Career Profile: Highway Patrol
Highway patrol and state police troopers primarily enforce traffic laws on the nation’s highways and roadways. They issue traffic tickets, respond to accidents, and participate in community education programs. In rural areas troopers will respond to calls of service to crimes and will backup local police officers or deputy sheriffs. Most state police departments also employ special agents who perform criminal investigations, working with other police department and federal agencies such as the FBI, DEA, ATF, or Postal Inspectors.
Applicants usually must have at least a high school education, and some departments require 1 or 2 years of college coursework. Law enforcement agencies encourage applicants to take courses or training related to law enforcement subjects after high school. Many entry-level applicants for police jobs have completed some formal postsecondary education, and a significant number are college graduates. Many junior colleges, colleges, and universities offer programs in law enforcement or administration of justice.
Job opportunities is most local departments is expected to be excellent. State department employment will be more competitive especially between individuals with military experience or college training.
Please see the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the most current salary and job outlook statistics.