Caltrans Jobs and Testing Information

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Frequently Asked Questions - Caltrans Division of Human Resources

FAQ - General

Where can I find the current list of examinations open for filing?

We list all Caltrans vacancies through the California Department of Human Resources (CalHR)'s CalCareers website (https://jobs.ca.gov/) using their California State Jobs search.

  • CalCareers
  • Caltrans Job Vacancies on CalCareers
  • CEA Exams - Caltrans Career Executive Assignments: high level administrative and policy-influencing positions for which the primary responsibility is the managing of a function or rendering of management advice to top level administrative authority.
  • Exempt Exams - Caltrans Exempt positions: exempt from civil service laws and rules therefore, individuals are not required to take an examination prior to appointment.
  • MSP Exams - Caltrans Managerial Selection Process (MSP) Exams
  • Open Examinations - Caltrans Examinations available to outside candidates (and internal candidates)
  • Post and Bid - Available to Caltrans internal candidates only. Post and Bid is a benefit under certain union contracts which gives permanent full-time employees, the right to transfer to another position within their classification in the Department based on seniority. See Caltrans' Post and Bid page for more information.
  • Promotional Examinations - Examinations available to Caltrans internal candidates only
  • SSA Transfer Exam - Staff Services Analyst General (SSA) Transfer Exam for Caltrans Employees: information and forms

How or where can I find the minimum qualifications for the class that I am interested in?

The minimum qualifications are listed in the examination bulletin. If you no longer have a copy of the bulletin, please visit http://www.calhr.ca.gov/state-hr-professionals/pages/job-descriptions.aspx and look up the classification being tested and read the minimum qualifications for that class.

What if I previously worked for the State of California?

An employee with probationary or permanent status who resigned from State civil service without fault may be reinstated regardless of how long ago he/she was employed, provided an appropriate position is vacant and the Department desires to make the appointment.

For more information on how to reinstate, please see the California Department of Human Resources (CalHR) Reinstatement page.

Why should I work for the State?

For detailed information on benefits and programs available to state employees, please see Why work for the State of California? on the California Department of Human Resources (CalHR)'s website.

For retirement information, please see the CalPERS Retirement Benefits page.

For information on living and working in California, please see the California Homepage Living section.

I work for another state agency, but would like to work at Caltrans what should I do?

You may be eligible to transfer to Caltrans based upon the salary you earned from your last or highest list appointment. In some cases, you may have to meet the minimum qualifications for the class you wish to transfer to or you may be eligible for transfer through the exam process. More information on how to transfer is available on the California Department of Human Resources (CalHR) Transfers page.

What if I work for the federal government, a city or county?

First you must take and successfully pass a State of California civil service examination before you may be eligible for a permanent appointment with Caltrans or any other state agency. For information on upcoming exams, see Caltrans' Exam Plan.

For general information on how to get a state job, visit California Department of Human Resources (CalHR)'s CalCareers website.

I never worked for the state, can I apply for a position at Caltrans?

First you must take and successfully pass a State of California civil service examination before you may be eligible for a permanent appointment with Caltrans or any other state agency. For information on upcoming exams, see Caltrans' Exam Plan.

For general information on how to get a state job, visit California Department of Human Resources (CalHR)'s CalCareers website.

What education and/or experience do I need for a job at Caltrans?

Education and/or experience requirements for all civil service classifications (positions) are contained in the minimum qualifications section of the "class specifications" and in the "requirements for admittance to the examination" section of the exam bulletin.

See California State Civil Service Class Specifications on CalHR for job descriptions, payscale, definition, minimum qualification, knowledge and abilities and more.

FAQ - Application

I want to apply for a Caltrans examination. Can I e-mail or fax my application?

Unless otherwise specified on the examination bulletin, electronic and fax submission of applications for examinations will not be accepted. All applications must be postmarked or delivered in person no later than 5:00 PM on the final filing/cut-off date listed on the examination bulletin.

How do I ensure that you have received my application?

Mail

  • You may obtain proof of receipt, before the final file date, by sending your application by certified and/or return receipt mail.
  • Mail the application early and place a follow-up call to the examination contact listed on the bulletin, before the final filing date.

Deliver in Person

  1. Deliver exam applications in person to the Exams lobby drop box at:

    Caltrans Exams Drop Box

    California Department of Transportation
    1727 30th St.
    Sacramento, Ca, 95816-2010

  2. visit the DHR receptionist (also on the 1st floor, 8AM - 5PM) to obtain a receipt confirming the date and time of your exam application submission.

