Public Safety and Resource Protection

State Park Peace Officers & Superintendents

Ranger InterpretationMore than 85 million people visit California State Parks each year. The Department employs over 500 peace officers to safeguard both visitors and the resources themselves.  State Park Peace Officer (SPPO) Rangers and Lifeguards provide not only public safety law enforcement and aquatic rescue services; they also provide public education through interpretation.


State Park Peace Officer Job Duties and Minimum Requirements

  • State Park Peace Officer (Ranger) Series - This series includes the Cadet, Ranger, and Supervisor levels

  • State Park Peace Officer (Lifeguard) Series - This series includes the Cadet, Lifeguard, and Supervisor I-III levels

  • State Park Superintendent Series - this series includes levels I-V

Ranger and K9 imageCompensation Information
State Park Peace Officer (Ranger) Series

  • Cadet: $3,578.00 - $4,806.00
  • Ranger: $3,981.00 - $6353.00
  • Supervisor: $5,261.00 - $7,150.00

State Park Peace Officer (Lifeguard) Series

  • Cadet: $3,578.00 - $4,806.00
  • Lifeguard: $3,981.00 - $6353.00
  • Supervisor I: $5,261.00 - $7,150.00
  • Supervisor II: $5,760.00 - $7,848.00

State Park Superintendent Series

  • Superintendent I: $5,760.00 - $7,848.00
  • Superintendent II: $6,319.00 - $8,611.00
  • Superintendent III: $7,262.00 - $9,902.00
  • Superintendent IV: $7,970.00 - $10,882.00
  • Superintendent V: $9,197.00 - $11,474.00

In addition to salary, SPPO and Superintendent classifications are also eligible for differential pay including, but not limited to: education, recruitment and retention, and special duties. Click here for more information.


Current PC 830.2 Peace Officers

CrystalCove SP SPPO Lifeguard Todd Shanklin and Ryan GatesPursuant to State Personnel Board (SPB) Rule 250 and the SPB's decision in Cynthia McReynolds v. California Public Utilities Commission (Case No. 13-0396N), effective December 3, 2013, all employees transferring to another position without examination must meet the minimum qualifications of the new position. As a result, current State Civil Service Peace Officers (Under PC830.2: CHP, DFW, etc.) who possesses a POST Basic Certificate are generally not eligible for a lateral into an open (advertised) State Park Peace Officer (SPPO) position. 

For more information, please contact the Personnel Services Section at (916)  653-6644 and you will be directed to an appropriate analyst for further assistance.

Current County/City or other Municipal Peace Officers

Currently, California State Personnel Board Specifications for the position of State Park Peace Officer Ranger requires that incumbents successfully graduate from the Department’s Basic Visitor Services Training Program which includes the Basic P.O.S.T. Academy and Park Operations Training.  Outside P.O.S.T. Academy Certificates are not accepted at this time, peace officers employed by these agencies are required to obtain list eligibility and complete the required hiring process.

California State University Officers

California State Universities are considered departments in State Civil Service.  Therefore, Peace Officers employed by the universities are not eligible for lateral transfer and are required to obtain list eligibility and complete the required hiring process.

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Correctional Officers

Correctional Officers receive training that is not mandated by POST and, therefore, are not eligible to laterally transfer into State Park Peace Officer (SPPO) positions.  Correctional Officers interested in transferring into any of the classifications in the State Park Peace Officer series must apply for and successfully pass the SPPO Cadet Exam, Background Investigation, Oral Interview, Medical/Psychological evaluation, and drug screening. They must also attend and pass the Department's full academy, unless the individual has separately completed a POST academy and possesses the appropriate POST - Basic, Intermediate or Advanced Certificate.

More info How to Transfer within State Service and Rule 250 Frequently Asked Questions