Cadets during graduation

Hiring Process*

Entrance Exam

Candidates who meet the minimum qualifications will be allowed to take the written entrance exam.

The written exam is designed to measure work behaviors, skills, and abilities important to becoming a firefighter. Even though questions on the test are occasionally placed in a firefighting context, you are not required to have prior knowledge about the fire service.

Structured Oral Process

Candidates will also be required to participate in a Structured Oral Process. The SOP is an interview process consisting of a series of hypothetical situations, followed by questions that assess the skills, abilities, and other personal characteristics necessary for successful performance as an entry-level firefighter. Your response to each question will be video recorded, and reviewed and rated by a panel of trained assessors at a later date.

Test Scoring

Candidates who complete both the written questions and the oral interview will receive a composite score based on the written questions (20 out of 100 points), oral interview (80 out of 100 points), and any applicable military points (5 points). Employment offers to enter an Austin Fire Department cadet academy will be made based on this composite score and the candidate’s ability to pass a series of assessments including medical, psychology, physical ability and responses to the teamwork and work behavior written questions.

Military Points

Applicants who qualify for Military points will have five bonus points added to their composite test score. To qualify for military points, a candidate must have been Honorably Discharged and submit a DD214 demonstrating at least 180 days of Active Duty Status. No other discharge status will be accepted.

Initial Ranked List

An applicant’s composite test score, plus military points (if applicable), will determine his/her place on the Initial Ranked List.

Candidate Physical Ability Test© (CPAT) (Pass/Fail)

The Candidate Physical Ability Test© (CPAT) is an obstacle course that consists of eight occupational related events. All applicants must pass the CPAT with AFD; we will only accept CPAT certificates issued by AFD. Previous CPAT certification issued elsewhere, regardless of date, will not be accepted.

Treadmill Fitness Evaluation (Pass/Fail)

Candidates will be tested on their general physical fitness by participating in a timed treadmill test.  Candidates will run on a treadmill to simulate 12 METs.  For more information on the CPAT and Treadmill Evaluation, please see our Frequently Asked Questions.

Conditional Offer to Hire

Individuals receiving a conditional offer to hire must successfully complete several additional employment process components including:

  • Background Investigation;
  • Psychological Assessment; and
  • Medical Assessment.

Candidates must pass all components of the employment process in order to be considered for placement on the Final Ranked Eligibility List.

Final Ranked Eligibility List

The final product of the employment process is a Final Ranked Eligibility List. Candidates will be hired in rank order from the Final Ranked Eligibility List. The final eligibility list is valid for 24 months from the date of posting by the Civil Service Office, as required by Texas Local Government Code 143.