I just received a notice stating I was rejected from an examination because my application was postmarked after the final filing date. What can I do?

You must show proof that you mailed your application prior to the final filing date, otherwise the rejection will stand.

I have not heard from the Office of Examination regarding my application status. When will I be notified of the status of my application?

This will depend on the number of applications received for the examination.

Generally, candidates should receive notice of acceptance or rejection approximately 3-4 weeks after the final filing date.

If you have not received your notice within this time frame please contact Caltrans Examinations Unit (916) 227-7858 and ask to speak to the analyst listed.

How can I get a state application?

Visit CalCareers and create a CalCareer Account.

This account enables you to:

  • Create a State application
  • Submit applications to jobs and examinations
  • Store your work history and cover letters
  • Review job vacancy statuses and examination results
  • and much more...

You can use the Fill-and-print Form CalHR STD 678: State of California Examination/Employment Application to fill out your application on-line, print it and send it in the mail.

In addition, hard copies can be obtained at any State Employment Development office, CalHR or Caltrans District Office.

You may also send a self-addressed stamped envelope to:

Request State Application Form by Mail

California Department of Human Resources
Service Center
P.O. Box 944201
Sacramento, CA 94244-2010

I don't see an advertisement for the job I'm interested in. Can I send my application in anyway? Where do I send it?

No, if you cannot find anything about the exam in which you are interested, it means applications are not being accepted at this time. Applications for an examination are accepted only during a specific filing period. For open exams, this is usually limited to about four weeks. Most departments, including Caltrans, do not hold applications until the next exam; applications received outside of the official filing period are returned without action. Each department publishes a bulletin for each examination that specifies the dates it will accept applications.

The bulletins are available in a number of places including the department giving the exam, local Employment Development Department offices, and the CalHR Job Search page.

I have completed the electronic application form. However, the bulletin does not provide an e-mail address where the application may be sent. How do I submit my application electronically?

At this time, applications are not accepted electronically. We require an original signature, as well as critical "Yes" and "No" alternatives regarding accommodation, religious beliefs, etc., that are not currently available on the electronic application. Each exam bulletin includes specific filing instructions. Please follow those instructions for submitting the hard copy of your application.

I am unable to download the electronic application form on my computer. Where can I get a hard copy of the application form?

We usually do not send out applications on request unless there is an extraordinary reason, such as a homebound person without a computer. However, you can pick up hard copies of the application at CalHR, or any Caltrans or Employment Development Department office throughout the State. See your local telephone directory for the office nearest to you. If you believe your situation is extraordinary, you may call the Examination Branch at (916)227-7858 and the receptionist will direct you to an Examination Analyst.

I have completed the application number STD.678. However, I don't know where to send it.

The State application form is used for both examinations and for expressing interest in specific positions once you have taken and passed the appropriate civil service exam.

  • If you are applying for an examination, the instructions for filing the application will be included on the bulletin.
  • If you are applying for a vacant position, the advertisement you saw should have included either the mailing address or a phone number where you can obtain the filing instructions.

I took an examination through the Internet. Now I am wondering if I need to fill out a hard copy of an application (STD. 678) or not.

You do not need to fill out a paper application form if you are filing for an Internet exam. However, if you are applying for a vacancy, then you may be asked to complete a Std. 678 as part of the process of filing for the vacancy. The advertisement for the vacancy will tell you what type of application you need to submit.

What does status "pending" mean when you submit an electronic application?

If your application status states "pending" that means the recruitment is still ongoing. If you do not hear from the Hiring Supervisor within 30 days from the final filling date we suggest reaching out to check on the status of your application. The Hiring Supervisor can be located by contacting the Hiring Unit Contact which can be found on the job advertisement.

Am I able to upload my resume and/or cover letter in my CalCareer account?

Yes, you have the option to upload your resume and cover letter, as well as other necessary documents.

Can I mail in my application?

We recommend uploading your application to your CalCareer Account and applying electronically, but you also have the option of mailing your application to the Caltrans Division of Human Resources or hand delivering it the Caltrans Division of Human Resources.

How many vacancies can I apply for?

There is no limit to the number of vacancies you can apply for. If you feel you are qualified for the position, we suggest you apply.

I never receive an interview, what am I doing wrong?

It is very important to be thorough and specific on your state application. Make sure to list all your education, experience, training and licenses and include all requested documents (Statement of Qualifications, Resume, Degree, etc.). Remember to list, in detail, the typical tasks you perform in all your jobs. When in doubt include more information so we have a full idea of the duties you performed in each job capacity.

