Hiring Process

Testing Process

The 2018 application period closed June 12, 2018. 

Schedule Firefighter Testing Assessment + Work Attitudes Questionnaire

A work attitudes questionnaire should be completed online and takes approximately 1/2 hour to complete. The questionnaire is timed and once started, you will have 1 hour to complete the questionnaire. You should arrange for a minimum of 1 hour on a computer with internet access to self-schedule a testing assessment and complete the work attitudes questionnaire. If needed, computer resources are available through Seattle or King County Public Libraries.

The work attitudes questionnaire will be scored and weighted at 35%.

Seattle Firefighter Testing Assessment

The Seattle Firefighter Testing Assessment includes reading, math and mechanical reasoning components, as well as a scored human relations exam. The assessment takes approximately 2.5 hours to complete. Applicants will receive instructions to schedule and complete the assessment between April 30, 2018 and June 23, 2018. Testing will be available at various locations in Washington State. Rescheduling an exam will be allowed at least one week in advance of a scheduled exam. You are encouraged to arrive 1/2 hour early as late arrivals will not be admitted to the examination site. Reasonable testing accommodation is available.

The testing assessment will be a special administration for the Seattle Fire Department. The usual National Testing Network policies barring applicants from taking the exam only once per 3 month period and sharing of scores with multiple agencies will not apply to this special administration.

Candidates will receive testing assessment results via email from the City of Seattle, Department of Human Resources by mid-July 2018.

The reading, math and mechanical reasoning components are pass/fail. The human relations portion of the assessment will be weighted at 50%.

Oral Board Exam

If you complete and pass the work attitudes questionnaire and testing assessment, and are eligible to proceed in the testing process, you will receive instructions to schedule an oral board exam. Oral board exams are tentatively scheduled to occur throughout August 2018.

The oral board exam will be scored and weighted at 15%.

Veteran Preference

Veteran's scoring criteria is applied to passing test scores for qualified candidates per Washington State Law (RCW 41.01.010). Veterans wishing to claim preference points will be instructed to bring documentation which indicates an honorable discharge to the oral board exam.

Firefighter Register

Applicants who successfully pass all portions of the testing process will be placed on the 2018 Firefighter Register. The top 25% of candidates on the register are added to a certified hiring list which is forwarded to the Seattle Fire Department further screening.

Pre-Employment Screening

Employment Packet

Eligible candidates will receive an employment packet. The employment packet includes a variety of information, including employment and education history, references, and EMT status. Any additional information you would like reviewed may be submitted with the employment packet.

Suitability Assessment

Eligible candidates will schedule an appointment to take a series of questionnaires. These questionnaires are used to evaluate your personal history, personality style and emotional stability.

Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT)

You should engage in advanced physical training prior to the CPAT, targeting muscle groups used in lifting, pushing, pulling, carrying and other actions related to Firefighter tasks. A workout program may include distance running, sprints, rowing, stair climbing with weight pack and weight lifting to develop both the upper and lower body.

Download/View the Candidate Preparation Guide for information about specific physical training and weight lifting in preparation for the CPAT.

The CPAT exam is comprised of eight stations that are completed in one continuous sequence. The test is pass/fail. Download/view the CPAT Orientation Guide for detailed information.

Fire Chief Interview

Eligible candidates will meet with the Fire Chief for a formal business interview.

If you pass the Fire Chief interview, you will sign a conditional offer of employment. A final hire offer will be extended barring a failed CPAT, medical, psychological, or background check.

Medical + Psychological + Background Check

The medical exam includes a comprehensive medical history, blood and urine samples, body fat composition, hearing/vision testing, treadmill, physical condition assessment and other related medical tests. You will be asked to provide complete and accurate information in a medical questionnaire and during the medical examination with our physician. Our physicians reference the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) guidelines when conducting Firefighter candidate medical evaluations. You may review NFPA 1582 online at www.nfpa.org.

The psychological exam includes a series of written questionnaires followed by an interview with a clinical psychologist.

The background check includes a careful review of criminal history and driving record.


Questions regarding submitting an application, test dates, and veteran's scoring criteria should be directed to the Seattle Department of Human Resources Fire & Police Exams Unit via email to firecareers@seattle.gov.

Technical assistance with scheduling the firefighter testing assessment or completing the work attitudes questionnaire should be directed to National Testing Network at 866-563-3882.

Questions regarding pre-employment screening or the job of a Seattle Firefighter should be directed to the Seattle Fire Department Recruitment Office via email to SFD.Recruitment@seattle.gov.