How to Become a Ohio State Highway Patrol Officer

Individuals who want to join the ranks of the Ohio State Patrol can begin their quest by contacting the Ohio POST or the patrols recruitment office and submit an application, it can also be done online. OSHP also offers a cadet internship program for aspiring college students wanting to pursue a career as a Ohio State Patrol Officer.

Main Duties of a Ohio Patrol Officer

  • Responsible for enforcing traffic and criminal laws on public roads and state-owned property in the state of Ohio.
  • Responsible for driver’s license examination centers.
  • Responsible for vehicle inspections.
  • Responsible for commercial vehicle weigh stations.
  • Responsible for investigating aircraft and vehicle crash investigations.
  • Provide security for state-owned facilities.

Basic Requirements to Become a Highway Patrol Officer in Ohio

  • Must have a high school diploma or GED equivalent.
  • Should be a US citizen.
  • Should be a legal resident of Ohio (it can be waived).
  • Must have a valid driver’s license.
  • A minimum of 20 years of age and should be able to be eligible for an academy class before their 35th birthday.
  • Must pass a Multi-domain suitability test.
  • Must pass the background, polygraph, medical examinations.
  • Must pass the physical and psychological evaluations.
  • Must successfully complete 22-weeks of intensive training at the academy.

How to Become a Ohio Highway Patrol OfficerApplication Process

All OSHP candidates must apply for an interview. Good news is it can be done online right now via the state patrol website. Applicants will go through a pre-screening test.

These tests include the following:

  • A thorough physical screening test where your vision and weight will be tested. If you have exceeded the weight requirements you will then have your body fat percentage tested by a certified professional fitness expert. If you fail both the weight and the body fat percentage requirements you will not be allowed to continue with the application and will be sent home.
  • Vision requirements for applicants should be no worse than 20/125 uncorrected which can be corrected to 20/20 in each eye. If you fail the vision requirements you will also be sent home and not be allowed to continue.
  • If candidates pass both vision and weight requirements, they then go through a physical fitness assessment test that has four parts – an endurance test, timed push-ups, timed sit-ups and grip strength.
  • Once the applicants pass the physical fitness assessment test, they will go through a multi-domain assessment test which has three parts designed to rate the candidate in areas – intellectual ability, vocational preference/background and interpersonal ability.
  • The first part of the multi-domain test is the written exam that will determine your cognitive and educational potential and interpersonal ability.
  • After you finish the written exam, you will then complete an on-line personal history questionnaire.
  • Candidates will then go through a pre-employment polygraph examination. Candidates who refuse the polygraph exam will be automatically be disqualified.
  • A committee will then determine if you are qualified to be given the conditional offer of employment.
  • If a candidate has been given a conditional offer of employment, a thorough background examination will be conducted by OSHP investigators. Everything about your past will be scrutinized in this stage, everyone from your family, friends, former employers, follow employees, former teachers, etc. will be contacted as a part of this investigation.
  • Results of your background investigation will then be handed to a screening committee to be reviewed and to determine if you are qualified.
  • Qualified candidates will then undergo a medical examination, an aerobic assessment, a second physical fitness assessment, a psychological assessment and a psychological assessment interview.
  • You will be sent a written notification if you are qualified to attend Ohio Police Academy Training program.
The application process usually takes around 4 to 6 months, then qualified cadets will go through the academy training program which lasts nearly 7 months were trainees will live at the academy during their training there.


Starting pay for a rookie patrol officer is around $44,481.60 + supplements and bonuses will amount to $49,842.00. Other benefits include 2 to 6 of vacation per year, 10 days of paid sick leave per year, 10 paid holidays per year, dental and vision plan (paid), life insurance plan, workers compensation protection, occupational injury leave, tuition reimbursement program, health care, and all uniforms and equipment are provided by the Ohio state patrol department.

Career Advancement Opportunities

Opportunities about for qualified applicants inside the patrol:

  • Dispatchers
  • Diver examiners
  • Motor vehicle inspectors
  • Load limit inspectors
  • Police officers
  • Motor carrier inspection officers

Out of State Police Officers and Former Military Personnel

Even though you have previous experience as a cop in another state or a former military serviceman, you will still be required to attend the academy prior to your 35th birthday without any exceptions or waiver as per the Ohio Revised Code 5503.02.

Former military personnel however is exempt from taking the civil service examination but is required to take the entrance exam which is a separate exam.


  • For those who want to get a feel what it’s like to become a Ohio patrol officer in the real world can schedule a ride-a-long program. These help perspective applicants make an informed decision whether or not they want to pursue this career.
  • Another way potential cadets can learn more about the becoming a patrol officer is by attending career fairs are also available throughout the year. Check out for more details.

For more information please visit the OSHP website or call 1-866-TROOPER.

Click here to check out the various police officer jobs in Ohio.

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