​Join The Charlotte Fire Department

Overview

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.

WATCH THIS VIDEO ABOUT THE LIFE OF A CHARLOTTE FIREFIGHTER

Charlotte Fire Department Hiring Process:

Minimum Eligibility Requirements:

  • At least 18 years of age by the date of application
  • High school diploma, GED, or high school equivalency from accredited educational institution by the date of application
  • Valid driver's license by the date of application
  • Applicants with military service must have an honorable discharge if any; "General discharge under Honorable conditions" will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
  • Must meet the medical requirements outlined in NFPA 1582. That means firefighters must have the agility and physical strength to do prolonged and arduous work under adverse conditions.
    • 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.

Automatic Disqualifiers Include:

  • • Anything other than an Honorable Discharge from the military; "General discharge under Honorable conditions" will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
  • Admission and/or conviction of a felony offense
  • Admission and/or conviction of a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude
  • Use of marijuana/THC (smoke, inhale, ingest, etc.) within 6 months before, or any time after, the date of application
  • Use of any other illicit or illegal drugs within 3 years before, or any time after, the date of application
  • 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
  • Candidates will be expected to be in compliance with this policy prior to employment: GO_209.01A-Body Art-Tattoo Policy(PDF, 154KB)

Entry-Level Firefighter Hiring Process Steps

STEP 1: Complete Online Application

The application period for CFD's 2024-A Fire Fighter Recruit Hiring process will be open from 8:00am EST on Thursday, July 20, 2023 through 12:00pm (noon) EST on Thursday, August 3, 2023. Go to https://www.jobapscloud.com/oec/Charlotte/ to apply during the open application period. Applicants with an existing JobAps Applicant Profile should log into and use their existing Applicant profile when applying; if you cannot remember your Username or Password, use the recovery options provided there. If you have not already created an Applicant Profile, create one there, and then complete the job application.

Once an application has been submitted, your personal application status and Notices that have been emailed to you are stored for 24/7 access in your JobAps Applicant Profile at https://www.jobapscloud.com/oec/Charlotte/. Click on My Applications at the top of the screen. Enter the Username and Password you created when you built your Applicant Profile. If you cannot remember your Username or Password, use the recovery options provided there. Once logged in, you can view your Applicant Profile as well as the current status of all of your Unsubmitted, Submitted, or Unfinished City of Charlotte employment applications. To the right of each Job Title is the current status/step in the process that your employment application is currently in, and by clicking the date under Last Notice you can open, scroll through, and review the Notices sent to you via JobAps regarding that application. It is each applicant's responsibility to monitor their emails, including Junk/Spam folders, as well as their JobAps account, for updates and invitations for the duration of the hiring process.

STEP 2: Register For & Complete Structured Oral Interview and Written Exam

Soon after the application period has closed, invitations to self-schedule for the first components will be emailed to eligible applicants. For these first two components, a VERY limited number of virtual/online appointments will be made available to applicants while the remainder of applicants must attend in-person. Applicants are responsible for carefully reviewing the information below related to these two testing methods.

The job application will provide applicants the opportunity to indicate interest in completing the Written Exam and Structured Oral Interview (SOI) virtually/online; however, indicating interest does NOT guarantee the applicant will be granted virtual appointments. Evaluation will be made soon after the application period has CLOSED (08/03/2023) and, following evaluation of all applications, applicants will receive further information via email. Virtual appointments will REQUIRE applicants to have access to the following on test days: #1- 2011 or newer cell phone with fully functioning camera/video capabilities, AND, #2- Computer/laptop which can accept a software download prior to testing. Applicants who experience technical difficulties and are subsequently unable to complete their scheduled virtual appointment MUST attend the component(s) in-person.

VIRTUAL/ONLINE Written Exams will be held, on a very limited basis, during the week of Monday, September 11 through Friday, September 15, 2023. Applicants’ specific Written Exam date and time will be assigned based on slot availability during the self-scheduling process. The exam does not require applicants to have prior knowledge about fire services work.

VIRTUAL/ONLINE Structured Oral Interviews (SOIs) will be then held for those same applicants on Saturday, September 16, 2023. Applicants’ specific SOI time will be assigned based on slot availability during the self-scheduling process. In this exercise, applicants will be given hypothetical situations to respond to.

IN-PERSON Structured Oral Interviews (SOIs) will be held between Saturday, September 23 and Sunday, September 24, 2023. Applicants’ specific SOI date and time will be assigned based on slot availability during self-scheduling. In this exercise, applicants will be given hypothetical situations to respond to.

After completion of the in-person Structured Oral Interview, upon exiting, applicants will receive the location and randomly assigned appointment time to report for their IN-PERSON Written Exam on Monday, September 25, 2023. The exam does not require applicants to have prior knowledge about fire services work.

