First Step: Firefighter Applicants
The first steps to becoming a San Antonio Firefighter include meeting the minimum qualifications, submitting an application to take the entrance exam, successfully completing the entrance exam, and being placed on the eligibility list.
The minimum qualifications applicants must meet in order to take the Firefighters entrance examination include:
- Be at least 19 years of age, but have not reached 34 years of age by the date of taking the entrance exam.
- Do NOT have any of the following items on their record:
- Conviction of a felony or other crime involving moral turpitude.
- Any discharge from the Armed Forces other than honorable discharge (Uncharacterized and Entry Level discharges may be accepted on individual basis).
- Two or more traffic violation convictions within the 12 months preceding the date of taking the written examination.
- Conviction of a Class A or Class B misdemeanor or its equivalent within the 24 months preceding the date of taking the written examination.
- Conviction of a Driving While Intoxicated, Driving Under the Influence of Drugs, or the equivalent within the 5 years preceding the date of taking the written examination.
- Must be a high school graduate or its equivalent (GED).
- Applicants must be able to read, write, and speak in the English language.
Must have completed the Hepatitis B vaccine series prior to their date of entry into the Fire Training Academy.
Additional Suitability Factors to be aware of when applying to the SAFD.
Applicants must pass the Civil Service entrance examination with a minimum score of 70%. The exam consists of 250 questions with a three hour and fifteen minute time limit. The exam location is listed in the announcement and is typically a known venue in San Antonio.
The San Antonio Fire Department posts official notices on this page announcing dates for taking the SAFD written Civil Service entrance examination for a given year. In order to take the exam, applicants must first submit an application.
helpful resources to use for preparing for the exam
- "Firefighter" by ARCO, available for purchase at major bookstores.
- "Firefighter Exams" by BARRONS, available for purchase at major bookstores.
- "The Encyclopedia of Firefighter Examinations (Vol. 1)", available at www.fireprep.com
or by calling 1.800.989.FIRE.
- Study for the Exam
Veterans are eligible to receive five additional points after passing the exam with a minimum of 70%. A copy of DD Form 214 must be received by the date specified in the exam announcement in order to have the veteran’s preference points added to the passing score.
** Candidates that have taken the exam must always monitor this website for final scores and for instructions on the next steps in the process. Failure to do so, could cause you to miss a deadline and eliminate you from the process.
If an applicant passes the entrance exam, their name is placed on the eligibility list. Applicant names are listed in rank order based on their test scores - highest scores at the top and lowest scores at the bottom.
Upon entering the test site you will be directed to randomly pull a contact information card from a box. That card will have a number printed on it. This will be your lottery number. That number will then be attached to your answer sheet. If several applicants receive the same score, the answer sheet(s) with the lowest lottery number will rank higher on the eligibility list.
Once the eligibility list is established, the processing of applicants continues to the next phase: Firefighter Candidates.