CIVIL SERVICE FAQ

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A. Most positions require that you take an exam to be considered for a permanent job. These are called competitive positions.

For competitive positions when there is no list of applicants who have taken an exam for a particular title, a person may be appointed “provisionally” (temporarily) until the results of the next exam are established. The provisional employee must score high enough to be permanently appointed or else be removed from the job.

A. There are three types of positions which do not require an exam.

Exempt positions are those where the employer decides the qualifications of applicants and chooses the person they want to hire. The process is similar to that found in private industry.

Non-Competitive positions have specific education and experience minimum requirements which you must meet. Employers choose from among the qualified people who apply.

Labor positions have no requirements. Employers may choose anyone for these jobs. However, they frequently select individuals with the best work record.

A. You can find current exam announcements in the List of Exam Announcements. In addition, applications are continuously accepted for Account Clerk, Clerk Typist and Library Clerk exams. (See question on continuous exams).

A. If you are interested in applying for a job with the City of Albany, please apply on-line.

For assistance in completing your application, we highly recommend you refer to the Application Completion Guidelines.

If you apply for more than one Civil Service Exam, you must complete one application for each exam you wish to take.

Most exams require that you pay a non-refundable application fee. Check the exam announcement to see if a fee is required. Credit card payments are acceptable with your online submission. If you are unable to pay by credit card, checks or money orders are acceptable for payment and must be received in our office by the 5:00 p.m. on the last filing date. In some cases, the fee is waived because of financial hardship or if you are a honorably discharged veteran. Check the exam announcement and the last page of the application for details.

If you have applied for more than one exam on the same date with more than one Civil Service Agency (County, City, State), you must complete the crossfiler portion in the application. This is NOT required for taking multiple exams with a single Civil Service Commission. The crossfiler information allows multiple Civil Service Agencies to coordinate your exam material.

If the exam you are taking requires a qualifying typing performance exam and you have already completed a typing exam, please read and complete a Typing Exam Waiver form. The exam announcement will inform you if a typing exam is required and the minimum words per minute required to qualify.

A. Most Civil Service exams have a $20 non-refundable application fee. Uniformed services exams have a $30 non-refundable application fee. Please note it is a non-refundable application fee, not an exam fee. This means that you will be charged the fee even if you are later determined to be ineligible to sit for the exam. Therefore, please carefully review the minimum qualifications required for each exam you intend to take to ensure your experience and education meet them.

A. No. The fee paid is a non-refundable Application Fee, not an Exam Fee, to defray the cost of processing applications. The non-refundable application fee will be charged even if you are later determined to be ineligible to sit for the exam. Therefore, please carefully review the minimum qualifications required for each exam you intend to take to ensure your experience and education meet them.

A. No. When applying for an exam, take note of the closing date for filing. Applications must be submitted online by the closing date for the exam. No exceptions will be made.

A. Please be as specific as you can. You must provide at least the month and year of your employment start and end dates. Vagueness on dates will not be resolved in your favor.

A. Yes. You must enter the actual or average number of hours worked per week. This information is used when reviewing your application against the minimum qualifications to assess whether you have enough experience. In most cases part-time work is credited as follows:

HOURS WORKED PER WEEKCREDIT TOWARDS FULL-TIME
0-7.5NO CREDIT
7.5-14.520%
15.0-22.040%
22.5-29.560%
30.0-37.080%
37.5 or more100%

A. Applications for examinations are reviewed approximately two weeks after the application deadline. Applicants who do not meet the minimum qualifications are notified by mail and are given one week to respond with additional information. Individuals who meet the minimum qualifications are notified by mail at least one week prior to the exam date of the location, time and other instructions.

A. The letter usually states that it appears that you do not meet the minimum qualifications for the examination. This means that you may not have provided enough information on the application to determine that you meet the minimum qualifications. Read the rejection letter closely, and then submit a letter providing the missing or unclear information. Civil Service will then be able to take a second look at your application and determine if you qualify.

A. You can find out what areas each exam will cover from the exam announcement under the heading “Scope of Examination.” Announcements are posted approximately four weeks prior to the closing date for filing an application. Exam announcements are available in the City of Albany Department of Human Resources or on this web site.

A. New York State Civil Service publishes “How to take a written exam" and several study guides are for entry-level exam series. City of Albany Civil Service does not review or endorse any commercially available exam study guides.

A. Please apply for:

Civil Service Exams
Job Vacancies for non-examed or provisional openings
Summer jobs
Account Clerk, Clerk Typist, Library Clerk - exam applications accepted continuously

The titles and minimum qualifications of the positions are posted. This information, as well as applications and examination announcements, is available from the City of Albany Department of Human Resources. It is recommended that you register for automatic e-mail notifications or follow us on Facebook so you do not miss the opportunity to apply for upcoming exams or job announcements. Positions which are posted and not subject to examination are posted for a minimum of 10 days.

A. Every job in local government falls under the Civil Service System. A “Civil Service” employee can be anyone from a police officer, secretary, registered nurse, mechanic, attorney, accountant, laborer, food service helper, etc. Different jobs have different requirements. The Civil Service System is required by the New York State Constitution and is intended to ensure all positions are filled by merit and fitness.

A. The department is open to the public between the hours of 8:30 AM and 5:00 PM Monday through Friday, except on holidays observed by City Departments. Forms, study guides, important Civil Service information, exam and job announcements are available on this web site 24/7.

Most positions/exams have a 30 day City of Albany residency requirement.

A. The City of Albany departments, Albany Housing Authority, Albany Parking Authority, Albany Public Library and Albany City School District use the lists resulting from these exams to fill competitive positions. The State and Federal governments administer their own exams.

