Entry Level Firefighter (2024)

Firefighter FAQ

When will the Civil Service Commission (CSC) issue the next entry-level Firefighter announcement?

The new Firefighter announcement will be issued on July 1, 2024, and will be open through September 3, 2024, until 4:00 p.m.

When will the next Firefighter exam be administered?

The written exam is projected to be administered in the Fall 2024 and/or Winter of 2025. The pass/fail physical performance exam will be administered at the time of certification beginning tentatively in the Spring of 2025. The CSC website will be updated as more specific information becomes available.

Where can I find the announcement and application for the entry-level Firefighter exam?

The announcement and online application will be available on the CSC website (https://nj.gov/csc) on July 1, 2024.

What does it cost to apply for the entry-level Firefighter exam?

The application fee for the 2024 Firefighter announcement is $35. For more information about application fees and exemptions, please visit the CSC website at http://www.state.nj.us/csc/seekers/about/steps/step4.html.

Why does it cost $35 to apply for the entry-level Firefighter exam?
What is an eligible list?

Candidates who pass the written examination are placed on eligible lists based on test scores, veteran status, volunteer points, and residency. Eligible lists may last between two and four years.

What happens to the lists of eligible candidates from the previous entry-level Firefighter exam when the new lists from the 2024 exam are released?

When the new lists from the 2024 announcement are released, the previous lists will expire and no longer be used.

Will candidates who passed the previous entry-level Firefighter exam and/or physical performance test (PPT) be able to carry over their scores to the exam for the 2024 announcement?

No. If you want to be on the new list(s), then you must apply for the 2024 exam before the closing date, and then take and pass the new exam when it is scheduled.

What is my Applicant ID number?

In accordance with N.J.S.A. 11A:4-1, all job applicants are requested to provide their Social Security Number (SSN) on applications to establish a unique means of identifying all their records throughout the selection and appointment processes. Providing your SSN is voluntary. If you do not provide your SSN, then another unique identification number will be assigned to you, and that number will appear on all subsequent records related to this exam. However, to receive New Jersey Civil Service Commission Veteran’s Preference, you must provide your SSN.

Once I take the exam, may I review it?

To protect the security of this examination, there will be no review of any exam material.

If I pass the exam, will I be told my rank on the list?

The eligibility notice you will receive will include your final average, veteran status, and rank on the list for each jurisdiction for which you are eligible.

Do veterans get preference?

Yes. Eligibles with disabled veteran or veteran status are grouped at the top of the eligible lists by their veteran status and then by their final averages. Disabled veterans are placed above veterans who, in turn, are placed ahead of non-veterans. Click on this link for more information: https://www.nj.gov/csc/seekers/veterans/competitive.html.

How can I get veteran’s preference?

You will need to meet the veteran’s preference requirements of the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (NJDMAVA) to claim veteran’s preference for any examination. If you meet those requirements, then you will want to claim veteran’s preference on the application form and submit the required proof to be awarded the preference for the Firefighter exam. For more information regarding veteran's preference, please visit the CSC website at http://www.state.nj.us/csc/seekers/veterans/index.html.

A completed Civil Service Veteran’s preference claim form (available by clicking https://www.nj.gov/csc/seekers/veterans/pdf/njdmava_form_05A-1.pdf), along with the required documentation, must be submitted directly to the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. You may visit NJDMVA's website or contact them at 1-888-865-8387 for more information.

You don't have to wait for an exam to be announced to file for veteran’s preference. We encourage you to do it as soon as possible to ensure that your paperwork is processed on time for this exam. Preference must be established no later than eight (8) days prior to list issuance, and once established, is good for life.

Do children of Firefighters killed in the line of duty get preference?

Yes. N.J.S.A. 40A:14-10.1(a) grants hiring preference to children of paid Firefighters killed in the line of duty. The law gives them preference over non-veterans, but not over veterans. Applicants claiming this preference will be required to provide documentation, which includes: (1) parent's name, (2) parent’s date of death, (3) name and address of the parent's Fire Department at the time of death, (4) a letter from the Fire Department confirming the parent was killed in the line of duty, and (5) proof of relationship to the Firefighter.

