Instructional videos on using the City's online job application system are available. Visit the How to Apply for a Position page.
Looking for benefits information? Learn more about the city benefits and visit the Benefits Overview page.
This web page contains information on the following topics:Announcements: Definition of terms
Appealing Examination Announcements
Applicants with Disabilities
Change of Address/Name Changes
Conviction History Review
Copies of Application Documents
Disaster Service Workers
Employment, Character and Background Investigation
How to Verify Education Requirements
Identification/Right to work
License to Drive
Position Based Testing (PBT)
Requirements at the Time of Hire
Safety-Sensitive Position Requirements
Seniority Credit in Promotional Examinations
Special Condition - Bilingual Proficiency
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Security Clearance
Verification of Experience and/or Education
Applicants must be guided solely by the provisions of the announcement, including requirements, time periods and other particulars, except when superseded by federal, state or local laws, rules or regulations. Clerical errors may be corrected by the posting the correction at www.jobapscloud.com/sf.
Entrance - refers to classifications where all applicants file under the same conditions.
Promotive - refers to classifications where permanent City employees are given additional points for competent employment and service time.
Class Based Testing - is routinely conducted for classifications utilized citywide and the exam process results in creation of an eligible list with a specific duration date.
Continuous Testing - is routinely conducted for classes for which there is a continuous need of eligibles. On a continuous list class, the exam process is administered periodically and each time an exam for a class is given, names of successful candidates are added to an existing list with an eligibility period. Names are removed from a continuous list at the end of the eligibility period.
Position Based Testing - is routinely conducted for a specific position and the exam process results in creation of an eligible list with a specific duration date.
Most positions in the City are filled through the Civil Service Examination (Testing) process. The Selection and Hiring Resources Division at the Department of Human Resources is responsible for administering and coordinating recruitment, developing examinations, administering and scoring examinations, and generating eligible lists for use by hiring departments throughout the City.
Written appeals concerning an examination announcement must be received within five (5) business days from the original issue date of the announcement. Petitioners will be notified in writing concerning their appeals. Decisions may be reconsidered only if the request is received from the petitioner by noon of the fifth business day following mailing of the decision notice. Following this appeal period, only questions dealing with interpretation of requirements will be considered. Decisions made by the Human Resources Director can be appealed to the Civil Service Commission.
Applicants must be guided solely by the provisions of the job opportunity announcement, including requirements, time periods, and other particulars, except when superseded by federal, state or local laws, rules or regulations. The Department of Human Resources reserves the right to revise the examination plan in order to meet the requirements of law, applicable rules and regulations.
In the event that three (3) or fewer applicants meet the minimum requirements for a classification, the Department of Human Resources reserves the right to modify the examination plan and to rank the candidates on the basis of an evaluation of each candidate's training, education, and/or experience. Unless otherwise noted, applicants must possess the minimum qualifications required by law and the job opportunity announcement by the final filing date. Required qualifications must be maintained throughout employment. Clerical errors may be corrected by the posting of a notice on the permanent employment opportunities bulletin board at One South Van Ness Ave, 4th Floor, San Francisco, Ca 94103.
Once the job announcement is closed, all applications are reviewed for minimum qualification requirements to determine qualification for further testing. Applicants who do not qualify are notified by mail or email. Applicants who qualify proceed to the next phase of the examination process which may include a written test, an oral or assessment interview, performance test, supplemental application, or other examination. Once the testing process is complete, examinations are scored and candidates are notified of test results. Names of candidates who pass the examination are placed on an eligible list in rank order.
In accordance with relevant federal, state, and local laws, an individual with a disability who meets the minimum eligibility requirements of a job announcement may receive a reasonable accommodation to make sure that the examination for that announcement measures the person’s ability to do the job instead of reflecting limitations caused by the disability. Those who qualify for a job announcement and require a reasonable accommodation for any part of the selection process stated in that announcement must notify the examination analyst listed in the job announcement. Notification can be done by telephone, or if hearing impaired by TDD at 415-557-4810, or in writing at the address listed on the examination announcement as soon as possible.
Information about exempt employment of individuals who are severely disabled:
Civil Service Rule 115 provides for the exempt employment of qualified individuals who are severely disabled. The program defines an alternative process through which individuals with severe disabilities can join the City's Permanent workforce without going through the Civil Service examination process. Positions in the Rule 115 program are filled by permanent exempt appointment. While employees in these positions are not subject to examination, appointees filling such positions are subject to a one-year evaluation period. If the appointee performs the job satisfactorily during the evaluation period, he or she will be advanced to regular Permanent Civil Service (PCS) status.
