Peace Officer

    Join our team and become an Agent with the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control


    The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) offers rewarding peace officer career opportunities. Agents carry firearms and work primarily as plain clothes officers investigating criminal and/or administrative violations committed on or about alcoholic beverage control licensed premises by licensees, their employees, and/or members of the general public. Agents work undercover investigating violations to include gambling, prostitution, narcotics, human trafficking, and receipt of stolen property.


    The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control employs agents in various locations throughout the State. An agent with the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control is a non-uniformed, sworn peace officer who performs the full range of peace officer duties and responsibilities in the accomplishment of his/her assignments. Agents are required to work some nights, weekends and holidays.


    Step 1 – Do you meet the minimum qualifications?


    Step 2 – Review the following information before applying.


    Step 3 – Exam Process


    Step 4 – Apply for job vacancies


    Step 5 – Interview


    Step 6 – Background


    Step 7 – Training


    Frequently Asked Questions for Peace Officers
    (click on the links below to be directed to the answers on the page)

    Testing/Recruitment FAQ

    Does ABC accept lateral transfers from other California State Departments?
    Can I submit an application online?
    When is the next exam?
    Where are the testing locations?
    What are the minimum qualifications to become an Agent or Agent Trainee?
    Where can I find information on salary and benefits? >
    How can I apply for veteran preference?
    Is there an age requirement?
    Where are positions located?
    How long does the process take?

    Interviewing/Hiring FAQ

    How should I prepare for the interview?
    How will I be evaluated during the interview?
    I already passed the written test, what do I do now?
    What can I do to prepare for the hiring process?

    Background FAQ

    What are some factors that may lengthen my background investigation?
    What information will I need to gather for my background investigation?
    What if I have used marijuana, used other illegal drugs, or gotten a DUI ?
    What if I have been convicted of a misdemeanor?
    Does a candidate have the right to appeal a decision? What is the process?
    What is the difference between withdrawing from the process and being eliminated?
    Where will I be assigned?

    Training FAQ

    Do I have to attend an academy?
    Which academy would I be assigned to?
    Do I have to live at the academy?
    How should I prepare for the academy?
    Can I use my academy from another state toward the California academy requirement?
    What happens after I successfully complete an academy?
    What if I already attended a POST academy?

    Does ABC accept lateral transfers from other California State Departments?
    Yes, however transfers are determined on a candidates highest list appointment in state service and the candidate has to the meet minimum qualifications and all transfer rules to be eligible for a transfer.

    Can I submit an application online?
    At this time, you can only submit an application online for a job vacancy. If you are applying for an exam, you must submit a state application to The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control at 3927 Lennane Drive, Suite 100 Sacramento, CA 95834.

    When is the next exam?
    Applications are being accepted on a continuous basis. Applications received will be scheduled for the next available examination. A list of testing dates and locations can be found on the exam bulletin or by clicking here.

    Where are the testing locations?
    Testing locations are predetermined and can be found on the examination bulletin.

    What are the minimum qualifications to become an Agent or Agent Trainee?

    Where can I find information on salary and benefits?

    How can I apply for veteran preference?
    The Veterans Preference Application form is available at the written test or you can download the form by clicking here. Please send the completed form to the California Department of Human Resources address indicated on the form.

    Is there an age requirement?
    Yes, candidates must be at least 21 years of age before being appointed to the position. There is no maximum age limit.

    Where are positions located?
    The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control has positions in District Offices located throughout California. Click here to view locations of all the ABC District Offices.

    How long does the process take?
    The entire process can take up to 9 – 12 months; however, time varies based on the candidate’s personal history.

    How should I prepare for the interview?
    Research the Department’s mission statement, history, duties, and job requirements. If possible, go on a ride-along or speak with an Agent at the department.

    How will I be evaluated during the interview?
    The panel will consider education, experience, personal development, and personal traits. In appraising experience, more weight will be given to the depth, breadth, and recency of pertinent experience and evidence of the candidate’s ability to accept and fulfill increasing responsibilities. Evaluation of a candidate’s personal development will include consideration of his/her efforts towards self-development.

    I already passed the written test, what do I do now?
    Once you receive a written notification of your exam results, you can apply for a job announcement through www.jobs.ca.gov. Job announcements will only be posted for 10 days. Be sure to check the website frequently.

    What can I do to prepare for the hiring process?
    Begin completing the Personal History Statement (PHS) so you will be prepared when a job announcement is posted. Click here to download the PHS. Save the PHS on your computer for future recruitments.

    What are some factors that may lengthen my background investigation?

    • Having lived and worked in another part of the state, out of state, and/or a large number of past residences and employers
    • Inability to access necessary records
    • Numerous applications with other law enforcement agencies
    • Extensive driving/criminal history
    • Failure to provide your background investigator with addresses or telephone numbers for critical contacts
    • Medical and/or psychological evaluations

    What information will I need to gather for my background investigation?

