To recruit the highest quality cadets, ISP increases incentive.

SPRINGFIELD – To recruit the best and brightest into one of the premier law enforcement agencies in the country, the Illinois State Police (ISP) is now offering just over $90,000 in starting compensation for all new troopers. With the tight labor market, the increase in starting pay and benefits for first year troopers allows ISP to remain competitive and attract qualified candidates who are dedicated to pursuing justice and protecting the public.

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“Our Illinois State Police officers nobly serve our communities and help keep us safe,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Raising the starting pay for Illinois State Police troopers reflects the respect my administration has for those who serve and our commitment to continuing to grow their ranks.”

ISP continues to modernize the agency to address challenges facing law enforcement, while meeting the needs of Illinois’ many different communities. It is imperative ISP attracts strong future officers to ensure public safety needs are met while maintaining high standards.

“ISP holds its officers to the highest standards and the compensation must reflect the value we place on the sacred work they do,” said ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly. “While law enforcement across the nation always face continuously evolving challenges, ISP will not compromise in its search for those committed to integrity, service, and pride.”

Effective July 1, 2024, new troopers will earn a total amount of compensation above $90,000 upon graduation from the Illinois State Police Academy. To allow more people the opportunity to apply and earn this increased pay, ISP extended the deadline for the next round of applications to May 1, 2024.

To become an ISP trooper, all applicants must meet the following criteria to apply:

Must be 21 years of age. An applicant 20 years of age may apply if they have successfully completed an associate degree or 60 credits hours at a regionally accredited college or university.

  • Cannot have been convicted of a felony
  • Must possess a valid driver's license at the time of application
  • Willing to accept an assignment anywhere in the state of Illinois

In addition to meeting the minimum application criteria, applicants must also complete ONE of the following options:

Option One:

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Associate degree or at least 60 credit hours from an accredited college or university.

For those who apply under Option One, official, sealed transcripts showing a degree or credit hours earned are required at the time of application submission.

Option Two

Education requirements are waived if applicant meets ONE of the following:

  • Honorably discharged AND has been awarded at least one of the qualifying medals by the United States Armed Forces.
  • An active member of the Illinois National Guard or a reserve component of the United States Armed Forces AND has been awarded at least one of the qualifying medals as a result of honorable service during deployment on active duty.
  • Honorably discharged AND served in a combat mission by proof of hostile fire pay or imminent danger pay during deployment on active duty.
  • Three years of full active and continuous United States Armed Forces duty, which also includes a period of active duty with the State of Illinois under Title 10 or Title 32 of the United States Code pursuant to an order of the President or the Governor of the State of Illinois, and received an honorable discharge.

For those who apply under Option Two, a DD-214 Long Form must be provided at the time of application submission.

Effective January 1, 2024, the new “Option Three” allows for current law enforcement officers with three years of continuous service at the same law enforcement agency to join the ranks of ISP quickly.

Option Three

Education requirements are waived if an applicant meets ALL of the following at the time of application:

  • Successfully completed basic law enforcement training
  • At least three years of continuous, full-time service as a peace officer with the same police department
  • Currently serving as a peace officer

For those who apply under Option Three, a copy of their law enforcement officer certificate must be provided at the time of application submission.

For more information about being an Illinois State Trooper and to complete an application, visit the ISP Merit Board website at, or email

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