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Frequently Asked Questions

How can I prepare myself for future employment as a Vermont State Trooper?

Focus on These Areas


Avoid criminal or unethical behavior, drive responsibly, avoid illegal drugs, and do not consume alcohol unlawfully or irresponsibly.  Remember that using someone else’s prescription drug, even one pill for pain from a sprained ankle, is illegal.  Participation in illegal acts and excessive motor vehicle collisions and/or violations can disqualify a candidate from the application process.  Associating with people who participate in illegal acts can also disqualify a candidate.


Pursue higher education, attain certifications in specialty areas such as CPR and first aid, learn a second language, or gain other relevant skills.


Be a reliable and responsible citizen and employee, engage in volunteer service, and show your commitment by being involved in the community. Consider gaining military and/or law enforcement experience.


Demonstrate financial independence, responsibility and security. Avoid late payments, overdrafts and excessive debt compared to earnings, and maintain a good credit rating.

Physical Fitness

Stay fit; join a gym or athletic team. Keeping physically active will assist you in the recruitment testing process and also ensure you successfully earn certification.  You should plan on being able to run 5 miles by the time you report to the academy.

What are the physical fitness standards?

The minimum physical fitness standards for applicants are based on the 50th percentile of a 500 meter row and a 1.5 mile run.  Please see our Fitness Standards for additional info regarding the rower test.

  • Bench press.
  • Sit ups (1 minute)
  • Push ups (1 minute)
  • 500 meter row
  • 1.5 mile run

I have a tattoo on my lower arm, wrist or neck. Will this disqualify me?

The Vermont State Police requires new members hired after July 1, 2019, to cover their arms with department-provided fabric sleeves while on duty if they have tattoos that would be apparent while wearing the short-sleeve uniform — formally known as the Class “C” summer uniform — or any other uniform in which their arms are visible. The sleeves are available in black or an array of skin tones.

VSP policy continues to prohibit any type of tattoo that indicates an extremist, sexist or racist ideology or affiliation. Tattoos on the face, neck or hands also are forbidden. The sole exception is for commitment band tattoos on ring fingers.

To read the full sections of policy, click here.

Do I have to be a resident?

You do not have to be a resident to apply.  However, you must establish residency in Vermont by the time you graduate the basic Academy.

I’m on active duty in the military, when should I begin the application process?

Approximately six months before your separation date.

I can’t find a copy of my high school diploma. Can I send my college one instead?

No.  Contact your high school to request a copy of your transcripts showing completion.

Do I have to go to the Vermont Police Academy before I apply to be a Trooper?

No. Once you apply, and if you are successful in the hiring process, we will offer you a position and put you through the Academy.  Pre-Basic classes begin in January and July, and the Basic Academy begins immediately after.  The entire training process at the Academy is approximately 27 weeks.

Is there a waiver process for Vermont Certification if I'm already certified in another state?

To qualify for a level III waiver an applicant must have 3-years of law enforcement experience. They must submit all of their training records and certifications to OPD and VPA for approval. All the other critical steps in the hiring process will remain the same as they are for any other applicant. If the applicant is successful and selected for hire they will complete the VSP Pre-Basic and then be assigned to the field to complete the FTO program. The waiver process is overseen by the Vermont Police Academy and the Vermont Criminal Justice Council. More information is available on their website at this link.

Do I get paid to attend the academy?

Yes. Your first day of Pre-Basic (usually January or July) will be your first day of paid employment.

Do I have to reside at the academy during training?

Yes.  The academy is a paramilitary environment.  We require recruits to reside at the academy typically from Sunday evening through Friday afternoon.   If your home is a great distance away, we’ve found local motels that offer discounts, and the camaraderie that you will experience may lend itself to being able to stay with a fellow recruit on weekends.

How do I know what barracks I’ll be assigned?

A few weeks into the start of the Basic Academy class, you will be given a list of barracks with vacancies.  You will select your top three choices; however, the needs of the department come first, and it is possible that you may not be assigned to your desired barracks.  You will learn your assignment about halfway through the academy.  The department always works to station new troopers to a barracks that works best for them. 

How long is the preliminary training period?

The training period of a Vermont State Trooper lasts for 27 weeks. The first 3 weeks are similar to a military style boot camp and involves only State Police recruits. The next 17 weeks involve attendance and graduation from the basic police academy. The remaining 7 weeks of "post basic" training is for certifications such as DWI, radar, first aid/CPR, shotgun, emergency vehicle operation, and several other specialty courses. Instruction in the State Police computer system and remaining equipment issues will also be included.

Graduates participate in a 45-day minimum and 63-day maximum Field Training Program under the supervision of another trooper.

What shifts does a trooper work?

The Vermont State Police does not currently have 24 hour coverage.  Shifts can vary from barracks to barracks: Some barracks rotate from day shift to night shift every few months.  Troopers work days, nights, weekends, and holidays. 

Typical Shifts

  • 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  If on day shift you may be on call from 4:30 a.m. - 8:00 a.m.

  • 5:00 p.m. - 2:00 a.m.  If on night shift you may be on call from 2:00 a.m. - 4:30 a.m.

Will I work alone on the road or with a partner?

A Vermont State Trooper routinely works on his/her own without readily available assistance from other officers. A trooper is often many miles away from any city or town. Troopers must be mentally and physically prepared to deal with any situation until additional support arrives.

As with every other aspect of law enforcement, we train every trooper we hire to handle these kinds of situations. However, it also requires self-confidence, which can only come from within.

Equipment and Uniforms

All equipment and uniforms are provided by the state. Troopers are generally issued a take-home patrol vehicle, which is not to be used for personal transportation when off duty.

Drug use, including marijuana

Applicants need to be drug-free for one year prior to becoming a Trooper. This includes marijuana use. While marijuana is legal in Vermont, it is a Schedule I drug and illegal under federal law. VSP policy prohibits its use by Troopers.

What is the department's position on diversity?

The Vermont State Police believe that diversity within its workforce provides a department best suited to serve the needs of Vermonters. In keeping with that philosophy, minority groups and women are strongly encouraged to apply.

Is the Vermont State Police is an equal opportunity employer?

The state of Vermont is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Discrimination because of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, place of birth, age, or against a qualified person with disabilities, or any other non-merit factor is prohibited. Any applicant for employment who feels discriminated against in his or her opportunity for employment shall have the right to appeal. Such appeals shall be submitted in writing to the Commissioner of Public Safety at the following address no later than 30 calendar days from the effective date of the action being appealed:

Department of Public Safety
45 State Drive
Waterbury, Vermont 05671-2101