Cadets jogging

Road to Austin Fire

Bring It On.

So you want to join the hottest team in town? Great! Read on to learn more about the 2021 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 employees who are qualified and excited to join Austin Fire.

Questions should be directed to

Don’t sweat it, you've got this!

The hiring process (Candidate Interest Card through Final Employment Offer) is comprised of two phases: The first phase consists of the application period, written exam, and Structured Oral Assessment Process (SOP); the second phase begins with the Pre-hire Assessments. Details on each of the items within these phases is outlined below. 

Candidate Interest Card

Filling out a Candidate Interest Card is not a required step in the hiring process, but you don't want to miss any recruiting events, tips on preparing for the hiring process, or just general "good to know" stuff about us; fill this out so your name can be added to our  e-mail list!

Complete your Candidate Interest Card.

Candidate Preparation

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 June 17, 2021:

  • 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.

Learn how to prepare for the hiring process.


Applications for the 2021 Fire Cadet job closed on April 30th, 2021.  The next call for applications will occur in spring 2023.

Written Exam

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.

Qualified applicants will receive an e-mail invitation by May 20, 2021 with their assigned exam date, time, and location. All applicants must attend and pass the written exam to be eligible to move forward in the hiring process.

Testing will occur on three separate dates. Applicants will be scheduled for the written exam by their confirmation number. Assigned test dates will be posted below by May 20, 2021.


Questions? Contact

Once you've taken the exam, visit for the next steps. 

Structured Oral Assessment Process (SOP)

This is a professional job interview and should be treated as such. Applicants will be invited to an assigned date, time, and location to attend their SOP. 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. 

See more details on the Structured Oral Assessment Process (SOP).

Scoring/Ranking/Veteran Preference Points

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.

Qualifying for veteran preference points requires an Honorable Discharge and the submittal of a DD214 demonstrating at least 180 days of Active Duty Status. No other discharge status is accepted.

See more details on the veteran preference points.

Conditional Offer of Employment

The offer is conditional and requires the successful completion of the following Pass/Fail pre-hire assessments (otherwise candidates are disqualified).

Pre-hire Assessments/Disqualification

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.  

  • Background Check
  • Candidate Physical Ability Test© (CPAT)
  • Treadmill Fitness Evaluation

    NOTE: On the advice of medical professionals, the treadmill test will not be performed while the COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing. As that situation is subject to change, the use of the treadmill test during the hiring process is yet to be determined.
  • Medical Assessment
  • Psychological Assessment

Disqualification criteria includes, but is not limited to:

  • Alcohol and drug testing;
  • Criminal arrests and convictions; and/or
  • Certain tattoos and tunnels.

Learn more about disqualification criteria.

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, which will be 24 months

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!