How to Get a State Job
To get a job with the State of California, you must complete the exam and application process below.
If you're a state retiree looking for work, register on Boomerang to be placed in a hiring pool that state agencies use for recruiting.
1. Search for Jobs on the CalCareers Website
Create a CalCareers account.
Before you can apply for a job opening, you need to create a CalCareers account. Your account lets you manage all your job applications and view your exam results in one place. You only need one CalCareers account to apply for all jobs.
With your CalCareers account, you can:
- Update your contact information
- Receive alerts for job postings
- Change your employment preferences, such as where you want to work (by county ), and work schedule (full-time or part-time)
- Receive and respond to employment inquiries from potential employers
- Create, store, and submit job applications
- Track the status of job applications
- And more …
Search for a job vacancy.
Visit CalCareers, where you can search for jobs by keyword. Select Geographic Job Search to search by location or Advanced Job Search to use additional search filters.
2. Pass an Exam
The Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) is part of the merit-based California civil service selection system. This system ensures that individuals hired into and promoted within civil service are selected on the basis of their job-related qualifications.
To determine whether you qualify for a specific job type, you must complete an examination for that job type (classification) to establish eligibility. If you pass an exam for a specific job type, you can apply for any job vacancy advertised under that classification.
Search for an exam.
You can view the list of all current DIR exams. If you're not already a state employee, you can only apply for and take open exams. If you're a current or former state employee, or a veteran, you can apply for open or promotional exams. If you are a veteran, visit Veterans' Preference for more information.
Prepare for the exam.
Review the exam bulletin and classification specifications carefully to determine whether you meet the minimum qualifications. If you do, follow the instructions and review the testing methods.
Take the exam.
The exam bulletin will tell you when the exam you are interested in is available. The majority of exams are now online and can be taken at any time. However, there are still some that are taken in person, or only available online during a restricted timeframe.
Receive your exam results.
If you took an exam in person, you will receive your exam results by mail. If you completed the exam online, your results should be available immediately after you finish. You can start applying for job openings as soon as you receive notice that you passed your exam.
3. Apply for Job Openings
Apply for the job.
Apply for all jobs you are qualified for. Search for DIR job openings and submit your application online using your CalCareers account. You can also apply for DIR jobs by submitting the Standard State Application (STD 678) by mail. All paper applications must be postmarked as instructed in the job bulletin.
You may start receiving letters from the DIR and other state agencies inviting you to apply for openings. Each of these invitations will note their specific application requirements.
4. Prepare for the Interview
If you are contacted for a hiring interview, prepare by reviewing the duties and responsibilities on the job opportunity notice.
5. Pass Your Probation Period
If you receive and accept a job offer with the State of California, all newly appointed state employees complete a 6-month or 12-month probationary period, depending on the classification. When you successfully complete your probation, you gain permanent civil status.
Limited Examination and Appointment Program (LEAP)
The Limited Examination and Appointment Program (LEAP) is an alternate way for individuals with disabilities to demonstrate their qualifications for employment. Candidates will need to be LEAP-certified by the Department of Rehabilitation prior to taking a LEAP exam.