The State Worker

How to become a California correctional officer

Cadets take the oath of office during their swearing in as correctional officers at the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation academy in Galt.
Cadets take the oath of office during their swearing in as correctional officers at the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation academy in Galt. The Sacramento Bee

After years of budget cuts and downsizing, California’s statewide prison system is hiring again. Big time.

Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation officials say they need to sign up 7,000 officers in the coming years to counter the wave of long-time officers retiring and to relieve others who work too much overtime due to short staffing.

Today, California state correctional officers earn from $3,172 per month at entry level to $6,644 per month for the most senior employees. The figures do not include officers’ overtime, which has climbed as the state has run short of staff.

Here are the minimum qualifications to become a California state correctional officer:

  • U.S. citizenship or application to become a citizen
  • At least 21 years old
  • U.S. high school diploma or GED
  • No felony convictions
  • Eligible to own and possess a firearm

Applicants must pass a written examination, a physical fitness test and a vision test, clear an extensive background check, submit to written and oral psychological evaluations and a medical examination.

For more information, check out the Department of Corrections’ career page at cdcr.ca.gov/Career_Opportunities and the state’s job portal, jobs.ca.gov.

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