How to Get a State Job

If you are a member of the general public, there are two primary ways to gain employment with New York State.

  1. Classified Service

    The first step is to take and pass a civil service examination for a title in your area of interest. Civil service exams are specific to a job or a class of jobs (for example, there might be a specific test for an air conditioning mechanic, but one clerical test might suit for 10 or 12 different titles), and are scheduled as a previous eligible list expires or diminishes as people are hired from it. Jobs which require civil service exams are referred to as being in the "classified" service.

    The overwhelming majority of jobs in the Executive Branch are classified by the Department of Civil Service, and require that candidates take and pass a civil service examination in order to qualify for employment.

  2. Non-Classified Service

    Look for a position that does not require a Civil Service examination, known as a "non-classified" position. Usually these jobs are filled by people with specific professional licenses or have other special qualifications. While these jobs may be available without an examination, you may not have all the protections afforded an employee in the classified service.

How Do I Start?

Civil service examinations are scheduled and resultant eligible lists are administered by the NYS Department of Civil Service, a separate state agency. The Department also administers the civil service exam system for a number of localities (e.g., counties and cities) within the state.

These exams are specific to a job or a class of jobs (for example, there might be a specific test for an air conditioning mechanic, but one clerical test might suit for 10 or 12 different titles), and are scheduled as a previous eligible list expires or diminishes as people are hired from it.

You can find a link to the currently scheduled examinations in the left side navigation of this page. Because you do not have current Civil Service status, you should focus your attention on the "Open to all Qualified Individuals" examinations. You may be interested in the "Test Guides and Resource Booklets" link on that same page.

You may also want to view the "Continuous Recruitment Examination Announcements," as a number of these require "Minimum Education or Experience." Jobs in this category include Keyboard Specialist, Information Technology Specialist, Food Service Worker, Motor Equipment Mechanic, and Mental Health Therapy Aide Trainee.

How NYS Government Is Organized

New York's government is divided into three branches:

  • Executive Branch — Consists of all state departments, agencies, offices, councils, authorities, and commissions that report to the Governor.

  • Legislative Branch — Consists of the Senate and Assembly.

  • Judiciary Branch — Consists of the Court of Appeals, the Apellate Division, The Court Administration Division, and the State Supreme Court.

What All This Means to You

The jobs listed on this site are almost exclusively in the Executive Branch of government. The Executive Branch acts as a single employer, allowing employees the opportunity to advance their careers within their own state agency or to transfer to other State agencies. In many instances, benefits and leave accruals follow employees throughout their employment in NYS government. If you are interested in a job in the New York State Assembly, you can find employment opportunities on the Assembly website at http://assembly.state.ny.us/career/.

If you are interested in a job in New York's Unified Court System, you can find current employment opportunities on the Court System website at http://www.nycourts.gov/careers/opportunities.shtml.

For More Information

If you would like more information on careers in New York State government, you can review It's Great to Work for New York State, an orientation manual for state employees, online at http://goer.ny.gov/Employee_Resources/Orientation/index.cfm.