NON-STATE EMPLOYEE EMPLOYMENT INFORMATION
- How can I find out about working for the State in a specific job?
The "Tools Tab" has information for every job type. Simply select "Classification Specifications". Once you have identified the classification that you are interested in, you can start searching for open examination bulletins using the search feature on the homepage.
- I am looking for a specific exam and can't find it. What should I do?
All examinations that are given by CalHR and other State departments are listed on this website. There are examinations with specific ending dates and examinations that are administered continuously. Check back often to ensure that you do not miss an examination opportunity.
- How can I get assistance with my job search?
CalHR offers a seminar in Sacramento to help individuals seeking employment with the State of California. In addition, CalHR's CalCareer Center is open during normal business hours to assist individuals in seeking State employment. For more information, click on Seminars under the Job Seekers tab.
Applying for a State Examination
Am I required to provide my Social Security Number on my applications?
- Do I have to be a US citizen to work for the State?
Generally, only a few State jobs (mostly peace officers) require U.S. citizenship. You must have the necessary work visas and meet all requirements set forth by the Immigration and Naturalization Service to be eligible to work in the United States.
- Do I have to be able to speak English to work for the state?
The State of California does not conduct examinations in any languages other than English. You must be able to read, write, and speak English to the extent necessary to perform the essential functions of the job. The test you take serves as a measure of your ability to do so. The State has a number of positions designated as bilingual, for which people with language skills, including American Sign Language, are hired. You must first be on the eligible list for the classification and be successful in a bilingual proficiency examination given by the hiring department to be considered for a bilingual position.
- Can I use a college degree from a foreign country?
Yes; however, the State of California only recognizes degrees from accredited educational
Institutions. To find out if an institution of higher education is accredited, use
the following resources:
Providing this is voluntary in accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974 (PS 93-579).
However, the Social Security Number is required for purposes of granting Veterans'
Preference Points and Career Credits, and to check for eligibility for promotional
Preparing to Take a State Test
- How do I know what will be on the test?
Read the exam bulletin section “Examination Information” for the type of test(s)
given, (e.g., written, oral test/interview, training and experience), how each test
will be weighted (e.g., pass/fail, percentage of final test score), and the scope
of the exam, including knowledge, skills, and abilities, required to perform the
job. Refer to the knowledge, skills and abilities on the bulletin.
- How do I take a typing test?
Please review the following link: Typing Certification Tests.
Eligibility and Vacancies
- How do I find out what exams I have taken?
You can view/print what examination lists you are on by logging into your CalCareer Account and clicking on the ‘Eligibilities’ tab.
- How do I change my information on an eligible list?
You can change your employment preference information by logging into your CalCareer Account and clicking on the ‘Eligibilities’ tab. Click on the ‘List Code’ link of the resulting list of records. You can change your address, phone number(s), email address, employment preference locations, tenure/timebase preferences and place yourself active or inactive on a list.
- What health, medical, vision, dental and other benefits are available to
Please review benefit information from CalHR.
- What programs are available for persons with disabilities?
If you are a person with a disability who (1) has a physical or mental impairment or medical condition that limits one or more major life activities; (2) has a record or history of such impairment or medical conditions, or; (3) is regarded as having such an impairment or medical condition, you may wish to participate in CalHR's Limited Examination and Appointment Program (LEAP), authorized by Government Code sections 19240-19243.4.
For additional information, please refer to the links below.
I previously worked for the Legislature. Am I required to take an examination
to work for the State of California?
Yes. Employees of the Legislature are not part of the State of California civil service system, consistent with Government Code section 18990.
I previously worked for the federal government. Am I required to take an
examination to work for the State of California?
Yes. Employees of the federal government are not part of the State of California
civil service system.
I work/worked for the California State University (CSU) system or the University
of California (UC) system. Do I have to take an exam to work for the State of California?
Yes. Employees of the CSU and UC systems are not part of the State of California
civil service system. Therefore, they are not eligible to transfer into civil service
positions, and must take a State exam if interested in State employment.
I work/worked for the county. Do I have to take an exam to work for the
State of California?
Yes. County employees are not part of the State of California civil service system.
Therefore, they are not eligible to transfer into civil service positions, and must
take a State exam if interested State employment.
