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Image of a CHP recruitment poster.
Think you've got what it takes to make it as a CHP? Read on to find out about applying to the CHP Academy. Hint: it's not easy!

California Highway Patrol Seeks 1,000 New Cadets

SACRAMENTO — The California Highway Patrol (CHP) is currently seeking 1,000 new recruits over the next few years. It’s a very difficult and demanding job. Do you (or someone you know) have what it takes to be a CHP?

Image of a CHP officer in front of his patrol car. Here are the facts:
  • The California Highway Patrol (CHP) accepts online applications for officer positions on a continuous basis with the intent of hiring 1,000 officers over the next few years. Those interested in pursuing a career with the CHP are encouraged to visit jointhechp1000.com for information.
  • Some of the desired characteristics of an applicant include professional demeanor, keenness of observation, neat personal appearance, ability to problem solve, good communication skills, and tact.
  • The CHP’s minimum requirements for applying for the position of cadet include possession of a high school diploma or its equivalent, must be a United States citizen (applicants may be in the process of obtaining citizenship upon application but will need to show proof of citizenship before being accepted into the Academy), candidates must be between the ages of 20 and 35, and no felony convictions.
  • To be successful in the hiring process applicants must also be able to pass the Physical Abilities Test (PAT) and written exam, complete a thorough background check, as well as pass a medical and psychological evaluation.
  • In 2021, 13,567 applicants met the minimum requirements and were invited to take the PAT.T
  • The 13,567 applicants in 2021 self-identified their ethnicities as American Indian or Alaskan Native-0.4 percent; Asian-3.0 percent; Black-8.0 percent; Filipino-1.0 percent; Hispanic-53.4 percent; Other-14.5 percent; Pacific Islander-0.7 percent; and White-19 percent.
  • During the 2021 testing cycles, the self-identified gender make up of applicants was 16 percent female, 83 percent male and .28 percent non-binary.Image of a CHP cadet at graduation.
  • Testing is conducted in each of the CHP’s eight geographical divisions to accommodate applicants from throughout the state. Applicants will have an opportunity to test at least quarterly in each division, monthly in Inland Division and Coastal Division, and bimonthly in Valley Division.
  • The first two tests, the PAT and the written exam, are conducted within the same weekend. Applicants can test in any division they choose.
  • The PAT consists of four elements: a 1.5 mile run in 15:00 minutes or less, a 300-meter dash in 70 seconds or less, a minimum of 19 push-ups in one minute, and a minimum of 25 sit-ups in one minute. Applicants must pass all four elements to be successful. Those who pass the PAT move on to the written test.
  • The written exam is developed and graded by the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST). It is a language aptitude test equivalent to the 12th grade, high school English level. A complete study guide for the written examination can be found at powrittenpracticetest.pdf.
  • Applicants who successfully pass the written examination move on to the background investigation phase of the hiring process.
  • Applicants who pass the background investigation process move on to the psychological evaluation and medical evaluation process.
  • Applicants who are successful in all portions of the selection process will receive an invitation to attend the CHP Academy.
  • Once an applicant accepts a CHP Academy invitation, their families are invited to join them for a seminar designed to educate them about the requirements of Academy training and prepare them for a life in public service.Image of CHP cadets running along the road.
  • Throughout the selection process, the applicant is encouraged to participate in the CHP’s Applicant Preparation Program (APP) and stay in contact with their division recruiter and/or mentor.
  • The APP is a modern and dynamic way to keep applicants engaged through the selection process and prepare them for both Academy training and a future in public service.
  • The APP consists of three phases which build upon each other. The focus of the APP is to help with the transition from applicant to CHP cadet.
  • The first phase consists of a variety of workshops and seminars designed to expose applicants to the many career choices within the CHP. The primary focus of the first phase is to recruit, mentor, and prepare applicants for the PAT and the written exam.
  • The second phase concentrates on the training, engagement, and preparation of applicants who have passed the PAT and written test and are within the background phase. Workshops in the second phase introduce Academy-style physical training workouts, march/drill training, and team building workshops.
  • The third phase of the APP is geared toward applicants who have passed the background investigation and have been recommended to the CHP Academy. This phase mentors and prepares the applicant for the challenges of cadet training. This is accomplished by a local Cadet Preparation Course that includes everything from Academy basics to entry level scenario-based training.
  • Applicants may attend the APP in any division, regardless of the division in which they’ve applied.
  • The CHP Explorer Program offers a unique and challenging opportunity to people between 15 to 21 years of age to become an integral part of the department’s operations. CHP Explorers develop the skills and knowledge needed to serve the people of California through discipline and a commitment to serving their community.
  • The goal of the CHP Explorer Program is to afford young people an opportunity to explore a career with the CHP while developing them into productive citizens through training and excellence.
Check out this short video about life at the CHP Academy: 

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