• All interested persons are encouraged to contact a MSP recruiter for assistance with the selection process.

Trooper Hiring Process

Hiring Process
Step 1: Entry-Level Law Enforcement Examination

The exam is scheduled and administered by the Michigan Department of Civil Service. To sign up for an exam time, applicants must submit the Entry-Level Law Enforcement Examination Application. Visit How to Begin the Application Process for more information. The exam is also administered nationwide by the National Testing Network. The examination evaluates the skills, knowledge and abilities related to elements of law enforcement positions.

If you have taken and passed the Entry-Level Law Enforcement Exam within the last five years, you are eligible to move onto Step 2, the NEOGOV Application.

Step 2: NEOGOV Application

After passing the Entry-Level Law Enforcement Examination, the applicant must complete the NEOGOV State Police Trooper application.

Applicants will be required to upload the following documents into NEOGOV when filling out the online application, if applicable:

  • Resume and cover letter indicating interest in the Trooper position
  • Valid driver's license (Michigan license required by graduation from recruit school)
  • Birth certificate
  • Social security card
  • Official high school transcript or G.E.D. certificate; Official college transcripts from all schools attended (if applicable)
  • Military Certificate of Release from Active Duty (if applicable)
  • Authorization for Release of Information PD-044 (form can be located on the trooper job posting at the bottom of the job description)
Step 3: Supplemental Application

Once the applicant's NEOGOV application is received and reviewed the applicant will receive email notification of continuing in the process. Applicants will receive a request to submit a supplemental application.

This supplemental application must be thoroughly completed. Any omissions shall be cause for disqualification. Candidates must furnish complete name, address, and telephone numbers of employers, references, schools attended, creditors, etc. It must be typed and submitted as an email attachment to the Recruiting and Selection Unit at msprecruiting@michigan.gov. Once reviewed, candidates will be invited to The Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES) Physical Agility Test.

Step 4: Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards Physical Agility Test

The Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES) Physical Agility Test, administered by MCOLES-certified MSP members, consists of four separate areas: vertical jump, sit-ups, push-ups and a ½ mile shuttle run. You can view a video of how to properly perform these exercises. You are required to bring a completed Physician's Health Screening form and your valid driver's license (Michigan license required prior to start of recruit school) with you to the agility test. You can also take the Physical Fitness Test at an MCOLES approved certified training facility within 6 months of submitting your MSP application. View the MCOLES testing schedule.

Step 5: Pre-Screening Interview

The interview assists with determining if an applicant meets the minimum qualifications necessary to continue with the selection process; it is not a hiring interview. Based on the pre-screening interview, members of the MSP Recruiting and Selection Section make three possible determinations: (1) the applicant is disqualified from the selection process; (2) in a minimum of two years the applicant may reapply for the selection process; or (3) the applicant can continue with the selection process. Applicants are notified of the results within 10 business days.

Step 6: Background Investigation

Considered the most important step in the selection process, a current MSP enlisted member conducts a thorough and comprehensive background investigation, including the applicant's past actions and experiences, to help determine the applicant's suitability for employment. The investigating officer will have access to all the information provided in the required candidate documents as well as the results from the pre-screening Interview, criminal history check and credit check.

Step 7: Background Investigation Review

The department places significant emphasis on the results of an applicant's background investigation. Members of the MSP Recruiting and Selection Section thoroughly review the completed investigations to determine if applicants will continue with the selection process.

Step 8: Hiring Interview

Designed to assess specific competencies necessary to perform the duties of the Trooper, the Hiring Interview will be based on the Michigan Department of Civil Service validated job assessment for the position. Each applicant will be asked a series of questions in one or more of the following categories:

  • Building Trust
  • Adaptability
  • Decision Making
  • Work Standards
  • Initiating Action
  • Stress Tolerance
  • Continuous Learning
  • Customer Focus
  • Communication
  • Job Fit
In the Hiring Interview candidates will be asked to describe their experience(s) in the above areas. Candidates will be required to describe to the interview panel (board consisting of three departmental members) a situation or task, the action taken, and the results of that action. Your success depends on your ability to articulate what you have done to demonstrate the knowledge, skills and abilities required to perform as a law enforcement officer, although the experience may have occurred in some other area.

In addition, questions may arise from the background investigation itself, personal history questionnaire, driving record, credit history, references, criminal history, resume, or other relevant information.

An excellent resource on the Targeted Selection approach to interviewing is the Behavior Based Interviews for STAR techniques webpage, which is provided by the Michigan Civil Service Commission. 

Step 9: Conditional Offer of Employment

Pursuant to applicable state and federal law, candidates who achieve a rating high enough to merit appointment to the Academy are given a conditional offer of employment. This offer states that, if the candidate passes the remaining pre-employment steps, the candidate will be appointed to the Academy. Candidates must continue to meet the minimum requirements. Negative information that comes to the attention of the department after a conditional offer of employment is made is open to review, and may subject the candidate to revocation of the offer.

  • Psychological Screening and Medical Examination
    All candidates shall undergo a psychological screening administered at the direction of the department's Behavioral Sciences Section prior appointment to an Academy. All candidates must pass this examination and a medical examination within 180 days prior to appointment.
  • Drug Screening
    All candidates must pass this examination and a medical examination within 180 days prior to appointment. All candidates shall be drug screened at least once prior to appointment to the Academy.
Step 10: Appointment

Applicants who successfully complete all selection process steps are invited to the next scheduled recruit school. Applicants will receive an appointment letter describing details of the recruit school orientation and specific equipment necessary to begin the training.

Step 11: Academy Training

Most recruit schools are 20 - 22 weeks. Recruits are required to live at the academy during the week and are released on Friday evenings. They are required to return on Sunday evenings. This is a great sacrifice that takes commitment and a strong desire to succeed.

Step 12: Field Training Officer (FTO) Program

After graduation, recruits become probationary troopers assigned to posts across the state. Each new trooper is assigned to a Field Training Officer (FTO) at the post and accompanies the FTO on all his/her assignments and shifts. At the completion of the probation period, which lasts approximately 17 weeks, the new troopers are certified to work alone.