    • Residential history for the last 10 years (or since the age of 15), including addresses, landlords, and roommates.
    • Entire employment history including addresses, phone numbers, supervisors, and co-workers
    • All legal history and associated reports
    • All traffic citations received in the past 7 years and associated reports (including copies of citations and accident reports, if possible)
    • Vehicle insurance policies
    • Vehicle registration cards
    • Birth certificate, certified copy issued by the State
    • Marriage and dissolution of marriage certificates
    • Knowledge of your credit history (Free at www.annualcreditreport.com)
    • Social Security Card
    • High school transcript(s) (Certified)
    • College transcript(s) (Certified)
    • Military records and DD214 (www.archives.gov/veterans/evetrecs/index.html)

    What if I have used marijuana, other illegal drugs, and/or gotten a DUI?
    Experimental use of marijuana or other drugs may not be a disqualifying factor. The frequency, dates, and specific circumstances will be evaluated to determine your level of qualification. This also pertains to DUI convictions.

    What if I have been convicted of a misdemeanor?

    A misdemeanor conviction, unlike a felony conviction, may not be a disqualifying factor. The frequency, dates, and specific circumstances will be evaluated to determine your level of qualification.

    Does a candidate have the right to appeal a decision? What is the appeal process?

    If you believe a Withhold or Disqualification action is improper, you may appeal to the State Personnel Board (SPB) by clicking here. Appeals on Withholds from Certification list shall be filed with the Appeals Division of SPB within 30 days of the date that the Notice of Withhold from Certification is mailed to the Appellant. You can find additional information on the appeal process by clicking here.

    What is the difference between withdrawing from the process and being eliminated?

    A withdrawal is done by choice and by the applicant requesting to withdraw from the background process. If you are interested in applying after withdrawing from the process, a new state application is required and you must start the selection process over. Elimination can occur at any point in the process for any number of reasons and are not by an applicant’s choice.

    Where will I be assigned?

    The Division Chiefs will determine where a candidate is assigned based on the existing job vacancies. Candidates may not be notified of their district assignment until after he/she has received all of the required medical clearances. Most of the vacancies are in Contra Costa, Santa Clara, and Sonoma counties for Northern California. In Southern California, most vacancies are in Los Angeles, Kern, Riverside, San Diego, Orange, and Ventura counties.

    Do I have to attend an academy?

    Yes, all ABC agents must attend a POST Basic Academy. Please click here to learn more about the Basic Course requirements

    Which academy would I be assigned to?

    Recruits are generally sent to an academy within the jurisdiction of the district office that they are assigned to. If there are multiple basic academies within that jurisdiction, the agent will attend the academy that begins closest to his/her anticipated hire date.

    To view a list of POST Basic Academies, please click here.

    Do I have to live at the academy?

    Very few academies in California require recruits to live at the academy facility.

    The Department will attempt to find an academy closest to the office that you will be assigned to. If a recruit is assigned to an academy within 50 miles of their assigned district or their home, he/she will not receive lodging reimbursement. On rare occasions, recruits are sent to an academy that does require lodging accommodations, due to the fact that it is more than 50 miles from their home or office. In those situations, the Department will cover the cost of lodging while the recruit attends the academy.

    How should I prepare for the academy?

    It is recommended that all peace officer candidates begin preparing as early as possible for the mental and physical demands of a POST Basic Academy. Many of the basic academies provide tips for preparing for the academy on their websites.

    The academy requires all candidates to complete a POST Work Sample Test Battery (WSTB) or an equivalent physical abilities test approved by POST. We encourage all candidates to begin to prepare for the following physical demands:

    1. Run a 99 yard obstacle course consisting of several sharp turns, a number of curb-height obstacles, and a 34 inch high obstacle that must be vaulted.
    2. Lift or drag 165 pound lifelike dummy 32 feet
    3. Run 5 yards to a 6 foot chain link fence, climb over fence, continue running another 25 yards
    4. Run 5 yards to a 6 foot solid fence, climb over continue running another 25 yards
    5. Run 500 yards

    The WSTB is a minimum requirement. Most basic academies have physical fitness programs that are significantly more demanding than the WSTB.

    Can I use my academy from another state toward the California academy requirement?

    Completion of the Basic Course Waiver process is an option for meeting California's Regular Basic Course training requirement for out-of-state applicants. For more information, please click here.

    What happens after I successfully complete an academy?

    After the POST Basic Academy, a new agent must successfully complete the Departmentís Field Training Program. The program is generally 3 phases, each phase lasting approximately 1 month. The first phase generally includes an agency orientation, classroom lecture, scenarios and shadowing their trainer in the field. In the second phase, the new agent will continue to observe his/her trainer while beginning to take on more responsibility during field work. During the third phase, the new agent will work as the primary officer while the trainer observes to ensure he/she is capable of performing the job in a matter which keeps officer safety and public service paramount.

    What if I already attended a POST Basic Academy?

    If a candidate has already completed a POST Basic Academy, he/she will begin the Field Training Program shortly after being hired.

    The program is generally 3 phases, each phase lasting approximately 1 month. The first phase generally includes an agency orientation, classroom lecture, scenarios and shadowing their trainer in the field. In the second phase, the new agent will continue to observe his/her trainer while beginning to take on more responsibility during field work. During the third phase, the new agent will work as the primary officer while the trainer observes to ensure he/she is capable of performing the job in a matter which keeps officer safety and public service paramount.

    Questions
    Contact ABC Human Resources at (916) 419-2557 or at HumanResources@abc.ca.gov