Frequently Asked Questions
If I am already certified as a peace officer, do I have to go through the entire Trooper School?
How long is the Trooper School?
If selected and preferred qualifications are met to attend the lateral training class, you must attend up to 16 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.
What are the most difficult things about Trooper School?
You are constantly tested (mentally and physically) under stress. Absence from home and being away from your family for 22 weeks can also be difficult.
Where is Trooper School held?
At the Department of Safety Training Center in Donelson, Tennessee.
Do I get paid while attending Trooper School?
The entry level salary for the position of Trooper Cadets entering the Academy is $2,859.00 per month. Upon successful completion of training at the Academy and commissioning as a law enforcement officer, a Trooper's salary will increase to $3,163.00 per month.
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.
Can I receive mail at the Training Center?
What do I bring to testing?
You must bring the completed background packet that will be provided to you via website link if you are selected for the agility/interview process.
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?
The entire hiring process takes 5-6 months and is dependent on manpower needs of the department and budget funding by the state legislature.
How many trips will I have to make to Tennessee if I live out of state?
At least four.
What items would I need to bring to the Training Center?
Once you are accepted as a cadet, you will be advised by email notification.
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.
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 the Ford Crown Victoria and Ford Explorer.
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 884 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).
If employees are already a member of TCRS, please see the FAQ’s regarding enrollment.