State Jobs (California) pay and benefits

jplee3jplee3 Member Posts: 51 ■■■□□□□□□□
edited April 2021 in IT Jobs / Degrees
Hi all,

I have an interview for a Specialist I position with the state (CA) soon and was wondering, for those of you who are familiar, how this classification maps (or not) to the private or public sector (e.g. is it "entry level", "mid-level", or "mid-senior").
I'm currently a QA engineer at a large bank but the position I'm applying for is a security analyst position. I've technically been out of the security arena for a while now so not super confident in my knowledge and skills, but it'll be interesting just to see what the position entails. 
If I do well enough to be offered the position (knock on wood), it looks like I'd be taking a 25% pay-cut at best.  For those of you who transitioned from private/public to state or federal (or know anyone who has) was it pretty common to take the pay-cut? It seems the trade-off is more job stability for lesser pay.

That aside, I was also curious about the benefits and how they stack up against what I currently have. I'm pretty unfamiliar with state benefits outside of knowing that there's a pension program. Do people just not contribute to a 401k? Are medical/dental/vision coverage pretty good or about the same as what you'd find at any major financial/tech company?

BTW: the current job is 100% WFH (it was like this pre-COVID). I'm not sure whether the state job will be or not, or if it's one of those "eventually you'll need to come in" type of deals... if it's not remote/telework indefinitely, then I likely will pass.

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