PSP Sees Jump in Cadet Applications Following Removal of College Credit Requirement

September 28, 2023

HARRISBURG, Pa. – The Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) announced today that a total of 1,217 applicants have applied for the Academy since college credit requirements for the position of trooper were removed one month ago.

In comparison, 1,745 applications were received during the previous hiring cycle, which was open for a full six months.

Of those 1,217 applications, 524 were from applicants who hold a high school diploma or equivalency and previously would not have been eligible.

“We’re empowering Pennsylvanians who want to serve their community, and I’m proud of the individuals who have applied to become troopers following our announcement dropping the college credit requirement,” said Governor Josh Shapiro. “Policing is a noble profession, and the Pennsylvania State Police is the finest law enforcement agency in the nation. Our State Police Academy trains highly capable public servants who work hard to make our communities safer. For those who want to serve, this door of opportunity is open – and we want you on our team.”

“We’re pleased to see this jump in applications,” said Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Colonel Christopher Paris. “It’s my hope that even more of the brightest and most hard-working women and men from Pennsylvania and the surrounding area will see themselves in a rewarding a career with the PSP.”

Cadet applicants must possess a high school diploma or GED certificate and a valid driver’s license from any state. Applicants must be at least 20 years old at the time of application, and they must be at least 21 years old and cannot have reached age 40 upon entry into the training academy. Cadets must be a Pennsylvania resident and possess a valid Pennsylvania driver’s license at the time of graduation.

Applicants who meet all eligibility requirements move on to a qualifying written examination. Applicants who pass the qualifying exam must have a polygraph examination, background investigation, physical readiness test, medical screening, and psychological screening before training at the academy.

Cadet training lasts approximately 28 weeks and is paramilitary in nature. The 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 Josh 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.

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