The Bigger The Challenge,
The Greater The Reward.

If you have what it takes to graduate from the KSP Academy, you’re beginning a career with unimaginable opportunities.

Joining the Thin Gray Line

The Kentucky State Police Academy is an intense, 24-week paramilitary environment designed to teach our Cadets the job skills necessary to perform the duties of a Trooper. Those selected to attend our Academy will receive more than 1,000 hours of training covering all aspects of law enforcement, including Firearms, Defensive Tactics, Criminal Investigations, Emergency Driving, Strategies and Tactics of Patrol Stops (STOPS), Counter-Ambush, and more.

Cadets are paid and receive benefits during the Academy. All equipment and agency clothing are issued. Meals and living arrangements while assigned to the Academy are provided by KSP. Minimal expense to the Cadet is required prior to beginning your career.

Many job opportunities await you after graduation. The career of a Kentucky State Trooper can be as exciting and as fulfilling as you wish to make it. Being able to wear the uniform and the campaign hat represent something special. Being a Kentucky State Trooper means being held to a higher standard. It represents something greater than yourself. It’s a family. It’s a way of life. We welcome you into our agency and wish you well throughout your career. However, regardless of the path your career takes, it all starts at the Kentucky State Police Academy.

Minimum Requirements

KRS 16.040 (2) requires that all persons appointed as officers shall, at the time of their appointment, be:

  • A citizen of the United States.
  • Of good moral character and in good health.
  • Not less than twenty-one (21) years of age.
  • Possess a valid driver’s license against which no more than six (6) driver demerit points have been assessed.  You must submit a copy of a valid driver’s license at time of application.
  • At the time of application, possess a minimum of a high school diploma or GED and three years of full-time work experience, or sixty (60) semester hours of credit from an accredited college or university, or be a high school graduate with at least two (2) years of active military duty or two (2) years of experience as a full-time, sworn law enforcement officer.

Applicants shall be disqualified from further participation in the selection process or removed from the register if it is determined that:

  • An applicant does not meet any one (1) of the qualifications for appointment as an officer.
  • An applicant has made a false statement of material fact on the application or in response to any questions or requests for information during the selection process.
  • An applicant has used or attempted to use political influence, coercion or bribery to secure an advantage in any phase of the selection process.
  • An applicant has cheated during the course of any examination required during the selection process, or has attempted to gain an advantage over other applicants by any dishonest or intentionally misleading act or omission.
  • An applicant has failed to comply with any instructions from the agency relating to the selection process.
  • An applicant has been dismissed for cause from any public agency, or has resigned while charges of misconduct were pending.
  • An applicant has been convicted of a felony or a crime of moral turpitude.
  • An applicant is a current user of a controlled substance, unless prescribed by a physician.
  • An applicant is addicted to any controlled substance or intoxicant.
  • An applicant has more than six (6) driver demerit points against his operator’s license.
  • An applicant tests positive for an unlawful controlled substance as determined by a blood or urine analysis.
  • An applicant has tattoos that can be seen when the applicant wears a Kentucky State Police summer uniform shirt, which the Kentucky State Police will make available for the applicant to try on when the applicant takes the written examination.


Agency policy requires that tattoos or body piercings shall not be visible while in any agency issued uniform.

Trooper Benefits

Cadet troopers will receive $47,925.12 (or $3,993.76 monthly) during academy training.

Upon graduation, this salary will increase to equal $65,000.00 annually (or $5,416.66 monthly). $65,000 is an average with the base pay ($59,000.00) + training stipend ($4,300.00) and per diem ($1,700).

A table that shows the pay increases throughout a Trooper’s career can be found at:

Troopers receive a salary increase with each promotion.

Troopers also receive seven dollars per day for uniform maintenance.

Troopers also receive a $4,300.00 annual training stipend (effective August 1, 2016).

Additionally throughout a Trooper’s career: promotional opportunities are available. All promotions shall receive the following salary increases:

  1. Ten percent (10%) above the base salary for the trooper’s or commercial vehicle enforcement officer’s applicable number of years of service for the rank of sergeant;
  2. Twenty percent (20%) above the base salary for the trooper’s or commercial vehicle enforcement officer’s applicable number of years of service for the rank of lieutenant;
  3. Thirty percent (30%) above the base salary for the trooper’s or commercial vehicle enforcement officer’s applicable number of years of service for the rank of captain

Health Insurance: Troopers may choose one of a variety of health insurance plans offered with dependent coverage at additional charge.

Life Insurance: The Commonwealth of Kentucky provides a $20,000 term life insurance policy.

Vacation: Paid vacation time is accrued according to years of service.

  • 0-4 years of employment: 12 days per year.
  • 5-9 years of employment: 15 days per year.
  • 10-14 years of employment: 18 days per year.
  • 15 years or more of employment: 21 days per year.

Sick Leave: You accrue one sick day for every month worked. You can accumulate up to one (1) year of sick time.

Military Leave: Any trooper who is a member of the military reserve or National Guard is entitled to a maximum of 21 working days per year of paid military leave.

Holidays: Troopers receive 11-1/2 paid holidays per year. (12-1/2 in years if there is a presidential election.)

All troopers are provided uniforms, necessary weapons, vehicles and other essential equipment and supplies to perform their duties.

After 25 years of service, employees are eligible for disbursement from their Kentucky Retirement System contribution plan, either in a lump sum or a monthly payment. Additionally, retirees receive a monthly allowance to apply to their health coverage based on their years of service.

Merit Pay Program, Job Security, State Run Deferred Compensation program, Opportunities for Growth and Advancement, and Take home car are also provided.

Application Process

Physical Agility Test

The KSP Cadet Applicant Physical Test phase consists of five individual events.

  • Minimum Score for Males is 20
  • Minimum Score for Females is 15.
  • Please note: applicants scoring near the minimums do not perform well in the Academy.
  • KSP CrossFit website is The Thin Gray Line CrossFit, the official CrossFit affiliate of the Kentucky State Police. Applicants are encouraged to visit the website and begin the fitness training regimen.
  • Testing will be conducted in Frankfort with limited regional testing available in Eastern and Western Kentucky.
  • Physical Fitness Scores are combined with the Interview score to determine overall standing in the applicant pool
  • A minimum cut-off score is established by the Recruitment Commander and Command Staff for each cadet class. Applicants scoring below the cut-off are notified and removed from the process.

Each interview shall be conducted using the same guidelines for all eligible applicants. A three-person board conducts the interview and scores the applicant based on her/his responses. Selected scores, based on departmental needs, will continue to a polygraph examination.

Aptitude Testing

KSP is now using an on-line, proctored aptitude test which replaces the former written exam used for previous cadet classes.  The aptitude test being given is part of the Kentucky Career Readiness Certificate program.  The test measures core employability skills in reading, mathematics and data. To be eligible to move on in the KSP selection process and advance, you must pass the proctored KCRC assessment and achieve a Level 2 on all three parts. 

Polygraph Examination

This examination is the beginning of the background investigation. All applicants who successfully complete the aptitude and achieve appropriate scores on the physical testing and interview shall be required to complete an extensive background investigation.

Background Check

Extensive background examinations are conducted on applicants after polygraph testing has been completed.

Offers of Employment Given

Applicants being recommended for employment will receive a Conditional Offer of Employment, pending medical and psychological examinations.