CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) – We don't get to read this headline as often as we'd like: Jobs are available! Wednesday was one opportunity. Virginia State Police is looking to hire about 100 new troopers and you can apply right now.
They march methodically, follow orders and push through drills in almost ninety degree temperatures.
This is what it takes to make it through the Virginia State Police Academy. NBC12 met Sgt. Paul Branch to find out what the recruitment class endures in its training. The 23-year veteran said recruits go through 1700 hours of instruction, rigorous physical exercise and are taught how to handle extreme situations.
"We're looking for strong candidates who are able to take and handle the rigors of the academy but also the mental capacity to be able to work through the academics of our training," he explained.
Filling the almost 100 spots in the new class is competitive. In fact, Branch said they have to weed through about 1600 applicants to find 80 qualified potential troopers. They're focusing on women in particular right now, as they're in the minority in State Police.
"We want to reflect the society of Virginia and show that women can do this job as well as men," Branch told us. "The standards are the same for men and women."
According to Branch the hard work pays off. Trainees earn more than $36,000 to start and if they make through a year and graduate, that jumps up to more than $40,000.
"Get themselves physically fit," he advised. "Have their minds ready to go out and do a service."
VSP said you have to be at least 21-years-old with a high school degree or GED to qualify. Also, expect a thorough background check.
Click here to fill out an online application.