Every call you take has a profound effect on the safety and wellbeing of others

Be the Vital Link

The opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others doesn’t always require a uniform. A career as a Public Safety Dispatcher/Operator for the California Highway Patrol requires a desire to serve the public, attention to detail, the ability to think fast on your feet, and is an opportunity to make an impact in the lives of others.

Your voice matters. You are the eyes and the ears of the department. You are the vital link. Every call you take has a profound effect on the safety and wellbeing of first responders and the community.

If you are made for more and you can be the vital link between the community and our officers, the CHP wants you on our team. It’s time to join the best of the best and make a difference every day.

Become a Public Safety Dispatcher

For a Dispatcher, no day is ever routine. One call may be a minor traffic accident, while the next is a frantic voice screaming for help. Both will be depending on your calm, firm voice and direction until help can arrive. It will be your training, your ability to make effective decisions and act quickly, that will make the difference. Are you ready for the responsibility?

HOW TO BECOME A DISPATCHER

Become a Public Safety Operator

Operators perform under pressure and under time constraints. As the person who receives and handles a variety of telephone calls, including 911 and call box calls, your willingness to take initiative and action are crucial components of this job, along with an ability to remain calm and emotionally stable. Are you ready for the challenge?

HOW TO BECOME AN OPERATOR

HOW TO BECOME A PUBLIC SAFETY DISPATCHER

1
2
3
4
5
6
7

Meet the Minimum Requirements

Either I

Six months of experience in California state service performing the duties of a Public Safety Operator, California Highway Patrol.

Or II

One year of experience in dispatching work involving the operation of radio communications equipment; or as an operator of a telephone switchboard or console.

OR III

Two years of experience involving a substantial amount of telephone contact or three years of direct contact with the public or other employees. Such experience must involve the responsibility to perform numerous tasks simultaneously or progressively responsible experience in a field requiring decision-making ability and the exercise of judgment. (Thirty semester or 45 quarter units of college level courses may be substituted for one year of the required experience.)

OR IV

Successful completion of 60 semester or 90 quarter units of college level courses. (Persons who will complete the required units during the current semester/quarter will be admitted to the examination, but they must produce evidence of successful completion of the units before they may be considered eligible for appointment.)

Or V

Successful completion of the POST Certified Public Safety Dispatcher Basic Course and six months of experience involving a substantial amount of direct and/or telephone public contact.

Note: If you do not have a formal work history, you may still qualify to be a Public Safety Dispatcher if you have a consistent history of volunteer work (e.g., food bank, coaching, etc.,) or paid/unpaid internships.

CREATE A CALCAREER ACCOUNT

Create a profile, complete a STD. 678 Employment/Examination Application, store different versions of your application, save your resume, and apply for vacancies all in one place.

Start Here

COMPLETE AN EXAMINATION APPLICATION

The initial step to begin the selection process and take the performance exam is to complete the STD. 678, Examination/Employment Application. You can complete this online, but all applications must be mailed to SSES to be considered.

Download PDF

TAKE THE EXAM

This examination will consist of a computerized pre-employment exam. In order to obtain a position on the eligible list, a minimum rating of 70% must be attained. Applicants who do not appear for the examination will not obtain list eligibility and therefore will not be eligible for the position. The test will consist of the intensive, multi-dimensional test battery for entry-level dispatchers developed by CritiCall. The test is designed to measure underlying skills and abilities a person needs to possess prior to any training they might receive if they are hired as a public safety dispatcher and/or call taker, including the ability to effectively navigate and use a computer. A separate application will be required for each vacancy you wish to be considered for.

LOOK FOR OPEN POSITIONS & APPLY

Have you passed the exam? Now it’s time to look for open positions within the state and apply. Simply sign in to your account, if you haven’t already, and then enter “Public Safety Dispatcher” in the search field. A separate application will be required for each vacancy you wish to be considered for.

Explore Now

COMPLETE BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION

Once you have successfully passed the performance examination, job interview, and have been selected to proceed in the hiring process, you will enter the background investigation phase.

Public Safety Dispatchers have access to confidential databases through DOJ and DMV, and as a result, applicants will undergo an extensive background investigation. As part of the background investigation, each original document listed below (if applicable) must be collected and provided to the background investigator. The process of obtaining these documents can be very time consuming, therefore, it is recommended you begin the process of collecting all necessary original documents as early as possible.