If you are interested in a job (unexamed) in a local government agency other than in City of Albany departments, apply directly to that agency.

A. Exam results are received from New York State Civil Service approximately three months after an exam is held. You will be notified by mail or email (candidate’s choice) of your score and placement on the eligible list for that title. An eligible list is a ranked listing of all passing candidates from a Civil Service exam. An eligible list is established for a minimum of one year but may be extended to a maximum of four years. You may view eligible lists online.

A. New York State Civil Service law allows additional credits in examinations to successful candidates who have filed for and established their status as wartime veterans or disabled wartime veterans. These credits are granted at the time of establishment of the eligible list on the following basis:

Open-Competitive ExamsPromotional Exams
Wartime Veteran 5 pts.2.5 pts.
Disabled Wartime Veteran 10 pts.5 pts.


In most cases candidates may use their wartime veteran's or disabled wartime veteran’s credits to gain appointment only once to a civil serviced position in New York State or local government, but effective January 1, 2014, veterans who previously used credits for appointment to a position in New York State or local government AND, after his or her appointment, are subsequently classified by the Veterans Administration as disabled during time of war, are eligible for an award of additional veteran credits. Such candidates are entitled to 10 additional credits on civil service examinations, minus the number of credits already used for the prior appointment.

In order to be considered for wartime veteran’s credits, candidates must file an Application for Veteran’s Credits form and their military discharge papers (DD-214) to establish proof that they:
  1. Served on active duty with the Armed Forces in wartime, as defined in Section 85 of the State Civil Service Law,
  2. Were honorably discharged or released under honorable circumstances from such services, and
  3. Are a resident of New York State at the time of the establishment of the eligible list.
Disabled wartime veteran’s Credits applicants must file a Veteran’s Disability Records Release form, in addition to the proof required above, to show that they have a war-incurred disability of at least 10% which is certified to be in existence at the time of application for additional credits.

The mere application for wartime veteran's credits does not obligate an applicant to use such credits. At the time of appointment eligible candidates will be asked to sign forms using or relinquishing these additional credits.

A. Wartime Veterans wishing to claim additional examination credits must file an Application for Veteran’s Credits form along with a copy of their military discharge papers (DD-214) no later than sixty (60) days after the last filing date. No credit may be added after the eligible list has been established.

Candidates wishing to claim disabled wartime veteran’s credits must also submit a copy of the Veteran’s Disability Records Release form to the Veteran’s Affairs office.

Any questions regarding veteran’s credits can be directed to the City of Albany Department of Human Resources at 518-434-5049.

WARTIME IS DEFINED AS FOLLOWS:

All service in the United States armed forces during:
World War I April 6, 1917 - November 11, 1918
World War IIDecember 7, 1941 - December 31, 1946
Korean ConflictJune 27, 1950 - January 31, 1955
Viet Nam ConflictFebruary 28, 1961 - May 7, 1975
Persian Gulf ConflictAugust 2, 1990 - the date upon which such hostilities end

Service for which a veteran received the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Navy Expeditionary Medal, or the Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal for:
Hostilities in LebanonJune 1, 1983 - December 1, 1987
Hostilities in GrenadaOctober 23, 1983 - November 21, 1983
Hostilities in PanamaDecember 20, 1989 - January 31, 1990

A. If you have moved since applying for or taking a Civil Service Exam and do not have an online account yet, please complete the Change of Address Form and mail or email it to our office. Be sure to fill out the form completely so your examination records can be accurately updated. If you have already created an account through our online application portal please sign into your account and make the necessary changes to update your information.

A. The quickest way to start a career in local government is to take the Account Clerk, Clerk Typist and Library Clerk Civil Service examinations.

Applications are accepted continuously and examinations are given bi-weekly. Passing candidates are added to the Civil Service list and become eligible for employment in a short period of time.

Candidates can only take an Account Clerk, Clerk Typist and Library Clerk exam once every 6 months.

Please read the announcement carefully for special information and instructions regarding specific exam dates, cross filing and re-taking exams.

Study guides for entry-level exams are available on this web site.

A. 55-a refers to the section of New York State Civil Service Law which allows local governments to bypass the examination process when employing people with disabilities in entry-level civil service jobs. Click here for the 55-a Fact Sheet.

  • Eligibility is determined on a job-by-job basis. You may be eligible if you are certified as having a mental or physical disability which is a substantial barrier to employment, and you are qualified to perform satisfactorily the duties of a particular job.
  • The New York State ACCES-VR or the Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped certifies disability based on recent information and determines if you are qualified to perform satisfactorily the duties of the job. Civil Service determines if you meet the minimum educational and/or experience qualifications for a particular job.
  • 55-a is not a guarantee of employment. The program is voluntary and appointing authorities are not required to hire a 55-a eligible person. When an appointing authority is interested in hiring you, the job description will be reviewed by ACCES-VR or CBVH to assist you in determining your ability to perform the essential duties of the job.
  • Entry-level positions exist in technical, professional, administrative, and clerical areas. An eligible individual can contact Civil Service for assistance in identifying appropriate job titles. However, it is the individual’s responsibility to locate a suitable opening.
  • The 55-a Employment Program is voluntary and some departments and local jurisdictions may not participate. To ensure that you do not miss any employment opportunities, you should take all examinations for which you meet the minimum qualifications. Reasonable accommodations are provided for exam takers with disabilities to enable them to participate in the civil service examination process.
  • The Albany ACCES-VR office is located at 80 Wolf Road, Suite 200, 2nd Floor, Albany, NY 12205 and can be contacted at 518-473-8097 or 800-272-5448.