Step 1: Preliminary Background Application All candidates must complete a Preliminary Background Application (PBA) as part of the application process. After completing the PBA, you will receive instantaneous information on issues you should resolve before beginning the selection process and you will be told if you have a realistic chance of success in some of the common areas of the background investigation portion of the selection process. If you decide to continue the application process, you will be instructed to fill out additional application information on-line.

STEP 2: Minimum Requirements If you decide to continue the application process, you must meet the minimum requirements:

  • Completion of the on-line Preliminary Background Application
  • Be at least 18 years old of age at the time of application
  • U.S. high school diploma or equivalent, G.E.D., or CHSPE certificate
  • Valid California Driver’s License is required at the time of appointment

  • Additional Job Information:
  • Excellent health
  • Excellent vision
  • Non-smoker
  • STEP 3: Written Test (Multiple-Choice) measures A) reading comprehension and B) mathematics, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, ratios, squares, square roots, and the use and conversion of decimals, fractions, and percentages. After 1 year from the candidate’s written test date, an unsuccessful candidate may re-apply to re-take this test by submitting a new PBA and on-line application (a new user ID and password must be created).

    STEP 4: Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT)Candidates who successfully pass the multiple-choice written test must provide proof of a current passing score on the Candidate Physical Ability Test before they will be scheduled for an oral interview and at the time of certification for hiring consideration. A CPAT score is valid for 1 year. The CPAT is not administered by the City of Los Angeles. Candidates must schedule and pay for their own CPAT.

    STEP 5: Interview is a behavior-based review of a candidate’s personal history. It is designed to evaluate initiative in learning, practical orientation, role adaptability, service orientation, oral communication skill, job motivation, teamwork, and respect for diversity. The minimum passing score is 70. This score will determine a candidate’s rank on the eligible list, which is valid for 2 years from the date of the interview. However, after 1 year and a day from the candidate’s interview date, a candidate may apply to be scheduled to re-take the interview by submitting a new PBA and on-line application (a new user ID and password must be created). This is an extremely competitive examination and only those candidates with the highest scores will continue in the selection process.

    STEP 6: Background Investigation will be conducted based on a candidate’s ranking on the eligible list and the hiring needs of the Fire Department. Candidates with the highest scores will complete a Personal History Form prior to their scheduled appointment. At the time of their background investigation appointment, they will complete additional forms related to their background. Background appointments may take up to 4 hours to complete.

    STEP 7: Initial Panel Review of Qualifications Candidates who attend the initial background investigation will be competitively evaluated during a review of qualifications by a panel consisting of a Fire Captain, a Personnel Department representative, and as needed, a Chief Officer. The panel will review the candidate’s Preliminary Background Application (PBA), oral interview rating sheets, Personal History Form, and additional background information provided in the initial background investigation appointment.

    STEP 8: Field Investigation is conducted to evaluate interpersonal skills, sensitivity, and respect for others; decision-making and judgment; maturity and discipline; honesty, integrity, and personal ethics; setting and achieving goals; and a records check. A field investigation may take from 30 to 180 days, depending on the complexity of investigation required.

    STEP 9: Final Review for Tentative Job Offer will be completed by a panel consisting of a Fire Captain, a Personnel Department representative, and a Chief Officer. On the basis of this review, conditional job offers, in numbers proportionate to the number of anticipated vacancies, will be issued by the Fire Department.

    STEP 10: Medical/Psychological Examinations - Medical exams are conducted by a City physician to determine whether the candidate is medically qualified to perform the full range of Firefighter duties, with no conditions, which would affect the candidate’s ability to safely perform those duties. Additionally, a psychological evaluation, which consists of a written test and may include a clinical interview conducted by a City psychologist, will be required prior to appointment. Those successfully completing these evaluations will be appointed in accordance with their date of completion and City hiring needs.