Cadets in the Austin Fire Department must meet the fitness expectations on the first day of the Academy. Those include:
1.5 Mile Run
- Minimum: Under 12 minutes
- Competitive: Under 10:40
- Minimum: 36 push-ups at 80 beats/minute onto 5 inch tall prop
- Competitive: 43 push-ups at 80 beats/minute onto 5 inch tall prop
- Minimum: 30 inverted rows at 80 beats/minute up to a 5 inch tall prop
- Competitive: 40 inverted rows at 80 beats/minute up to a 5 inch tall prop
- Minimum: 1:13/side Competitive: 1:20/side
The following exercises will be taught and developed throughout the cadet academy:
Tower Stair Climb
- Minimum: 18-story stair climb with 35 lbs additional weight (vest, dumbbells, etc)
- Competitive: 27-story stair climb with 35 lbs additional weight (vest, dumbbells, etc)
Familiarity with variations of the squat, deadlift, overhead press, and bent-over row
Applications will be accepted during a specific timeframe. Qualified applicants will be assigned their test date. The 2023 Fire Cadet Application is now live and will be open until 4 p.m. CDT on Wednesday, March 29. No applications will be accepted after that time.
A general aptitude test designed to test your abilities in areas including, but not limited to, verbal comprehension, deductive reasoning, and mechanical aptitude. No prior knowledge about the fire service required. A free applicant preparation guide is available to download: 2023 AFD Written Exam Study Guide
Qualified applicants will receive an e-mail invitation containing a link for them to sign-in online for their written exam test date and time. All applicants must attend and pass the written exam to be eligible to move forward in the hiring process.
Testing will occur on multiple dates depending on the total number of applicants. Applicants will be scheduled for the written exam by their confirmation number. Assigned test dates will be posted on our Hiring Process Updates webpage.
Structured Oral Assessment Process (SOP)
This is a professional job interview and should be treated as such. Applicants will receive an e-mail invitation containing a link for them to sign-up online for their Structured Oral Assessment exam test date and time. During this event, applicants are placed in a room where they are recorded while providing answers in response to videos of hypothetical situations/scenarios. Each question is allocated a limited time for the applicant to make his/her response. These recordings are reviewed and scored by assessors after the event has concluded.
Testing will occur on multiple dates based on the total number of applicants who successfully completed the written examination. Applicants will be scheduled for the SOP by their confirmation number. Assigned test dates will be posted on our Hiring Process Updates webpage.
Veteran Preference Points
The Austin Fire Department offers veteran preference points to qualified applicants. Qualifying for veteran preference points requires submission of a DD214reflecting an Honorable Discharge with at least 180 continuous days of Active Duty Status. No other discharge status is accepted.
In order to be considered for these additional points, applicants will be invited to provide a copy of their DD214, which must display boxes 23 through 30. Applicants must also meet the following criteria to be eligible for these points:
- Electronic submission of a legible copy of the DD214, uploaded to the online AFD portal in electronic format (PDF, TIFF, DOC, JPEG, etc.). We will not accept paper copies via mail or hand delivery, or electronic copies provided outside of the AFD portal such as by e-mail.
- Have an Honorable Discharge. No other discharge status will be accepted.
- Have served a minimum of 180 days of continuous active duty in any branch/component of the U.S. military.
Conditional Offer of Employment/Pre-hire Assessments and Disqualification
Candidates who complete both the written exam and the oral interview will receive a composite score. Applicable veteran preference points will then be applied. That total will determine a candidate’s place on the Ranked Eligibility List.
The next step is the Conditional Offer of Employment, which requires the successful completion of the Pass/Fail pre-hire assessments (otherwise candidates are disqualified).
Candidates may move forward to this stage in "batches" based on the Ranked Eligibility List and on the needs of the Department. Additionally, not all candidates who complete and pass pre-hire assessments will be seated in an Academy; space must exist in an Academy class to accommodate a successful candidate.
Ranked Eligibility List will be posted will be posted on our Hiring Process Updates webpage.
- Background Check: Criminal background investigation, including a fingerprint check.
- Candidate Physical Ability Test© (CPAT): An obstacle course that consists of eight occupational-related events. No previous or alternate CPAT certificates accepted, only those issued by AFD.
- Medical Assessment: Conducted by the City of Austin's Public Safety Wellness Center physicians.
- Psychological Assessment: Candidates will take a written psychological assessment. This is followed by interviews conducted by third-party psychologists contracted by the City of Austin. All appointments are scheduled through the Public Safety Wellness Center
Learn more about preparation for some of the pre-hire assessments.
Do you meet the age requirements?
Applicants must be at least 18 years of age but not exceed age 35 on the day the written exam is administered.
Are you eligible for future certification with:
While applicants do not need to be certified during the application process, they still need to be eligible for FUTURE certification with the Texas Commission on Fire Protection and the Department of State Health Services. If you have questions about your ability to become certified, please contact the Texas Commission on Fire Protection or Texas Department of State Health Services directly.
Previous law enforcement/legal issues?
Obtain a copy of your criminal record now so you have the chance to review (and clear up!) anything before submitting your application:
- Texas residents
- Offenses that occurred in other states will be held to the Texas equivalent.
Tattoos or tunnels?
- Tattoos must be coverable by AFD’s formal uniform (button-down, long-sleeve shirt with a tie).
- Tunnels larger than ½" in diameter are prohibited.
Applicants must meet the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1582, Latest Edition, and Standard on Comprehensive Occupational medical program for Fire Departments.
Learn more about disqualification criteria.
Final Ranked Eligibility List
In accordance with applicable law, all Fire Cadets will be hired from this eligibility list in rank order for the duration of the life of the list. The duration of the life of the eligibility list will be specified in the notice to submit applications.
Final Employment Offer
You’re in! You’re officially a part of the hottest team in town and will begin your designated Fire Academy with the rest of your cadet class. CONGRATULATIONS!