Firefighter applications will be accepted online from May 6 to July 26, 2019. Here are some frequently asked questions about the process of becoming a Philadelphia firefighter.
I want to become a Philadelphia firefighter. What are the requirements?
You must have, or will have, education equivalent to the completion of high school by December 31, 2019. In addition, at the time employment is offered, you must be at least 18 years of age, have a valid Pennsylvania driver’s license, and be physically able to perform the required duties of a firefighter.
Here is a brief overview of additional requirements, the hiring process, and salary and benefits package.
What’s the first step?
You must apply to take the firefighter exam. The city’s Office of Human Resources will accept online applications from May 6, 2019 until July 26, 2019. All applications must be submitted by close of business on July 26, 2019. No late applications will be accepted. No exceptions.
What happens after I apply?
If you have, or will have, education equivalent to the completion of high school by December 31, 2019, then your application will proceed to the next step in the hiring process. You will receive a Notice to Appear for the exam at least two weeks prior to the exam.
How will I receive exam-related notifications after I apply?
Applicants who provide an email address in their application account profile will receive all correspondence regarding this examination, including a Notice to Appear and Notice of Results, via email. You should add Phila.OHR@phila.gov to your address book or list of trusted contacts to prevent notices from being marked as spam by your email provider. If you do not provide an email address, all notifications will be sent to the postal address listed in the contact information of your application account profile. Providing an email address is strongly encouraged to ensure timely exam notifications.
When is the actual test?
The test is scheduled for Saturday, September 14, 2019. This is the only scheduled test date for this exam. The time and location of the exam will be indicated on your Notice to Appear. You must appear to take the exam on time and in person. Late arrivals will not be admitted. No exceptions.
What if I can’t attend the exam on September 14, 2019?
Saturday, September 14, 2019 is the only scheduled exam date. Make-up exams may only be granted for active military service, religious observation, or jury duty. All requests for make-up exams must be submitted in writing at least one week prior to the date of the exam and must include supporting documentation.
What if I require a special testing accommodation for a documented medical reason?
Candidates may request an accommodation for a Civil Service exam by contacting the Equal Employment Opportunity / Affirmative Action Unit of the Mayor’s Office of Labor Relations at 215-683-5085.
What does the test cover and how can I request a study guide?
This test is different from the past firefighter tests. There is no required study guide.
When the application announcement for firefighter is published on May 6, 2019, the announcement will include a link to a site with a candidate orientation guide and candidate orientation video. The guide and video should not be confused with previous examinations as they are NOT a mandatory part of the testing process. They are completely optional and only for informational purposes.
What should I bring to the test?
You must bring your Notice to Appear and current photo identification.
When will I be notified of the results?
It is anticipated that you will receive your exam results, including score and rank, by November 8, 2019.
What happens after the results come out?
Once the PFD decides to start hiring for the next cadet class, candidates will be contacted in rank order to begin the next steps in the hiring process.
If I score well, when would I actually get hired?
The PFD anticipates hiring off the list after it is established on November 8, 2019. The list will remain active for two years. The PFD cannot estimate when new cadet classes will be formed during that time.
What are the next steps in the hiring process?
Candidates will be invited to the next hiring phase according to the order in which they are ranked. The next phase includes an orientation, interviews at the PFD, criminal background and indebtedness checks, and a medical examination. Candidates who fulfill those requirements will be invited to join a cadet class for an academic, practical and physical training program where they will learn basic firefighting and emergency medical services (EMS) skills at the Philadelphia Fire Academy. The training lasts about six months.
Firefighter cadets are paid according to the first step in the pay scale ($54,856 annually, new rate effective July 1, 2019). Medical benefits are administered through IAFF Local 22 and are effective the first day a cadet starts at the Fire Academy. Non-Philadelphia residents must move into the city within six months of being hired as a cadet.
Do I have a better chance of joining the PFD if I apply early?
No. It doesn’t matter whether you apply on May 6, 2019 or July 26, 2019 — or any day in between. Everyone who applies during the open application period and meets the requirements will be invited to take the exam scheduled for September 14, 2019.
When was the last time the city accepted applications for the firefighter exam?
The last application period was July 18, 2016 to September 2, 2016.
What if I took the firefighter exam in 2016 and haven’t been hired yet?
The PFD is currently operating off a list that expires on September 26, 2019. Anyone still on that list when it expires will not be called to interview for future cadet classes. You must apply to take the test again during the next application period (May 6, 2019 – July 26, 2019).
What if I want to join the PFD as a paramedic?
This exam is for firefighters only. If you would like to join the PFD as a paramedic, please fill out a job interest form and we will notify you when the next paramedic application period opens.
What if my question isn’t answered here?
We will publish additional FAQs after the application period closes on July 26, 2019. For all other questions, please contact the Office of Human Resources at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215-686-0880.