California Department of Transportation
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1.  Find an Open Examination for Which You Qualify
2.  Apply for an Examination
3.  Take an Examination
4.  Become Reachable on an Employment List
5.  Apply for Job Vacancies
6.  Participate in a Hiring Interview
7.  Pre-Employment Medical Exams/Drug Testing

Step 1:  Find an Open Examination

The first step in obtaining a job with Caltrans is to find an examination that you qualify for.  To find out if you qualify for an examination, you must read, and ensure that you meet, the Minimum Qualifications listed on the examination recruitment bulletin.

To find examination recruitment bulletins for Caltrans’ examinations that are currently being offered, visit our open exams page at:

To view exams that are tentatively scheduled for this fiscal year, you may view the Caltrans Examination Plan at ExamPlan.

You must apply for, be accepted to and pass an examination before applying for any job vacancies. 

Step 2:  Apply for an Examination

Once you find an open examination that you qualify for, you must apply to take the examination.  Instructions for applying to take the examination are located on the examination recruitment bulletin, under the section entitled “Filing Instructions.”  Some examinations allow you to apply on-line, while others require you to fill out and send in a paper copy of your Standard State Application.  In both cases, applications must be completed and sent in by the final file date listed on the examination recruitment bulletin.

To obtain a copy of the Standard State Application or for more information on the application process, please visit our State Application page at:

Once you have applied to take an examination with Caltrans, you will be notified that your application has been received.  Your application must be post-marked by the final file date listed on the examination recruitment bulletin.

If you submit your application on-line, you will immediately receive an email confirmation.  This confirmation will state the name of the examination which you have applied for.  If your confirmation does not state the name of the examination which you have applied for, you did not submit you application correctly.

Once your application is received, it will be reviewed to ensure that you meet the minimum qualifications required for admittance into the examination.  The minimum qualifications required for admittance are listed on the examination bulletin under the section entitled “Minimum Qualifications.”  The minimum qualifications can also be found in the classification specifications at:

If you do not meet the minimum qualifications listed on the bulletin, you will receive a rejection notification by mail or email.  If you feel that your application has not been properly assessed, or would like to submit additional information for consideration after you receive your initial rejection, you may do so within 10 days of the postmark or send date of your rejection notification.

If you do meet the minimum qualification requirements and send your application in by the final file date, you will receive an acceptance notification via email or mail approximately three to four weeks after the final file date confirming your acceptance into the examination.

Examinations Administered On-Line

Caltrans offers several on-line examinations for specific classifications.  If the exam is offered on-line, there will be a link to the on-line examination from the examination recruitment bulletin.
When taking an on-line examination, the candidate will apply for the exam, take the exam and receive his or her results immediately. 

Step 3:  Take an Examination

After you receive your acceptance notification, you will receive your exam scheduling notice via email or mail.  This notice will inform you of the date, time and location of your examination.  It is important to read this notice thoroughly, as additional instructions for the examination will be listed on the notice.

Please arrive 15-30 minutes prior to your examination to allow ample time to find parking and check in with exam administrators.  Remember to bring a copy of your scheduling notification letter and a government issued picture I.D.

Step 4:  Become Reachable on an Employment List

Once you take an examination, you will receive notice by email or mail of your exam results.  If you fail the exam, you will not be placed on an employment list.  If you pass the exam, your notice of exam results will indicate your score and rank on the employment list.  Reachable ranks are the top three (3) ranks of the employment list for a given location.
For additional information on employment lists or ranking, please go to:

Step 5:  Apply for Job Vacancies

Once you have established eligibility on an employment list, you may start to receive job inquiry notices from departments requesting that you submit your application for certain vacant positions.  You must follow the instructions listed on these notices and return your application to the requesting agency by the final file date noted on the request.

You may also begin applying for job vacancies on your own.  You may find current vacancy postings at:

When applying for job vacancies, you must follow the instructions on the posting.  Some postings require additional information to be sent in along with your Standard State Application.

Step 6:  Participate in a Hiring Interview

After submitting your application, you may be contacted for a hiring interview. 

Step 7:  Pre-Employment Medical Exam/Drug Testing

In some cases, candidates will be required to participate in a medical exam to ensure that they are physically able to perform the essential duties of the job. 

Additionally, some candidates may be required to take a pre-employment drug test, for classifications designated as safety sensitive.  For more information on
pre-employment drug testing, please visit: