By Dana Simas
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) expects to hire approximately 7,000 correctional officers over the next three years due to the increase in retirements.
Currently more than 1,800 CDCR peace officers retire annually. This outflow has led to an increased – and in some cases urgent- need to fill peace officer positions statewide.
New cadets are paid a monthly salary while attending the CDCR Basic Correctional Officer Academy (BCOA). CDCR peace officers are offered very competitive health, dental, vision and retirement benefits.”
Job requirements include:
- High school diploma
- Proof of U.S. citizenship
- At least 20 years of age; must be 21 at time of appointment
- Pass a drug test screening
- Provide history of law-abiding behavior
- Legally be able to own, posses and have custody or control of a firearm or other weapons authorized by CDCR
Potential candidates must also pass a written test, qualifications assessment, physical fitness test, vision screening, psychological evaluation, pre-employment medical examination and a background investigation.
The application and selection process can take between nine and 12 months. Once the selection process is completed, candidates are offered positions throughout the state and can select their location based on institutional need and availability.
Once the candidate accepts the job, they go to a 16-week academy training at the Richard A. McGee Correctional Training Center in Galt.
During the academy, cadets can earn $3,050 a month. Following graduation, correctional officers can earn $3,774 a month to start, not including wages for overtime worked.
After a couple of years as a correctional officer, there are numerous opportunities for promotion and advancements to correctional sergeant, lieutenant, captain and higher.
There are many different types of positions for correctional officers while working at an institution including, transportation, tower watch, visiting, inmate programs and housing units.
For more information on how to become a correctional officer, visit CDCR’s Careers website here: https://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Career_Opportunities/POR/Index.html. To access the online application visit: https://pass.cdcr.ca.gov/application.
Here is a video on service as a CDCR Correctional Officer: