Employment Opportunities

The Charlotte Fire Department's primary mission is to preserve life and property through rapid emergency response, code enforcement, education and planning.

Emergency Response has been the department's top function since 1887, and includes fire suppression, first-responder emergency medical services, hazardous materials mitigation, technical, dive and aircraft rescue firefighting.

Thank you for your interest in becoming a Charlotte Firefighter. You'll find additional information here about our hiring process, candidate eligibility requirements, salary and benefits.

Click here for a printable document that details the firefighter hiring process.

Middle- and high-school students interested in the fire service can start planning their careers early. Click here to learn what it takes to be a firefighter.



APPLICATIONS  are currently closed at this time for future updates please fill out an interest card.  

Careers in Firefighting Interest Card


The Written Assessment (Basic Skills) Exam will be offered after the application period. Applicants who pass the written assessment exam will be invited back to take the Candidate Physical Ability Test, or CPAT.



 Careers in Firefighting



Minimum Eligibility Requirements<div class="ExternalClass5893228A99484B26B780151D0506B4BB"><h2>​<span style="color:darkred;"><strong>Minimum Eligibility Requirements:</strong></span></h2><ul><li><h2><span style="color:darkred;"></span><span class="ms-rteStyle-Normal">At least 18 years of age</span></h2></li><li><h2><span class="ms-rteStyle-Normal"></span><span class="ms-rteStyle-Normal">High school diploma or GED</span></h2></li><li><h2><span class="ms-rteStyle-Normal"></span><span class="ms-rteStyle-Normal">Valid driver's license</span></h2></li><li><h2><span class="ms-rteStyle-Normal"></span><span class="ms-rteStyle-Normal">Applicants with military service must have an honorable discharge, if any</span></h2></li><li><h2><span class="ms-rteStyle-Normal"></span><span class="ms-rteStyle-Normal">Must meet the medical requirements set forth in </span><a href="http://www.nfpa.org/codes-and-standards/document-information-pages?mode=code&code=1582" target="_blank"><span class="ms-rteStyle-Normal"><font color="#0066cc">NFPA 1582</font></span></a><span class="ms-rteStyle-Normal">. That means firefighters must have the agility and physical strength to do prolonged and arduous work under adverse conditions.</span></h2></li><ul><li><h2><span class="ms-rteStyle-Normal"></span><span class="ms-rteStyle-Normal">This includes but is not limited to, the ability to lift, move and maintain position on items (e.g. charged hoses) up to 90 pounds; push objects up to 25 pounds; pull objects from 25 to 50 pounds, and lift or pull victims weighing more than 150 pounds.</span></h2></li></ul><li><h2><span class="ms-rteStyle-Normal"></span><span class="ms-rteStyle-Normal">In addition, firefighters must be able to think critically and solve complex problems during physical exertion in stressful, hazardous environments.</span></h2></li></ul></div>
Automatic Disqualifiers<div class="ExternalClass793ABB78989C457997F760D843F0B3F6"><h2>​<span style="color:darkred;"><strong>Automatic Disqualifiers Include:</strong></span></h2><ul><li><p>Anything other than an honorable discharge from the military</p></li><li><p>Admission and/or conviction of a felony offense</p></li><li><p>Admission and/or conviction of a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude</p></li><li><p>Illegal drug use in the 12 months preceding the written test date </p></li><li><p>Pattern of illegal drug use (including distribution)</p></li><li><p>Pattern of theft</p></li><li><p>Six or more points for moving violations during the past three years. Court decisions such as Prayer for Judgment Continued (PJC) will be counted as convictions. Three-year period to be calculated from date of conviction for each violation. </p></li><li><p>DUI/DWI conviction within the last five years </p></li></ul></div>
Annual Hiring Process<div class="ExternalClass235E1629E54149949D9A7B742C26664C"><h1>​<span style="color:darkred;"><strong>Annual Hiring Process</strong></span></h1><h2><span style="color:darkred;"><strong>Step 1: Online Application</strong></span></h2><h3 class="ms-rteElement-Heading3Red"><span class="ms-rteStyle-Normal">The CFD ONLY accepts applications online during a designated window of time each year.</span></h3><p> </p><h2><strong style="color:darkred;">Step 2: Written Assessment Exam</strong></h2><h3 class="ms-rteElement-Heading3Red"><span class="ms-rteStyle-Normal">The Written Assessment (Basic Skills) Exam will be offered once a year.  