Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I become a Michigan State Trooper?
2. Is there study material for the exam?
3. What is the starting salary and other benefits for a trooper?
4. I am already a police officer; do I have to attend recruit school?
5. Are there any benefits for applicants with military experience?
6. What is the difference between a trooper and a local police officer or sheriff's deputy?
7. How long is the selection process?
8. Is there a physical fitness test?
9. When is the next Trooper Recruit School?
10. How long is Trooper Recruit School?
11. Is there a cost to attend Trooper Recruit School?
12. What is lodging like during recruit school?
13. What do I need to bring to recruit school?
14. How do I physically prepare for recruit school?
15. As a new trooper, where will I be assigned?
16. Who do I contact for more information?


1. How do I become a Michigan State Trooper?
The MSP is always accepting applications. The first step in the selection process is passing the Entry Level Law Enforcement Exam. To apply for the exam, see How to Begin the Application Process.

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2. Is there study material for the exam?
Study material is available at www.frontlinetest.com.

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3. What is the starting salary and other benefits for a trooper?
Troopers start at approximately $44,000 per year. Please see Salary and Benefits for more information.

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4. I am already a police officer; do I have to attend recruit school?
All recruits must attend recruit school. The MSP does not have a lateral entry program for officers transferring from other police agencies.

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5. Are there any benefits for applicants with military experience?
MSP enlisted personnel with military experience are eligible to retire up to two years early. Veterans can also receive an increase in longevity pay, which is a lump sum payment provided once a year based on time-in-service.

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6. What is the difference between a trooper and a local police officer or sheriff's deputy?
Troopers attend Trooper Recruit School and do not pay for their training or equipment. Upon graduation from recruit school, troopers are assigned to a Post. It is the primary responsibility of troopers to deter criminal activity, arrest those that break the law, investigate crimes, and improve traffic safety. As a certified police officer, troopers not only have the opportunity to work anywhere in the state, they also have the opportunity to work in a variety of specialty areas. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Investigative Support Teams and Specialized Investigators
  • Forensic Analysis
  • Biometrics and Identification
  • Traffic Crash Reconstruction
  • Emergency Support Team
  • Aviation Unit
  • Dive Team
  • Bomb Squad
  • Canine Unit
  • Motor Unit
  • Executive Protection

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7. How long is the selection process?
The Hiring Process takes approximately six months. Selection is aimed at identifying the most qualified and dedicated applicants for the next recruit school.

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8. Is there a physical fitness test?
Yes, the test consists of four events: vertical jump, sit-ups, push-ups, and a ½ mile shuttle run. For more information, please visit step #3 of the Hiring Process.

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9. When is the next Trooper Recruit School?
The 129th Michigan State Police Trooper Recruit School will commence on March 27, 2016. 

The 130th Michigan State Police Trooper Recruit School will commence on June 5, 2016.

The 131st Michigan State Police Trooper Recruit School will commence on July 17, 2016.

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10. How long is Trooper Recruit School?
Trooper Recruit School is a 20 – 22 week residential program. Recruits are required to live at the MSP Training Academy Sunday through Friday. The Academy is located at 7426 N. Canal Rd., Lansing, MI. For more information, visit Recruit School

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11. Is there a cost to attend Trooper Recruit School?
Recruits are employees of the MSP the first day of recruit school and do not pay for their training. Recruits receive a bi-weekly salary of approximately $1,700. Recruits also receive full insurance and other benefits while attending recruit school.

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12. What is lodging like during recruit school?
Recruit school lodging is provided at the MSP Training Academy, located at 7426 North Canal Road, Lansing, Michigan 48913. Each recruit is assigned a bed in a two-bed room with a sink and community shower room on the same floor. Male and female recruits are lodged on different floors.

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13. What do I need to bring to recruit school?
Applicants invited to the next recruit school receive an appointment letter describing details of the recruit school orientation and specific equipment necessary to begin the training.

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14. How do I physically prepare for recruit school?
Candidates should begin physically preparing several months before the first day of recruit school. A recruit is expected to report with a solid base of physical fitness in which he/she should be prepared to meet or exceed the following:

  • 1.5 mile run in 12 minutes or less
  • 4 miles of sustained running at an 8 - 11 minute pace
  • 125 rope jumps per minute
  • 45 push-ups in one minute
  • 10 chin-ups
  • 70 sit-ups in 2 minutes
  • Tread water without using hands for 5 minutes

Preparation for the above include:

  • Distance running (8 - 11 minute pace)
  • Short distance/higher intensity running (sprints, fast/slow runs, etc.)
  • Swimming
  • Bicycling
  • Jump roping
  • Sit-ups (any variety where the legs are NOT weighted/held down)
  • Push-ups
  • Half squats and static squats
  • Weight lifting/resistance/cross-fit training
  • Chin-ups

Recruits are educated and sensitized as to the need for a lifestyle of daily physical activity as a practicing law enforcement officer. Physically fit individuals are more often capable of responding efficiently and effectively to both physical and mental demands placed on them, than their sedentary counterpart. This is the basic premise upon which the goals of a law enforcement physical fitness program are established and upon which each recruit will be totally familiar with by the conclusion of recruit school.

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15. As a new trooper, where will I be assigned?
Recruits are asked to submit five preferred post locations prior to the end of recruit school. The higher the recruit's academic ranking in the graduating class, the more likely the recruit will be placed at one of his/her preferred locations. Every effort is made to fulfill the recruit's request, while still taking into account the personnel needs of the agency. For more information, visit After Graduation.

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16. Who do I contact for more information?
MSP Recruiters are an excellent resource for prospective applicants. In addition to providing their own, unique experiences, recruiters help guide applicants through the selection process and are available to answer any question or meet one-on-one to discuss what it means to become a trooper. Prospective applicants are also encouraged to contact the Recruiting and Selection Section at 517-636-4563 or send an e-mail to msprecruiting@michigan.gov.

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