Fire Career

Stockton Firefighter as a Career

Looking for...

...a physically challenging and professionally rewarding career?  

...a career with great benefits, room for growth, and flexible work schedule? 


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 recruit premier candidates that reflect our diverse population.  


The Job of Firefighter

Firefighting involves vigorous, skilled physical work and continuous training to handle emergency and 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 training programs to stay current on firefighting technology and methods.


Career Opportunities

Explore a challenging career opportunity in one of the most progressive fire departments in California and specialize as:

  • Paramedic – As a firefighter, become part of an ever-growing, advanced Emergency Medical System.
  • Hazardous Materials Team –  Train as a Haz-Mat Technician or Specialist for hazardous materials mitigation and awareness.
  • Water Rescue Team – Specialize in Swift Water Rescue or Dive Rescue Certified and provide water safety on the waterways surrounding our community.
  • Heavy Rescue Team – Train in confined space, trench, and high/low angle rescue should a major disaster strike.
  • Fire Prevention Division – As a Firefighter, train 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 educational 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

  • 18 years of age or older.
  • High school graduate or possess a G.E.D.
  • Successfully pass medical exam and drug screening.
    • Vision: 20/30 for visual acuity, corrected or uncorrected. (If corrected, no worse than 20/100 uncorrected in each eye separately.)
    • For laser eye surgery, one year minimum elapsed time between surgery and qualifying examination. Complete color blindness will be a cause for rejection.
    • Hearing in both ears: Within normal range of 5/5.
    • Strength and stamina to lift and carry equipment and patients weighing up to 165 pounds and able to wear self-contained breathing apparatus.
  • Pass written and physical ability testing (CPAT).
  • Valid California Class "C" Drivers License. Must obtain Class "B" Restricted Driver's Licence within one year of appointment.
  • Possess (or acquire within one year of employment) certification as Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) - Basic. EMT Basic Training provided at Academy (if offered).
  • Legally authorized to work in United States.
  • Pass comprehensive background investigation and psychological assessment, polygraph, and fingerprinting.
  • Reside within 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 CPAT, is a timed pass/fail test consisting of eight physical tasks representative of actions performed by firefighters that includes:

  • 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.  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, see California Firefighter Joint Apprenticeship Committee link in External Links below.


Eligibility List

Applicants who successfully pass the exams will have their names 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.


Interested in becoming a firefighter?

Pease visit the Human Resources Department web page for more information.


External Links

California Firefighter Joint Apprenticeship Committee (more on CPAT)

Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT)

Fire Careers

Fire Hire 

This City of Stockton web page last reviewed on --- 11/17/2016


This City of Stockton web page last reviewed on --- 11/17/2016