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With 3,000 enlisted personnel in the New Jersey State Police Department as of February 2011, according to the Asbury Park Press, the state police force is much larger than many other states’ highway patrols. Although New Jersey state troopers earn salaries, their compensation package also includes health benefits, paid leave and a retirement package.
The median annual salary for all officers in the New Jersey police force was $100,688 as of 2008, according to public records collected and compiled by the Asbury Park Press. The 50 percent of officers on the force’s payroll that receive the most average salaries earn salaries that range from $74,799 to $103,638. These figures are base pay amounts and do not include officers’ annual uniform allowance and unused sick leave.
While attending the force’s academy, a state trooper earns $1,557.56 each month as of 2011. Once he receives a commission, he earns $58,748.29 annually, including uniform allowance for his first year. His second year on the force, he receives total compensation of $65,662.39. The entry-level rank of Trooper I increases until it reaches $97,188.48. Salaries for higher ranks in the force may reach much higher terminal amounts.
In addition to base pay, New Jersey state troopers receive two choices of health benefits package -- an HMO plan and a more traditional insurance option -- and all troopers receive a prescription plan that reduces all drug purchase co-pays to $10. Officers are granted 13 paid holidays, and receive one paid vacation day per month for the first five years on the force, at which time they accrue higher amounts of vacation. All troopers are required to pay 7.5 percent of their salary into a pension fund, though upon retirement, may receive between 50 and 75 percent of their final salary as a pension.
Comparison to State and National Law Enforcement Salaries
New Jersey state troopers earn salaries that overshadow the earnings of many of their contemporaries in the profession. Statewide, police and sheriff’s patrol officers earned a median salary of $80,120 as of May 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This figure is 80 percent of the median salary paid to the state’s troopers. New Jersey State troopers' salaries are even higher above the national median salary for patrol officers, $53,210. New Jersey state troopers earn salaries that are 89 percent higher than the average salary for the profession.
Wilhelm Schnotz has worked as a freelance writer since 1998, covering arts and entertainment, culture and financial stories for a variety of consumer publications. His work has appeared in dozens of print titles, including "TV Guide" and "The Dallas Observer." Schnotz holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Colorado State University.