not pass the firearms qualification or QAB portion of the testing process can retest at the next testing date.
A trooper is a fully certified law enforcement officer who, under supervision, patrols highways, enforces laws and ordinances, investigates collisions, and performs related duties. Since Troopers are assigned to locations throughout Arizona, applicants may request up to three duty assignment locations (city/town/county or patrol district) for consideration by the Department. Applicants may list these (up to three) requested duty assignment locations in their online application, or enter the word "anywhere" on their online application if they do not have a preference. The Department will do its best to work with applicants and their families to assign the applicant to one of their requested duty assignments, but ultimately the staffing allocation needs of the Department is the deciding factor. Many of the Highway Patrol districts and areas have unique residency requirements. Should you have any questions regarding duty assignments or residency requirements, please contact a Recruiter in the DPS Human Resources Bureau for assistance.
A cadet trooper earns an annual salary of $64,118.08 while in the basic training academy (approximately 30 weeks). Upon graduation and certification, cadets are promoted to trooper (entry level), with an annual salary of $65,382.72. Progression through the trooper classification is a nine step process, currently beginning at $65,382.72 and topping out at $91,601.12.
Qualified Certified Officers who laterally transfer to the agency may receive an annual salary, based on the number of full-time years of experience* (patrol and criminal investigative duties) between $65,382.72 and $91,601.12.
*Time spent while in a certified peace officer basic training academy does not count towards qualifying experience*
Qualifications and Selection
- Must be a citizen of the United States
- Possess a high school diploma or General Equivalency Diploma (GED)
- Be at least 21 years of age at the time of graduation from academy
- Possess a valid Arizona driver's license by the starting date. Documented proof will be required
- No felony convictions
Those who wish to compete as a Certified Officer must additionally meet the following qualifications (supporting documentation required).
- Possess an AZ POST Peace Officer Certification
- Served a probationary period and/or have been in a permanent position for a minimum of one year
- Have been employed as a police officer within the last 18 months
Note: applicant must pass each step of the process before moving on to the next step, except for the physical fitness test. Failure of a fitness test will not restart an applicant's process or prevent him/her from completing other steps.
- Submission of completed application packet.
- Screening for minimum qualifications.
- Written examination - Applicant must pass a 100 item multiple choice test with a minimum score of 75%.
- Physical fitness test - The test will consist of four events: sit-ups, push-ups, 1.5 mile run and 300 meter run. Each event will be scored individually as a pass/fail.
- Polygraph examination - Applicant must successfully complete a polygraph examination.
- Background investigation - Applicant must pass a background investigation which includes a history of the applicant's driving, civil and criminal records, employment, and use of illegal substances.
- Psychological evaluation - Applicant must successfully complete a two-part evaluation including a written exam and an interview with a psychologist.
- Medical examination - Applicant must successfully complete a pre-employment medical exam.
- Pre-employment drug testing
The Arizona Department of Public Safety's patrol officer training program has been approved for Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) education benefits (GI Bill) for continued training. Please visit the Arizona Department of Veteran's Services Office of Veteran's Education website for more information.
The test will consist of four events: sit-ups, push-ups, 1.5 mile run, 300 meter run. If the applicant does not successfully pass the fitness exam, they must wait until the next scheduled fitness test to retake the entire test. The below listed requirements are the bare minimum requirements for physical fitness at the basic training academy. You are expected to continue to improve upon these requirements during the testing process and you will be at a higher risk of failing out of the academy if you do not. Make sure you read over the “New hire fitness recommendations” document contained within the cadet officer application packet for more information. Applicants (lateral or cadet) will have 90 days from their written test or firearms qualification date to pass the physical fitness test.
|1.5 mile run||14:54 (min:sec)|
|300 meter run||61 seconds|
|Push-ups||30 reps (no time)|
|Sit-ups||35 reps (60 seconds)|
- 1.5 MILE RUN - The applicant must run 1.5 miles within the time frame indicated. The run is administered on a 440 yard track where each lap is ¼ of a mile – six laps around the track equals 1.5 miles.
- 300 METER SPRINT – The applicant must sprint 300 meters within the allotted time frame. The sprint is administered on a 440 yard track where approximately ¾ of a lap equals 300 meters.
- PUSH-UPS - This is an untimed event. The applicant will start with the palms of their hands flat on the ground with their arms, legs and back straight; the applicants’ toes will be touching the ground (this is the starting position and the position of rest, if needed). A monitor will place a closed fist, thumb tucked into the fist, on the floor below the applicant’s chest. When told to begin, the applicant will bend the elbow, keeping the legs and back straight, until the chest touches the monitor’s fist and then return to the starting position – that is the definition of one complete and proper repetition. The applicant will do as many complete and proper repetitions as possible until muscle failure is achieved.
- SIT-UPS - The applicant will start by lying on the ground on their back with knees bent at a 90 degree angle and feet flat on the ground. A monitor will hold the applicant’s feet in the only permissible way: The monitor will place the webbed area of each of their hands on top of the applicant’s feet and wrap their fingers around the applicant’s foot and press down; this is all the assistance the applicant will receive from the monitor. The applicant will utilize their abdominal muscles to bring the torso, shoulders and arms upward (up) until the elbows touch the knees, while at the same time exhaling, and then return to the start position, while at the same time inhaling. The start position is the “down” position. This will continue as many times as possible for one minute. The applicant’s hands must be placed behind the ears, with the fingers not interlocked. The fingertips must remain in contact with the back of the head at all times. If the applicant needs to rest during this exercise, the position of rest is the “up” position.
At least one ride along with a trooper is highly recommended. The ride along application (which must be completed by the applicant and approved by a DPS supervisor prior to the applicant being scheduled by DPS for a ride along) can be downloaded by clicking here. The completed ride along application must be returned to the nearest Highway Patrol field office in relation to where you would like to do your ride along. Please DO NOT return the ride along application to the ADPS Headquarters in Phoenix as Headquarters is not a field office.
Send completed forms to [email protected]
A description of the benefits from the Arizona Department of Public Safety can be found here.
Apply to be a State Trooper
Contact Sgt. Norton at (602) 223-2629, or Trooper Ness at (602) 223-2966 and/or email [email protected] if you have any questions.