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How To Become a Correctional Officer in Los Angeles

The City of Los Angeles is seeking individuals for Detention Officer positions that have a focus on safety, are physically able and capable perform the job duties, can remain composed under stress, have outstanding interpersonal, oral and written communication skills, and the drive to uphold the superior performance levels that the city expects.

These are the traits that you need to exceed in order to separate yourself from other applicants. A full list of tasks and duties that you can expect to perform as a Detention Officer in the City of Los Angeles can be found here.

In order to become a Detention Officer in Los Angeles, you must meet the following requirements at a minimum.

Minimum Requirements

  • Must Have a High School Diploma or GED
  • Possess a Valid California Driver’s License
  • Be able to type of a Computer Keyboard
  • Complete a Background Check, Including Fingerprinting
  • Complete a Medical Examination & Psychological Evaluation

A combination of education and experience is also required and must be met under any of the following conditions:

  • (Option A): Have six (6) months of full-time paid experience as a Security Guard or Security Officer, Law Enforcement Officer, Correctional Officer, Traffic Officer, Park Ranger, any other career that provided experience safeguarding objects, materials, or people; or;
  • (Option B): Have six (6) months of City of Los Angeles experience as a Police Explorer, Police Aide, Police Student Worker, Community Police Aid; or;
  • (Option C): Have six (6) months full-time service in the US Armed Forces, or 1 year Reserve or National Guard, with satisfactory performance and completion of basic training and advanced individual training/military school; or;
  • (Option D): Have earned 12 semester credits or 18 quarter units from an accredited college or university; or;
  • (Option E): Provide proof of completion of the Los Angeles Police Academy Magnet School Program

Background Check

A preliminary background check will be conducted as a condition of employment for this job. To successfully pass this background screening you should have no criminal history or improper conduct, no felony convictions, no poor work history, a positive financial history, a clean driving record, an acceptable military history if applicable, and be of good moral character with a pattern of honesty and respect with the people and organizations you have associated with in the past and currently.

Additionally, you will be required to submit to fingerprinting screening that results in no disqualifying law violating records being found that may disqualify you from this position. You will also be subject to a drug and alcohol-screening test.

Pay Rate & Salary

The pay rate that you can expect to earn is $49,548 to $61,554 per year for full time Detention Officer 3211 jobs with the City of Los Angeles. New officers are generally appointed at the lower end of the pay grade range although if you are working night shifts or are placed in an authorized bilingual position you can expect to earn a much higher salary.

Los Angeles Detention Officer Exam

If you meet all of the qualifying requirements for the Detention Officer position, you will be contacted to take the Detention Officer Test. This test will consist of multiple-choice questions with a passing score generally set at 70%.

Following the qualifying written test, applicants must then complete the essay based Training and Experience Questionnaire. This essay questionnaire will focus on and evaluate the areas of safety focus, composure, teamwork, and written communication skills. Unless you successfully pass the written exam you will not be allowed to take the Training & Experience Questionnaire.

If you receive a passing score on the Training & Experience Questionnaire essay you will then be allowed to proceed to the Physical Abilities Test (PAT), which is used to measure your current physical capabilities, muscular strength and endurance, anaerobic capacity, cardio level, range of motion and dexterity. In order to become certified, you must pass the PAT.

Application Process

To apply for the position of Detention Officer in Los Angeles, CA, you’ll need to click here to complete the application process online.


City of Los Angeles

700 East Temple Street, Room 100

Los Angeles, California 90012

Information & Application Line –  (213) 473-9311

24-Hour Job Line – (213) 473-9310


Additional Information

Reference: Official City of LA Website ~

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