Executive Careers

Exempt and Career Executive Assignment (CEA) Positions

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation is committed to the recruitment of leaders who can carry out the mission of the Department and promote its strategic vision.  Executive-level positions can be obtained through Exempt appointments, which are appointments by the Governor, and through Career Executive Assignments (CEA).

What is a CEA position?:

A CEA is an appointment to a high administrative and policy influencing position within the state civil service in which the incumbent’s primary responsibility is the managing of a major function or the rendering of management advice to top-level administrative authority.

Who can apply for a CEA position?:

CEA examinations are open to all applicants who possess the knowledge and abilities, and any other requirements as described in the examination bulletin. Eligibility to take a CEA examination does not require permanent status in civil service.

How to apply for a CEA position?:

Qualified persons must complete a STD. 678 State Employment Application and submit any other documentation requested in the CEA job announcement bulletin. The STD. 678 State Employment Application may be obtained through https://jobs.ca.gov

What is a “Statement of Qualifications?”:

CEA examinations are typically administered utilizing a Statement of Qualifications (SOQ), which is a written document prepared by the candidate to illustrate how he/she is qualified for the position. Specifically, a SOQ is a narrative of the candidate’s experience, knowledge, and abilities related to the “Desirable Qualifications” cited on the Examination Bulletin. Each candidate’s SOQ is reviewed and rated by an executive screening committee. In order to be successful in this type of examination, a candidate must attain a minimum score of 70 percent.

To assist qualified candidates in preparing a SOQ, the Executive Appointments Unit has developed some helpful tips:

  • Read the entire CEA Examination Bulletin and ensure that you follow specific instructions
  • Review the Desirable Qualifications, as this information serves as a screening criteria for each CEA position
  • Clearly title your SOQ – Resumes DO NOT take the place of a SOQ
  • Prepare your responses in a clear and concise manner
  • Address each Desirable Qualification individually and respond with specific examples that directly relate to your experience, knowledge, and abilities
  • Quantify and qualify your experience, knowledge, and abilities as it directly relates to each Desirable Qualification (e.g. three years of experience performing.)
  • SOQ should be typed, no more than 4 pages in length, and at least 12 point font

What is an exempt appointment?:

An “Exempt” appointment is one that is made by the Governor of California. These positions are not covered by civil service laws and rules and therefore are not subject to civil service requirements. An exempt employee serves at the pleasure of the Governor.

Who can apply for an exempt appointment?:

Qualified persons must complete and file an appointment application from the Office of the Governor. When an exempt recruitment announcement is issued by CDCR, candidates are instructed to submit a resume of qualifications and experience and three (3) professional references to CDCR, as instructed in the announcement.  Additionally, qualified persons must complete and file an appointment application with the Office of the Governor and may be obtained through the Governor’s Office.