Learn If You're Suited for Work as a State Trooper
A career as a state trooper could be ideal if your strengths include helping, communicating with, and reading people. However, this job is not without risks; state patrol officers are often put in difficult or dangerous situations. Take the quiz below to help determine if this is the right career for you.
|Are you a good listener and verbal communicator?||Yes or No|
|Are you in good physical shape?||Yes or No|
|Do you like to help people?||Yes or No|
|Are you cool under pressure?||Yes or No|
|Are you comfortable handling firearms?||Yes or No|
|Do you have an interest in laws and the legal process?||Yes or No|
|Are you a strong leader?||Yes or No|
|Do you consider yourself perceptive?||Yes or No|
|Do you have stamina?||Yes or No|
|Do you have competent writing skills?||Yes or No|
|Do you have a clean criminal record?||Yes or No|
Find Out Why These Skills Matter
Are you a good listener and verbal communicator?
State troopers must be able to gather information from people for police investigations and incident reports on a regular basis. They must also be able to communicate that information in courtroom testimony.
Are you in good physical shape?
Candidates for this career must typically pass physical exams to demonstrate that they're strong enough for such responsibilities as pursuing and apprehending suspected criminals.
Do you like to help people?
As indicated by the multitude of state police departments that include 'serve' in their mottos, state troopers' ultimate responsibility is to serve their community by helping and protecting its people.
Are you cool under pressure?
State troopers often encounter stressful situations that they must be able to calmly assess and diffuse.
Are you comfortable handling firearms?
While state trooper training programs include firearms instruction, candidates for this field must be comfortable carrying, loading, unloading, and, when necessary, discharging firearms.
Do you have an interest in laws and the legal process?
From traffic legislation to search and seizure laws, state troopers must have a strong understanding of the laws that govern their jurisdiction. This knowledge is necessary not only for handling day-to-day patrols, but also for assisting lawyers in prosecuting suspects.
Are you a strong leader?
Whether called to a minor traffic incident, major vehicle crash or natural disaster, state troopers must have the leadership skills to take control of situations and instill confidence in the public.
Do you consider yourself perceptive?
Though a difficult skill to quantify, strong perception is critical to a state trooper's success. One must be able to read people's behavior and assess scenes and situations thoroughly during investigations.
Do you have stamina?
To perform required job duties - which may include exposure to inclement weather and long workdays - state troopers need to have not only strength, but also physical and mental endurance.
Do you have competent writing skills?
State troopers must have the ability to write clear, concise, and thorough reports of incidents and investigations for police records and possible inclusion in legal proceedings.
Do you have a clean criminal record?
Applicants for state trooper jobs are often required to demonstrate clean criminal records and driving records in order to be eligible for work.
Assess Your Next Steps
If you answered yes to most of these questions, you might be ready to pursue a career as a state trooper. The educational prerequisites for applicants vary by state, but typically include at least an associate's degree or its equivalent. Many aspiring state troopers study criminal justice to prepare for this career.