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Applications for the Communications Operators Exam are now being accepted!

The process for entering into this classification involves the following steps:


Email Your Exam Application To

See below for some helpful tips submitting your exam application. Make sure the correct exam title and exam code are listed on the state application template (STD 678) when submitted.


Take The Exam

Applicants who meet the minimum qualifications for the position will be emailed a link to an online exam. You will have a limited number of days to complete the exam. To obtain list eligibility, you must successfully complete the exam.


Apply for the job

On the CalCareers account, search for “Communications Operator”. Find the job posting with Department of Parks and Recreation and apply.
Go to to search for open positions.
Submit your official state application (STD 678) by the final filing date listed on the job bulletin.



The hiring managers will review applications, check minimum qualifications, and schedule interviews.


Background Investigations

Existing law requires a comprehensive investigation exploring a candidate’s employment, pre-employment, arrest/citation/conviction, legal, military, financial, driving and educational history.


Medical Evaluations

Applicants must meet the physical requirements for a Communications Operator. 

DPR Communications Operators

Individuals who are successful in the examination/selection process and hired as Communications Operators will then be required to complete the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Public Safety Dispatcher’s Basic Course within 12 months of hire or assignment to dispatcher duties.

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Submitting Your Exam Application

The first step in the selection/examination process is submitting your exam application via email, mail or in person, for the Communications Operator Exam with Department of Parks and Recreation. You can fill out the application by creating a CalCareers account. Your exam application is used to determine if you meet the minimum qualifications to take the Communications Operator exam and subsequently, to admit you into the next phases of the selection process (exam, interview, background investigation, medical evaluation). The exam for Communications Operator is continuous. The public can apply for the examination at any time. Keep in mind your application also conveys an impression of your overall strengths and weakness.

Application Tips

  1. Review the Exam Bulletin
    Before completing the application form, review the entire exam bulletin. Pay particular attention to the sections titled Minimum Qualifications, Position Description, Scope, Special Personal Characteristics, Additional Desirable Qualifications, and Special Physical Requirements.

  2. Review a Rough Draft of your Application
    When preparing a rough draft of the application, match your experience with the Position Description and the Scope by asking yourself the following questions:

    1. Does my application establish my qualifications in relation to the exam bulletin?
    2. Does my application adequately describe my experience and abilities?
    3. How can I improve upon what I have written?

    Consider showing your application to someone you trust. Ask if they think you have adequately described your qualifications and abilities.

  3. Complete your Exam Application
    Complete your exam application online at CalCareers and submit by email to You can also submit your application by saving a copy to your computer, printing out a hard copy and either mail in or hand-deliver a copy. The Department’s Exam Unit may receive over 1,000 applications for this exam. Reviewers will appreciate a clear, legible application.

Communications Operator - Exam

Existing law requires that Communications Operator applicants must be assessed for verbal, reasoning, memory, and perceptual abilities. These abilities must be evaluated prior to hire to assure the presence of ability levels commensurate with the performance of dispatcher duties. This is measured by the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Entry-Level Dispatcher Selection Test Battery.

Please remember, if you don’t pass the Communications Operator exam the first time, you can reapply to take the exam three months after your original test date.

Apply for the Job

You can view the job postings on CalCareers. Applications may be submitted electronically, mailed, or filed in-person at the physical address specified on the job posting. If you have any questions regarding job posting application submission, contact the listed person on the job posting. If candidates are mailing in their application, candidates are encouraged to mail their applications by certified mail with return receipt service.

If you mail your application, make a copy of it and keep the copy in a safe place.

Communications Operator - Background Investigations

Existing law requires that a thorough background investigation shall be conducted to verify the absence of past behavior indicative of unsuitability to perform public safety dispatcher duties. A comprehensive investigation explores a candidate’s employment, pre-employment, arrest/citation/conviction, legal, military, financial, driving and educational history.

Candidates, who successfully pass their exam and are being considered for hiring, receive a candidate packet with instructions and documents to complete.  As part of this process, candidates must furnish required documents.  Because it takes time to acquire some of these documents, candidates are encouraged to begin collecting them as soon as possible.

A background investigator’s role is to conduct an objective, thorough and legally sustainable investigation focused on: 1) both positive and negative job-related information, and 2) the accuracy of information received from all sources, including the candidate.  The investigator's job is to gather facts.  Investigation results are then evaluated by the Department’s hiring authorities.

The only information to which candidates have access during and after the background investigation is the information which they personally provide.

The key to “passing” the background investigation stage is complete honesty.  There are very few automatic bases for rejection.  Even issues of prior misconduct, such as prior illegal drug use, driving under the influence, theft or even arrest or conviction are usually not, in and of themselves, automatically disqualifying.  However, deliberate misstatements or omissions can, and often will, result in a candidate’s application being rejected, regardless of the nature or reason for the misstatements or omissions.

Communications Operator - Medical Evaluation

Applicants who successfully pass the Background Investigation stage are offered a "conditional offer of employment" pending successful completion of the medical evaluation stage.

Applicants must meet the physical requirements for a Communications Operator, including hearing necessary to perform the duties of the position. Communications Operators must be free from any physical condition which might adversely affect the exercise of public safety dispatching duties. The California Government Code requires that physical condition shall be evaluated by a licensed physician and surgeon. An applicant will first complete a medical history statement and then set up an appointment at a local clinic within his or her geographical area. Lastly, a state doctor will review the medical report.


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Need help completing the application? Email for assistance.