New Jersey State Police Recruiting

Selection Process


Selection Process Overview

The selection process is very competitive, consisting of an initial application, physical qualification test, written examination, a comprehensive background investigation, and in-person interview. Upon receipt of a conditional offer of employment, a comprehensive medical examination and psychological evaluation will be conducted. Appointment to the New Jersey State Police Academy is contingent upon participation in mandatory training sessions, successful completion of the Academy Awareness Weekend, the availability of funded positions, and approval by the Superintendent of State Police.

Application Screening

All applications will be screened to determine minimum qualifications and automatic disqualifiers. Candidates will be advised of the status of their application. Successful applicants will be invited to the Physical Qualification Test (PQT).

Physical Qualification Test (PQT)

The Physical Qualification Test (PQT) Battery will consist of the following timed tests: Push Ups, Sit Ups, and 1.5 Mile Run. Applicants unable to pass the PQT will be disqualified from the current selection process.

Applicants that pass the PQT will be invited to the Written Examination.

Written Examination

The written test battery consists of multiple assessments designed to evaluate the competencies needed to effectively perform the duties of a New JerseyState Trooper. The written examination will consist of one full day of testing including check-in and breaks. A Written Examination Informational Guide that provides a description and example questions of each assessment will be provided to applicants advancing to the written examination phase.

Background Investigation

Employment as a New Jersey State Trooper is unique in that it involves the exercise of police powers and the public trust. All candidates will undergo a thorough background investigation which will require completion of a comprehensive Background Investigation Questionnaire. 

Besides verifying your responses to the automatic disqualifying questions found in the application, the background investigation will include, but is not limited to, a comprehensive evaluation of the following areas:

  • review of personal data and citizenship information, including an applicant’s birth certificate, voter registration, citizenship or naturalization papers, and the presence of tattoos, brands, or other body art, dermal piercing and scarification;
  • interviews of an applicant’s spouse, partner, dependents, relatives, associates, and friends;
  • review of an applicant’s current and past residences, temporary or permanent, and interviews with landlords, roommates, and neighbors;
  • review of an applicant’s high school and college grades, achievements, extracurricular activities and programs, history of absenteeism and/or tardiness, and disciplinary history;
  • review of an applicant’s military service, if any, including branch of service, service records, and discharge;
  • review of an applicant’s employment/work history, including interviews of current and former employers, discipline, terminations, and unemployment records;
  • review of an applicant’s financial status, including assets, debts, reported income, liens, civil judgment, and liabilities;
  • review of an applicant’s fraternal, societal, and workplace affiliations such as clubs, social networking sites, fraternities, sororities, and charitable and volunteer organizations;
  • review of an applicant’s adult and juvenile criminal history including arrests, convictions, or pretrial intervention for state, county, or local crimes or other offenses, whether or not expunged; and
  • review of an applicant’s motor vehicle history, including accidents, driving records, summonses, surcharges, license revocations, failures to appear in court, warrants, vehicle ownership information, and insurance information.

Applicants who demonstrate derogatory conduct that conflicts with the expectations of the State Trooper position will be disqualified.

You are expected to provide complete and truthful answers to the questions on the application and other documents throughout the selection process. All responses and documents submitted will be subject to verification. 

An applicant who intentionally provides false information, any deception or fraud in the application, or in any examination, interview, application, or any other part of the selection process for appointment with the New Jersey State Police will be disqualified from the selection process at any time.

Candidate Review Board (CRB)

After completion of the Background Investigation, all successful candidates will appear before the CRB for a comprehensive interview.

Medical/Psychological Examination

If an offer of appointment as a recruit to the New Jersey State Police Academy is tendered to an applicant, it will be conditional upon successful completion of a medical examination and a psychological evaluation. A medical examination will be given during which the ability to perform the essential functions of the position will be evaluated by the Division Physician. As per the New Jersey State Police Tattoo/Body Art/Brands Policy; If the tattoos/body art/brands are deemed visible when in uniform or in civilian clothing while on duty, the tattoo/body art/brands must be removed and healed prior to the Medical Phase of the selection process. Compliance with these requirements is not required until the time of the medical phase of the selection process. Applicants who remain noncompliant with these standards will not be appointed to the Academy. Visual acuity must be correctable to 20/30 in both eyes, preferably with soft contact lenses. Each potential recruit will be required to authorize access to ALL MEDICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH RECORDS. The potential recruit will also be required to provide urine samples for drug testing analysis. If the Division Physician determines that an applicant is unable to perform the essential functions of the position, the conditional offer of appointment will be withdrawn. Applicants who successfully complete this phase will be issued an invitation to attend Academy Awareness Weekend.

Pre-Employment Preparation Program (PEPP)

PEPP is a structured program offered to those applicants who have received a Conditional Offer of Employment and are in the final stages of the Applicant Selection Process. Each PEPP session will feature physical training sessions that will demonstrate how to increase cardiovascular endurance and upper body strength. There will also be sessions dedicated to swimming and water safety. Basic military movements and commands will also be demonstrated to assist with proper military bearing. All applicants must attend a minimum of two PEPP sessions (one of which must be a swim session). All applicants are encouraged to attend as many PEPP sessions as possible.

Applicants who fail to attend the required number of mandatory PEPP sessions or Academy Awareness Weekend may have their Conditional Offers of Employment revoked and be removed from the selection process.

Academy Awareness Weekend

Successful completion of the two-day (consecutive/overnight) instructional weekend program is mandatory to maintain eligibility in the selection process. The Academy Awareness Weekend consists of classroom, physical fitness, and academy protocol instruction. Applicants are exposed to a highly regimented experience that provides exceptional exposure to the New Jersey State Police Academy.

Applicants who fail to attend the required number of mandatory PEPP sessions or Academy Awareness Weekend may have their Conditional Offers of Employment revoked and be removed from the selection process.

New Jersey State Police Academy

Appointment to the rigorous residential Academy is contingent upon a number of factors, including the availability of funded positions and approval by the Superintendent of State Police. Prior to graduating from the New Jersey State Police Academy, everyone, without exception, must be a resident of New Jersey. After graduating from the New Jersey State Police Academy, Troop assignment is based on operational needs.


For specific information concerning the re-application process please contact the Selection Process Unit at 609-882-2000 extensions 2816, 2817 or 2825.