CURRENT AND FORMER STATE EMPLOYEES
The responses to these frequently asked questions are general and INTENDED AS GUIDANCE ONLY. Your situation may differ based on your civil service status, classification, bargaining unit contract, and other factors. You should always contact the department's human resources office for clarification of your particular situation. It is the hiring department's responsibility to provide information about your status, rights, and benefits for which you may qualify.
Current State Employees
- What classifications can I transfer into other than my current job title?
Transfers between classifications are acceptable when the two classifications have substantially the same level of duties, responsibilities, and salaries, and are not in the same class series. Other factors are also considered such as the promotional relationship of the two classifications (if any), and State Personnel Board (SPB) or departmental laws, rules, and/or policies that limit the circumstances of transfers into and between certain classifications. Persons transferring to a classification other than their current classification must meet the minimum qualifications for the new classification, in accordance with Rule 250. You must also possess any professional license, certificate or credential that is a legal requirement for the classification. You should consult your personnel office or the department with the job opening to determine if you can be considered for transfer into another classification. For general information about the transfer process, you can refer to the transfer salary calculator.
- Can I transfer from one State department to another without taking an examination?
You may transfer to another State department without taking an examination if you
already qualify for appointment to the classification, and time-base of the other
position. For example, if you are a permanent, full-time Office Assistant at your
current department, you can be considered for appointment (transfer) to another
permanent, full-time Office Assistant position at another State department. You
may also qualify to transfer to other positions based on your classification, time-base
and salary. You should contact the State department that has the vacancy to determine
whether a transfer is appropriate.
- If I transfer to another department in the same job classification, do I
have to be placed on probation? If so, how long will I be on probation?
Yes, however, it is at the discretion of the receiving department if you will have to serve a new probationary period. The length of the probationary period generally ranges from six months to one year and can be extended under certain circumstances. You should consult with your human resources office.
- If I am on a promotional list for my current department, can I apply for
a job opening at another department?
You may apply for a job opening at another state department if you are on your department's
promotional list. The department with the job opening will determine whether or
not you qualify to be considered for their job. Determinations for transfer of list
eligibility between departments must be approved by both departments after consideration
of several factors (e.g., the tests used to establish the two lists are comparable).
While you may be on a list for one department, it may not be appropriate for your
eligibility to be transferred to another department. Because there are a number
of factors considered in making this determination, each request is reviewed and
approved on a case-by-case basis.
- I laterally transferred to a new department. Can I transfer my promotional
list eligibility from my old department to my new department?
You may request to transfer your promotional list eligibility to your new department;
however, approval of your request is not automatic. The department you request to
transfer your list eligibility to will review the request and make the determination
after consideration of several factors (e.g., the tests used to establish the two
lists are comparable).
- If I transferred to a new department and my old department is giving a promotional
examination for which I qualify, can I take the promotional exam at my old department?
Under certain circumstances, employees can participate in promotional examinations
given by their former department. State Personnel Board and CalHR rules require that you have
had no break in service, and: (a) you have probationary, limited-term or temporary
status with the new department; and/or (b) the examination is for an administrative,
professional or technical classification and is given within three years of the
date you transferred to the new department. There are a number of other instances
where individuals who are not current employees of the testing department (e.g.
legislative and exempt employees) can qualify to compete in that department's promotional
examinations. If you meet the minimum qualifications and you think you might otherwise
qualify to take a promotional examination, submit your application to the testing
department. If your application is rejected because you are not a current employee
of the department, you will have the opportunity to provide them with information
as to why you feel you are eligible to take their promotional examination.
- How do I find out what upward mobility or promotional opportunities exist
in my department?
Every State department is required by law to establish an effective upward mobility program, which is the planned development and advancement of employees in lower-paying occupations to entry technical, professional and administrative positions in State departments. While State agencies have upward mobility programs, this is a joint responsibility of the employee working with the department. There is no guarantee that any employee who participates in upward mobility activities will receive a promotion. Contact your department’s Human Resources Office or your Equal Employment Opportunity/Civil Rights Office for more information. All vacant positions are advertised on jobs.ca.gov. It is your responsibility to seek promotional opportunities/vacancies on a regular basis so that you don’t miss out on an opportunity.
