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Becoming a State Trooper

Your journey to a worthwhile and fulfilling law enforcement career starts today. Our candidate process is meant to challenge interested applicants and introduce the skills and tools they'll need on the job and in their careers. Here you'll find a step-by-step guide detailing what you'll need to accomplish your goals and resources that'll aid you throughout the process.

Table of Contents


Massachusetts State Police is comprised of over more than 2,000 highly trained men and women who provide a vast array of public safety services to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Specific duties and responsibilities expected of a State Trooper includes: 

  • Patrolling assigned areas 
  • Conducting thorough crash investigations
  • Following up on complaints
  • Conducting criminal investigations
  • Enforcing motor vehicle laws
  • Obtaining evidence
  • Testifying in court
  • Rendering medical aid
  • Directing traffic
  • Conducting arrests
  • Community policing
  • Engaging in crime prevention and reduction measures


  • Possess a high school diploma or GED (General Educational Development) certificate
  • Pass an entrance exam
  • Be at least 19 years old by the date of examination and 21 years old at time of appointment.  You must also be 34 years old or younger by the last day of the application filing date
  • Pass a thorough background investigation prior to employment
  • Satisfy the Department of State Police's medical and psychological standards
  • Satisfy the Department of State Police's physical fitness standards 
  • Be a United States citizen by the time of appointment to the Academy 
  • Be a Massachusetts resident by the time of appointment to the Academy
  • Possess a Massachusetts driver's license by the time of appointment to the Academy
  • Do not have any tattoo, brand, or scarification on face, neck, or hands with the exception of commitment band on hand
  • Do not have any tattoo, brand, or scarification that is considered extremist, including but not limited to indecent, sexist, or racist

Additionally, it's important to note the following:

  • Successful candidates will be assigned to a geographical region in Massachusetts based on staffing needs rather than the candidate's preference.
  • It's important to familiarize yourself with the physical and medical requirements associated with the training and responsibilities of being a State Trooper. While law enforcement is a rewarding career, the intensity of duties may change day-to-day.
  • Civil Service exams are only offered occasionally with new recruit classes only being offered depending on funding from the Legislature. It's important for prospective candidates to check back occasionally for updates.

Note: No person, who has been convicted of a felony or any offense punishable under M.G.L. Chapter 94C (drug law violations) or who has been convicted of a misdemeanor and confined to any jail or house of correction as punishment for said crime will be considered for employment (M.G.L. Chapter 22C Section 14).

In accordance with M.G.L. Chapter 22C Section 10, no member or trainee appointed or hired after January 1, 1988 shall smoke any tobacco product.

Step 1: Complete the Civil Service Exam

Your path to becoming a State Trooper begins with successfully passing the Civil Service examination.

The Massachusetts State Police participates in the Civil Service on a rotating basis. Interested applicants are encouraged to monitor the Civil Service website for updates regarding participation and availability.

If you score above a certain score threshold, which is subject to change depending on various factors, you'll be invited to proceed further into the candidate process. You'll receive further instructions via the contact information you provide on further arrangements.

Key Actions   for Step 1: Complete the Civil Service Exam

Step 2: Complete the Physical Fitness Assessment

Our Physical Fitness Assessment is designed to ensure candidates are equipped to complete our intense recruit training curriculum. You'll be assessed on runtimes and other physical assessments, such as push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, and more.

1.5 Mile Run Times

Age Range Run Time (minutes:seconds)


30-39 13:04
40-49 13:49
Age Range Run Time (minutes:seconds)
20-29 14:50
30-39 15:38
40-49 16:21

Step 3: Complete the Medical Assessment

All prospective candidates must be able to complete the Medical Assessment. This includes both a comprehensive medical and psychological examination. More specific information will be provided at the appropriate time in the process.

Vision Requirements:

  • A minimum of 400 seconds of stereopsis
  • Minimum corrected distant visual acuity in each eye 20/30 with a minimum of 20/200 uncorrected distant visual acuity in each eye
  • Minimum color perception to red, green, amber
  • Radial keratotomy and Photoradial keratotomy acceptable for distant vision correction

Additional Resources   for Step 3: Complete the Medical Assessment

Step 4: Background Investigation

Once a candidate has progressed this far in the the process, they will be contacted on this step.

As an applicant, you're subject to an extensive background investigation that'll verify information you've provided. Investigators may interview your past employers to confirm past employment and confirm records in regards to criminal history, education, military service. Additionally, investigators may conduct personal interviews focused on your character with individuals such as past supervisors, coworkers, family members, neighbors, and more.

Step 5: Eligible for Selection

Candidates that successfully complete all prior requirements are considered eligible for selection. Based your Civil Service scoring, candidates are ranked from highest to lowest with appointment preferences given to those with higher scores.

The number of appointments depend on various factors, such as funding and hiring needs, and eligible candidates are contacted to inform them of their appointment. 

When appointed, candidates then move onto the State Police Academy for recruit training. 

Key Actions   for Step 5: Eligible for Selection

Step 6: Appointment to the State Police Academy and Training

Recruit training is an intense 25-week paramilitary training program composed of 90 different courses designed to prepare candidates for a career as a State Trooper. Intentionally designed to be mentally and physically challenging, recruit training tests the endurance and preparation of prospective candidates to ensure their qualifications to serve.

Located at 340 West Brookfield Road, New Braintree, MA, recruits live at the Academy throughout the weekdays for the 6-month period. The curriculum includes, but is not limited to:

  • Criminal law
  • Motor vehicle law
  • Evidence identification
  • Firearms
  • Deescalation
  • Protection of civil rights and privacy
  • First Amendment rights
  • Fair and impartial bias
  • Self-defense tactics
  • Swimming instruction
  • Defensive driving
  • Patrol procedures
  • Military drills
  • Court procedures
  • Ethics
  • Diversity awareness
  • Community policing

Key Actions   for Step 6: Appointment to the State Police Academy and Training

Step 7: Graduation and Assignment

With the completion of your training, your next step will be attending your graduation ceremony where you'll be inducted as a sworn State Trooper of the Massachusetts State Police. Information will be given to you of your group's graduation ceremony.


Following your graduation from the Academy, you'll be assigned to your unit. It's important to note that you may be assigned to any barracks throughout the Commonwealth.

Probationary period

For the period of one year, starting on the day of graduation, you'll be in your probationary period. This means you'll be assessed by your supervisors and may be subject to corrective action or remedial training to address any concerns your supervisors express. During this period, Massachusetts State Police does reserve the right to terminate employment with any employees that do not meet the criteria of acceptable performance and conduct.

Field training officer assignment

As part of your assignment, you'll also be assigned to a field training officer for a period of three months. This is designed to offer on-hands training and development with an experienced mentor. After successfully completing this period, you'll assume independent patrol and/or duties.

Image credits:  Office of Media Relations

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