Most New York City government jobs are part of the “competitive class” in which applicants are required to take and pass a civil service examination as part of the hiring process. Civil service exams test individuals on the skills needed for specific job titles. Each title has a corresponding exam. For example, a clerical associate and a sanitation worker will both need to take an exam before being hired by the City, but they will each take a different test. All individuals that pass an exam are placed on an eligible list, which is ranked by test score.
It is important to keep in mind that sometimes tests are given when few positions are available. The clerical associate and the sanitation worker may both take and pass their tests, but they may have to wait several months or more before a position becomes available and they are contacted for an interview.
City agencies also sometimes hire individuals that have not taken an exam. For example, in instances where an agency must fill vacant positions in order to continue some of its critical services, but no eligible list currently exists for that title, that agency is permitted to consider and appoint a qualified individual provisionally. Provisionally-appointed individuals will have the opportunity to take and pass the relevant examination the next time it becomes available in order to become permanent appointees. There are also other jobs with titles that do not require exams. You can browse open jobs in that category using the “open jobs quick links” on NYC Jobs.
Learn more about the Civil Service System.
Civil service exams are offered by the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS). There are two different types of civil service exams:
Some exams are offered regularly on a walk-in basis at the Manhattan and Brooklyn Computerized Testing & Application Centers (CTACs). People interested in taking these tests do not need to apply in advance and will apply at the CTAC on the day of the exam. The centers are located at 2 Lafayette Street in Manhattan and 210 Joralemon Street in Brooklyn. For directions to these sites, click here.
For all other exams, applicants must apply several months before the test date, during what is known as the filing period. To apply for an exam online, click here. If you do not own or have access to a computer with Internet access, you may visit one of the Application Centers and use one of our computers dedicated for use by the public to submit applications online. Candidates who apply will receive an admission notice prior to the test.
You will need to refer to the exam schedule to determine whether the test you want to take is a computerized walk-in exam or an exam requiring advance application.