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The West Virginia State Police employs 663 troopers statewide as of February 2011, according to the Virginia Troopers Alliance. While active duty troopers, state police receive base pay, with longevity pay bonuses, medical benefits and are granted overtime for any hours beyond the standard 40-hour work week they perform in the line of duty.
West Virginia State Police Salaries
Upon entering the academy, troopers earn a salary of $2,106 per month. Once they receive a commission and are placed on active duty, state police officers receive a pay increase to $34,958 annually, as of February 2011, according to Virginia Troopers Alliance. Pay increases are granted after the third, fourth and sixth year on the force, with troopers earning up to $40,090. After six years on the force, troopers are promoted to the rank of trooper first class, and receive higher salaries. The average salary for all state police officers in West Virginia is $54,000 as of February 2011, according to Indeed.com.
All West Virginia State Police officers are eligible for retirement after 20 years of service, at which point they can retire and receive 75 percent of their annual salary. Troopers are also entitled to longevity pay in addition to their base pay of $400 per year for each year worked. A trooper with three years on the force is entitled to $1,200 in longevity pay for that year. The department provides uniforms and other equipment, so a uniform allowance isn’t included in compensation packages.
Comparison to Statewide Police Salaries
West Virginia State Police earn higher salaries than most uniformed patrol officers in the state. The median annual salary for all uniformed police officers and sheriff’s patrol officers is $34,870, as of May 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Only 10 percent of all patrol officers in West Virginia earn more than $49,690, so the State Police’s average salary of $54,000 puts many of its troopers among the most well compensated in the state.
Comparison to Nationwide Police Salaries
West Virginia’s state police are also compensated better than many other police forces in the nation. The median annual salary for patrol officers is $50,002, as of January 2011, according to Salary.com. The average salary for West Virginia’s state troopers, $54,000 as reported by Indeed.com, is 8 percent higher than the national average for the position.
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.