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. To learn more about the 2022 Fireground Physical Ability Test (FPAT), please watch the
Fireground Physical Ability Test Video.
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.