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Become a Trooper

Become a Trooper

Become a Trooper

On Duty:

Troopers are asked for their three preferred post assignments during the application process, and are provided their post assignment prior to the start of recruit school. After graduation from the Academy, they report to their post assignment where they are responsible for investigating and deterring crime, apprehending criminals and fugitives, conducting traffic enforcement to increase traffic safety, and participating in community outreach and prevention services activities. After successful completion of the probationary period and two years of service, troopers are eligible to apply for specialty assignments.

Competitive Salary:

Recruits are employees of the MSP on the first day of recruit school and do not pay for their training. Recruits also receive full insurance and other benefits while attending recruit school.
Recruits receive a monthly salary of approximately $4,300 while in recruit school.
Annual salary as a Trooper 10, not including overtime and shift premiums.

After six years of service, troopers receive an increase in annual salary to over $83,000.

See pay at all ranks

Great Benefits:

Trooper and detective talking at crime scene with patrol car in background.
  • Specialty assignments available after two years.
  • Promotional opportunities at five years of service.
  • Defined benefit/defined contribution and health savings plans.
  • Paid holiday, vacation and sick leave.
  • 12 weeks of paid parental leave. 
  • Health, dental, vision, and life insurances. 
  • Uniforms and equipment are provided. 
  • Tuition reimbursement, career guidance, and specialized training.
  • Access to wellness and resiliency resources and employee resource groups.
  • Continuing education partnerships for reduced/discounted tuition and recognition of training for college credits at numerous colleges and universities.
  • Minimum Requirements:

    • In the two years prior to the beginning of the selection process for a recruit school, applicants cannot have:

      • An assessment of eight or more points.
      • Three or more moving violations.
      • Two or more traffic crashes resulting in moving violations or civil infractions.

      In the four years prior to the beginning of the selection process for a recruit school, applicants cannot have:

      • A conviction of driving with a suspended or revoked license.
      • A conviction of driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, including impaired driving.
      • Two or more convictions of reckless driving.
      • A felony conviction or a reasonable belief the applicant committed a felony is cause for automatic disqualification from the selection process. This includes felony convictions expunged or set aside.
      • A conviction of a penal law punishable by imprisonment of more than one year. The misdemeanor convictions listed below are cause for automatic disqualification from the selection process:
        • i. A misdemeanor involving the use of a firearm or dangerous weapon with the intent to injure, or the use of a firearm or dangerous weapon involving force or violence or the threat of force or violence.
        • ii. A misdemeanor involving criminal sexual conduct.
        • iii. A misdemeanor involving abuse or neglect.
        • iv. A one-year misdemeanor involving unlawful entry/breaking and entering.
        • v. A misdemeanor involving embezzlement.
        • vi. A misdemeanor involving a moving violation resulting in death or serious impairment of a bodily function.
        • vii. A one-year misdemeanor involving larceny, theft, or fraud.
        • viii. A conviction or a reasonable belief the applicant committed domestic violence or stalking is cause for automatic disqualification from the selection process. This includes convictions that have been expunged or set aside or any crimes listed in Public Act 201 of 2023.
        • ix. A misdemeanor involving a controlled substance.
        • x. Operating while intoxicated/drugged, second offense within seven years
      • Disclosure of drug use does not preclude an applicant from moving forward in the selection process and will be evaluated on case by case basis.
      • A misdemeanor conviction involving any of the above categories for an applicant that was charged as an adult and settled by pre-trial diversion, plea bargain, set aside, deferment, Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (HYTA), or expungement, are automatically disqualified from the selection process.
      • Juvenile (16-years-old or prior) misdemeanor convictions, adjudications and court actions including expungements, HYTA, pre-trial diversions, plea bargains, set asides, and deferments will be decided on a case-by-case basis.

      Applicants will be permanently disqualified from our process for intentionally providing False, Misleading or Inaccurate information.

    Hiring Process:

    Step 1: NEOGOV Application

    Apply to become a Trooper


    The applicant must complete the NEOGOV 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  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
    • Qualification Inquiry (QI) Form
    • Inspector General's Report

      Any marijuana use after submitting an application is prohibited and will result in a 1-year deferment from the selection process.
    Step 2: Entry-Level Law Enforcement Exam

    Take the Entry Level Law Enforcement Exam through the National Testing Network. The test is valid for 5 years. The exam evaluates the skills, knowledge and abilities related to elements of law enforcement positions. Visit Apply Now for more information.

    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.

    Step 3: 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
    • Stress Tolerance
    • Adaptability
    • Continuous Learning
    • Decision Making
    • Customer Focus
    • Work Standards
    • Communication
    • Initiating Action
    • 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, which consists of three department 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 Preparing for Behavior Based Interviews, which is provided by the Michigan Civil Service Commission.

    Step 4: 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. Applicants will be asked for their top 3 post assignment selections at the time of the conditional 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.
    • MCOLES Physical Fitness Test: All applicants will be required to update the MCOLES Physical Fitness Test with the Michigan State Police before the start of recruit school.
    Step 5: Background Investigation
    Considered the most important step in the selection process, a trained department employee 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 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 investigation to determine if an applicant will continue with the selection process.
    Step 6: 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, as well as their post assignment.
    Step 7: 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. 

    Learn more about a recruit's life

    Recruit line up outside the Training Academy on the first day of recruit school.
    Recruit line up outside the Training Academy on the first day of recruit school.

    Trooper Recruit School

    Every enlisted member was once a recruit, giving each officer, from trooper to colonel, a shared experience unlike any other.

    After Graduation:

    Blue Michigan State Police patrol car driving through forest with yellow leaves on trees.

    Post Placement

    Applicants are asked to submit three preferred post locations when receiving their conditional offer of employment with their most preferred as number one. Every effort is made to fulfill their request while balancing the personnel needs of the agency.

    Applicants will receive their post assignment in their Appointment Letter.

    See MSP Posts
    Two troopers ride together in a patrol car.

    Field Training Officer Program

    After graduation, recruits become probationary troopers and are 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. The FTO program has a total of three phases.
    Michigan State Police Marine Services boat and helicopter of the coast of Mackinac Island.

    Career Paths

    After successful completion of the probationary period and two years of service, troopers are eligible to apply for specialty assignments including:

    • Aviation
    • Tactical Bike Team
    • Bomb Squad
    • Canine Unit
    • and more!
    Career Paths