I withdrew my application and am trying to reapply but CalHR gives me an error. Can I still apply if I’m interested in the position?

Yes, you may still apply however, you must either hand deliver your application or send it through the mail.

How do I add the job control (JC) and PARF number to my application template?

You can add this information by accessing application template, click edit template. Add the JC and PARF number into the section labeled "Examination(s) or Job Titles For Which You Are Applying:" then hit save template.

How long does the recruitment process take?

Advertisements run for a minimum of ten business days. If you do not hear from the Hiring Supervisor within 30 days from the final filing date we suggest reaching out to them regarding the status of your application. A recruitment takes an average of 2-4 months.

I uploaded my application but when I review my submission it appears blank. How do I ensure the hiring supervisor receives my completed application?

There are times that the system glitches, in this instance it is best to mail in or hand deliver your completed application. You may contact the CalCareer Unit at CalHR if you experience technical difficulties, they can be reach by phone at (866) 844-8671 or email CalCareer@calhr.ca.gov.

How do I determine the basis of my eligibility?

If you have taken the exam and were successful you would be considered list eligible. Lateral transfer is reserved for those candidates already in the classification. Reinstatement is for former state employees who are interested in returning back to their original classification and SROA/Surplus candidates are those who have received notification from CalHR placing them on a reemployment or SROA list.

I used to work for Caltrans as TE Civil and would like to come back. How do I do that?

If you would like to reinstate to Caltrans please look for TE Civil vacancies at www.jobs.ca.gov and apply. List on your State application that you are a reinstatement. You do not need to take the TE Civil examination. For additional information on reinstating to State service please visit: https://www.jobs.ca.gov/CalHrPublic/GeneralInfo/Reinstatement.aspx.

FAQ - Exams

I have been accepted into the examination. When and where will it be?

For examinations with a written feature, candidates are responsible to contact Caltrans Examination Unit three days prior to the examination test date, if he/she has not received his/her notice.

Candidates will receive scheduling notices no later than 10 mailing days (including Saturday) prior to the examination date.

I have taken an examination, when will I receive my results?

Candidates are informed during the examination that the results will be available approximately 6-8 weeks after the examination date.

How can I view my examination results online?

To obtain examination results online, you will need to log into your CalCareer account.

Please visit the CalHR jobs website by clicking this link:
https://jobs.ca.gov/profile/profile

I've been rejected from taking an examination. Who do I call to find out why I cannot take the examination?

Please call (916) 227-7858 and ask the receptionist to connect you with the analyst assigned to the examination.

Discuss your concerns with the analyst to determine what additional information can be submitted, to be reconsidered for entrance into the examination.

I failed the examination and I want to discuss my results, the test, and my answers, who do I call?

Examinations staff cannot discuss any elements of the examination with candidates. If a candidate is dissatisfied with examination results, the next course of action is to appeal the examination, in writing with the State Personnel Board.

Visit http://www.spb.ca.gov/appeals/appeals.aspx for State Personnel Board Appeal information.

I have a disability. How can I ensure that I receive Reasonable Accommodation (RA) when I take an examination?

Be sure to state your need for Reasonable Accommodation on question #2 on the State Application (STD.678) by marking "Yes" to that question.

If accepted into an examination, candidates that have requested reasonable accommodation will receive a questionnaire requesting information about the type of assistance required.

Why do I need to provide documentation for my Reasonable Accommodation request?

The reasonable accommodation request on the State Application is intended for candidates with a disability to request assistance during an examination, however, it does not verify need for reasonable accommodation.

In order to grant a reasonable accommodation request due to disability, written verification from a physician or agencies like the Department of Rehabilitation is required.

Are there study guides for Caltrans examinations?

Study guides are generally not available. The examination is developed to test the Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSA) posted in the bulletin.

If you no longer have a copy of the bulletin, please visit http://www.calhr.ca.gov/state-hr-professionals/pages/job-descriptions.aspx and look up the classification being tested and read and study the KSA's for that series.

How do I know where I rank on a "list"?

Click here to access the list: https://jobs.ca.gov/CalHRPublic/GeneralInfo/DisclosureSearch.aspx

Where can I obtain additional examination information?

Additional examination information can be found at the CalHR website at: https://www.jobs.ca.gov/

I noticed that Caltrans offers many different types of examinations (e.g., Open, Open, non-promotional, Promotional, Spot). What are these types of examinations and what do they mean?