MEDICAL CLEARANCE & PSYCHOLOGICAL EVALUATION

The CHP requires all Public Safety Dispatcher applicants to undergo a medical examination, including an audiogram and drug screen, by a licensed physician. The medical examination ensures competitors are free from any medical condition that might adversely affect job performance.

In addition, a psychological exam will be conducted on every applicant to determine their employment suitability. The psychological evaluation screening process ensures applicants are free from any psychological or emotional conditions that might adversely affect job performance. The evaluation consists of a written exercise and a clinical interview with a psychologist or physician.

Become a Public Safety Operator

Operators perform under pressure and under time constraints. As the person who receives and handles a variety of telephone calls, including 911 and call box calls, your willingness to take initiative and action are crucial components of this job, along with an ability to remain calm and emotionally stable. Are you ready for the challenge?

HOW TO BECOME AN OPERATOR

HOW TO BECOME A PUBLIC SAFETY OPERATOR

1
2
3
4
5
6
7

Meet the Minimum Requirements

Either I

Education: Equivalent to completion of the 12th grade.

Or II

Experience: One year of clerical experience involving extensive public contact.

CREATE A CALCAREER ACCOUNT

Create a profile, complete a STD. 678 Employment/Examination Application, store different versions of your application, save your resume, and apply for vacancies all in one place.

Start Here

COMPLETE AN EXAMINATION APPLICATION

The initial step to begin the selection process and take the performance exam is to complete the STD. 678, Examination/Employment Application. You can complete this online, but all applications must be mailed to SSES to be considered.

Download PDF

TAKE THE EXAM

This examination will consist of a computerized pre-employment exam. In order to obtain a position on the eligible list, a minimum rating of 70% must be attained. Applicants who do not appear for the examination will not obtain list eligibility and therefore will not be eligible for the position. The test will consist of the intensive, multi-dimensional test battery for entry-level dispatchers developed by CritiCall. The test is designed to measure underlying skills and abilities a person needs to possess prior to any training they might receive if they are hired as a public safety dispatcher and/or call taker, including the ability to effectively navigate and use a computer. A separate application will be required for each vacancy you wish to be considered for.

LOOK FOR OPEN POSITIONS & APPLY

Have you passed the exam? Now it’s time to look for open positions within the state and apply. Simply sign in to your account, if you haven’t already, and then enter “Public Safety Operator” in the search field. A separate application will be required for each vacancy you wish to be considered for.

Explore Now

COMPLETE BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION

Once you have successfully passed the performance examination, job interview, and have been selected to proceed in the hiring process, you will enter the background investigation phase.

Public Safety Operators have access to confidential databases through DOJ and DMV, and as a result, applicants will undergo an extensive background investigation. As part of the background investigation, each original document listed below (if applicable) must be collected and provided to the background investigator. The process of obtaining these documents can be very time consuming, therefore, it is recommended you begin the process of collecting all necessary original documents as early as possible.

MEDICAL CLEARANCE & PSYCHOLOGICAL EVALUATION

The CHP requires all Public Safety Operator applicants to undergo a medical examination, including an audiogram and drug screen, by a licensed physician. The medical examination ensures competitors are free from any medical condition that might adversely affect job performance.

In addition, a psychological exam will be conducted on every applicant to determine their employment suitability. The psychological evaluation screening process ensures applicants are free from any psychological or emotional conditions that might adversely affect job performance. The evaluation consists of a written exercise and a clinical interview with a psychologist or physician.

HOW TO BECOME A PUBLIC SAFETY OPERATOR

1
2
3
4
5
6
7

Meet the Minimum Requirements

Either I

Education: Equivalent to completion of the 12th grade.

Or II

Experience: One year of clerical experience involving extensive public contact.

CREATE A CALCAREER ACCOUNT

Create a profile, complete a STD. 678 Employment/Examination Application, store different versions of your application, save your resume, and apply for vacancies all in one place.

Start Here

COMPLETE AN EXAMINATION APPLICATION

The initial step to begin the selection process and take the performance exam is to complete the STD. 678, Examination/Employment Application. You can complete this online, but all applications must be mailed to SSES to be considered.