- Can I have two appointments to different positions at the same or different
A State employee can hold more than one position in State service in the same or
different departments and/or classifications. In order to obtain a second appointment
in a classification that is different from your first appointment, you must have
eligibility to be appointed to the classification of the second position. For example,
if you are an Office Assistant and the second appointment is to an Office Technician
position, you must have eligibility for an appointment to office technician. Generally,
the departments making the appointments must agree to the second position, and would
be required to coordinate your hours and benefits including potential payment of
overtime. Even though you may hold more than one position, you cannot accrue benefits
or State service time credit in excess of that available to a full-time employee.
- Whom should I contact if I need information regarding my employment history?
You should contact the State Controller's Office to request a copy of your employment
history. You must submit a written request to: Work History Unit, Office of the
State Controller, P.O. Box 942850, Sacramento, CA 94250. Your letter must include
your name/prior name(s), birth date, Social Security Number, classification and
department where you last worked, approximate dates worked, and your current address
and telephone number. Questions regarding your employment history request should
be directed to the State Controllers Office at (916) 445-2636.
- Whom should I contact if I have questions regarding my employment or personnel
You should contact the personnel office of the State department where you are currently
employed or where you were last employed to obtain information regarding your employment
or personnel file.
- If I work part-time and want to increase my time-base, can I apply for full-time
You can increase your time-base if you meet the following criteria: (a) previously
held a full-time position in the same or comparable classification; (b) you were
previously eligible and reachable for a full-time appointment from an employment
list; or (c) have worked the required time (1,920 hours or 2 calendar years) in
the same classification as the full-time position. Contact your hiring department
for help in making this determination.
- I work for the State and took an open examination. Do I get Career Credits
for being a State employee?
You may acquire Career Credits for certain open, non-promotional examinations if
you currently hold a permanent appointment within State civil service. The exam
bulletin will specify whether or Career Credits apply to the examination. If you
have any questions, contact the testing department directly.
- How do I find out about Career Executive Assignments (CEA) exams?
Please follow this link: CEA Examination Information.
- If I used to work for the State of California, can I apply for jobs, or
do I need to take a test?
It may not be necessary for you to take another State examination to reenter State
government employment. Reinstatement is possible if you previously held a State
civil service position as a permanent or probationary employee, and separated from
your position by (1) resignation, (2) service retirement, (3) absence without leave
(AWOL), (4) accepting another civil service or exempt appointment without a break
in continuity of State service, (5) termination from a limited-term, temporary,
Career Executive Assignment, or exempt appointment, or (6) termination for failure
to meet conditions of employment. You may be permissively reinstated without having
to take another examination to a classification and time base in your previously
worked classification or into a class in to which you are able to transfer (see
Reinstatement). If you wish to reinstate, it is your responsibility to seek
your own job within State civil service.
- Is there a time limit on how long I can wait until I request to reinstate
to a State job, and what is the process?
There is no time limit for permissive reinstatement eligibility. If you are eligible
to reinstate, based on the reason(s) for your separation from State service, you
can request permissive reinstatement at any time. If you have any questions regarding
your eligibility for reinstatement, you should request a copy of your employment
history (refer to Question 22 below to find out about obtaining your employment history).
When you submit your application for a vacant position, you should indicate you
are applying based on your permissive reinstatement eligibility. The department
to whom you submit your application will determine if you are eligible for consideration
(see Transfer and Reinstatement).
- If I reinstate to the same job classification I had before I separated from
State service, do I have to serve a new probationary period?
It is at the discretion of the receiving department where there you will have to
serve a new probationary period. The length of the probationary period generally
ranges from six months to one year and can be extended under certain circumstances.
You should consult with your Human Resources Office.
- If I was a part-time employee when I resigned, can I apply for full-time
A person reinstating must have reinstatement eligibility for the time base as well
as the tenure and classification. For example, if you held a full-time position
for the same classification at sometime prior to your separation, you can be reinstated
to a full-time position. If you have never held a full-time position in that classification,
you can only be reappointed to a part-time or intermittent time-base position based
on your employment history. However, if you (a) can demonstrate that you were previously
eligible and reachable for a full-time appointment off an employment list; or (b)
have worked the required number of hours (1,920) over the required period of time
(two years) in the same classification as the full-time position, you may qualify
for a time-base change on the date of appointment. The hiring department will make
- Will I get all of my benefits, State service credits, and leave balances
back when I reinstate to a State job?
