FAQs: Trooper (GSP)

  • Do I have to be a Georgia resident to apply?

    No, but you must be a Georgia resident upon graduation.

  • Is there an age limit to apply?

    No. However, applicants must be 21 years of age upon graduation.

  • How many Troopers are you planning to hire?

    Our needs are determined by a number of factors, and are different for every Trooper School.

  • As an “out of town” applicant, how many times will I be required to travel to Atlanta?

    We do our very best to coordinate steps in the hiring process for our out of state applicants.

    As hard as we try, there will be situations beyond our control that will require you to make multiple visits to Georgia. Typically, we will coordinate the medical, psychological exams and the final interview on sequential dates. Physical assessments and polygraphs usually require separate visits.

  • Where will my first assignment be?

    Assignments are made based on the staffing needs of the department.  However, DPS will make every effort to assign graduating Troopers to a patrol post located within driving distance of their residence.

  • Is there any incentive pay offered for prior law enforcement experience or prior military?

    No, Georgia State Patrol is not offering incentive pay for prior law enforcement or military experience.

  • If I am already certified as a peace officer do I have to go through the entire Trooper school?
    • Applicants may qualify for the accelerated curriculum in Trooper School if they meet one of the following criteria:
      • Certified as a peace officer in Georgia
      • Certified as a peace officer outside of Georgia but must complete the EOT process. More information can be found at (See EOT attachment below).
    • The accelerated curriculum is 14 weeks at the academy followed by 12 weeks of field training. The basic curriculum is 22 weeks at the academy plus 12 weeks of field training.


  • Do I have to live on site during training?

    Cadets remain at the academy four weeks prior to being granted leave. After the first month you can go home on Friday and return on Sunday evening. (This is for the four months of training at the training center) Immediately following, you will be assigned to Field Training at three various posts throughout the state. Typically you would spend one month at each of the three posts. Lodging is usually available at no cost to you at one of the Posts within a Troop.

  • What are the most difficult things about Trooper school?

    There are many, including being away from home, physical training, long hours, mentally challenging, drivers training, firearms, crash investigation and being confined to the training center under constant supervision.

  • Do I get paid while going to Trooper school?

    Yes, you get paid and you receive the complete benefit package once you are hired.

  • Do we receive annual pay increases?

    There is no set frequency for pay raises. As with all state employees, pay raises are granted by the Georgia General Assembly and are not guaranteed at any interval.

  • What items do I bring to the academy?

    After you are hired and go through orientation you will be given specific instructions on what to bring.

  • Are my service weapons provided?

    Yes. All equipment is provided by the department.

  • How soon can I compete for promotion?

    Once you have attained the rank of Trooper First Class (approximately 18 months after graduation), you may compete for promotion.

  • Do I get a take home patrol car?

    Yes, upon graduation.

  • What is the starting salary for Trooper?

    $44,080 annually if employed as a Cadet prior to the start of the Trooper Academy. The salary is $56,350 annually while in Trooper school and $58,350 annually upon graduation. After 18 months and meeting expectations you will receive a promotion to Trooper First Class 1 with a salary of $63,583 annually. Click here  for GSP Career Path.

  • Is there a way for me to be employed as a Cadet before I go to Trooper School?

    We occasionally provide short term employment for candidates prior to the start of Trooper School. These opportunities are limited, and availability depends on business and operational needs.

  • What are the physical fitness recommendations?

    Prior to Day 1,Cadets are strongly urged to be able to achieve these benchmarks:

    • Sit Ups -  (#) 30 in one minute, fingers cupped behind ears, rest in up position only 
    • Push Ups -  (#) 21 in one minute, only hands and feet touch the ground, rest in up position  
    • Run – 1.5 miles within 15 minutes and 34 seconds

    Be prepared for strict discipline and accountability, strenuous physical activity, and high mental stress.

  • Does the Georgia State Patrol have any upper age restrictions?

    No, the Georgia State Patrol does not have any upper age restrictions. Please understand that all Cadets are expected to perform at a high level of physical endurance.

  • Does the Georgia State Patrol accept lateral transfers?

    No, lateral transfers are not accepted. However, we do encourage former and current law enforcement officers to apply.

  • How do I start the application process?

    Applicants must complete an online application at http://team.georgia.gov/careers. You will be provided a background packet at a later date. Please take your time and provide responses to each item. DO NOT MAIL THE PACKET TO Human Resources! Bring it with you to the physical assessment test.

  • How long does the hiring process take?