Download PDF

TAKE THE EXAM

This examination will consist of a computerized pre-employment exam. In order to obtain a position on the eligible list, a minimum rating of 70% must be attained. Applicants who do not appear for the examination will not obtain list eligibility and therefore will not be eligible for the position. The test will consist of the intensive, multi-dimensional test battery for entry-level dispatchers developed by CritiCall. The test is designed to measure underlying skills and abilities a person needs to possess prior to any training they might receive if they are hired as a public safety dispatcher and/or call taker, including the ability to effectively navigate and use a computer. A separate application will be required for each vacancy you wish to be considered for.

LOOK FOR OPEN POSITIONS & APPLY

Have you passed the exam? Now it’s time to look for open positions within the state and apply. Simply sign in to your account, if you haven’t already, and then enter “Public Safety Operator” in the search field. A separate application will be required for each vacancy you wish to be considered for.

Explore Now

COMPLETE BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION

Once you have successfully passed the performance examination, job interview, and have been selected to proceed in the hiring process, you will enter the background investigation phase.

Public Safety Operators have access to confidential databases through DOJ and DMV, and as a result, applicants will undergo an extensive background investigation. As part of the background investigation, each original document listed below (if applicable) must be collected and provided to the background investigator. The process of obtaining these documents can be very time consuming, therefore, it is recommended you begin the process of collecting all necessary original documents as early as possible.

MEDICAL CLEARANCE & PSYCHOLOGICAL EVALUATION

The CHP requires all Public Safety Operator applicants to undergo a medical examination, including an audiogram and drug screen, by a licensed physician. The medical examination ensures competitors are free from any medical condition that might adversely affect job performance.

In addition, a psychological exam will be conducted on every applicant to determine their employment suitability. The psychological evaluation screening process ensures applicants are free from any psychological or emotional conditions that might adversely affect job performance. The evaluation consists of a written exercise and a clinical interview with a psychologist or physician.

Explore Benefits

Get More from Your Career Give Your Voice a Purpose

As a Public Safety Dispatcher/Operator, your voice will save lives and you will make a huge impact every day as an important part of the California Highway Patrol. In addition, you will also receive the following benefits:

Paid Training

DISPATCHERS

The initial three week service desk training session begins at the California Highway Patrol Academy in West Sacramento or at the Clark Training Center in Riverside, CA. Approximately four months later, candidates return for two weeks of radio training. Candidates receive personalized training, with an instructor/student ratio of 1:3.

OPERATORS

Persons hired will be required to attend one or more training classes at the California Highway Patrol Academy in West Sacramento or the Clark Training Center in Riverside. Training will be similar to that of the Dispatchers.

TRAINING WILL INCLUDE SOME OF THE BELOW:

• Department of Motor Vehicles
• Professionalism and Ethics
• Critical Incidents
• Civil Liability
• Dispatching Procedures
• Criminal Justice System

• Aural Brevity (codes, phonetic alphabet, etc.)
• Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD)
• Officer Safety
• Missing Persons
• Domestic Violence
• Wellness Management

Salary

DISPATCHERS

Dispatchers Earn: $3,993 - $5,499 a month

OPERATORS

Operators Earn: $3,807 - $5,244 a month

State salaries are based on a monthly compensated pay scale. New employees are appointed at the minimum salary rate and progress through the salary range based on satisfactory job performance. Specialty pay includes overtime, shift differential and bilingual pay, based on needs of the department, as well as recruitment and retention pay for designated communications centers.

NOTE: Effective July 1, 2020, state employees are subject to wage reductions in exchange for Personal Leave Program (PLP) accruals. The salary reflected above does not represent this wage reduction. The specific rate and hours earned was negotiated and agreed upon by each bargaining unit. This information can be reviewed here.

INCENTIVES

• $100 Bilingual Pay
• Shift Differential for evenings / nights (extra $.50/hour)
• Overtime with Holiday Pay
• $300 Retention Pay for Communication Centers in Golden Gate, Sacramento, Los Angeles, Monterey, San Diego and the Capitol

Opportunity for Growth

DISPATCHERS

Growth opportunities for Dispatchers include multiple supervisory roles.

OPERATORS

An Operator can advance to take on a Dispatcher role.

Flexible Locations Throughout California

There are eight divisions statewide with 24 communications centers throughout.

