Cadet Opportunities

​​Candidate Information​

​​LEOPS Benefits Handbook​ ​​| ​ SLEOLA MOUInterest Form | Salary Schedule

Photos showing NRP Cadets on a dock and in a patrol vessel

Akin to an internship, this program provides an opportunity for eager men and women between the ages of 18-21 to learn first-hand the job of a Natural Resources Police officer. Cadets receive training in both the field and the classroom from officers themselves. Classes include boater and hunter safety courses, self-defense, specialized units, and much more. Cadets are chosen competitively from applications submitted through the department’s website. Graduates of the cadet program can later attend an upcoming class of the Natural Resources Police Academy, provided they meet the age requirement of 20 years, 6 months, and pass further background checks and fitness qualifications.​

​Cadets are chosen competitively from applications submitted through the department’s website. Graduates of the cadet program can later attend an upcoming class of the Natural Resources Police Academy, provided they meet the age requirement of 20 years, 6 months, and pass further background checks and fitness qualifications.

Salary & Benefits


For a comprehensive list of benefits please refer to the attached State Law Enforcement Officers Labor Alliance Memorandum of Understanding 2022-2025.

  • Salary
    • Cadets enjoy a salary between $31,915 - $44,350.
    • The cadet pay scale can be found on the State of Maryland - Standard Salary Schedule​. Please refer to grade 7, step 3 for the cadet starting salary.
    • This pay scale can be found in the candidate information section on this webpage.
  • Leave
    • Annual Leave
      • Annual leave may be accumulated to a maximum of 75 days or 600 hours and carried into a new calendar year.
      • Employees will earn annual leave at the following rates:
      • ​Years of Service
        ​Days Earned Per Year
        ​Less than 5
        ​Up to 10
        ​5 - 10
        ​Up to 15
        ​11 - 19
        ​Up to 20
        ​20 or more
        ​Up to 25

    • ​​​Personal Leave
      • Employees are awarded 6 personal days per calendar year.
    • Holidays
      • Employees receive 12 holidays each year, and an additional holiday on election years.
    • Sick Leave
      • Employees earn 15 days of sick leave every calendar year and accumulate on a bi-weekly basis.
      • Unused sick leave hours are carried over into subsequent calendar years.
    • Military Leave
      • Employees in the armed forces are entitled to 15 days of military leave per calendar year for training
    • For more detailed information on the previously mentioned types of as well as other types of leave offered you can also refer to the Maryland Department of Budget and Management's leave information page here.
  • ​Vehicles
    • Officers are issued state vehicles that can be used for off-duty use under certain restrictions.
  • Fitness Bonus
    • Officers who successfully pass the fitness test each year will receive a $1,000.00 bonus.
  • Clothing Allowance
    • Officers receive a $1500.00 per fiscal year clothing allowance.
  • Education Bonus
    • Associate’s Degree: $125
    • Bachelor’s Degree: $250
    • Master’s Degree: $375
    • Doctorate: $500
  • Health Insurance
    • Employees can participate in the State of Maryland Benefits package.
    • Open enrollment occurs yearly
    • Health options include: Vision, prescription drug, dental, life, accidental/death, behavioral health, child care
    • Spending, and health care spending. See individual plans for specific packages.
    • The state subsidizes medical, prescription drug, and dental benefits.
    • For details regarding our health insurance plan, please visit this site.
  • Retirement
    • Pension
      • Our officers participate in the Law Enforcement Officers Pension System (LEOPS)
      • This system provides officers with a lifetime benefit.
      • Normal service retirement is age 50 or 25 years of eligibility service at any age.
      • Officers will receive 50% of their salary at 25 years of service.
      • Officers can receive a maximum of 65% of their salary at 32.5 years of credible service.
    • ​DROP
      • The Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP) provides another path to retirement for eligible members of the Law Enforcement Officers’ Pension System. Under this voluntary program, you can “retire” (and begin accumulating your retirement benefits in a DROP account) while you continue to work (and draw a paycheck) with your same employer. While in DROP, your monthly retirement benefits are deposited in a DROP account within the Law Enforcement Officers’ Pension System and earn compounded interest for as long as you remain in DROP.​
    • ​401K
      • Officers are offered the opportunity to open an unmatched 401K with the department.
    • 457
      • Officers are offered the opportunity to open a 457 deferred compensation plan with the department.
    • A copy of the Benefits Handbook - Law Enforcement Officers’ Pension System can be found here​.​​
    • Visit the State Retirement Agency online at or call 410-625-5555 for specific information.

Minimum Requirements


To begin the application process, you MUST:

  • be a United States citizen (COMAR
  • have a high school diploma or GED (COMAR
  • have a valid driver’s license from any state and a good record (COMAR
  • have 20/25 eyesight and possess binocular far and near visual acuity, with or without correction
  • be in excellent physical condition
  • have a good reputation and be of sound moral character (COMAR
  • not illegally used any controlled dangerous substance, narcotic drug, or marijuana for any purpose within three years of application, per the Maryland Police Training Commission requirements (COMAR
  • not be under a court order related to domestic violence.
​ ​

Application Submission

  • I​nterested applicants can submit their applications on the Maryland State Jobs website when we start accepting applications. That website can be found here​.

Fitness & Written Testing

  • Applicants must pass a Functional Fitness Assessment Test (FFAT)
    • The Functional Fitness Assessment Test (FFAT) measures the applicant’s level of fitness and physical preparedness for the Academy. This test is a high-intensity fitness evaluation. It is designed to test your aerobic and anaerobic fitness. For this reason, there are no rest breaks between the exercises.
    • You will be evaluated based on a standardized set of criteria. The standards are as follows:
      • Push-Ups: eighteen (18) in one minute
      • Sit-Ups: twenty-seven (27) in one minute
      • 1.5 Mile Run: maximum time of 15 minutes and 20 seconds (15:20)
  • ​Applicants must take and pass a standardized timed written exam which consists of 4 sections: reading, math, comprehensive, and written. A passing score is a combined score of 70% or higher.

Background Investigation


Psychological and Medical Examination





  • The hiring board will make their selections


Thank you for your interest in becoming a Maryland Natural Resources Police Officer.
Please feel free to contact us at​