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Recruitment: Candidate Info

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Join the team committed to serving Montana with honor! Click on the MHP patch and submit your resume today. 

Trooper Requirements
(for entry-level and lateral applicants)


Join a respected legacy and unleash your potential as a Montana Highway Patrol Trooper, a team committed to serving with pride and professionalism.

Candidates may apply during an active hiring period; we accept entry level and lateral resumes during these periods.

An entry-level applicant has not graduated from the Montana Law Enforcement Officer Basic Course in Montana and does not have any previous law enforcement experience.

A lateral applicant meets one of the following requirements:

  1. Has graduated from the Montana Law Enforcement Academy Basic Law Enforcement Officer Course within the last three years
  2. Possesses a current Basic Law Enforcement POST Certificate from (Montana) or another state and you must not have had a break in service that exceeds five years from your date of hire in Montana.

a. Out-of-state lateral applicants are also required to attend an additional two weeks of training (Legal Equivalency Course per MCA 7-32-303 and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing per MCA 61-8-404).

For lateral applicants: A successful lateral will need to successfully complete the 3 month MHP Advanced Academy.

Do you posses the character traits that the Montana Highway Patrol looks for in a potential hire?  Click here to learn more!

Minimum Requirements


To apply for Trooper position, you must:

  • have a valid driver’s license from any state
  • be a citizen of the United States at the time of application
  • be a Montana resident at the time you are appointed as a sworn trooper
  • be at least 18 years of age at the time of application
  • possess binocular vision of 20/200 uncorrected, which is corrected using glasses or contact lenses to binocular vision of 20/30; 140 degrees peripheral; normal color vision (to sufficiently distinguish red, yellow and green); and normal depth perception
  • be of good moral character and in sound, active physical and mental condition.
  • Applicants with felony convictions that could have resulted in imprisonment in a federal or state penitentiary are disqualified.
  • Misdemeanor convictions for criminal offenses are reviewed on a case-by-case basis
  • Be willing to work varied shifts, including nights, weekends and holidays, as well as accept call-outs
  • Lateral applicants must possess the above-listed requirements in addition to the following: 1. Has graduated from the Montana Law Enforcement Academy Basic Law Enforcement Officer Course within the last three years OR  2. Possesses a current Basic Law Enforcement POST Certificate from (Montana) or another state and you must not have had a break in service that exceeds five years from your date of hire in Montana.

    Out-of-state lateral applicants are also required to attend an additional two weeks of training (Legal Equivalency Course per MCA 7-32-303 and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing per MCA 61-8-404).

    For lateral applicants:  A successful lateral applicant’s training and experience will determine whether a lateral applicant qualifies for the 3 month MHP Advanced Academy.

Education/Experience


  • Possess a high school diploma or a state-issued equivalency diploma at time of application.
  • Preferred secondary education (but not required) in criminal justice, psychology, police science, corrections, criminology, forensic science, legal studies, social work, and pre-law.
  • Preferred experience (but not required): military, security, adult corrections/probation, social work, and juvenile probation/corrections experience.
  • Did you know the Montana Highway Patrol participates in the VA Education Benefits Program.

All candidates will be reviewed for compliance with current Montana Public Safety Officer Standards and Training (POST) rules and regulations.

Selection Process


Candidates who successfully pass each of the following seven steps qualify for consideration for employment with the Patrol.

  1. Candidate Screening – Resumes are reviewed for completeness, accuracy, education and experience, and minimum requirements. Any candidate who falsifies or withholds any pertinent information will be rejected or dismissed if already employed by the Patrol.
  2. Written Testing and Interview
    • National Police Officer Selection Test:
      • The test takes a total of 75 minutes and is made up of four separately timed sections. The mathematics, reading comprehension and grammar sections are multiple-choice and true or false questions. The incident report writing section requires answers written in complete sentences.
      • Although most of the questions relate to police duty, no prior knowledge of law or law enforcement is needed to answer.
      • Failure to meet the minimum passing score eliminates an applicant from the selection process.
      • A Study Guide for the National Police Officer Selection Test is available to assist a candidate in preparation for the written test.
    • One-on-one interview – This interview focuses on candidates’ qualifications and suitability for the position.
  3. Panel Interview and Presentation – Candidates must complete a structured interview involving questions related to a Highway Patrol Trooper position as well as give a presentation.
  4. Job Suitability Testing – Candidates must complete two personality profiles related to their general cognitive abilities and job suitability, and a questionnaire.
  5. Physical Fitness Test:
    • The physical abilities test used is the Montana Physical Abilities Test (MPAT). The MPAT test measures the strength, flexibility and endurance law enforcement officers need to perform the essential functions of their positions.
    • Candidates must meet the Montana Law Enforcement Academy’s physical fitness requirements for acceptance into the Law Enforcement Officer Basic Course. Failure to meet this minimum level eliminates a candidate from physical fitness testing and from the selection process.
  6. Background Investigation– Selected candidates must pass an extensive background investigation conducted by the Montana Highway Patrol, including, at a minimum:
    • criminal history records check
    • driving records history check
    • previous employer reference checks
    • credit check
    • fingerprint check
    • verification of application materials and qualifications
    • verification of compliance with the Federal Military Selective Service Act
  7. Psychological Screening, Physical Exam, Vision Exam, Fingerprinting and Physical Fitness Testing – After a conditional offer of employment, selected candidates must pass a psychological evaluation, physical exam and eye examination. Candidates  must meet the physical fitness requirements for acceptance into the Law Enforcement Officer Basic Course 90 days prior to the commencement of the course.

Education and Training


The curriculum set forth in the following courses is specifically designed to prepare individuals for careers with the Montana Highway Patrol. Selected applicants are required to attend:

  • Law Enforcement Officer Basic Course – 12 weeks of academic and physical training. Candidates must must meet all academic and physical fitness requirements to graduate. 
  • MHP Advanced Academy – 3 month program that provides continued training in topics and laws specifically related to traffic enforcement. Successful entry-level and lateral candidates attend this course. Highly qualified instructors provide over 400 hours of education and training in the fundamentals of traffic enforcement, including auto theft, crash investigation and criminal interdiction. To successfully graduate from the MHP Advanced Academy, candidates must pass all academic requirements and maintain the level of physical fitness required to graduate from the Basic Course. In addition, successful out-of-state laterals must also successfully complete the two-week Montana Law Enforcement Legal Equivalency course preferably prior to the MHP Advanced Academy (or at least within the first year of employment).
  • Out-of-state lateral applicants are also required to attend an additional two weeks of training (Legal Equivalency Course per MCA 7-32-303 and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing per MCA 61-8-404). These courses are to be taken preferably prior to the MHP Advanced Academy (or at least within the first year of employment).

 

Field Training and Initial Assignment


Upon appointment, new Troopers are placed in a 10-week field-training program with experienced field training officers (FTOs). After successfully completing this training, Troopers receive their initial station assignments. Troopers must successfully complete a one-year probationary period to continue employment.

 

Contact Information


If you would like to be added to the hiring notification list or participate in a ride along with a Trooper, email; [email protected]

A background check is required for a Ride Along with a Trooper.

Call or Text us at (877) 8-PATROL toll free, or call us locally at (406) 444-3259

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