• Border Division (San Diego)
• Central Division (Fresno)
• Coastal Division (San Luis Obispo)
• Golden Gate Division (Vallejo)

• Inland Division (San Bernardino)
• Northern Division (Redding)
• Southern Division (Los Angeles)
• Valley Division (Sacramento)

Benefits

• Excellent Medical, Dental and Vision package for the whole family
• A great state retirement system (CalPERS) with additional options of 401K / 457 thrift plans

Know the Details

Know Who You Are Know Where You Stand

Becoming part of an elite team that provides world-class service and security statewide doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time, patience and self-reflection. At the end of this process you will know exactly what is expected of you and the kind of person it takes to do this job.

The Timeline

It is important to know that the entire hiring process can be lengthy and will depend upon the position for which you have applied. We will do our best to ensure your hiring process moves as expeditiously as possible.

Knowledge & Abilities

DISPATCHERS

  • Understand spoken and written English words, sentences, and paragraphs
  • Communicate effectively in English so others will understand
  • Produce a number of alternative ideas
  • Understand the speech of another person
  • Tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong
  • Apply general rules to specific problems to come up with logical answers
  • Correctly follow rules to arrange things or actions in a certain order
  • Remember information, such as words, numbers, and procedures; quickly combine and organize information; quickly and accurately compare letters and numbers
  • Concentrate on a task or source of information and not be distracted; shift back and forth between two or more sources of information
  • Sufficient physical dexterity, coordination, and agility to successfully perform the critical aspects of the job; and sufficient near vision to successfully perform the critical aspects of the job

OPERATORS

  • Recognize standard alphanumeric sequences, for example, license plates, vehicle identification numbers, driver license numbers, street guides/maps
  • Work under stress and maintain composure
  • Follow instructions precisely
  • Listen and translate what is heard into the appropriate action
  • Adapt quickly to a variety of personalities and situations
  • Act in an emergency situation
  • Write rapidly and legibly

DUTIES

DISPATCHERS

  • Operating radio, automated telephone, and computer-related equipment to receive, transmit, and record information
  • Dispatching appropriate personnel and resources such as officer, emergency equipment, allied agencies, etc.
  • Screening incoming calls from officers, public, media, and other allied agencies and taking appropriate action
  • Receiving and handling 911 calls; receiving and handling calls from citizens who are difficult to communicate with (e.g., upset, abusive, intoxicated, suicidal, very young/old, or speech-impaired)
  • Querying specialized law enforcement databases for information; communicating with personnel of other agencies to obtain and disseminate information; monitoring and responding to field units and allied agencies; providing information to field units
  • Disseminating information and advice to the public
  • Briefing oncoming dispatcher; and processing reports and records

OPERATORS

  • Operating an automated telephone system to receive incoming calls from freeway call boxers or other sources
  • Receiving and transmitting reports of accidents and requests for assistance from disabled motorists
  • Receiving and handling 911 calls
  • Communicating with personnel of other agencies to obtain and disseminate information
  • Entering/processing information into computer systems
  • Querying specialized law enforcement databases for information
  • Relaying calls for ambulance, tow service, fire department, other law enforcement agencies or other assistance requested by field units
  • Receiving and handling calls from citizens who are difficult to communicate with (e.g., upset, abusive, intoxicated, suicidal, very young/old, or speech-impaired)
  • Answering telephone requests for road information and other requests for assistance or information
  • Preparing miscellaneous personal records
  • Attending meetings and briefings, and providing information to field units

Personal Characteristics

  • Consistently reports to work on time with a minimum of absences
  • Willingness to work nights, weekends, holidays, overtime, and at unusual hours is required
  • Emotional stability and even temperament
  • Willingness and initiative to take independent action, works productively without supervision and self-motivated
  • Performs tasks accurately and effectively under stress and time pressure
  • Positive attitude; adapts to shifting demands of the job
  • Performs tolerates a confined work space with sitting and/or standing for prolonged periods
  • Shows interest in serving the public; shows respect and consideration for others
  • Maintains confidentiality of information
  • Dependable, mature and a team-player

Be the First Voice, the First Interaction and Possibly the Only Lifeline a Caller Has Until Emergency Personnel Arrive

Your strong interpersonal skills, willingness to put others before yourself and ability to stay calm under pressure, are all traits the California Highway Patrol is looking for. If this sounds like you, then take the next step and contact us today.

CHAT WITH A RECRUITER

VETERAN
PREFERENCES

LEARN MORE