STEP 3: Candidate Application Packet

Applicants will receive a list of very specific documents to gather and compile into a Candidate Application Packet, as well as details on how to submit their packet and the required deadline for submission.

STEP 4: Screening Assessment

Applicants will complete a screening assessment.

STEP 5: Committee Review

A committee reviews all aspects of an application file and evaluates each as a "whole candidate." Candidates may then be invited to a Panel Interview.

STEP 6: Panel Interview

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

STEP 7: Polygraph Examination

Applicants will be given a polygraph exam.

STEP 8: 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 9: Personal History Background Investigation

Background, criminal history, social media, motor vehicle, and reference checks will be conducted.

STEP 10: Pre-Employment Medical Examination, and Uniform Fitting

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

STEP 11: 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 optional orientation session will be offered by appointment, followed by an appointment for a required first attempt at the test. Those who do not pass the first attempt will then be scheduled for a final attempt at the test. To learn more about the 2023 Fireground Physical Ability Test (FPAT), please watch the Fireground Physical Ability Test Video.

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 and will submit at a location based on their current zip code.

STEP 13: Civil Service Certification

The Charlotte Fire Department will present a document package regarding selected candidates to the Civil Service Board for approval, typically held on the first Tuesday of that month.

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 2024-A Hiring Process

The online application for the Fire Fighter Recruit 2024-A process "name" and application period information.

To submit an Interest Card and be placed on our distribution list to receive email updates on future Firefighter hiring opportunities, Charlotte Fire Department Interest Card.

Each year, the number of candidates hired and recruited classes seated at the Academy depends entirely on retirements, promotions, and funding. Exact dates will vary from year to year. Currently, the process duration for any given candidate could be anywhere from a few months to 15 months from the time of the Written Exam.

This highly competitive process does involve several steps in which a candidate must appear personally, at times with relatively short notice. Each candidate's experience and timeline throughout the process may be different, and not all who apply will be hired.

Contact with candidates may be made by phone or via email, so each is asked to continue to monitor incoming calls (be sure voicemail is set up and is not full) and emails, including Junk/Spam folders, for updates or invitations from CFD as we move through the year's process.

Once a candidate is selected for hire and placed into a class, Recruit School lasts approximately six months and is Monday through Friday, approximately 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Eligible candidates not selected for the first class(es) are placed into a pool for future classes until the year's process is completed.

My friend/family member works for CFD. Can I ask them to find out my next step or my status in the hiring process?

CFD Recruitment and HR staff cannot discuss a candidate's status with anyone except the candidate; this includes other CFD employees as well as the candidate's family, friends, or significant others. Candidates are participating in a highly competitive process and, as such, are the individuals responsible for making necessary contacts. The appropriate means of contact for candidate questions or concerns is via the email addresses and phone numbers used and provided to each candidate throughout the year's process.

During the hiring process, are candidates given advance notice about the process events they will be going through in order to have time to get off from work?

This highly competitive process involves several steps for which a candidate must appear personally. There may be times a candidate receives relatively short notice (i.e., a few days or a week) of a request for personal appearance for the next step (i.e., interview, polygraph, physical, etc.). It is a candidate's responsibility to make themselves available for these steps when requested and to communicate any concerns with their hiring team.

  • Initially, the following may require attendance in person, and candidates will be aware at least two weeks in advance:
    • Written Exam and Structured Oral Process
  • If selected to move forward at each stage, there are a few more times throughout the process that a candidate would be required to appear in person, at times with relatively short notice:
    • Panel Interview
    • Polygraph
    • FPAT - once for Orientation (optional), once to take the first Timed FPAT (recommended), and/or once to take or retake at the Final FPAT (if the candidate didn't pass the first time) 
    • Pre-Employment Medical Examination (NFPA Physical), and Uniform Fitting (will schedule appointments in one day)

My friend/family member and I are both in the current process. I have received an invitation for a panel interview, but they have not; does that mean their application has been closed?

Each candidate's experience and timeline throughout the process duration may be different, and not all who apply will be hired. Contact with candidates may be made by phone or via email, so each is asked to continue to monitor incoming calls (be sure voicemail is set up and is not full) and emails, including Junk/Spam folders, for updates or invitations from CFD as the year's process progresses. The appropriate means of contact for candidate questions or concerns is via the email addresses and phone numbers used and provided to each candidate throughout the year's process.

Can I be provided with my grades for the Written Exam and FPAT?

Individual scores from hiring process components (i.e., Written Exam, Structured Oral Process, interviews, etc.) are not provided to candidates. The FPAT is pass/fail, and candidates are aware at the time of their FPAT whether they have passed or failed.

