Fire Career

Stockton Firefighter as a Career

Fire Recruitment

Are you looking for a physically challenging and professionally rewarding career?  Are you looking for a position that offers great benefits and a flexible work schedule?  If you answered yes to either of these questions, then a career in the fire service may be for you.


The Stockton Fire Department is an advanced, diverse, and progressive fire department situated in the San Joaquin Valley.  The department offers exceptional career opportunities for men and women seeking professional and personal achievement.


We strive to maintain Stockton's heritage of excellence by recruiting candidates that reflect our diverse population.  See below is more information to guide you through the steps required to become a member of our elite firefighting team.


Please see these Stockton Fire Department brochures for additional information:

Fire Recruitment and Women In The Fire Service.


The Job of Firefighter

Firefighting involves vigorous and skilled physical work and continuous training, as well as handling emergency and life-or-death situations.  In addition to fighting fires and rescuing citizens from burning buildings, firefighters also:

  • work with citizens to promote fire prevention,
  • provide emergency medical care (both first responder and paramedic),
  • perform fire-suppression activities, 
  • perform water rescue,
  • protect the environment from hazardous material incidents,
  • perform heavy rescue operations from cars and collapsed buildings, and
  • conduct and participate in a various training programs to stay current on the latest firefighting technology and methods.


Career Opportunities

Explore a challenging career opportunity in one of the most progressive fire departments in California.  The following opportunities can be accomplished as a firefighter with the Stockton Fire Department.


Paramedic Program

As a firefighter, become part of an ever-growing, advanced Emergency Medical System provided to our community.


Hazardous Materials Team

Become a Haz-Mat Technician or Specialist providing Hazardous Materials mitigation and awareness for our community.


Water Rescue Team

Become Swift Water Rescue or Dive Rescue Certified and provide water safety on the waterways surrounding our community.


Heavy Rescue

Become trained in the disciplines of confined space, trench, and high/low angle rescue. The Heavy Rescue Team provides a great level of preparedness should a major disaster strike.


Fire Prevention Division

As a Firefighter, become trained in fire-safety inspections, fire code compliance, and public education for personal fire safety. Enter the Fire Prevention Division as a Deputy Fire Marshal.


Fire Training Division

Advance your education and promotional goals through technical schools, State Fire Academy, and "hands on"job training.  Opportunities to advance to a Deputy Training Director.


Firefighter Minimum Qualifications

  • Be 18 years of age or older.
  • Be high school graduate or possess a G.E.D.
  • Successfully pass a medical examination and drug screening.
    • Vision requirements are 20/30 for visual acuity, corrected or uncorrected. (Note: If corrected, no worse than 20/100 uncorrected in each eye separately.)  For laser surgery, one year minimum elapsed time between surgery and qualifying examination.  Complete color blindness will be a cause for rejection.
    • Hearing in both ears must be within normal range - 5/5.
    • Strength and stamina sufficient to lift and carry equipment and patients weighing up to 165 pounds and be able to wear self-contained breathing apparatus.
  • Pass written and physical ability testing (CPAT).
  • Possess a valid California Class "C" Drivers License.  Must obtain a Class "B" Restricted Driver's Licence within one year of appointment.
  • Possess (or acquire within one year of employment) current certification as an Emergency Medical Technician - Basic.
  • Emergency Medical Technician Basic training to be provided at Academy (if offered).
  • Be legally authorized to work in the United States.
  • Pass a comprehensive background investigation and psychological assessment, including polygraph and fingerprinting.
  • Reside within a geographic area to reach City Hall within 45 minutes, in accordance with Stockton Municipal Code Section 2.48.010(A) for all sworn public safety officers and all regular emergency personnel in the employ of the City.


Types of Test

Written Test

Measures reading comprehension, mechanical and spatial aptitude, mathematics, and ability to comprehend and learn firefighting material from written instructions.


Oral Panel Interview

Measures interpersonal relations, oral communication skills, judgment and analytical ability, and your motivation to be a firefighter.


Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT)

Stockton Fire Department's physical ability test, or Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT), is a timed pass/fail test consisting of eight physical tasks representative of actions performed by firefighters.  These include:

  • stair climb hose drag,
  • equipment carry ladder raise
  • forcible entry search, and
  • rescue ceiling breach and pull.


Applicants must be in excellent physical condition to be competitive.  Since some applicants may find the CPAT very difficult, we recommend you fully prepare with physical conditioning.  All applicants take the same physical test.


Applicants must successfully complete the CPAT to continue in the testing process.  For additional information regarding the CPAT please see the CalJac link in External Links below.


Eligibility List

Those applicants who successfully pass the examinations will have their name placed on an eligibility list and may be called for a final job interview.


The City of Stockton Fire Department has its own 16-week Fire Academy.  During this time, you will participate in classroom instruction and learn the mechanics of fire suppression.


Suggested Courses and Activities

  • Community College courses in fire science, English grammar and reading comprehension, basic math, public speaking, building trades, and auto mechanics.
  • First Aid courses such as EMT-B Certification, CPR, and Advanced First Aid.
  • Community Involvement  such as volunteer service organizations.


If you are interested in becoming a firefighter, please visit the Human Resources Department web page for additional information.


External Links

Fire Careers

Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT)

Fire Hire


This City of Stockton web page last reviewed on --- 6/24/2014