For more information please contact the Department of Human Resources.
All applicants, including City employees, will need to fill out a job application (https://www.jobapscloud.com/sf), and submit it as indicated on the job announcement. Applicants are encouraged to keep copies of all documents submitted. Submitted documents become a permanent part of the exam records and will not be returned. The hiring department may require applicants to submit the same documents and/or additional documents at a later date.
Please carefully read the ‘How to Apply’ section of the job announcement to determine if paper applications are accepted. In general, most recruitments only accept applications via the online application process (https://www.jobapscloud.com/sf).
After receiving a conditional offer of employment, prospective employees may be required to pass a medical examination, which might include drug testing. Some positions (e.g., patient contact positions) in the Department of Public Health require that employees meet departmental Disease Immunity Standards for certain vaccine-preventable diseases and/or that employees undergo periodic tuberculosis testing. Most new appointees will be fingerprinted. Some departments or positions require a background check and/or security clearance. When reached for employment, candidates who are required to drive must be insurable under the City's automobile liability insurance. Qualifications must be maintained throughout employment.
- Permanent Civil Service
Permanent Civil Service positions in the City & County of San Francisco may be full-time or part-time. The benefits to Permanent Civil Service positions include membership in the retirement system, health coverage on the first pay period following employment, and salary step increases based on union contract.
In general, for Permanent Civil Service positions, you will need to file an application, show that you meet the minimum qualifications as defined by the job announcement, and then go through an examination process.
- Provisional Appointments
When a department needs to fill a vacancy that is covered by the civil service process, but no applicant pool of eligible employees is available, departments are allowed to hire Provisional (or temporary) employees. Provisional employees may not receive the same benefits as permanent employees and they may be "bumped" or laid off in favor of a permanent employee.
In order for a provisional appointee to be able to retain his or her job, he or she must apply to compete for a permanent civil service appointment when the job announcement is issued. They then must go through the permanent civil service job application process (explained above) in order to become a Permanent employee. Provisional employees are not guaranteed permanent selection.
- Exempt (Permanent Exempt or Temporary Exempt)
A job in this category is exempt from the Permanent civil service process described above. An exemption is granted for a variety of reasons, but usually because of the level of the position (e.g., department head), because the duties are highly specialized (e.g., confidential secretary to a department head), or because the process by which the person achieved that particular classification constitutes a sufficient test (e.g., attorney, doctor).
Employees in exempt positions are appointed by department heads, commissions, or the mayor, and serve at will. Benefits are similar to permanent civil service or provisional employees. Recruitment and selection for exempt positions is the responsibility of the person/commission who has the authority to appoint the candidate to the position (e.g., if a commission or the Mayor has the authority to appoint a person as head of the department, then they are responsible for the job announcement and selection procedures used to choose the person to be employed).
Applicants and Eligibles are responsible for notifying the Department of Human Resources of any changes to their name or address throughout the application/examination process, and prior to employment.
Applicants and Eligibles may update their contact information at https://www.jobapscloud.com/sf. Click 'Update My Contact Info,' log-in to your JobAps account, and update your contact information.
Positions in the City have been classified by the Department of Human Resources according to their duties and responsibilities. Positions that are comparable in the type of work performed and in the level of difficulty and responsibility are placed in the same class so that they will be treated alike for recruitment, examination, transfer and pay.
The Department of Human Resources assigns positions to classifications. Each classification has a job code number and a descriptive title, as well as a list of typical duties and responsibilities. Go to the Classification & Compensation database.
Applicants are encouraged to keep copies of all documents submitted. Submitted documents become a permanent part of the exam records and will not be returned. The hiring department may require applicants to submit the same documents and/or additional documents at a later date.
It is the policy of the City and County of San Francisco to consider a candidate's conviction history as part of the pre-employment vetting process. All selected candidates will be fingerprinted and the results from the CA Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation will be used to determine if a job-related connection exists between the conviction (and/or arrest in limited circumstances) and the specific duties and responsibilities of the position that may impact a candidate's eligibility.
All City and County employees are designated by both State and City law as "Disaster Service Workers." In the event of a declaration of emergency, any employee of the City and County of San Francisco may be assigned to perform activities which promote the protection of public health and safety or the preservation of lives and property. Such assignments may require service at locations, times, and under conditions that are significantly different than the normal work assignment and may continue into the recovery phase of the emergency. Go to the Disaster Service Worker Website.
