Now Hiring: Pennsylvania State Police look to fill 500 job openings

The Pennsylvania State Police are looking to fill about 500 job vacancies to boost the department's number of troopers and liquor enforcement officers.

“There are plenty of openings for those interested,” Glen A. Titler, liquor enforcement officer with the Pittsburgh District office, told Channel 11’s news partners at

. “We've had a shortage for a while.”

reports that state residents have less than three weeks to apply for the openings, which offer beginning annual salaries of $42,700 for a liquor control officer and $58,962 for a trooper.

The Bureau of Liquor Enforcement, which is part of the state police, is accepting applications for the next qualification examination to become liquor enforcement officers, while state police are seeking applicants for trooper candidates for the next cadet class. Both deadlines are Dec. 31.

Cpl. Adam Reed, spokesman for the state police, told

its trooper ranks are 477 below the full complement of about 4,700. With seven liquor enforcement trainees set to graduate Wednesday, 23 openings remaining there, Reed said.

Prospective candidates for both positions are required to complete training at the state police academy in Hershey once they pass entrance examinations, Titler told

. While both positions pay candidates during training, the time spent at the academy does differ.

Bureau of Liquor Enforcement trainees spend four months there compared to the six months for a trooper trainee.

Both jobs have physical prerequisites.

After the written exam, trooper candidates must pass an oral exam, physical readiness test, polygraph test, background investigation and medical and psychological evaluations to be appointed a cadet.

They must have completed at least 60 semester credit hours at an accredited college or university to be accepted into the academy, unless they have four years of previous law enforcement experience or four years of military service.

For a liquor enforcement officer, applicants must be at least 20 years old and have a high school diploma or GED, U.S. citizenship, a valid driver's license and Pennsylvania residency upon graduation.

For more information about applying for either position,