KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Governor Bill Lee and the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security on Wednesday put out a nationwide call for qualified law enforcement personnel to come be a Tennessee State Trooper with the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

If you’re curious about what it takes to be a Tennessee State Trooper, here’s what you need to know, courtesy of the state’s website regarding Trooper School.


The recruitment process requires some special qualifications of candidates; including:

  • Be at least 21 years of age
  • Be a citizen of the United States
  • Possess a valid motor vehicle operator’s license
  • Complete a criminal history disclosure form in a manner approved by the appointing authority and agree to release all records involving any criminal history to the appointing authority.
  • Complete/Pass a timed challenge/physical agility test that will be conducted at the Tennessee Department of Safety’s Training Center in Donelson, Tennessee.
  • Supply a fingerprint sample in a manner prescribed by the TBI for a fingerprint based criminal history records check.
  • Pass medicalphysical, and psychological examinations, which include a drug-screening, in Nashville, Tennessee.
  • Uncorrected no worse than 20/100 and corrected 20/20 in one and not worse than 20/30 in the other.
  • Must not be color blind. If a candidate fails the Ishihara color vision test, then must pass the Farnsworth Dichotomous D-15 test.
  • Subjected to an intense background investigation, which includes a check of State and Federal criminal records, driving history, credit check, education, military, previous employment, and reference verification as well as a polygraph examinationwhich will require some travel to the appointment.
    • No felony convictions or a conviction of any misdemeanor considered to be of moral turpitude (i.e., force, violence, theft, dishonesty, gambling, liquor (including DUI) or controlled substances).
    • High School education is defined by the State of Tennessee as a diploma that is recognized as such by the State Department of Education for the state in which the school is located. If you attended a high school overseas, it is the applicant’s responsibility to have your education converted to U.S. education standards. Any expense to have your education converted to U.S. standards and documentation provided will be your responsibility.
  • If selected, any tattoos must be covered at all times.

Trooper School

If selected and preferred qualifications are met to attend the lateral training class, you must attend up to 10 weeks of military-style training at the Training Center.

Selected qualified candidates must attend 16 weeks of military-style training at the Tennessee Department of Safety’s Training Center in Donelson, Tenn. Candidates are required to stay on campus and allowed leave on some weekends or as dictated by the training schedule.

Throughout the 16 week training, recruits will participate in classes on the following subjects:

  • Commercial Vehicle Training
  • Weapons Training
  • Emergency Vehicle Operation
  • Defensive Tactics and Ground Fighting
  • Criminal and Constitutional Law and Procedure
  • Physical Fitness Training
  • Emergency Medical and CPR Training
  • 250 Hours of Patrol Procedures
  • Professional and Ethical Conduct
  • Interpersonal Communication Skills
  • Stress Management
  • Workplace and Sexual Harassment
  • Diversity Training

For the Physical Requirements, the state says Trooper Candidates must complete the Cooper Standards for Law Enforcement:

  • One-Minute Sit Ups – 37 repetitions
  • One-Minute Push Ups – 35 repetitions
  • 300 Meter Run – 58.9 sec or less
  • 1.5 Mile Run – 13:58 or less

Ready to Apply?

Out-of-state law enforcement who are interested in receiving more information or applying to the THP should visit