The City and County of San Francisco is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants shall not be discriminated against because of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, disability, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, color, marital status, medical condition (cancer-related) or the conditions Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and AIDS Related Conditions (ARC). Read all City & County of San Francisco Equal Employment Opportunity statements.
The purpose of an examination is to provide a list of qualified persons to be considered for employment. Candidates are ranked on an eligible list according to their overall scores in the examination. Vacancies are filled from among the available candidates according to the certification rule used for the list. This rule is stated on the examination announcement and on the eligible list. The duration of the list, or, of eligibles who pass the examination, will be determined prior to posting the eligible list.
The eligible list is subject to change after adoption (e.g., as a result of appeals), as directed by the Human Resources Director or the Civil Service Commission. The Human Resources Director may approve use of the eligible list resulting from a particular selection process to make permanent Civil Service appointments to other position(s) involving the same or similar title in any department.
Prior to appointment in some departments, candidates being considered for hire may be required to complete a personal history statement and pass a background investigation to determine fitness for employment. The investigation is limited to job-relevant and legally mandated matters and may include a reference check, verification of employment history and education, military and financial history, fingerprinting, and criminal and motor vehicle records. All statements are subject to verification, and deliberate inaccuracies or incomplete statements may bar the candidate from employment.
The City is dedicated to recruiting and hiring fairly and on the basis of merit. In furtherance of this goal, the majority of City jobs are filled through a civil service examination process. The purpose of the examination is to create an applicant pool of qualified persons to be considered eligible for employment. Open positions for which examinations are given are announced on a weekly basis at www.jobapscloud.com/sf.
All candidates will be required to present identification showing a photograph at each part of the examination. Acceptable identification includes: driver license; city, state, or federal issued Identification card; passport; student body card; alien registration receipt card.
If you pass the exam, you will be placed in an applicant pool, also called an eligible list, ranked according to your score on the exam (separate eligible lists are established for each job announcement). Applicants are selected from the eligible list based on a certification rule, also posted on your job announcement.
If you are selected from the eligible list, you will be notified via email or regular mail that you have been Referred to the department for consideration. Be sure to read this letter carefully and in its entirety, and follow all of the instructions exactly and in the time specified. If you fail to respond to the letter as it instructs you, the department is not required to consider you for this position.
You will remain active on the eligible list until you request to be inactive, refuse the number of times allowed by the examination announcement, are selected for employment, or until the expiration of the eligible list.
All persons employed by the City and County of San Francisco are required to comply with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 by presenting documents to verify identity and authorization to work in the United States. Acceptable forms of identification as required by the Federal Immigration and Naturalization Service may be found in the pamphlet "Federal Immigration and Naturalization Service Requirements."
If your job duties require you to drive, you must have the appropriate licenses and maintain insurability under your department's automobile liability insurance policy. Only employees with a valid California Driver License will be authorized to operate a City and/or private vehicle. The City will use the State Department of Motor Vehicles' Pull Notice Program to obtain information about employees as actions appear on their driving records. The City will base driver-related decisions on compliance with the California Vehicle Code, as well as the City's efforts to reduce vehicular accidents and exposure to liability.
Depending on the classification or position in which you are to be employed, you may be required to pass a medical examination, including drug testing, as a condition of employment. Most medical examinations are conducted by the Department of Public Health, San Francisco General Hospital Medical Center, Occupational Health Service (OHS) located in Building 9, 2nd floor, Potrero Avenue and 22nd Street.
To take an examination, you must meet the job announcement's minimum qualifications, which usually consist of educational and previous job experiences. Your application should show that you meet the minimum qualifications; however, you may also be asked to present an official college transcript, or a license. Papers filed with an application are not returned.
City employees receive credit for the duties of their classification unless their appointing officer officially assigns other duties in writing, at the time of the assignment, and in accordance with Civil Service Commission rules. It is the supervisor's and the employee's responsibility to ensure that work out of classification is appropriately and timely documented. Failure to do so may mean disqualification for the examination.
Part-time and volunteer experience may also be used to meet experience requirements. One year of experience equals 2000 hours.
Depending on the classification or position in which you are to be employed, before appointment, you may be required to pass a physical examination by the department physician. This exam includes a urine test to screen for the presence of drugs or alcohol. Appointees may also be required to pass an additional physical exam prior to the completion of their probationary periods.
Note: Position Based Testing processes are administered under Civil Service Rule 111A: Position Based Testing.
