State Highway Patrol Careers

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Minimum Qualifications

  • Age: 21 - 39 years old. (Applicants must be at least 21 but not yet 40 by the first day of Basic School.)
  • Height: No maximum height.
  • Weight: Commensurate with height and body frame.
  • Physical Condition: Excellent physical condition required with no obvious condition which will impair performance of Patrol duties.
  • Education: Graduate of an accredited high school or hold a Certificate of High School Equivalency (i.e. G.E.D.  General Education Development Certificate).
  • Citizenship: Must be a United States citizen and legal resident of North Carolina by the time he/she reports to Basic School.
  • Criminal History: Must not have pled guilty to, entered a plea of no contest, or have been convicted of any crime other than a minor misdemeanor; must not, during the two years preceding the date of his/her application, have been convicted of a traffic offense which required suspension or revocation of driving privileges; or held a drivers license which was in a state of suspension or revocation; must not have accumulated more than eight points against his/her driving record during the preceding three years or anytime after the date of the application. As of date of application or thereafter, applicant must meet the minimum standards for law enforcement officers established by the N.C. Criminal Justice Training and Standards Division.
  • Former Employment: If a former Patrol member, must complete all Patrol pre-employment requirements, including re-completion of Basic School. 
  • Acceptance of Conditions and Benefits: Must be willing to live and work in any section of the state and to be transferred at the discretion of the Patrol commander.
  • Vision Requirements: Must have 20/30 vision in each eye; uncorrected vision of no more than 20/200 in each eye corrected to 20/30 vision in each eye with corrective lenses. Must not be totally color blind, affected by night blindness, and be able to pass depth perception test.
  • Reading Comprehension: Must take a reading comprehension test and score at or above the tenth grade level. 
  • Physical Fitness: Must successfully pass the COOPER Physical Fitness Test.   
  • Polygraph Examination: Must submit to and complete a polygraph examination. 
  • Background Investigation: Must satisfactorily complete a thorough background investigation, including a check of State and Federal Bureau of Investigation records.
  • First Sergeant Interview: Must be interviewed by a district first sergeant. 
  • Physical Examination: - Must meet physical standards set by the Patrol medical services director.
  • Psychological Test - Must receive favorable recommendation from a psychological evaluation.
  • Acceptance by Patrol Commander - Must be accepted by the Patrol commander to attend the Patrol Basic School.
  • Completion of Training - Must successfully complete the Patrol Basic School and field training and evaluation program.

Automatic Disqualifiers 

  • Conviction of a felony or other serious crime.
  • Refusal to submit to a pre-employment polygraph, psychological evaluation, medical examination and urinalysis drug test.
  • Use of marijuana within 12 months from the date of application for employment.
  • Use of any other illegal drug, including misuse of prescription drugs.
  • Possession of, with the intent to sell and deliver, any illegal drug at any time in your life.
  • Engaged in the unauthorized use of any illegal drug while employed in a position of public trust (e.g., a sworn law enforcement officer, etc.).
  • Mis-stated, or falsely stated any information, in writing or orally, during the course of the application process.
  • Failure to meet any of the minimum requirements and/or standards for law enforcement officers, as mandated by the N.C. Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission.


  • Hiring Salary rates for 2023 -2024 (Effective July 1, 2023 - June 30, 2024):
Rank Salary 
Cadet $51,852
Graduation End Year 0 $55,000
Trooper End of Year 1 $58,575
Trooper End of Year 2 $62,382
Trooper End of Year 3 $66,437
Trooper End of Year 4 $70,755
Trooper End of Year 5 $75,354
Master Trooper $80,252
  • Advancement opportunities
  • Military leave
  • Provisions for retirement
  • Worker's compensation
  • Sick leave and annual leave policy
  • Paid holidays
  • Specialized training
  • Education Assistance

The N.C. State Highway Patrol gives equal opportunity for employment without regard to race, religion, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, or physical disability, to all persons otherwise qualified.

An applicant who falsifies any record, gives false information, or willfully withholds any pertinent information will be rejected for employment or dismissed if employed.

If you qualify (see requirements here) and are seriously interested in pursuing a career as a North Carolina Highway Patrol trooper, you may:

Apply Now
Contact the Troop Recruiter assigned to your area.

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