Special Agent Trainee - Application Process


Apply to take the Special Agent Trainee Exam

Applicants who meet the minimum qualifications will mail in an exam application through the "Filing Instructions" on the Exam Bulletin. After the next "Final Filing Date" has passed, the Department of Justice's Testing and Selection Unit will vet applications and send out exam invitations. For questions about the exam please reach our Testing and Selection Unit at TSU@doj.ca.gov.

The Exam Bulletin is here: https://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/agweb/pdfs/careers/bulletins/special-agent-trainee.pdf

Complete the PAT and Multiple Choice Exam

The Physical Ability Test (PAT) is pass/fail. To obtain a position on the eligible list, candidates must pass every section of the test. Each component must be completed within the specified time limit. Competitors will be tested on the following components:

  1. A Solid Wooden Fence Climb requiring candidates to run 5 yards to a 6 foot wooden fence and climb over thefence within 23 seconds.
  2. An Obstacle Course/Agility Run, 99 yards long, consisting of 6 sharp turns, three 6” by 6” by 3’ curb heightobstacles, and a 34 inch high obstacle that must be vaulted in a period of 38 seconds.
  3. A Dummy Drag requiring the candidate to lift and drag a 165 pound dummy 30 feet in 30 seconds.
  4. A 500 Yard Run that must be completed within 3 minutes.

The multiple-choice test consists of a set of job-related multiple-choice questions. Candidates will be provided with scratch paper, scantron, pencils, and erasers. Scoring will be based on the number of correct responses. This component will have the following sections:

  1. Attention to Detail
  2. Reading Comprehension
  3. Writing Ability

Applying to a Position with CalCareers Claiming List Eligibility

After successfully completing the exam and receiving your passing score and rank in the mail, the next step is to apply to Special Agent Trainee positions online through the CalCareers website.

You can create a CalCareers account here: https://www.calcareers.ca.gov/CalHRPublic/CreateNewAccount.aspx

Using the Advanced Job Search Function you can search for Special Agent Trainee openings here: https://www.calcareers.ca.gov/CalHRPublic/Search/JobSearchResults.aspx#classid=3918



The candidate may be required to take a polygraph examination.


Pass/Fail - Pursuant to Government Code Section 1031, persons appointed to a peace officer class shall undergo a medical examination to determine that he or she can perform the essential functions of the job safely and effectively. The medical examination also includes a back x-ray, visual acuity and color vision tests.


Pass/Fail - This test will consist of a written examination and an interview by a psychologist.


How long will it take?

The entire process can take anywhere from 12-14 months to a year to complete.