PBT Appeal Procedures for Examination Announcements
Appeals of the examination announcement based on challenges to the position description and/or the minimum qualifications must be in writing and must be submitted directly to and received by the Executive Officer of the Civil Service Commission within five (5) business days after the examination announcement issuance date (see Civil Service Rule 111A.35 for specific requirements for submitting appeals and appeal hearing procedures.) Appeals on other terms of the announcement must be made in writing to, and received by the Human Resources Director, not later than the fifth (5) business day after the examination announcement issuance date. The decision of the Human Resources Director on these matters is final. The certification rule for an examination announcement cannot be appealed.
Applicants must clearly show that they meet all requirements by submitting a complete employment application (unless the announcement specifies a different format for applying). The examination announcement may require that a supplemental application be filed. The examination announcement may also require the presentation of an official college transcript or copy of a license. Papers filed with an application are not returned. City employees shall receive credit only for the duties of the class to which appointed or assigned unless sufficient and credible documentation is provided to verify performance of other duties. Employees may receive credit for duties not usually performed by incumbents in a class if their employee file contains contemporaneous documentation that the duties were assigned and performed. Credit for duties not usually performed by incumbents in a class based on non-contemporaneous documentation shall require the approval of the Human Resources Director. Part-time and volunteer experience may be used to meet experience requirements. One year of experience equals 2000 hours.
PBT Appeal Procedures for Applicants
Appeals of rejection of application for an examination, due to applicants not meeting the minimum qualifications for an examination, must be submitted to the Human Resources Director within five (5) business days of the postmark date of written notification of this determination. Appeals based on an applicant not being selected as best qualified to participate in an examination process must be submitted to the Human Resources Director within five (5) business days of the postmark date of written notification of this determination. The decision of the Human Resources Director on these matters is final.
Each type of selection device used to determine the eligibility of candidates is described on the announcement. Scores on written examinations and oral or oral/performance examinations may be standardized when it is determined that there are significant differences in scores due to multiple examination panels or there is a psychometric value to using standard scores. A copy of Examination Procedures and Practices, excerpted from Civil Service Rule 111A and a listing of Examination Raters will be posted at all Qualification Appraisal Interview sites; candidates MUST read the rule before taking the exam. All candidates will be required to present identification showing a photograph at each part of the examination. Acceptable identification includes: driver license; city, state, or federal issued Identification card; passport; student body card; alien registration receipt card.
PBT Appeal Procedures for Examinations
Procedures for appeals of examination matters are specified in Civil Service Rule 111A
- Social Security Number - You must have a Social Security number.
- Authorization to Work - You must present documents to verify identity and authorization to work in the United States as required by the Immigration Reform Control Act of 1986. Failure to provide these documents may result in loss of eligibility. Acceptable verification documents are listed in the information pamphlet entitled Federal Immigration and Naturalization Service Requirements available at the Department of Human Resources Employment Information Center, One South Van Ness Ave, 4th Floor. Any applicant or employee seeking to have the City provide documentation to the Department of Homeland Security (including the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) about possible or actual employment with the City must obtain the approval of the appointing authority of the employing department and the Director of Human Resources.
- Oath of Office - You are required to take the Oath of Office as specified in the California State Constitution.
- No Strike Provision - Unless you are a uniformed member of the Police or Fire departments, or an employee of the Unified School District or the Community College District, you will be required to sign an acknowledgement of receipt of a copy of Charter Section A8.346 - Disciplinary Action Against Striking Employees. A separate Charter provision prohibits strikes by public safety employees. For more information, see the Employee Obligations section of the Employee Handbook.
- Acknowledgements - In addition to the No Strike Provision, new employees may be required to sign other acknowledgements of receipt, such as this Employee Handbook, the City's harassment policy, City or departmental policies regarding use of computers, and other City and departmental policies.
- Tax Forms - You will need to fill out a Withholding Exemption Certificate (IRS form W-4), which determines the amount of taxes withheld from your paycheck. If at any time during your employment your withholding status changes (for example, if you marry, divorce or purchase a home), you should fill out a new W-4 form to ensure that the proper amount is withheld.
- Warrant Recipient Designation - You are required to complete a warrant recipient form at the time of hire. This form designates an individual to receive an employee's earned but unpaid wages in the event of your death.
In compliance with the Department of Transportation Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991 employing the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) regulations, drug and alcohol testing for employees in “safety-sensitive” positions are required. The selected applicants for safety-sensitive positions will be required to pass a Pre-Employment drug test prior to appointment and shall be subject to Random, Post-Accident, Reasonable Suspicion, Return-To-Duty, and Follow-Up testing during employment. Prior to appointment to an FMCSA position, each applicant who has participated in a DOT drug and alcohol testing program within the immediately preceding two years will be required to sign a consent form authorizing the City to contact his/her prior employers concerning his/her drug and alcohol test history.
