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The New York State Constitution requires that public employees must be hired for jobs based on merit and fitness.  The constitution also says that, for most jobs, merit and fitness must be measured by examination. The Civil Service Exam will assess your knowledge, skills, and abilities related to the job you are most interested in. The Schenectady County Civil Service Commission also announces and schedules exams for all cities, towns, villages, and school districts in Schenectady County.

Career Tip

If a career position at Schenectady County is a Competitive Class Position, an Exam is required. When an exam is required, you apply for the exam, not a specific job.

Sign Up for a Civil Service Exam

Civil Service Exams are scheduled and announced by the Schenectady County Civil Service Office when requested by a County department or a local municipality. A number of exams may be scheduled each year. You can sign up to take a Civil Service Exam and complete your Civil Service Application online using the Schenectady County Civil Service Employment Portal. 

Take the Exam for FREE! Take advantage of the Schenectady County Legislature’s one-year pilot program that eliminates the fees charged for taking civil service exams for Schenectady County and local municipal positions.

Career Tip

Exam announcements are similar to job announcements.  When you recieve an exam announcement, be sure to read the description and make sure that you meet the minimum qualifications before you apply for the exam. You're encourage to sign up for an open exam even if there isn't a current vacancy.

Prepare for Your Exam

Use the time you have leading up to the exam to prepare. Many of the exams are written, multiple choice tests. Review the exam announcement, which lists the subject area or "subtests" covered in the exam. You can find test guides and helpful tools and strategies online through the New York State Civil Service Commission.

General Tips & Info:

  • Keep a positive outlook and find healthy ways to manage stress.
  • Get a good nights sleep before the exam and eat a healthy breakfast.
  • Arrive at the exam location early and prepared.
  • Notify the Civil Service Office if you require a religous accommodation or a reasonable accommodation for an individual with a disability.


How To Take a Test
General Exam Guide
Written Test Guides

After the Civil Service Exam

When the exam scores are posted, you will be notified and your name will be added to the appropriate eligibility list. Eligibility lists are shared with the departments with job openings. Your name will stay on the eligibility list for up to 4 years, unless a new exam is opened after 1 year. You may receive a call from a county department following your test to determine your interest in a specific job or to schedule an interview. This is called canvassing. You are encouraged to respond to the canvas inquiry and let the department know if you are interested in being considered for the position. Your ranking on the eligibility list does not guarantee that you will be hired. Your responsiveness to canvas inquiries and your interview are equally important.

Canvas letters or inquiries are not job offers.  If you have a job and recieve a canvas letter or inquiry from a county department, do not leave your current job. Always respond to a canvas inquiry by the return date, whether you are interested in a position or not. Make sure the department knows you are not interested in a specific job so your name remains on the eligibility list.   If you do not respond to an inquiry, it will be considered a declination and you will not be considered for future opportunities. 

Career Tip

Ranking high on the eligibility list does not guarantee that you will be hired. Your eligibility for a job also depends on your responsiveness through the process and the outcome of your interview.  Be patient! After you take your exam, the hiring process may take up to nine months.