Please include your confirmation number on all documentation, which can be:

  • Uploaded/attached to the online application
  • Scanned and emailed to FireFighter@csc.nj.gov
  • Mailed to NJCSC, M9999F, P.O. Box 321, Trenton, NJ 08625-0321
Do volunteer Firefighters receive extra points?

Yes. The Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court made a determination on December 19, 2002, that interprets the preference provided by State Law N.J.S.A. 40A:14-45 to volunteer Firefighters in civil service jurisdictions. The law provides that volunteer Firefighters with at least two years of volunteer service are eligible for 3 to 10 points of service credits (points) to be added to their passing score on the exam. Volunteers with two years of continuous service will get three service credit points. Another point will be added for each additional full year of continuous service, up to the maximum of 10 points. Only continuous volunteer service time earned up to the announcement closing date will receive credit. In addition, time served as a junior volunteer does not count toward the volunteer service credit. Only when volunteers reach the age of 18 can their volunteer service time count toward the volunteer service credit.

The service credit is calculated as of the closing date for filing applications for the examination announcement. There will be one list for each jurisdiction which will include both volunteers and non-volunteers. Volunteer points are ONLY awarded for volunteer service in fire departments or districts that have BOTH paid and volunteer Firefighters. For example, if you volunteer in Newark, Jersey City, or any other strictly paid fire department, you will NOT receive any volunteer points. Volunteer departments and districts are clearly noted on the Firefighter Announcement Fact Sheet by * or **.

What actions do I need to take to receive volunteer Firefighter service credit?

To be awarded volunteer service credit points, you must complete the volunteer Firefighter section on the online application. You will have to indicate the fire district or part-paid municipal fire department where you currently volunteer. If you volunteer at more than one district or department, send this information to FireFighter@csc.nj.gov. Information regarding all volunteer service will be verified with the Fire Chief/Appointing Authority of your district/department. If the Fire Chief/Appointing Authority determines that you did not meet the criteria for volunteer service credit, then you cannot receive credit for any previous years of volunteer service because it would not be continuous service.

What are some examples of how volunteer points and residency preference work?

Consider the following facts:

  • Bordentown Township is a civil service jurisdiction and has two volunteer fire districts (FD01 & FD02).
  • The City of Trenton is a civil service jurisdiction but is not a volunteer department. Trenton has residential preference.
  • Princeton has a volunteer fire department but is not a civil service jurisdiction.
  • Bordentown Township, Trenton, and Princeton are all in Mercer

Example 1:

  • John lives in Bordentown Township and has been a volunteer at FD01 for two years. His final average on the Firefighter test was 90.000.
  • John will appear on the Bordentown Township FD01 list with a score of 93.000, because he was awarded 3 points for two years of volunteer service.
  • He will also appear on the lists for Bordentown Township FD02, with a score of 90.000. He has not been given volunteer points with FD02 because his volunteer service was not with that district.
  • He will not appear on Trenton's list because of Trenton's residential However, if Trenton exhausts their municipal list, they may ask for a county-wide list, at which time John will be eligible for appointment in Trenton. He will be grouped with all non-Trenton, Mercer County residents and ranked according to veteran preference and his test score of 90.000.

Example 2:

  • Bonnie lives in Trenton and has never been a Her final average on the Firefighter test was 92.000. As a non-volunteer, her score will be 92.000 on any list for which she is eligible.
  • Bonnie will be on the list for Trenton.
  • Bonnie will not appear on any of the lists for Bordentown. However, if Bordentown FD02 exhausts their municipal list, they may ask for a county-wide list, at which time Bonnie will be eligible for appointment in Bordentown. She will be grouped with all non-Bordentown, Mercer County residents and ranked according to veteran preference and her test score of 92.000.

Example 3:

  • Mike lives in Princeton and has been a volunteer in Princeton for 12 His final average on the Firefighter test was 76.000. As a volunteer for a non-civil service jurisdiction, Mike will not be awarded volunteer points on any lists.
  • Mike will not initially appear on any list.
  • If any of the Bordentown Fire Districts or the City of Trenton exhaust their municipal lists and ask for a Mercer County list, Mike will then become eligible for appointment, based upon his veteran preference and his score of 76.000.
What is a certification?

A certification is a list of names that the CSC provides to an Appointing Authority (AA) for a specific jurisdiction to use for their hiring process.

Who does the actual hiring?

