Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are there contacts within CAL FIRE that I can reach out to for more information on a specific classification or hiring process?
A: Depending on the type of inquiry, contacts will vary. Please find the following information on common contacts:
  • Fire Fighter I Hotline: (951) 901-5060
  • Fire Fighter II Hotline: (951) 901-5051
  • FAE/FC Hotline: (707) 576-2963
  • Forestry Aide/Defensible Space Inspector Hotline: (951) 901-5066
  • R.V.E.T.S Hotline: (916) 327-3985
  • General Examination Info: (916) 894-9580 or
  • Recruitment Unit: (916) 894-9858 or
There is also a hiring unit contact information listed on the job bulletin if you are looking for questions about a specific position or hiring process.
A: To receive notification for future examination and vacancies, you can sign up for our Email Distribution list at You can select your field(s) of interest for tailored emails. Another method is to follow us on our social media. We utilize Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn for exams and job postings. You can also receive email notifications of jobs and examinations that match your search criteria on a daily or weekly basis on CalCareers.
A: The first step to getting a State Job is to create a CalCareers account at Your account allows you to apply for a job opening, manage all your job applications, and view your exam results all in one place. The next step is to pass the corresponding examination to obtain a ranking on the eligibility list. You should be able to see your score if the examination was taken online. Once you are on the list, you can apply for job openings.
A: Seasonal classifications, such as Fire Fighter I, do not required an examination. For permanent classifications, you would need to be on the eligibility list. However, some classifications are TAU eligible which allows you to apply without passing an exam. An employee with a TAU appointment has no reinstatement eligibility. This means that you would need to complete the next available examination to stay on the position. If a classification is TAU eligible, you would be able to find more information in the job bulletin.
A: You can visit for more information on a classification by typing the classification title in the search bar. You can find useful information such as the Minimum Qualifications, Classification Definition, and other Special Requirements.
A: For some classifications, you may be eligible to transfer. However, it is recommended that you continue to re-apply for examination or hiring processes until you have appointed and passed probation.
A: It depends on the classification you are applying for. If you are applying for a fire suppression or forestry classification, such as Fire Fighter I, a physical/medical examination is required.
A: Aside from our Law Enforcement classifications, it is rare for a position to require background checks. Fire Fighter I and Administrative positions typically do not require background checks. If a position requires background checks, it would be specified in the job bulletin.
A: ​CAL FIRE Basic Fire Fighter Certificate is not being directly issued by the Office of State Fire Marshal. However, there are many Accredited Local Academies that offer CAL FIRE Basic Fire Fighter Certificate as a part of the program. You will need to reach out to these institutions for availability and enrollment. The list of Accredited Academies can found at
A: The application window for Fire Fighter I typically opens from November 1st to November 30th of each year. You can find more information on seasonal Fire Fighter I Hiring at
A: If your application is accepted, you should be able to update your application by sending a copy of your certificate(s) to You can also reach out to Fire Fighter I Hotline for more info.
A: Our Returning Veterans; Enlisting Their Skills for CAL FIRE Service (R.V.E.T.S) program provides a variety of employment options and educational opportunities for those eligible. For more information, visit: Equipment.
A: Veterans’ Preference will be granted for veteran, widow or widower of a veteran, or spouse of a disabled veteran, who achieves a passing score in an examination, shall be ranked in the top rank of the resulting eligibility list. Once the California Department of Human Resources has approved your application for Veterans’ Preference, your information will remain on file for all future qualifying examinations.
A: There are a few things we advise potential candidates to pursue who wish to begin their careers as a Fire Fighter I with CAL FIRE. If you are interested in a career in Fire Protection, we strongly encourage you to obtain these trainings to increase your competitiveness:
  • CAL FIRE Basic Fire Fighter Certificate (S-190, S-130, L-180)
  • California State Fire Marshal (SFM) Confined Space Awareness Certificate
  • California SFM Hazardous Materials First Responder Operational Certificate
  • Fire Fighter Survival (Structural)
  • FEMA IS-100: Introduction to Incident Command System
  • FEMA IS-700: An Introduction to the National Incident Management System (NIMS)
  • FEMA IS-800: National Response Framework, An Introduction
  • CPR
  • Public Safety First Aid
  • Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)
  • Paramedic (EMT-P)
  • SFM Accredited FFI Academy or equivalent FFI Academy
  • SFM Fire Fighter I Certification
For more information on classes, visit: There is information on how to obtain your certifications and classes that are open to enroll towards the bottom of the page. You can search for available State Fire Training classes at: You can also visit FEMA website at: For more info on Accredited Academies, visit our State Fire Training at:
A: There is no age limit for the Fire Fighter Academy with CAL FIRE. The candidate must, however, be able to perform the duties safely and meet the physical requirements of the position. You may also refer to our Fire Fighter Hiring page on our website at
A: CAL FIRE does hire individuals that are not citizens, they just need to have a work visa that authorizes them to work in the United States or get the proper documentation to become a citizen. Some classifications, such as our Peace Officer positions, have other requirements that wouldn’t allow us to hire a non-citizen.
DACA Recipients: Your status does not stop you from applying to a position that do not require U.S citizenship. However, you must be able to provide any necessary documents that permits you to work in the U.S during the hiring process.
A: California Labor Law requires all current employees with access to federal taxpayer information to pass a criminal background check. However, it is not required for all classifications. While we don’t have a list of specific positions that do or do not require a background check, generally our Law Enforcement positions and, as previously mentioned, those classifications that handle sensitive federal taxpayer information require these checks. On the Fire Protection side, a Law Enforcement position could be a Battalion Chief, Assistant Chief, Unit Chief, or Fire Captain, for example. That does not mean every one of our positions will require those, but some might be depending on work location, job duties, etc. They will typically be specified on the job duty statement or job advertisement if a background check is required. Our entry level positions, like Fire Fighter I for example, do not require background checks. Administrative positions also typically do not have background checks, it is rare that you would encounter this outside of a law enforcement position.