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Joining the CCC -- Frequently Asked Questions​​

The CCC is for young men and women ages 18 to 25.  Almost everyone can benefit from a year in the Corps, and California benefits as well.  The CCC has openings year-round.


Besides the age range, applicants must be California residents and not on probation or parole.  The CCC accepts applicants of all income and education levels.


Being a corpsmember is a full-time commitment.

Here are a few reasons. In the CCC, you work outdoors, earn a paycheck, advance your education, learn basic job skills and make progress toward a career.  You help the environment, meet new people and go to new places.  You can also live away from home.

The CCC is basically a one-year program, although corpsmembers can leave at any time.  Those who successfully complete a year are eligible for the CCC scholarship and other Corps opportunities.

Click here to link up with the closest recruiter. You’ll work with the recruiter and CCC staff during the application and training process that includes fingerprinting, a physical exam and completion of a one-week orientation class.

They receive minimum wage, $10.50/hour, with cash bonuses after a certain number of hours.

Yes, corpsmembers receive medical benefits and also a number of paid holidays during the year.  They also receive vacation hours and sick leave.

Corpsmembers are usually involved in several dozen different projects each year, most involving outdoor work. The variety of projects could range from landscaping to trail building to tree planting, as well as wildlife habitat improvement, flood prevention and more.


CCC crews also respond to natural disasters -- fires, floods, earthquakes, oil spills and pest infestations.


With a good record, corpsmembers can apply for the CCC’s special programs, including the Backcountry Trails program, the Australian Work Exchange and the Salmon Restoration Program.


Corpsmembers need to work hard, meet their educational goals, and see a task through to the end. It’s important to accept responsibility, develop good work habits, work as a team, and participate in all aspects of the CCC program. And corpsmembers need to get along well with all kinds of people.

Initial training is provided during the first week or two, with more training throughout the year, both hands-on and in the classroom.  Everyone learns proper tool use and safety; there is also instruction and certification available in first aid and CPR, chain saw work, firefighting, leadership training, cooking and more.  Individual internships are available as well.


You don’t need a high school diploma to join the CCC.  If you don’t have one, you’ll work to earn a diploma or GED through the CCC’s partnership with the John Muir Charter School or the National University Academy.  Community college courses are offered at several centers.


All corpsmembers take a course in Career Development, to help them prepare them for entering the workforce. The Conservation Awareness class is also required; it focuses on environmental principles.


Most centers have classrooms and computer labs.

Both options are available in the CCC.  The nonresidential locations allow corpsmembers to live at home or on their own and commute each day; the residential centers have dorms, a dining hall and other facilities.  Those choosing residential centers have $325/month deducted from their checks for room and board.

Typically, there's no project work on weekends.  Corpsmembers' time is their own, although they may be involved in classes, volunteer projects or recreational activities.


Occasionally crews will work on “spikes,” projects not in daily commuting distance.  These short-term projects require corpsmembers to temporarily camp or live in another location while they work on a particular project, often for 10 days at a time.


During fires, floods or other natural disasters, corpsmembers may also be involved in emergency response on weekends.

Corpsmembers go on to jobs as firefighters, trail workers, park rangers, teachers, police officers, solar panel installers, small business owners and more.  Many get an idea of what they want to do from their experiences in the CCC.


Many corpsmembers go on to college or vocational schools, making use of scholarships earned in the CCC.

Unfortunately no, but we recommend you to check out this Corps Network website showing each state and all of the programs they have to offer.  If you’re currently living out of state but are considering moving to California, please contact a recruiter for additional instructions.

The culinary staff at our residential centers prepare a variety of meals catering to the different ethnic and cultural backgrounds of our corpsmembers.  They serve traditional, vegetarian and vegan meals, well-balanced, nutritious and delicious.  While it’s tough to please everyone all the time, corpsmembers provide input to the culinary staff on an ongoing basis.



Breakfast and dinner are served on center and corpsmembers make a sack lunch. On weekends and holidays the two meals served are brunch and dinner.  Special banquets are arranged for holidays and other center celebrations; in summer, outdoor barbecues are often planned.  Seconds are always available for hungry eaters.

A packing list is provided of items to bring and not to bring.  Generally dorms are equipped with lockers having minimal closet space.  For trainees it’s recommended to pack light.  Once corpsmembers have been settled into the program and into regular corpsmember rooms with larger lockers, they can bring more items.

The CCC's residential centers have separate dormitories for men and women. Corpsmembers usually share rooms with several others; a few private rooms are available in most locations, and go to those with good records.  For those who haven't lived away from home before, residential living gives them "on-the-job" training in life skills, from managing money to doing laundry to showing up on time fro work and class.

No!  Corpsmembers have the freedom to have their own personal hair styles, although while on projects and certain activities they're required to wear hats, so make sure to pack hair bands.

The answer is yes. While on work projects corpsmembers must take out their body jewelry for safety purposes but during their down time they're free to wear their body jewelry.  Tattoos are acceptable in the CCC.  If tattoos are considered to be violent or offensive towards others they’ll need to be covered.

Not a problem during your free time.  Whenever family or friends want to visit, that's great! They'll be issued visitor passes. Visits in dorm rooms are limited to 30 minutes at a time to be considerate of other roommates.  Guests are required to purchase meal tickets at a low cost if they want to eat at the center.

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