    The hiring process could take up to 6 months.

  • What is the hiring process?
    • Application
    • Physical Fitness Test
    • Polygraph Examination
    • Background Investigation
    • Oral Interview
    • Psychological Evaluation
    • Medical Screening (Hearing and Vision Standards)/Drug Screening
    • Peace Officers Standards and Training Council (P.O.S.T.) Entrance Exam. Applicant may be exempt from taking the P.O.S.T. Entrance Exam if they can provide documentation of test results that meet P.O.S.T. minimums in accordance with O.C.G.A. § 35-8-8 or have a college degree.
  • What should I wear for the polygraph exam, background meeting, and interview?

    Business casual is suggested for your polygraph and meeting with the background investigator. Business attire (coat and tie) is suggested for your panel interview with the Command Staff.

  • I’ve started the hiring process, but I haven’t heard anything yet. What do I do now?

    As you complete each step of the hiring process, you will be notified of what to do next. Some steps have several weeks in between them. As long as your contact information is correct, the best thing to do is to be patient and wait.

  • Are there any factors that may lengthen my background investigation?
    • Failure to have your application complete and accurate.
    • Having lived and worked out of state.
    • Military service records.
    • Extensive driving/criminal history.
    • Having incorrect contact information for your references.
    • Your references failing or slow to return our telephone messages.
  • What information will be required to complete my background information?
    • Original birth certificate and a certified copy of court orders authorizing any name change. If name change due to marriage or divorce, include Certified Copies of Marriage Certificate(s) and Divorce Decrees as applicable.
    • Original Certificate of Naturalization (if you are a Naturalized Citizen) All sworn positions require you be a citizen of the United States.
    • If you provide a self addressed stamped envelope, your Birth certificate or Certificate of Naturalization will be returned.
    • Official Grade Transcripts from: • High School – (Must be an accredited school) or GED diploma (if applicable) • College • Vocational/Technical Schools.
    • A recent Full Length Photograph (head-to-toe).
    • Photocopy of DD-214 for each period of military service (must be Member-4 copy showing lines 23-30 regarding separation and discharge information). 
    • Photocopy of Selective Service Registration Card if you are a male applicant between the ages of 18 and 26 years of age. Proof may also be obtained online from the selective service System Website at https://www.sss.gov/RegVer/wfVerification.aspx or at the Selective Service automated line telephone (847) 688-6888.
  • How do I take the POST Entrance exam?

    Go to http://www.gapost.org/ for detailed information.

  • If I am POST certified with the Department of Corrections, do I still need to fill out a POST application?

    Yes. If you are not certified as a Peace Officer.

  • How long does the Physical Training test last?

    It depends on the number of candidates. We usually allow for four hours.

  • What is the tattoo and facial hair policy?

    The DPS Uniform and Appearance policy has changed to allow applicants with some visible tattoos in a short sleeve uniform to wear a long sleeve uniform shirt.

    Applicants with tattoos or brands will be disqualified for either of the following:

    1. Tattoos/brands that depict or support criminal behavior, drug usage, nudity, profanity, promiscuity, subversive groups, bigotry, etc.
    2. Tattoos/brands on the neck, face, head, hands, and fingers that are visible while on duty and/or in a long sleeve uniform shirt.  Tattoos on the arm must not be below the crease of the wrist. Exceptions include tattoos/brands that are covered by one ring per hand, or by a watch band on either the left or right wrist. Uniform members with tattoos visible in a short sleeve uniform shirt (generally, below the crease of the arm and tip of the elbow) will wear the class A uniform (long sleeve shirt). 

    DPS does not allow the use of a long sleeve cover-up to hide any visible body art, tattoos, brands, or images that are visible in the short sleeve uniform.

    No facial hair is permitted.

  • What specialty units does the Georgia State Patrol have?
    • Aviation Division
    • Motorcycle Unit
    • S.W.A.T.
    • Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team
    • Criminal Interdiction Unit
    • Implied Consent Unit
    • DUI Nighthawks
    • Governor’s Task Force
    • Dive Team
    • Executive Security
    • Post 50 (Capitol)
    • Office of Professional Standards
  • What benefits will I receive?

    State employees are also offered access to health insurance, life insurance, vision insurance, dental insurance and many more benefits including a retirement plan. All state employees receive sick leave in the amount of ten hours per month. State employees also receive annual leave in differing amounts based on the number of years employed with the state. Minimum amount is ten hours per month going up to 14 hours per month.