Examination Basis/Types

Employment within State government requires a competitive testing process. If you have not been employed in a permanent position within the State of California, you must take and pass an examination before applying for any job vacancy.

Basis of Competition: The examination base determines who may be eligible to compete in a particular examination.

  • Open: Any candidate may compete who meets the minimum qualifications of the classification being examined. Veteran's Preference will be applied to qualifying veterans who pass the examination.
  • Open, non-promotional: Any candidate may compete who meets the minimum qualifications of the classification being examined. Career Credits are applied to the final score of this examination. Veteran's Preference will be applied to qualifying veterans who pass the examination.
  • Promotional: Any State employee may compete who has a Permanent appointment with Caltrans; or had a Permanent appointment with Caltrans in the last three years without a break in State civil service; or is a current/former employee of the Legislature for two or more years; or is a current/former non-elected exempt employee of the Executive Branch for two or more years; or an honorably discharged Veteran; and who meets the minimum qualifications of the classification being examined.
  • Post and Bid: Available to Caltrans internal candidates only. Post and Bid is a benefit under certain union contracts which gives permanent full-time employees, the right to transfer to another position within their classification in the Department based on seniority. See Caltrans' Post and Bid page for more information.
  • Spot: This option can be used with any of the exam types listed above. Spot exams are given in one or more locations where the department has the greatest need for a specific classification.

Exam Type: The type of exams that Caltrans currently offers.

  • Education & Experience (E & E) Assessment: Measures a candidate's education and experience as described on their application against a set of predetermined criteria. E&E examinations are used when the candidate group is small, there are no significant sensitive issues, and the hiring process is consistent with the selection process.
  • Performance Exam: Candidates are required to demonstrate specific skills by performing actual segments of work using identified tools, materials, equipment, and methods.
  • Modified Qualifications Appraisal Panel (ModQAP): Candidates are presented with a series of patterned questions they must respond to using a computer terminal within a given amount of time. Candidate responses are measured against predetermined criteria.
  • Supplemental Application Questionnaire: Requires the completion of a supplemental application, in addition to a standard State application (STD.678), in which candidates may be asked to provide their work experience and accomplishments and respond to patterned questions. Candidate responses are measured against predetermined criteria.
  • Training & Experience (T & E) Assessment: Online examinations administered by the California Department of Human Resources (CalHR) have traditionally been T&E assessments. Candidates access the examination at anytime online and self-certify that they meet the minimum qualifications for participation in the examination. Candidates indicate specific training and/or experience relevant to job-related knowledge, skills, and abilities.
  • Written Exam: A multiple-choice, written examination that tests for specific, well-defined, and job-related knowledge, skills, and abilities. Candidates respond to multiple choice questions on scantron answer sheets that are scored against an established answer key.

For more information on examinations and job vacancies, please visit www.jobs.ca.gov.

How do I find the results of the examination that I took electronically on the web?

All electronic exams are administered by the California Department of Human Resources (CalHR). Visit their CalCareers website and Log In to your account to obtain your test scores.

If you are unable to find your scores, you may contact the California Department of Human Resources (CalHR) directly at:

Location

California Department of Human Resources (CalHR)
1810 16th Street
Sacramento, CA 95811-7258

Mailing Address

California Department of Human Resources (CalHR)
1515 S Street, North Building, Suite 500
Sacramento, CA 95811-7258

Phone

(916) 324-0455

FAQ - Employment

Do I have to be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to be hired by Caltrans?

All new hires are required to complete the I-9 Employment Eligibility form. Under Federal regulations documented on this form, all State employees must be either

  1. a US citizen
  2. a lawful Permanent Resident or
  3. an alien authorized to work in the United States.

We also accept Canadian and Mexican citizens under the NAFTA Agreement. As part of the I-9 process, prior to being hired by any state agency, prospective employees need to either show proof of citizenship or provide certification from the Federal government confirming that you are authorized to work in the United States.

Contact Information

General Information:

General Information Line: (916) 654-2852

Media Inquiries:
Find your local Caltrans media contact on our
Public Information Officers page
or call our
Media Line: (916) 657-5060.

Submit a Customer Service Request

You can also call
1-800-427-7623
for current highway conditions or find more information about roads, traffic and travel on
Caltrans' Travel page.

Physical Address:

California Department of Transportation
1120 N Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

Mailing Address:

California Department of Transportation
1120 N Street
MS 49
Sacramento, CA 95814

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