Candidates who completed an online application during the application window (see Step 1) will receive an email with instructions on how to register for the written exam. Applicants who pass the written assessment exam will be invited back to take the CPAT. <a href="/Fire/EmploymentOpportunities/Pages/Written-Exam.aspx"><font color="#0066cc">Read the written assessment guide and listen to the sample audio file here. </font></a></span></h3><p> </p><h2><strong style="color:darkred;">Step 3: CPAT (Candidate Physical Ability Test)</strong></h2><h3 class="ms-rteElement-Heading3Red"><span class="ms-rteStyle-Normal">The CPAT was developed to allow fire departments to obtain pools of trainable candidates who are physically able to perform essential job tasks at fire scenes. The test consists of eight separate events that must be completed in a specific time period. Candidates must progress along a predetermined path from event to event in a continuous manner, and complete the entire skills test in 10 minutes, 20 seconds or less.<br></span></h3><h3 class="ms-rteElement-Heading3Red"><span class="ms-rteStyle-Normal"></span><span class="ms-rteStyle-Normal">There will be three CPAT events applicants can attend:</span></h3><ul><li><h3 class="ms-rteElement-Heading3Red"><span class="ms-rteStyle-Normal">CPAT Orientation allows the applicant to become familiar with the course and events prior to the actual test.</span></h3></li><li><h3 class="ms-rteElement-Heading3Red"><span class="ms-rteStyle-Normal">CPAT Timed Run is administered exactly like the real test. If the applicant passes the timed run, s/he will be placed in the applicant pool and will be eligible to move forward in the selection process. Applicants who do not pass the timed run may choose to do a second timed run or participate in the final CPAT.</span></h3></li><li><h3 class="ms-rteElement-Heading3Red"><span class="ms-rteStyle-Normal">Final CPAT will be the applicant's final opportunity to pass the test. If you do not pass the Final CPAT, your application will be closed.</span></h3></li></ul><h3 class="ms-rteElement-Heading3Red"><span class="ms-rteStyle-Normal">Applicants who pass the CPAT remain in the applicant-screening pool. <a href="/Fire/EmploymentOpportunities/Pages/Candidate-Physical-Ability-Test-(CPAT).aspx"><font color="#0066cc">Watch a CPAT video and read the CPAT Orientation Guide here</font></a>.</span></h3><p> </p><h2><strong style="color:darkred;">Step 4: Application Packet Review & Preliminary Interview</strong></h2><h3 class="ms-rteElement-Heading3Red"><span class="ms-rteStyle-Normal">Note: Not all applicants who reach this step will receive an interview. Each application is reviewed and selected candidates are interviewed by Human Resources and Operations representatives. Applicants who progress past this stage will be invited to a panel interview.</span></h3><p> </p><h2><strong style="color:darkred;">Step 5: Panel Interview</strong></h2><h3 class="ms-rteElement-Heading3Red"><span class="ms-rteStyle-Normal">CFD Deputy Chiefs conduct panel interviews. After all interviews are complete, finalists are invited to take a polygraph exam.</span></h3><p> </p><h2><strong style="color:darkred;">Step 6: Polygraph Examination</strong></h2><h3 class="ms-rteElement-Heading3Red"><span class="ms-rteStyle-Normal">After polygraph exams are complete, recruit selections will be made.  The number of CFD job openings determines the number of recruit classes to be held.  Conditional offers will be given to the selected applicants.  Other candidates, that have passed all steps in the assessment process, will be held in an eligibility pool until the following year's process is complete.</span></h3><p> </p><h2><strong style="color:darkred;">Step 7: Personal History Background Investigation</strong></h2><h3 class="ms-rteElement-Heading3Red"><span class="ms-rteStyle-Normal">A background investigation includes employment verification and references checks along with a complete review of your credit, criminal and driving records.</span></h3><p> </p><h2><strong style="color:darkred;">Step 8: Pre-Employment Medical Examination and Drug Screening</strong></h2><h3 class="ms-rteElement-Heading3Red"><span class="ms-rteStyle-Normal">The CFD follows the </span><a href="http://www.nfpa.org/codes-and-standards/document-information-pages?mode=code&code=1582" target="_blank"><span class="ms-rteStyle-Normal"><font color="#0066cc">National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1582 medical guidelines</font></span></a><span class="ms-rteStyle-Normal">.</span></h3><p> </p><h2><strong style="color:darkred;">Step 9: Civil Service Certification</strong></h2><h3 class="ms-rteElement-Heading3Red"><span class="ms-rteStyle-Normal">The Charlotte Fire Department will present selected candidates to the Civil Service Board for approval.  </span></h3></div>