Why Join THP?

THP is a multi-faceted, full-service, statewide law enforcement agency with numerous divisions. Daily services performed by a Tennessee state trooper include:  Assisting the public, enforcement of criminal and traffic laws, traffic enforcement, motorcycle traffic patrol, crash investigation, crash reconstruction, criminal interdiction, criminal investigations, identity crimes investigations, special operations and tactical duties, K-9 handling, diving, aviation, executive protective services, bomb squad, and much more. Are you ready to accept the challenge and join the Tennessee Highway Patrol?


To apply for the next upcoming THP Cadet Class, please click here

Once approved by the Department of Human Resources, applicants will be notified of their qualification status via email. Please check your email for further instructions. It's important to also check your spam inbox to be sure you don't miss any emails from us. 

Interested in updates for future cadet classes? Email

There are several special qualification requirements you should be aware of before seeking employment opportunities for the position of State Trooper. Per T.C.A. 8-30-209, any applicant that is selected for further consideration will be required to:

  • Be at least twenty-one (21) years of age
  • Possess a valid motor vehicle operator’s license
  • Complete a criminal history disclosure form in a manner approved by the appointing authority and agree to release all records involving any criminal history to the appointing authority.
  • Complete/Pass a timed challenge/physical agility test that will be conducted at the Tennessee Department of Safety’s Training Center in Donelson, Tennessee.
  • Supply a fingerprint sample in a manner prescribed by the TBI for a fingerprint-based criminal history records check.
  • Pass medical, physical, and psychological examinations, which include a drug-screening, in Nashville, Tennessee.
  • Uncorrected no worse than 20/100 and corrected 20/20 in one and not worse than 20/30 in the other.
  • Must not be color blind. If a candidate fails the Ishihara color vision test, then must pass the Farnsworth Dichotomous D-15 test.
  • Subjected to an intense background investigation, which includes a check of State and Federal criminal records, driving history, credit check, education, military, previous employment, and reference verification as well as a polygraph examination which will require some travel to the appointment.
  • No felony convictions or a conviction of any misdemeanor considered to be of moral turpitude (i.e., force, violence, theft, dishonesty, gambling, liquor (including DUI) or controlled substances).
  • A High School education is defined by the State of Tennessee as a diploma that is recognized as such by the State Department of Education for the state in which the school is located. If you attended a high school overseas, it is the applicant’s responsibility to have your education converted to U.S. education standards. Any expense to have your education converted to U.S. standards and documentation provided will be your responsibility.
  • If selected, any tattoos must be covered at all times.
  • If selected, you must attend 17 weeks of military-style training at the Tennessee Department of Safety’s Training Center in Donelson, Tennessee. Candidates are required to stay on campus and allowed leave on some weekends or as dictated by the training schedule.

If selected and preferred qualifications are met to attend the lateral training class, you must attend up to 11 weeks of military-style training at the Training Center.

  • Be willing to and able to qualify with, carry, and use assigned weapons.
  • If selected, on the first day of the academy, you will be required to submit a certified copy of your birth certificate and have available for inspection your official social security card for security clearance to the National Criminal Information.
  • If selected and upon graduation from the Trooper academy, you will be required to have available for inspection your Tennessee driver license per T.C.A. 55-50-304.
  • If selected, and you graduate from the 17 week academy, you will be given your duty assignment. If you are required to move you may request to reside in an adjoining or contiguous county to your assigned county but are required to maintain residency within the confines of the State of Tennessee, per General Order 204 – Residency and Duty Assignments. Initial assignments and voluntary transfers are not entitled to reimbursement of moving expenses per T.C.A. 8-26-114.

Per T.C.A. 4-7-102 – Each Member of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, employed after July 1, 2006, shall meet the requirements for minimum standards as set forth in T.C.A. 38-8-1, as required by the Tennessee Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission (POST Commission) prior to graduating the Department of Safety Academy.

If you have served in the United States Armed Forces, you must provide a DD-214 Member 4 copy of your discharge stating no less than an honorable discharge from the military (POST rule 1110-2-.03(1)(e)), or a waiverable general discharge per post rule 1110-9-04(a)2. Discharges of other than honorable, bad conduct or dishonorable are disqualifiers per POST rule 1110-2-03(1)(f).

A candidate must not have been convicted of, pleaded guilty to, or entered a plea of nolo contendre to any violation of any federal or state law or city ordinance involving force, violence, theft, dishonesty, gambling, liquor (including DUI) or controlled substances per POST rule 1110-2-.03(1)(d). Including a sufficient number of misdemeanors to establish a pattern of disregard for the law as determined by POST (rule 1110-2-.04(2)(a)(2). Expunged misdemeanor convictions may be considered but not if relating to controlled substances or domestic violence POST rule 1110-2-.03(1)(e)(3).

