Working for the City of Columbia

Columbia is a vibrant and dynamic city, on the forefront of economic growth & innovation, urban development, arts & entertainment, as well as social issues & change. This rich tapestry of culture and ideas is sustained by our City's commitment to heighten the quality of life for citizens of Columbia and the surrounding area.

Our employees play an important role not only in making our City what it is today, but also in shaping the future of Columbia. The City employs around 400 individuals in a diverse array of services such as maintaining city streets and parks, keeping the streets safe and fire fighting.

If you are interested in being considered for a civil service job with the City of Columbia, you will most likely go through the following four-step hiring process:

Step One: Review the job announcements and identify those that interest you. Carefully read the job announcement, particularly the "How to Apply" section, and follow directions.

Step Two: If your application shows you meet the minimum qualifications for the position, you will be invited to take an examination.

Step Three: Once you pass the examination, you will be invited to interview with the Civil Service Board.

Step Four: The top three candidates with the highest overall scores will be forwarded to the hiring authority for review and to schedule possible additional tests, exercises and interviews. A drug screen, background check and physical are required as a condition of employment for the selected candidate.

If you are not selected for the open position, the City will maintain an eligibility list. Applicants who are on the eligibility list will be contacted when a position becomes available. At times, the eligibility list will not be exhausted before the position is advertised again. 

Additional Information for Fire and Police

Fire – Do you want to help keep Columbia strong?  Firefighting is a career where people work at what they are passionate for and to achieve on-going professional skills, knowledge and abilities.

A career with the Columbia Fire Department can be rewarding by proudly serving the residents of Columbia with honor, tradition and excellence. Columbia firefighters receive the gratitude and appreciation of our residents, in addition to working in a position of respect and being valued for the unique skills they possess.

The City of Columbia does not establish a “hard” closing date for applications to begin a career as a firefighter.  We are committed to building a culturally diverse department.  As the need to fill a position becomes apparent, we review the applicants we have at the time the need arises to move forward with the selection process.  An eligibility list for applicants who possess the EMT certification will be maintained until the need to establish a new eligibility list occurs.

We strongly encourage those interested in a fire service career to further their education and medical training. Although it may be surprising to some, most individuals find the academics of the training academy to be more challenging than the physical requirements.

The City of Columbia currently uses the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) as the physical test to be admitted as a fire recruit.  The CPAT Candidate Preparation Guide contains cardiovascular, strength building and stretching exercises designed to help you prepare for the CPAT.

We would like to express our appreciation for your interest in pursuing a career as a firefighter for the City of  Columbia. 

Waiver of Liability

Police – An agility test will be given for entry level police officer candidates. In addition a lengthy background questionnaire is required to be completed prior to an interview bei. 

Waiver of Liability

Applicant Questionnaire

Click HERE to view jobs currently open.

The City of Columbia is an equal opportunity employer. The City bases decisions of employment solely upon an individual’s qualifications for the position being filled. The City recruits, hires and promotes for job classifications giving fair consideration to all, with no preference of discrimination given to race, gender, color, religion, age, national origin, disability, Vietnam Era special disabled veteran status, Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act of the American Disabilities Act of 1990, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, and the City of Columbia policy.