SEATTLE -- Instead of a pep talk, Saturday morning started with a reality check for nearly 100 Washington State Patrol applicants.
On a high school track in Marysville, Troopers told a crowd of hopefuls what to expect.
"If you think you are going to get rich being a cop you might as well leave now. It is not going to happen," shouted one Trooper.
A new trooper typically starts out at $3,800 a month. The salary increases after five years.
At age 16, Trent Greene has already decided he wants a job protecting his community. He is too young to turn in an application to WSP, but he was allowed to take part in the physical test for practice. His mom, Erin Feller, was there to cheer for him.
"My son is very goal driven and he knows what he wants to do with his life," said Feller.
He ran faster than many applicants, completing the mile and a half course in under nine minutes.
"That went much better than I thought," said Greene.
The physical test included running, sit-ups, and push-ups. It was followed by a written test, one Colin Mansfield has seen before.
"This will be around my ninth time taking the test," said Mansfield. "I keep failing the written part of it, and I keep coming back because I am not a quitter."
"Between now and 2015 we have to hire 300 troopers," said Trooper Mark Francis.
The opportunity is there for people who want a career, but standards are high. Only four percent of all applicants will actually be hired by WSP, according to Trooper Francis.
The test today was just phase one for applicants. If they pass, they will still face a polygraph test, an extensive background check, and a physical exam.
More information: http://www.wsp.wa.gov/employment/trooper.htm