Be a citizen of the United States or a permanent legal resident of the United States who is an honorably discharged veteran of the United States armed forces pursuant to T.C.A § 38-8-105(d).

Be a high school graduate or possess equivalence per POST rule 1110-2-.03(1)(c).

Provide two fully completed FD258 Applicant Fingerprint Cards for submission to the Tennessee Bureau Of Investigation per POST rule 1110-5-.01(1)(b).

Possess a valid driver license. If selected, out of state applicants must obtain a Tennessee driver license upon graduation from the academy (T.C.A. 55-50-304).

Salary Information

The entry level salary for the position of a trooper cadet entering the academy is $5,580 per month or $66,960 a year. With regular pay increases, a trooper can earn $99,504 per year after 10 years of service under the current pay structure.

A lateral cadet’s salary is $5,580 per month or $66,960 a year while attending the academy. After graduation, a lateral cadet’s salary will increase to $5,831 per month or $69,972 a year. 


Click here to review state employee benefits put together by the Department of Human Resources.

Throughout the 17 week training, recruits will participate in classes on the following subjects:

If selected and preferred qualifications are met to attend the lateral training class, you must attend the 11 weeks of military-style training at the Training Center.

  • Commercial Vehicle Training
  • Weapons Training
  • Emergency Vehicle Operation
  • Defensive Tactics and Ground Fighting
  • Criminal and Constitutional Law and Procedure
  • Physical Fitness Training
  • Emergency Medical and CPR Training
  • 250 Hours of Patrol Procedure
  • Professional and Ethical Conduct
  • Interpersonal Communication Skills
  • Stress Management
  • Workplace and Sexual Harassment
  • Diversity Training

Physical Requirements

Recruits will be provided with detailed physical requirements when they initially report to the Department of Safety Training Center for their Physical Assessment. The Tennessee Highway Patrol employs the Cooper Standards for Law Enforcement as well as a job task oriented challenge course as the physical standards [New recruits during physical training.] for all recruits.

Cooper Standards Include:

  • One-Minute Sit Ups - 37 repetitions
  • One-Minute Push Ups - 35 repetitions
  • 1.5 Mile Run - 13:58 or less

Executive Protection

Provides security for the First Family, Lt. Governor, Speaker of the House, and Attorney General. Personnel assigned to the Governor and First Lady provide 24-hour security and travel with them at all times. They also identify visitors frequenting the Executive Residence for tours, meetings, banquets, etc. and escorts visitors to the designated area. The Executive Protection detail also assist the Governor with security at scheduled events ensuring the safest routes, the best mode of transportation, and adequate security essential for protection of the First Family.

Capitol Security

Troopers assigned to Capitol Security are responsible for the external and internal security of the State Capitol, Legislative Plaza, War Memorial Building, and Department of Safety Headquarters. These services are also provided for other state owned and leased property within the Capitol Hill complex area and other areas throughout Davidson County.

Special Operations/Tactical Squad

The Special Operations section of the THP is charged with handling situations outside the normal duties of the Department of Safety. This section consists of specialized units such as the Tactical/Bomb Squad, the Aviation Section, the Canine Unit, and Governor's Task Force on Marijuana Eradication.

Research, Planning, and Development Division

The Research, Planning & Development Division serves every facet in the Department of Safety & Homeland Security by providing analytical studies, report preparations and presentations, and grant procurement. The Research, Planning & Development Division also contains sections such as crash analysis and the Tennessee Integrated Traffic Analysis Network (TITAN) Business Unit.

Training Center

All of the Department's educational services are located at the Tennessee Department of Safety Training Center. The center serves as the operations hub for the Training Division, Critical Incident Response Team (C.I.R.T.), Ordnance, Safety Education, Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.), Motorcycle Rider Education Program (MREP), T.O.S.H.A., Media Production unit, and Facilities Management Sections.

Critical Incident Response Team (C.I.R.T.)

The C.I.R.T. Unit's principal responsibility is to assist other members of the Department in the investigation and/or reconstruction of motor vehicle traffic crashes. THP personnel staff the Unit and all members receive extensive training in traffic crash investigation. The C.I.R.T. Unit consists of four teams statewide, each covering two of the eight THP districts. A Lieutenant is responsible for overall command of the unit.

Safety Education

Charged with increasing public awareness of highway driver safety, the Safety Education Division develops, promotes, and coordinates a wide range of activities that have in common the advancement of public safety. This division is mandated to regulate commercial driving schools and also provides administrative oversight for the MREP and D.A.R.E programs.

Support Services (Fleet, Supply, Communications)

The Support Services Division consolidates several general functions vital to the efficient and effective delivery of services to the entire department. Under this division are Communications, Facilities Management and Building Maintenance, Fleet and Supply.

