In addition to qualifications required for entry employment with the Texas Department of Public Safety, the following special requirements apply:
Each applicant must be a citizen of the United States of America, in excellent physical condition, and have an outstanding record of at least eight (8) years experience with a bona fide law enforcement agency engaged principally in the investigation of major crimes. The applicant must be currently employed with the Texas Department of Public Safety in the position of a commissioned officer with the rank of at least Trooper II.
Applicant must have a background subject to a thorough investigation, which would reflect good moral character and habits. Applicant must possess a valid Texas driver's license free of any restrictions that would compromise the applicant's ability to perform his duties.
An entrance examination will be given, and selected applicants with the highest scoring grades will appear before an Oral Interview Board before final selection.
At this time the basic requirements for employment as a DPS Trooper, which is the entry level for commissioned officers with DPS, are the applicant must be at least twenty (20) years of age and must have a minimum of ninety (90) semester hours from an accredited college. Thirty-six (36) months or more military or law enforcement experience may be substituted for required semester hours. Military police experience, however, does not count toward the eight (8) years experience required in order to be eligible to compete for the position of Texas Ranger.
Little recruiting has ever been necessary. It is not unusual for more than 200 officers to apply for only a handful of openings.
Rangers are required to attend at least 40 hours of in-service training every two years, but for most Rangers, the training far exceeds the requirement. Some Rangers receive additional training in areas such as investigative hypnosis, which has played an important role in some criminal cases.
In 1987, the average Ranger was about 45 years of age. On average, Rangers had 42 hours of college and twenty-eight Rangers had college degrees (including two with Master's degrees). In 2007 the average age is 47. College had increased to an average of 117 hours, 41 Rangers have Bachelor's degrees, 14 Rangers have Associates degrees, and 3 have Master's degrees.