I am currently finishing up an active-duty contract in the military. Before my time in the military, I was a Firefighter/Paramedic in another city/state for eight years. Can either of these time periods: be bought back towards retirement?

Yes. Purchases can be made up to 5 years of active military service and half of any prior government service up to five years. The purchase of service credit can be made after five years of vesting with CFD and can be purchased using 401(k) and 457 funds as a trust-to-trust transfer which you don't have to pay back and are not penalized for.

I am currently finishing up an active-duty contract in the military. Before my time in the military, I was a Firefighter/Paramedic in another city/state for eight years. Be considered for promotion eligibility or quicker advancements to specialized units?

No.

If the window for applications opens before my discharge date from the military, would I be able to apply for the position and complete the application process while I am still in the service?

Active-duty members of the military are welcome to apply.

Currently, I reside in another state. Are there any policies requiring candidates or employees to live within the City of Charlotte?

The City of Charlotte and/or the Charlotte Fire Department do not monitor or restrict where an employee resides other than to maintain that information on file.

During Recruit School at the Academy, do recruits live/sleep at the Academy?

No, recruits do not stay overnight or live at the Academy; they attend Recruit School daily Monday through Friday, approximately 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Do recruits receive pay during Recruit School?

Yes, Firefighter Recruit is a paid position beginning on day one of Recruit School at the Academy.

Do recruits receive medical benefits?

Yes, their City of Charlotte benefits are effective on day one of Recruit School at the Academy.

What can I do to improve my chances of being hired as a recruit with CFD?

Individuals should thoroughly review and monitor Careers In Firefighting for information about the CFD's hiring process and requirements and for videos, study guides, prep guides, and more information about becoming a Charlotte Firefighter. Individuals are encouraged to continue striving for their personal best.

Do I have to have any firefighting experience in order to apply for or be hired as a recruit with CFD?

No. All Firefighter Recruits hired, with or without previous Fire/EMT experience, are fully trained in firefighting and EMT skills during Recruit School.

Do I have to have my EMT certification in order to apply for or be hired as a recruit with CFD?

No. All Firefighter Recruits hired, with or without previous Fire/EMT experience, are fully trained in firefighting and EMT skills during Recruit School, and all CFD firefighters maintain their NC EMT certification (at minimum) throughout the duration of their careers with CFD.

I currently have my NC EMT certification. Do I still have to go through Recruit School, and do I still have to take an EMT course during Recruit School?

Yes. All Firefighter Recruits hired, with or without previous fire/EMT experience, are fully trained in firefighting and EMT skills during Recruit School, and all CFD firefighters maintain their NC EMT certification (at minimum) throughout the duration of their careers with CFD. If a candidate is hired who already possesses their valid NC EMT certification and is fully up to date on their related con-ed (verified by CFD's EMS Coordinator during Recruit School), that recruit would not be required to retake the state's EMT test at the conclusion of training.

I am an NR-EMT holder, and I also have my EMT certification from my home state. Does North Carolina have reciprocity for NR and other states' licenses/certifications?

Yes, North Carolina does have reciprocity, and candidates who hold their National Registry EMT or out-of-state EMT can visit Office of Emergency Medical Services for more information on or begin the reciprocity process.

Is there a pay incentive if I have my college degree?

Fire Fighter Recruits receive a 5% incentive for an Associate’s degree OR a 10% incentive for a Bachelor’s degree; an official transcript is required. Fire Fighter Recruits who have served at least 2 years of Active-Duty military OR 6 years in the Reserves/National Guard, who do NOT have any educational degrees, may be eligible for a 5% military incentive; DD-214s/NGB Form 22s are required.

I am currently a Firefighter in another state or jurisdiction. Does CFD have a lateral entry program?

No, the CFD does not currently have a lateral entry program.

However, the CFD may, at times, run an "Accelerated" Fire Fighter Recruit hiring process with very specific additional requirements which would be outlined in the job posting. These may include, but are not limited to: Must currently be employed as a full-time, paid firefighter at a municipal department for at least the past three years from the date of applications (does not include volunteer or part-time experience); must hold the NC Firefighter I & II certs, the NC EMT Basic cert, and the NC HazMat Ops Level 1 Responder cert -- *OR* equivalent certs which would be eligible for NC reciprocity. The Accelerated process results in a shorter Recruit School at the Academy of approximately 13 weeks.

I am currently a City of Charlotte employee in another department. If I am selected for hire as a Fire Fighter Trainee would I remain in my current pay scale or see an increase/decrease in pay?

All newly hired Fire Fighter Trainees receive the current fiscal year's "Firefighter I" new hire pay rate, which would be listed in the job posting at the time of application.

Still, have questions?