Frequently Asked Questions

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 and/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 $5,580 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. 

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.

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.