Women in the CHP

​If you are interested in diversity, challenges, and opportunities, the CHP invites you to apply to become  a part of their professional organization.

Female Officer on Patrol

​As CHP officers, we patrol the state freeways and unincorporated county roadways, as well as all state-owned facilities and property. We are a very diverse agency in that we perform many different duties ranging from patrolling the streets to protecting the Governor. Some of our special assignments include, but are not limited to, drug interdiction, auto theft, accident investigation, DUI enforcement, K-9 units, Air Operations, and motorcycle patrol, to mention a few.

Female CHP Officer

From a Woman's Perspective

Is being a CHP officer dangerous?

As with any other law enforcement career, being a CHP officer can be dangerous. Officers provide public safety every day to those who are in need of our assistance whether in a hazardous situation or a controlled environment. In any event, the CHP is committed to their officers by providing the best training available to ensure that the duties of an officer are carried out in the safest way possible, both for the public as well as the officer.


I've heard the physical training portion of the Academy is extremely difficult?

Women generally tend to have more problems with upper body strength activities than in any other area of physical training. Following a strict exercise program involving push-ups, pull-ups, and free weights for the chest and shoulder area will help tremendously in ensuring that you are properly prepared for the Academy. During the Academy, running is the primary form of aerobic workout. Set a goal for yourself in preparation for this portion of the Academy. Start out slowly until you build to a minimum of two to three miles in 20-27 minutes. That averages out to roughly a nine to ten minute mile. These preparations will enhance your performance at the Academy and help build your confidence in your ability to be a CHP officer.


Someday I would like to start a family. How does that fit in with my career as a CHP officer?

Many of the women on the CHP have started families of their own, and have found that the Department is very supportive of this personal and very important decision in a woman's life. The CHP allows a six-week maternity leave plan with pay. Benefit options include Non-Industrial Disability Insurance (NDI). Employees in the annual leave program can receive NDI payments at 50 percent of their gross salary or supplement with credits up to 100 percent income replacement.
By state law, you are also allowed up to a one-year leave of absence without losing your present position. The CHP also offers great insurance benefits that will assist with the high cost of medical bills that can be incurred by having a child.

I have small children and attending the Academy for six months would be an incredible hardship.

Women who make the very brave decision to attend the Academy while they have children at home do so for the long term security and benefits the CHP provides for all families. There is no denying the fact that for a single parent, attending the Academy presents some almost impossible challenges. However, single parents have done this with careful planning and the support of their family and close friends. Keep in mind, the rewards after you graduate are well worth the initial struggle.


How are women accepted in law enforcement?

Our society has come a long way in its thinking. Now more than ever, our female law enforcement officers are respected by their peers as well as the public for their positive attitudes and calming effect they have on potentially volatile situations. In the law enforcement community, we have come to realize that strength is not necessarily the most important attribute when dealing with potentially violent situations. 

In 1974, for the first time, female cadets entered the CHP academy alongside their male counterparts. Since then, female officers have become an integral part of the CHP, from patrolling the freeways. protecting the Governor, commanding operations involving hundreds of subordinates and multi-million dollar budgets, to being appointed Commissioner of the California Highway Patrol.

On November 17, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom appointed Amanda L. Ray as the 16th Commissioner of the California Highway Patrol (CHP); the first woman to lead the Department of more than 11,000 members.  Prior to her appointment to Commissioner, she served as the Deputy Commissioner and was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the CHP.
Commissioner Ray is a 30-year veteran of the CHP and has earned numerous awards and commendations in her personal life and during her professional career with the Department.  Commissioner Ray has been a pioneer for women in law enforcement as the first African American female in the CHP’s 91-year history to hold the position of Commissioner for the nation’s largest state police agency. Commissioner Ray recently retired from the CHP in 2022.

Why should I choose the CHP instead of a Police or Sheriff's Department?

There are many good reasons for choosing the CHP, such as the many diverse jobs and rapid promotional opportunities. Unlike many Departments where new officers must spend the first several years of their careers working in a jail environment or an administrative job, with the CHP, as soon as you have completed the Academy, you will be doing what you were trained to do... providing safety and assistance to the public and enforcing the law! You also have the opportunity to transfer anywhere in the state. What this means is as your personal or family needs change, you can transfer to any of the 140 different locations statewide. In other words, you won't have to spend your whole career working in the same location unless you want to. So you see, our Department is very unique with its many diverse opportunities.

​If you have questions or would like to communicate, please call 1-888-4A CHP JOB (1-888-422-4756), which is a toll-free number, or click here to send an e-mail message to recruiting@chp.ca.gov. This will allow you to address any specific issues, questions or concerns which you may have.

For additional information, contact the CHP at:

1-888-4A CHP JOB (1-888-422-4756)

TT/TDD 1-800-735-2929 EOE/ADA


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