Each jurisdiction has its own AA for the selection process. The CSC reviews the AA’s documentation for each certification to ensure compliance with the related rules and regulations. The CSC is not the AA for the entry-level Firefighter positions.

When will I be scheduled for the physical performance test (PPT)?

The physical performance component of the examination process will be administered on a pass/fail basis at the time of list certification. For more information on the physical performance scheduling and testing process, see the PPT Process Description at https://www.nj.gov/csc/jobs/publicsafety/law_el_titles.shtml.

What do I need to do to prepare for the PPT?

You can review the PPT Physical Fitness Manual and Introductory Video. Also, condition yourself aerobically and anaerobically so that you are in adequate physical shape to pass each of the PPT components. If your rank is reachable on an eligible list and job openings exist, you may receive a Certification Notice asking if you are still interested in the job. After you respond to a Certification Notice that you are interested, you will receive an email from PPTschedule@csc.nj.gov that will have the Firefighter PPT Medical Clearance Form attached. You must have this form completed and signed by a medical doctor and present it upon arrival at the PPT test site on the day you are scheduled to take the PPT. If you FAIL to bring your completed and signed medical clearance form to your scheduled PPT test site, you WILL NOT BE TESTED, and you will be removed from future consideration on ALL entry-level firefighter lists.

If your name is certified and you respond as interested, you will be scheduled to take the PPT exam via the email address that you used to apply for the exam. Once you are scheduled to take the PPT, you must appear on your scheduled test date and time, with all required materials, and be ready to be tested. Otherwise, you will be removed from all Firefighter eligible lists. You must check your spam folder and/or add the email address PPTschedule@csc.nj.gov to your safe-sender list.

Will I be allowed to take a PPT make-up exam?

Make-up exams are provided in very limited cases. To receive a make-up exam, the criteria set forth in N.J.A.C. 4A:4-2.9(c) must be met. If a make-up exam is granted, you may be bypassed on the current certification, but may be included on a future certification. If the make-up is related to an injury or health-related reason, and your Medical Clearance Form was completed and signed prior to the onset of the injury/illness, you MUST bring a newly completed and signed Medical Clearance Form to your rescheduled test date.

Does being certified mean I’ll be interviewed or appointed?

No. It means that you may be scheduled to take the PPT, which will be a pass/fail test. If you pass the PPT, the AA may request that you agree to a background investigation, potentially including, but not limited to, medical screening, psychiatric testing, and drug screening. Dependent upon the number of vacancies, and the results of the PPT and background investigations, you MAY be interviewed and/or considered for appointment.

What about tied scores?

The CSC does not break tied scores. Candidates who have the same final average and veteran’s status have equal ranking on a certification. For example, if there are 20 people on the certification with the same final average and they're all non-veterans, they will be listed in alphabetical order by their last names, but they all have the same rank on that certification. If one of them is reachable for an appointment, all are reachable, and the AA may hire any one of them.

How do I notify the CSC about a change in my name, mailing address, or email address?

You must immediately notify the CSC if you change your name, mailing address, or email address, or if it is listed incorrectly on a notice that you receive from the CSC. For security reasons, changes cannot be made from telephone calls.

Changes can be requested electronically through our website at https://info.csc.state.nj.us/mailer/ChangeAddress.aspx.

You can also send your request through regular mail or by fax. To ensure that your records are updated correctly, please include the following in your request for change:

  1. Your name;
  2. Your social security number (if you have instead been assigned a unique number for the examination process, include that number);
  3. Your new mailing address, including zip code;
  4. Where you actually live, if it is different from your mailing address;
  5. Your daytime telephone number;
  6. Your current e-mail address; and
  7. The effective date of the change.

This information may be mailed as follows:

NJCSC Information Center

P.O. Box 310

Trenton, NJ 08625-0310

Does changing my address after the closing date affect my eligibility for appointment?

Since eligibility needs to be established as of the closing date of the announcement, your residency code cannot be changed after the closing date, even if you change your residence address or mailing address. If you change your residence to another jurisdiction after the closing date, you MAY NOT be eligible for appointment in your former or new jurisdiction. PLEASE research with both jurisdictions to see how their residency requirements will affect you before you change your residence address or mailing address.

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    Entry Level Firefighter (2024)
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