If you're new to 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.

Why Take an Exam?

CalPERS 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.

Exam and Application Process

  1. Search for an exam. You can view all state open exams at CalCareers, or view CalPERS 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Take the exam and review your results. Successful exam candidates are determined eligible for a job title/classification and placed on an employment list divided into ranks by score. Only candidates in the top three ranks are immediately eligible for appointment and can apply for job openings in the classification for which they tested. Your exam results letter will tell you your score and/or rank. Once you're on an employment list, you may start receiving letters from CalPERS and other state agencies inviting you to apply for openings. Each of these invitations will note their specific application requirements.
  4. Apply for jobs. Search for CalPERS job openings and submit your application online using CalCareers.

Applicants may also apply for CalPERS jobs by submitting the Standard State Application (STD 678) by mail. All paper applications must be postmarked as instructed in the job bulletin.

Search CalCareers for other state employment opportunities.

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.