State Trooper Salary: What You'll Earn

A Career as a State Trooper in the Criminal Justice System Can Offer Promising Earning Opportunities

State troopers perform similar duties as police officers but work at the state level. State troopers spend much of their time on the highway but also fill out paperwork, question law offenders, and provide testimony against suspects in court. These professionals earn a lucrative salary for their work. Their annual income can reach up to $74,000, according to PayScale data. 

If you have a passion for justice and want to help make your state a safer place, continue reading to find out more about how to begin this exciting career.

How Much Do State Trooper Earn?

How much state troopers earn depends on several factors. While completing state trooper training serves as the only official requirement for the position, experience and education can impact career and salary outlook.

Some state troopers join the force with only a high school diploma and experience in a lower-level position, but many first complete an undergraduate degree in criminal justice or law enforcement. This gives them a greater chance of landing a higher-paying position, but those without a degree can still work their way up the career ladder.

State troopers can expect to earn a respectable wage throughout their career, with a steady increase as they turn it into a lifelong career.

Because state trooper is a state-level job, you can choose from many locations and arenas for work. Some average salaries are higher in certain states based on the cost of living. State troopers often find themselves on the road, patrolling assigned areas near their homes.

State troopers can expect to earn a respectable wage throughout their career, with a steady increase as they turn it into a lifelong career. Continue reading for more information on state troopers' earning potential.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the mean annual wage for state troopers reached $65,400 in May 2018. The top 10% earned $101,620 that year, and the lowest 10% earned $35,750.

What's My Earning Potential as a State Trooper?

A state trooper's salary can grow steadily throughout their career. The table below demonstrates how much state troopers make at different career milestones. As with most careers, a state trooper with five years of experience earns less than a state trooper with 10 years of experience. When these professionals gain more experience and leadership opportunities in their field, they earn higher wages.
Average Pay by Experience Level for State Troopers
Entry Level (0-12 Months) $50,000
Early Career (1-4 Years) $52,000
Midcareer (5-9 Years) $52,000
Experienced (10-19 Years) $60,000

Source: PayScale

How Do State Trooper Careers Compare to Other Criminal Justice Careers?

When deciding what job you want to pursue, comparing similar careers allows you to weigh your options. The following table lists similar criminal justice careers and shows their median annual salary and projected growth rate. Utilize this tool to compare criminal justice salaries and projected growth rates to see how a state trooper career stacks up. 

The median annual state trooper salary is $61,380, and the position has a projected growth rate of 7%. State troopers are among the highest earners in their field and experience consistent job growth like most other criminal justice careers. Experience and job location also affect earning potential.

Position Median Annual Salary Projected Growth Rate
Correctional Officer or Bailiff $44,400 -7%
EMTs and Paramedic $34,320 15%
Firefighter $49,620 7%
Police Officer or Detective $63,380 7%
Security Guard or Gaming Surveillance Officer $28,530 6%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Take the Next Step in Your State Trooper Career Today

Follow the links below to read more about this career. You just might find that a career in law enforcement is the right path for you.

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