Charlotte Fire Department Information Sessions

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.



Thank you for your interest in The Charlotte Fire Department. The application period for our 2021 Firefighter Recruiting Process is now closed..

Click here for Entry Level Firefighter Written Exam Introductory Guide.pdf

Click here for Entry Level Firefighter Structured Oral Interview Introductory Guide.pdf

To submit an Interest Card and be placed on our distribution list to receive email updates on future Firefighter hiring opportunities click here: Careers in Firefighting Interest Card

 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="" 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="ExternalClassFBBA101A43244F5EB64CB60ABEE1B222"><div><h2 class="ExternalClass793ABB78989C457997F760D843F0B3F6">​<span style="color:darkred;"><strong>Automatic Disqualifiers Include:</strong></span></h2><div class="ExternalClass793ABB78989C457997F760D843F0B3F6"><ul style="list-style-type:disc;"><li>Anything other than an Honorable discharge from the military</li></ul></div><ul style="list-style-type:disc;"><li>Admission and/or conviction of a felony offense</li></ul><ul style="list-style-type:disc;"><li>Admission and/or conviction of a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude</li></ul><ul style="list-style-type:disc;"><li>Illegal drug use within 12 months before or after the written test date</li></ul><ul style="list-style-type:disc;"><li>Pattern of illegal drug use (including distribution)</li></ul><ul style="list-style-type:disc;"><li>Pattern of theft</li></ul><ul style="list-style-type:disc;"><li>Six or more points for moving violations on driving record during the past three (3) years. Court decisions such as Prayer for Judgment Continued (PJC) will be counted as convictions. Three-year period to be calculated from the date of conviction for each violation.</li></ul><ul style="list-style-type:disc;"><li>DUI/DWI conviction within the last five (5) years</li><li><p>Candidates will be expected to be in compliance with this policy prior to employment:  <a href="/Fire/EmploymentOpportunities/Documents/GO_209.01A-Body%20Art-Tattoo%20Policy.pdf">GO_209.01A-Body Art-Tattoo Policy.pdf</a><br></p></li></ul></div></div>
Annual Hiring Process<div class="ExternalClassF596FF2A89DC4CFA9E4872D08AD1750C"><h1 class="ExternalClass235E1629E54149949D9A7B742C26664C">​<span style="color:darkred;"><strong>Annual Hiring Process</strong></span></h1><h2 class="ExternalClass235E1629E54149949D9A7B742C26664C"><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 class="ExternalClass235E1629E54149949D9A7B742C26664C"> </p><h2 class="ExternalClass235E1629E54149949D9A7B742C26664C"><span style="color:darkred;"><strong>Step 2: </strong></span><span style="color:darkred;"><strong>Entry-Level Firefighter Examination</strong></span></h2><p class="ExternalClass235E1629E54149949D9A7B742C26664C">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 a detailed invitation to the Written Assessment Exam after the application window has closed. The exam does not require you to have prior knowledge about fire services work. Upon completion of the Written Assessment Exam, applicants will immediately be assigned an appointment time and location for the Structured Oral Exercise. In this exercise, applicants will be given hypothetical situations to respond to. Applicants who pass the Entry-Level Firefighter Examination receive an emailed invitation to register online for the CPAT. </p><p class="ExternalClass235E1629E54149949D9A7B742C26664C"> </p><h2 class="ExternalClass235E1629E54149949D9A7B742C26664C"><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><div class="ExternalClass235E1629E54149949D9A7B742C26664C"><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><li><h3 class="ms-rteElement-Heading3Red"><span class="ms-rteStyle-Normal"><a href="/Fire/EmploymentOpportunities/Pages/Candidate-Physical-Ability-Test-(CPAT).aspx"><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Watch a CPAT video and read the CPAT Orientation Guide here</span></a>.</span></h3></li></ul></div><p>Applicants who pass the CPAT remain in the applicant screening pool and undergo a detailed packet review.</p><h3 class="ms-rteElement-Heading3Red"><span class="ms-rteStyle-Normal"></span></h3><h2><strong style="color:darkred;">Step 4: Application Packet Review </strong></h2><p>Additional documentation will be requested from each applicant. Each full application package is then reviewed, and selected candidates are invited to a panel interview. Note: Not all applicants who reach this step will receive an interview. </p><p> </p><h2><strong style="color:darkred;">Step 5: Panel Interview</strong></h2><p>Panel interviews are conducted with Human Resources and Operations representatives.  After all interviews are complete, finalists are invited, in stages, to take a polygraph exam.</p><p> </p><h2><strong style="color:darkred;">Step 6: Polygraph Examination</strong></h2><p>After polygraph exams are complete, preliminary 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, who have passed all steps in the assessment process to this point, will be held in an eligibility pool until the year's process is complete.</p><p> </p><h2><strong style="color:darkred;">Step 7: Personal History Background Investigation</strong></h2><p>A background investigation includes employment verification, references checks, and a complete review of your criminal and driving records.</p><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="" 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">.  The City of Charlotte and the Charlotte Fire Department are a Drug- and Alcohol-Free Workplace.</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>