State Parks Ranger / Cadet

A State Park Ranger/Cadet will participate in basic law enforcement, public contact, visitor services, and resource management training programs.  Rangers work primarily with historical units, recreational areas, beaches, wayside campgrounds, and underwater parks.  Positions are also assigned to Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division Units located throughout the State.

Rangers are sworn State Park Peace Officers (SPPO) whose authority extends statewide, on or off duty. They perform patrol duties primarily by vehicle, boat and foot patrol.  They issue citations, write reports, make physical arrests for misdemeanors, felonies and warrants, conduct criminal and administrative investigations, take command in emergencies, perform search and rescue activities, assist in fire suppression, provide emergency medical aid and perform traffic control and radio dispatching.


  • Complete a Standard State Application (form678)
  • Mail the application to:
    California State Parks Exams Unit
    P.O. Box 942896, Room 1018
    Sacramento, Ca. 94296-0001
  • Applications for the SPPO Ranger/Cadet Exam will only be accepted during the “open-filing period” listed on the Exam Announcement.  It must be postmarked by the filing deadline.
  • Examinations will consist of a written test that is weighted PASS or FAIL and a qualifications appraisal interview (oral exam) weighted 100%.
    For more information visit:
  • In order to achieve a position on the Eligibility List, a minimum rating of 70% must be reached.  Competitors who do not appear for any part of the examination process will be disqualified. 
  • Selections will be made from the Eligibility List.  The stages of the selection process will span over a 4 to 5 month period.  Candidates will be required to successfully complete a physical agility test, undergo a comprehensive personal background investigation, provide the Department with fingerprints and undertake drug testing, medical and psychological evaluations.  For additional details regarding the entire application process refer to cadet selection process link provided.
  • Once candidates receive clearance and accept a job offer, they will be required to attend and successfully complete approximately 26 weeks of a Basic Peace Officer Standards Training Course.
  • The Mott Training Center at Asilomar:

If you wish to be added to the Cadet Exam E-Blast list for notification of upcoming Cadet Exams:


  • Must be 18 years of age
  • High school diploma or G.E.D and Completion of 2 years (60 semester units) study from an accredited college or university including a minimum of 21 semester units satisfying the General Education Curriculum standards.
  • Possess a valid, state issued driver’s license
  • US Citizen or a permanent resident alien who is eligible for and has applied for U.S. citizenship
  • Physical strength, endurance, and agility; mentally alert; physically sound; 20/20 Corrected vision AND 20/40 Uncorrected vision; hearing sufficient to perform the essential functions of the job; demonstrate sufficient swimming ability for self-preservation and to direct aquatic and lifesaving operations.

Not required but highly desirable to possess the following:

  • Bachelor of Arts/Science Degree with specialization in Park Administration, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, Law Enforcement, Business, or closely related subjects.
  • Possession of a valid instructor certificate for: Advanced First Aid, First Responder (EMSA), Basic First Aid, and/or Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) - from American Red Cross or American Heart Association.
  • Certification as an Emergency Medical Technician - Level I or II. 
  • Paid or volunteer experience in law enforcement, or in the operation, protection, and interpretation of a park, forest, public recreational, or historical area.


Dept. of Parks and Recreation
1416 9th Street
Sacramento, Ca. 95814
P.O. Box 942896
Sacramento, Ca. 94296


Phone: (800) 777-0369;   (916) 653-6995