...explained from the perspective of former military personnel
Reasons why you should join the CHP after military service
Many military personnel face uncertainty in the civilian job market after leaving military service. Joining the CHP ensures that you will continue to have job security, excellent benefits, and enjoy a substantial pay raise. The CHP has had an outstanding record for more than 70 years. There have never been layoffs or downsizing (as the military has experienced in recent years). The benefits include a great health-care benefits package, up to 90% retirement, and deferred compensation programs as well. Upon retirement, you have the security of knowing these benefits will still be there for you and your family.
I don't have any law enforcement experience; am I still qualified to apply?
It is not necessary to have any law enforcement experience to apply for the CHP. The CHP only requires that you meet our minimum requirements.
What types of assignments does the CHP offer?
The CHP offers a variety of job opportunities which cover the mountains, deserts, metropolitan areas, and rural regions throughout the State of California. The positions available are only limited by your interests and personal abilities. Some of the positions available include air operations, auto theft investigation, dignitary protection, K-9 handler, SWAT, recruitment, weapons and officer safety training, commercial enforcement, and road patrol.
I have a few more years left on my contract in the military. Can I test now for the CHP or do I have to wait?
Now is the time to begin testing for the CHP. If you are active duty military and are offered a position as a CHP Cadet, the California Government Code provides that you may enter the next available Academy class or defer entry for up to eight years (or up to three years after leaving the military), provided you pass the written examination prior to your 36th birthday.
I served in the military for many years. Can I get veteran's points added to my testing score?
Yes, you can file the appropriate paperwork (Form SPB-1093) and, if you qualify, get up to 10 points added to your Qualifications Appraisal Panel (QAP) oral interview final score. The QAP is the third step of the CHP's seven step hiring process. For further information regarding Military Preferential Credits, please contact the State Personnel Board at (916) 653-1502.
What would you say to military personnel who may or may not have thought about a career with the CHP?
The CHP has many similarities to the military. The CHP way of life should be easy to adjust to after serving in the military. The biggest difference is that the CHP is more flexible with personal and job related freedom and responsibilities. You will not be required to notify the CHP when you plan to leave the area or state on your days off. Also, all time worked over 8-1/2 hours a day (you are paid for the 1/2 hour lunch period at regular pay) will be either paid overtime or compensatory time off at the equivalent of time and a half. The duties of a CHP Officer are challenging and rewarding, and provide many different situations to encounter every day.
Must I have a college degree to be hired by the CHP?
A college degree is not required to be hired as a CHP Cadet. The minimum requirement is a high school education or GED. A college degree may possibly help an applicant be more competitive in the selection process. In addition, a college degree will qualify new officers for educational incentive pay, currently set at 2-1/2 % of base pay for an Associate's Degree and 5 % of base pay for a Bachelor's Degree. A college degree is desirable for those employees who intend to promote.
What happens if I want to promote?
The CHP offers many promotional opportunities. The ranks of Sergeant and Lieutenant can be reached after serving at least 2 years in the next lower grade and successful completion of a written examination and oral interview. The promotional panel members look for leadership abilities and an outstanding work history. The rank of Captain and above is determined by achieving a qualifying score on an oral interview only. Successful candidates usually have a combination of field and staff experience along with a college degree.
The military transferred me to different bases many times. Will the CHP transfer me every few years?
Upon graduation from the CHP Academy, new officers are assigned to their first Area based on departmental needs. After completing one year in the initial assignment, officers may, if they desire, transfer up to twice a year to any available position throughout the state, based on seniority. Transfers after the first assignment are voluntary. If desired, an officer can work his/her entire career in the same Area, but promotions usually will require relocation.
Does my military time count toward retirement from the CHP?
If you choose, there is a program through the California Public Employee's Retirement System (CALPERS) which allows you to purchase up to 4 years of retirement service credit for prior military service. For further details, please visit the CALPERS website at www.calpers.ca.gov and access CALPERS Service Credit Purchase Options.
I received special weapons training in the military. Will I be able to use those skills with the CHP?
In addition to our SWAT Team, each field command and Division throughout the State has weapons training officers. In addition, we have rifle instructors, Academy weapons instructors, range officers, and Officer Safety Instructors, where those skills learned in the military can be put to use.
What job opportunities are available for experienced pilots?
The CHP has a large fleet of aircraft, both fixed wing and rotor wing (helicopter). Currently, we have a fixed wing fleet consisting of 15 Cessna 206s and 1 Cessna 182. On the rotor wing side of operations, we have 12 Eurocopter A-stars, and 3 Bell Jet Ranger variants. Minimum requirements to apply for the Air Operations Pilot position include: 2 years experience as a CHP Officer, 300 hours of Pilot-in-Command flight time in type, current FAA certificate, Commercial Rating, and Instrument Certificate in type. The Flight Officer position requires 2 years as a CHP Officer and depending on the operation, either required EMT-1 or EMT-P certification. All positions are filled through a competitive interview process, written test, and flight test where applicable. The CHP Air Operations Unit participates in a variety of activities such as life-saving operations (rescues, emergency medical supply transportation, and Med-evac), allied agency support, speed enforcement, Protective Services Details, pursuit assistance, and public service demonstrations.
For additional information and applications, contact the CHP at:
1-888-4A CHP JOB
or by e-mail