Become a DOJ Special Agent

Special Agents are dedicated to enhancing the safety and reducing the vulnerability of all citizens, residents and visitors within the state of California. Take the first step in making a positive difference in the lives of every day Californians as a Special Agent for the California Department of Justice, today. Special Agents with the California Department of Justice are peace officers pursuant to California Penal Code section 830.1(b) whose authority extends to any place in the state where a public offense has been committed. Check our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Special Agent Trainee

The Special Agent Trainee position is used for the recruitment and development of individuals with a four-year degree who seek to gain investigative law enforcement experience. As a full time peace officer, you will receive comprehensive, on-the-job training in the application of the principles and techniques of conducting civil, criminal, or narcotic investigations and enforcement activities for the DOJ. Upon successful completion of one year as a Special Agent Trainee, Special Agent Trainee's may qualify for promotion to Special Agent.

Special Agent

The Department of Justice’s Special Agents dismantle criminal street gangs, investigate the proliferation of illegal drugs, weapons and human trafficking, and bring the most dangerous criminals to justice across California. Special Agents conduct a wide variety of complex criminal investigations, enforce state gambling and firearm laws and regulations, work in forensic sciences, and train and educate other law enforcement personnel on the latest law enforcement techniques and technologies.

Where we work


At this time, Special Agent candidates apply online through the CalCareers website to each county they would be interested in being appointed at. After two years of successful service at their assigned Bureau, Special Agents are eligible to put their name on the transfer list to other Bureau’s or Field Offices.

Any applicant who passes the written and physical exams for the Department of Justice’s Special Agent Classification will be eligible for appointment regardless of age.

The Special Agent application process generally takes 12-14 months and often longer depending upon annual funding levels and hiring goals.

Special Agent Selection System varies depending on a candidate’s individual competitiveness.

In addition to the written and physical testing process, background investigation and medical and Psychological evaluations will affect the length of the application process, each of these items can take a considerable amount of time to complete.

One of the great things about being a DOJ Special Agent is that there is not a typical, predictable, routine and any day can turn into an adventure. An average day may start with an agent in his or her Bureau car heading to the office to do paperwork for an investigation and cover a lead. Some days may start directly at a crime scene or to a staging area with a team of agents planning an early morning arrest. Executing search warrants, meeting informants, and interviewing witnesses, victims, or anyone else who may be a person of interest in an investigation are all part of moving for towards resolving their assigned cases.