So you want to join the hottest team in town? Great! Read on to learn more about the 2023 hiring process. It has been designed to comply with all applicable laws, is managed by several different City offices {both inside and outside of the Austin Fire Department (AFD)}, and is intended to hire candidates who are qualified and excited to join Austin Fire. 

Don’t sweat it, you've got this!

The Austin Fire Department's hiring process (Candidate Interest Card through Final Employment Offer) is comprised of two phases: The first phase consists of the application period, and written exam; the second phase begins with the Pre-hire Assessments (candidates who receive conditional offers of employment must successfully complete all of the Pass/Fail pre-hire assessments; otherwise, candidates are disqualified).

Candidates who complete the written exam will receive a composite score. Applicable veteran preference points will then be applied to all passing test scores. That total will determine a candidate’s place on the Ranked Eligibility List. 

The Austin Fire Department reserves the right to update, change, cancel, and/or alter any dates and times listed below with or without notice.

Eligibility Requirements

The Austin Fire Department has adopted and follows Texas Local Government Code 143. This code also addresses eligibility for a beginning position for a Firefighter, which includes age and eligibility for future certification. 

The following are the minimum requirements for a Fire Cadet. Applicants must meet all requirements as of August 1, 2023:

  • AGE: Applicants must be at least 18 years of age but not exceed age 35 on the day the written exam is administered.
  • EDUCATION: Must possess a high school diploma or GED.
  • CITIZENSHIP: U.S. (birth or naturalized). If you are not a United States' citizen, your immigration status must be current and must permit you to work a full-time job in this country. Applicants must have a valid Social Security card. If you have questions about your immigration status or work permit, please contact United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
  • LANGUAGE: Must be able to read, write, and speak English.
  • DRIVER LICENSE: Must possess a current valid driver license issued from your state of residence.
  • SOCIAL SECURITY: Must have a valid Social Security card.
  • MEDICAL: Must meet the requirements set forth in NFPA 1582, Latest Edition, Standard on medical requirements for Firefighters. If you have questions about the requirements, please contact NFPA or a medical professional. 
  • ELIGIBLE FOR FUTURE CERTIFICATIONS: Meet all legal requirements necessary to become certified by:

If you have questions about your ability to become certified, please contact the appropriate agency directly.

Fitness Expectations

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

Metronome Pushups

  • 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

Inverted Rows

  • 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

Side Plank

  • 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
 


PHASE 1

Application (Closed)

Applications will be accepted during a specific timeframe. Qualified applicants will be assigned their test date. Applications for the 2023 Fire Cadet Hiring Process are now closed.

 

Written Exam (Completed)

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

Candidates who complete and pass the written exam (score 70 or higher) will have applicable veteran preference points applied. That total will determine a candidate’s place on the Initial Ranked Eligibility List. Top-ranked applicants will be invited to move forward into the second phase of our hiring process, the pre-hire assessments. For those applicants who did not make it into the top-ranked group, we thank you for participating and encourage you to apply in one of our future hiring processes.

Veteran Preference Points (Completed)

The Austin Fire Department offers veteran preference points to qualified applicants (those who have received a passing written exam score). Additionally, qualifying for veteran preference points requires Austin Fire Department DD form 214 Submissionreflecting 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:

  1. 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.
  2. Have an Honorable Discharge. No other discharge status will be accepted.
  3. Have served a minimum of 180 days of continuous active duty in any branch/component of the U.S. military.   
  4. Passing written exam score.
  5. Military Veteran Bonus Points

Conditional Offer of Employment/Pre-hire Assessments and Disqualification

After the Written Exam score and the Veteran Preference Points are combined, the total score will determine an applicant’s place on the Ranked Eligibility List. 

The Ranked Eligibility List will be posted will be posted on our Hiring Process Updates webpage

Top ranked applicants will receive a Conditional Offer of Employment to move forward in the hiring process and will be required to successfully complete a series of Pass/Fail pre-hire assessments. If you do not receive a Conditional Offer of Employment, we encourage you to apply in a future fire cadet hiring process.

 


PHASE 2

Pre-hire Assessments

  1. Background Check: Criminal background investigation, including a fingerprint check. 
  2. 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.
  3. Medical Assessment: Conducted by the City of Austin's Public Safety Wellness Center physicians.
  4. 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.

Disqualification criteria

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.

Medical issues 

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!