Prior to employment in certain positions or classifications, departments may require a background review of criminal history, motor vehicle (driving) record, personnel history and employment records. The requirement for a background review will be published on the examination announcement. Candidates for employment with the Airport Commission may be required to have a security clearance. In order to determine eligibility for security clearance, candidates may be required to undergo a criminal history check including fingerprinting. Unless otherwise specified on the announcement, candidates for employment with the Airport Commission will be required to provide a complete employment history for the past ten (10) years, and to provide an explanation of all breaks in employment during that period. Candidate’s employment will be verified by an Airport Personnel representative.
Class Based Testing (CBT) Promotive Applicants
Applicants for promotive only or combined promotive and entrance examinations shall meet the requirements of the examination announcement under which they apply. If otherwise qualified, City employees with permanent, probationary, temporary civil service, or holdover status and who have had six months of verifiable satisfactory experience in any class in any status (including provisional) qualify as promotive applicants. Such employees are entitled to up to sixty additional points for seniority and satisfactory performance rating after passing the examination(s). Deductions from seniority points will be made for applicable disciplinary actions.
Position Based Testing (PBT) Promotive Applicants
Applicants for promotive only or combined promotive and entrance examinations shall meet the requirements of the examination announcement under which they apply. If otherwise qualified, City employees with six consecutive months (1040 hours) of verifiable experience in any job classification in any appointment type qualify as promotive applicants. Such employees are entitled to up to sixty additional points after passing the examination(s).
Some positions may require bilingual fluency in a variety of languages depending upon the department's bilingual needs. Only those eligibles who pass the bilingual proficiency test will be considered for bilingual positions. Applicants must indicate on the application form the language(s) in which they claim proficiency.
Candidates for employment with the San Francisco Airport Commission are required to provide a complete employment history for the past ten (10) years and an explanation of all gaps in employment during that period. The past ten (10) years of the candidate's employment will be verified. In addition, candidates will be required to undergo a criminal history check, including FBI fingerprints, in order to determine eligibility for security clearance and may be required to undergo drug/alcohol screening. Per Civil Service Commission Rule Section 110.9.1, every applicant for an examination must possess and maintain the qualifications required by law and by the examination announcement for the examination. Failure to obtain and maintain security clearance may be basis for termination from employment with the Airport Commission.
Applicants may be required to submit verification of qualifying education and experience, at any point in the application, examination or departmental selection processes. Verification of work experience typically must be on the employer’s letterhead, and must include the applicant’s name, job title, description of job duties, dates of service, and signature of the employer. San Francisco City and County employees do not need to submit verification of their City employment, but must submit verification of outside experience. San Francisco City and County employees will not receive credit for experience obtained outside of their classification unless recorded in accordance with the provisions of the Civil Service Rule 110.9.1.
For information on how to verify education requirements, please visit How to Verify Education Requirements.
In order to be eligible for Veteran's Entitlement, an applicant must have served on active (non-reserve) duty and been released from active duty under conditions other than dishonorable. This service must have been:
- At least 30 days of active duty in time of war or peace in a campaign or expedition for service in which a medal has been authorized by the government of the United States; or
- During the period from September 16, 1940, through January 31, 1955; or
- After January 31, 1955, at least 181 consecutive days of active duty.
- Applicants must not have been discharged under dishonorable conditions, or as the result of a court martial.
Veteran's Entitlement provides additional credit of five percent (5%) of the qualifying score on an entrance eligible list.
Additional information about Veteran's Preference:
Widows/widowers or surviving domestic partners of deceased eligible veterans may also qualify for Veteran's Entitlement credit.
Veteran's Entitlement is limited to an application for entrance employment.
The applicant must notify the Department of Human Resources of his/her veteran status when he/she submits the initial job application, complete the Application for Veteran's Preference form and verify eligibility.
The applicant must attain a passing score on an entrance selection process to be entitled to the Veteran's Entitlement credit.
Applicants must not have already used Veteran's Entitlement in an entrance examination which resulted in the applicant's permanent appointment
Once the probationary period is passed, Veteran's Entitlement points are to be removed from all other eligible lists on which there is standing.
Veterans with a permanent service connected disability that is of record in the US Veteran's Administration may apply for a disability credit of ten percent (10%) of the qualifying score.
Disabled veterans as defined above shall be afforded all rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act, including any reasonable accommodation if appropriate.