Contact the hiring department’s Human Resources Office.
- I was on a promotional list for my department when I resigned from State
service. Can I have my eligibility restored to the list when I reinstate?
State Personnel Board rule allows an employee who, within six months of his/her
separation, reinstates to a permanent appointment to request that he/she again be
eligible for certification for employment lists that apply to the employee's new
- If I was dismissed from State service, can I apply for State jobs, or do
I have to take an examination?
If an employee is dismissed from State service by adverse action or as a result
of disciplinary proceedings, he/she loses eligibility to reinstate back to civil
service without the need to successfully pass a State examination. Additionally,
the employee is prohibited from taking any civil service examination or to be certified
for any position in State civil service without the approval of the State Personnel
Board’s Executive Officer. Requests to participate in open examinations must be
submitted in writing to the State Personnel Board.
- If I had an adverse action before I resigned from State service, will it
affect me from reinstating to another State job?
An adverse action, other than a dismissal or disciplinary proceeding that resulted
in a non-voluntary separation from State service, can affect your reinstatement
rights. You should review the adverse action, the stipulation agreement, hearing
decision, or other documentation that was related to your adverse action or resignation.
If there is nothing to bar you from employment with the State, a particular department
or classification, your permissive reinstatement rights may not be affected.
- If I used to work for the State and want to get a copy of employment history,
how do I obtain it?
If you were employed less than five years ago, you should contact your former department’s
Human Resource Office for a copy of your Official Personnel Record. In addition,
you can obtain a copy of your work history from the State Controller’s Office, Employment
History Unit, P.O. Box 942850, Sacramento, CA 94250. Your letter must include your
name/prior name(s), birth date, Social Security Number, classification and department
where you last worked, approximate dates worked, and your current address and telephone
number. Questions regarding your employment history request should be directed to
the State Controller’s Office at (916) 445-2636 Monday through Friday, 8:00am to
- If I retired from State service, can I return to work for the State?
Under certain situations, you can return to work for the State. The California Public
Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) is the policy agency regarding retirement
and benefits. CalPERS has a number of references regarding employment after retirement
and reinstatement from retirement. There are some restrictions you need to know
about, so you will not jeopardize your CalPERS service, disability, or industrial
disability retirement benefits. Please visit the CalPERS
forms and publications center for more information.
- Do California State departments offer internships or part-time employment
for college students?
Many State departments use paid and unpaid interns and part-time student assistants. Interns and students do not require a test. Interested candidates must be currently enrolled in an accredited college and can directly submit their applications to the address indicated on the vacancy announcement. Student Employment is available by clicking on the New and Looking link under the Job Seekers tab.
For hiring agencies, CalHR, in conjunction with the Board of Equalization created
a Student Internship Program Guide for information and reference.
- Do I get State service credit for the time I worked as a Student Assistant
when I get a permanent job with the State?
Typically, State departments hire Student Assistants using two different options.
Option #1: The department advertises their own vacancies and hires
their student assistants into the civil service Student Assistant classification.
Students hired in this manner are normally entitled to the following benefits:
- Earned State service credit
- Earned vacation/sick leave
- Earned holidays and holiday credit
- Direct deposit
- Jury duty leave
- Military leave
However, Student Assistants are not typically entitled to the following:
- State Disability Insurance, Non-Industrial Disability Leave or Industrial Disability
- Bereavement leave
- Leave of absence
- Personal Holiday
- Probationary period
Please review benefit information from CalHR.
Option #2: The department hires their Student Assistants through
a partnership program with a local college(s). Many State agencies use University Enterprises Inc. (UEI)
and the Community College Foundation (CCF) when filling their Student Assistant
vacancies. It is important to understand that UEI/CCF Student Assistant positions
are part-time, non-benefited positions. UEI Student Assistants
are not eligible for any State benefits, including any type of leave accruals, health
benefits, and service credit.