The minimum qualifications for the Correctional Officer (CO) classification are as follows:
- Education: Equivalent to completion of the twelfth grade. Demonstrated by:
- Possession of a high school diploma issued by a U.S. institution, or
- Passing the California High School Proficiency test, or
- Passing the General Education Development (GED) test meeting California high school graduation standards, or
- Possession of a college degree (Associate of Arts or higher) from an accredited college or university.
- Must be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident alien who is eligible for and has applied for citizenship at the time of application.
- Applicants for positions in this class are required to pass a drug screening test.
- Must be at least 20 years of age at time of application and 21 years of age at the time of appointment.
- History of law-abiding behavior.
- Must be legally eligible to own, possess and have custody/control of any firearm or other weapon authorized by the CDCR.
- Must meet Physical and Mental suitability standards.
Selection Components Expectations
- Follow all directions given to you by Office of Peace Officer Selection staff.
- Read all e-mail and/or written notifications from the Office of Peace Officer Selection in their entirety.
- Arrive to all selection components, appointments and interviews on time. If you are late, you may be disqualified.
- Complete all required forms and documents legibly, thoroughly, truthfully and accurately. All answers are verified during the background investigation including, but not limited to work experience, supervisory experience, college credits, college degrees, military experience, criminal record and driving history.
- When being interviewed by a background investigator or psychological staff, wear business attire.
It is critical that you be prepared to follow all instructions and directions given to you throughout the selection process. The selection process components consist of:
- Written Test (Weighted 100%)
- Physical Fitness Test (PASS/ FAIL)
- Background Investigation (PASS/ FAIL)
- Personal History Statement (PHS)
- Computer Voice Stress Analysis (CVSA)
- Psychological (PASS/ FAIL)
- Written Examination
- Oral Evaluation
- Vision Examination (PASS/ FAIL)
- Pre-Employment Medical (PASS/ FAIL)
Please review the examination bulletin and/or the CDCR website for a description of each selection component.
All selection components must be completed and approved prior to attending the Basic Correctional Officer Academy.
Failure to appear for any scheduled component and/or provide required documents without contacting OPOS will result in your elimination from the selection process.
Method of Communication
The Office of Peace Officer Selection’s primary method of communication is via e-mail. Once you apply for a peace officer position you should check the e-mail address you provide during the application process on a frequent basis. It is also advised, that you review your email inbox, spam, and junk e-mail to avoid missing scheduling notices for your selection components. If at any time during the selection process your name, address, phone number, or e-mail address changes you must complete a change of information form as soon as possible and submit it to the selection center you are assigned to.
Please ensure the following:
- Your email in-box is not full and you check it daily for correspondence from OPOS.
- Your email address is current and is working at all times.
- Do not screen out emails from CDCR by using any computer program intended to “organize” email boxes, and/or eliminate “email overload.”
- Add the cdcr.ca.gov domain to your safe sender list. Check your spam email folder to ensure CDCR emails don’t go into Spam. This can be done by going into spam defaults and making sure all messages are not automatically blocked.
Social Security Number (SSN) instructions:
Your SSN is voluntary on the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) page; however, failure to provide your SSN on the Exam Application page will result in your application not being processed.
NOTE: Your U.S. Social Security number is required to match your record with all required official documents such as (transcripts, test scores, and future background checks).
Basic Correctional Officer Academy (BCOA)
- Candidates receiving and accepting assignments as COs must complete a 13-week, comprehensive training program at the BCOA located in Galt, a suburb of Sacramento, California.
- Candidates are encouraged to refresh/develop their analytical, writing and memory retention skills; maintain their physical fitness; and take a weapons course prior to reporting to the BCOA.
- Upon successful completion of the BCOA, COs report directly to their assigned institution/facility.
- Failure to pass the BCOA will result in rejection during probation from the CO classification.