Trooper applicant pool expands after Pennsylvania State Police drops college credit requirement
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania State Police have seen a surge of applicants hoping to become state troopers in the month since Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro removed college credit requirements, with nearly half of the aspiring cadets previously being ineligible, the agency said Thursday.
In the month since the requirement was dropped, 1,217 applicants applied, 524 of whom hold a high school diploma or equivalent, the agency said. In the last hiring cycle, 1,745 applications were received over six months.
In August, Shapiro removed a requirement, in place since the 1990s, that applicants had to have 60 college credits. That followed a previous executive order removing the requirement for a college degree from a majority of state government jobs.
“I’m proud of the individuals who have applied to become troopers following our announcement dropping the college credit requirement,” Shapiro said in a statement.
Applicants now must possess a high school diploma or GED and a valid driver’s license. They must be at least 21 and can’t have reached age 40 to enter the training academy. Cadets undergo 28 weeks of training, which the agency said is “paramilitary in nature.” Applicants must also pass a written exam and go through a polygraph examination, background investigation, physical readiness testing and medical and psychological screening before they are eligible to train at the academy.
Upon completion of the training academy, cadets are promoted to trooper and receive an increase in salary, currently set at $66,911 annually, according to the agency.