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Recruitment: Candidate Info

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Trooper Requirements
(for entry-level and lateral applicants)


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

We accept entry level and lateral applications during active hiring 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.
  3. Lateral applicants will need to successfully complete the 11 week MHP Advanced Academy.
  4. 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).

Minimum Requirements


All public safety officer positions have minimum requirements established by Montana law and the Montana Public Safety Officer Standards and Training (POST) Council.

To apply for Trooper position, you must:

  • be a high school graduate or have passed the general education development test and have been issued an equivalency certificate by the superintendent of public instruction, an appropriate issuing agency, another state or the federal government
  • 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

Secondary Education/Experience


  • 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.
  • VETERANS! Did you know the Montana Highway Patrol participates in the VA Education Benefits Program?

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
  2. Written Testing (National Police Officer Selection Test™) – 
    • Conducted online.
    • 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 officer duties, no prior knowledge of law or law enforcement is required.
    • Review the Study Guide for the National Police Officer Selection Test in preparation for the written test.
    • Failure to meet the minimum passing score of 70% in each section eliminates a candidate from the selection process.
  3. One-One Objective Interview – This initial interview focuses on candidates’ qualifications and suitability for the position. This can be completed via Zoom, Microsoft Teams, FaceTime, or any video platform. If you are successful after the oneon-one interview step, then you are issued a conditional offer letter of employment.
  4. Job Suitability Assessment – Candidates will be required to complete two personality profiles related to their general cognitive abilities and job suitability.
  5. 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 compliance with the Federal Military Selective Service Act
  6. Final phases of selection process – Candidates must be successful/pass all phases; psychological testing/evaluation, physical exam/drug screening, vision exam, Montana Physical Abilities Test, and a panel interview. 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 the selection process.
  7. Panel Interview and Presentation – Candidates must complete a structured interview involving questions related to the Montana Highway Patrol Trooper position as well as give a presentation to the Panel. Also during the panel interview, open duty station locations are discussed.
  8. Employment – If a candidate has met all Montana Highway Patrol and Montana POST requirements, a final offer letter of employment will be given with duty station listed. Probationary employees are required to remain in their duty stations for one year time frame.

Law Enforcement Education and Training


Selected candidates are required to attend:

  • Law Enforcement Officer Basic Course (Helena, MT) – 12 weeks of academic and physical training.
    • Law & Criminal
    • Human Behavior & Social Interaction
    • Patrol Operations
    • Traffic Enforcement
    • Investigations
    • Survival Skills
    • Health & Wellness
    • Candidates must meet all academic and physical requirements.
  • MHP Advanced Academy (Boulder, MT) – 11 weeks of enhanced professional training.
    • TASER™ certification
    • Traffic Radar training
    • Criminal Justice Information Network (CJIN) Training
    • Survival Tactics
    • Crash scene investigation
    • Advanced DUI training
    • Courtroom testimony
    • Criminal Interdiction
    • Firearms Training
    • Force on Force Training
    • Police Vehicle Operations Course
    • Precision Immobilization Technique
    • Traffic stops application
    • Hazmat training

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 will report to their designated duty station.

Contact Information


Email [email protected] with your contact details to be added to the next recruitment notification list, or to get a firsthand point of view, request a ride along with a Trooper. 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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