Pupil Transportation

The Pupil Transportation Section ensures that school children throughout the state are transported safely to and from school. This section is responsible for overseeing all school bus inspections in the state and determining whether or not public school bus systems are in compliance with the safety requirements set forth in the Tennessee Code. Duties include: Bus Driver Training, Bus Inspection, Records Administration, Child Care Vehicle Inspection, and Child Care Driver Training.


Recruitment Team

Untitled (188 x 248 px)

Captain Krystal Thaxter

Untitled (188 x 248 px)

Sergeant Bill Fitzgerald

To contact the recruitment team, email

How long is Trooper School?

Currently, a regular cadet school is 17 weeks. If selected and preferred qualifications are met to attend the lateral training class, you must attend up to 11 weeks of military style training at the Training Center but must meet preferred qualification of being a POST certified officer &/or graduate from a POST academy eligible to be certified.

Do I have to be a Tennessee resident to apply?
You do not have to be a resident to apply. However, if chosen, you must obtain a residence in Tennessee.

Do I have to live on site during the training?
Yes. You are free most weekends to return home and report back to the Training Center Sunday evening.

Can I be disqualified during the hiring practice? If so, for what reasons?
Yes. You must successfully complete/pass an agility test prior to your interview, a Level 2 background check which includes a credit check and polygraph examination, and physical and psychological screenings.

Where is Trooper School held?
Tennessee Department of Safety Training Center
283 Stewarts Ferry Pike, Nashville, TN 37214

Do I get paid while attending Trooper School?

The entry level salary for the position of a trooper cadet entering the academy is $5,417 per month or $65,004 a year. With regular pay increases, a trooper can earn $96,600 per year after 10 years of service under the current pay structure.

A lateral cadet’s salary is $5,661 per month or $67,932 a year.

Will I be on probation?
Yes, for 18 months.

Would I get a take-home patrol car?
Yes, after graduation.

Does prior military experience earn new recruits any preference?
In accordance with Tenn. Code Ann. § 8-30-307, Department of Human Resources Rule 1120-02-07 (6) and Department of Human Resources Policy 12-007 qualified military veterans and the qualified spouses of veterans who apply and meet the minimum qualifications for the position as determined by the Department of Human Resources shall be granted an interview.  If selected for the position there is no preference once you report to the academy.

Is there an age limit to apply? 
You must be at least 21 years of age on the date of application.

How long is the hiring process?
Currently, the entire process takes 4-5 months. Our applications are only available during open application periods. Application periods are only open when we have announced a class.

How many trips will I have to make to Tennessee if I live out of state? 
At least four. 

Would I work alone or with a partner?
Upon graduation from Cadet School, you will complete a 10-week FTO program where you will ride and learn from 2-3 Field Training Officers before being assigned a one-person car.

Would I get a raise every year?
The General Assembly funds statutory raises.

What shifts would I be required to work?
Assignments are made by District Captains. In most cases, you will work all shifts at one time or another.

Where would my first assignment be?
It will be determined by where vacancies are located. The list of vacancies will be posted prior to interviews.On the application, you will get the opportunity to select the area(s) you are willing to work. We will honor your wishes as long as there are vacancies in that location. If there are no vacancies in your desired location and you choose not to relocate, you may not get an offer. However, if you do not have a preference, you will be placed according to the needs of the Department.

Do you offer incentive pay for education?
No, not at this time.

Are there height and weight restrictions?
Body Mass Index comparable with height and weight.

How often is Trooper School held?
Trooper Schools are conducted as based on the needs of the department as vacancies occur.

Would my service weapons be provided?

Would I receive an allowance for laundering my uniforms?

How soon would I be able to compete for promotion?
Troopers without college degrees may compete for promotions after five (5) years of service. Troopers with a two (2) year degree or more may compete for promotions after three (3) years of service.

When I commence duty, could I start from home if I live in the assigned territory?
You must be in your assigned county at the beginning time of your shift. General Orders allow you to live in any adjoining county to your assignment.

Could I earn overtime?
Yes, if budget limitations allow. There are also federally funded overtime programs that may be allotted to your district.

Could I use my patrol car for personal use while off duty?

Are Troopers issued tasers?

Are laptop computers installed in all vehicles?

What types of patrol cars do you use?
Most of the vehicles used by the department are Ford Explorers.

If I become a Tennessee State Trooper, what types of ongoing training will be provided?
There are specialized schools offered every year on a wide variety of subjects and law enforcement skills.

Do Troopers pay in to Social Security?

Is off-duty employment authorized?
Pre-approval is required for off-duty employment. There are strict guidelines.

What is the authorized Trooper strength of the department?
Approximately 1179 authorized commissioned positions.

How does the retirement system work?
All new employees are enrolled into the Hybrid plan where 5% deductions are contributed to the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System (TCRS) with a 4% match by the State.  Additionally, 2% deductions are automatically enrolled into 401k (with the option to cancel). Mandatory retirement at the age of 60.

If employees are already a member of TCRS, please see the FAQ’s regarding enrollment.