Charlotte Fire Department

​Join The Charlotte Fire Department

Thank you for your interest in becoming a Charlotte Firefighter. Our hiring needs vary from year to year; however, our goal is to continually seek out highly qualified and diverse candidates to join our world-class organization.

Charlotte Fire Department Hiring Process:

Minimum Eligibility Requirements:

  • At least 18 years of age

  • High school diploma or GED

  • Valid driver's license

  • Applicants with military service must have an honorable discharge if any

Automatic Disqualifiers Include:

  • Anything other than an Honorable discharge from the military

  • Admission and/or conviction of a felony offense

  • Admission and/or conviction of a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude

  • Illegal drug use within 12 months before or after the written test date

  • A pattern of illegal drug use (including distribution)

  • Pattern of theft

  • Six or more points for moving violations on driving record during the past three (3) years.

    • The three-year period is to be calculated from the date of conviction for each violation.

    • Court decisions such as Prayer for Judgment Continued (PJC) will be counted as convictions.

  • DUI/DWI conviction within the last five (5) years

    • 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.

  • In addition, firefighters must think critically and solve complex problems during physical exertion in stressful, hazardous environments.

Entry-Level Firefighter Hiring Process Steps

STEP 1: Complete Online Application

The CFD ONLY accepts applications online during a designated window of time each year

STEP 2: Register For & Take Written Test

Those who completed the online application will receive an email with information on registering online for the written test. Applicants who pass the written test and structured oral interview will be invited back to take the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT)

STEP 3: Structured Oral Interview

After candidates have taken the written test, they will be randomly scheduled onsite to return for a structured oral interview

STEP 4: Physical Abilities Test (PAT)

The PAT 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 multiple events that must be completed in a specific time period. Candidates must continuously progress along a predetermined path from event to event and complete the entire skills test. An orientation will be offered by appointment in March; a practice run in April, and a final timed run in May

STEP 5: Application Packet Review

Human Resources reviews each application. Applicants who progress past this stage may be invited to a written psychological assessment

STEP 6: Written Psychological Assessment

STEP 7: Panel Interview

CFD Operations personnel conduct panel interviews. Successful candidates may then be invited to take a polygraph exam

STEP 8: Polygraph Examination & Fingerprinting

Applicants will be given a polygraph exam and will be fingerprinted.

STEP 9: Conditional Offer Of Employment

Successful applicants may be issued a conditional offer of employment at this stage with a tentative start date to begin a recruit class at the Academy

STEP 10: Personal History Background Investigation/Oral Psychological Assessment

STEP 11: Pre-Employment Medical Examination & Uniform Fitting

The CFD follows the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1582 medical guidelines.

STEP 12: Pre-Employment Drug Screening

The Charlotte Fire Department follows the City of Charlotte's Drug- and Alcohol-Free Workplace policy. Applicants will be scheduled for a drug screening within 30 days prior to their start date at the Academy.

STEP 13: Civil Service Certification

The Charlotte Fire Department will present a document package regarding selected candidates to the Civil Service Board for approval.

STEP 14: Formal Offer Of Employment To Start Recruit School

Upon approval from the Civil Service Board, applicants will receive a firm formal offer of employment to begin Recruit School, with at least a two-week window to provide notice to their current employer.

STEP 15: Welcome To The Charlotte Fire Department!

Fire Fighter Trainees, or Recruits, are paid full-time employees with a complete City of Charlotte benefits package beginning on day one of Recruit School at the Academy.

Charlotte Fire Department 2022 Hiring Process

Frequently Asked Questions