How to Get a State Job
To gain employment 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 state departments use for recruiting.
1. Create a CalCareer Account
A CalCareer account lets you manage all your job applications and view your exam results in one place.
You only need one CalCareer account to apply for all jobs.
With you CalCareer account, you can:
- Update your contact information.
- Receive alerts for job postings.
- Change your employment preferences, such as where you want to work (which counties), and what kind of work schedule you will accept (full-time or part-time).
- Receive and respond to employment inquiries from prospective employers.
- Create, store, and submit job applications.
- Track the status of job applications.
- And more…
2. Take an Exam
The Employment Development Department (EDD) is part of the merit-based California civil service selection system. This is to ensure individuals hired into and promoted within civil service are selected on the basis of their job-related qualifications. Therefore, to determine if an applicant qualifies for a specific job type, they must complete an examination for each job type (classification) to establish eligibility. Upon completing an exam, the applicant receives their results. Once a person successfully establishes eligibility for the specific job title/classification, they may apply for an advertised job vacancy.
Search for an exam.
You can view all state open exams at CalCareer, or view EDD Job Openings & Exams. If you're not already a state employee, you may only apply for open exams. If you’re a current or former state employee, or veteran, you may apply for open or promotional exams. Learn more about taking an exam and Veterans’ Preference.
Apply and prepare for the exam. Review the exam bulletin and classification specifications carefully to determine if you meet the minimum qualifications, follow the "how to apply for the exam" instructions, and review the testing methods.
Take the exam.
Receive exam results.
You will receive your exam results by mail or when you complete the online exam. Your score determines where you rank on an employment list. You may 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.
The EDD encourages you to apply for all jobs you feel qualified for. Search for EDD job openings and submit your application online using your CalCareer account. Applicants may also apply for EDD jobs by submitting the Standard State Application (STD 678) by mail. All paper applications must be postmarked as instructed in the job bulletin.
Finally, you may start receiving letters from the EDD 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 six (6) month or twelve (12) month probationary period, depending on the classification. When you successfully complete your probation, you become a permanent state employee. However, unsuccessful performance may lead to rejection during probation and failure to attain permanent status.
Limited Examination and Appointment Program (LEAP)
LEAP is an alternate way for persons 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.