Applicant Phase

The first phase to becoming a firefighter includes the following:

  1. Meeting the minimum qualifications
  2. Submitting an application to take the entrance exam
  3. Passing the entrance exam and getting placed on the eligibility list

Minimum Qualifications

  • At least 19 years of age, but having not reached 34 years of age by the date of your entrance exam.
  • Does 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 5 years 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 possess a GED
  • Read, write, and speak in the English language
  • Complete the Hepatitis B vaccine series prior your date of entry into the Fire Training Academy

Additional Suitability Factors(PDF, 531KB)

Frequently Asked Questions

On the application, how far back do we need to go for the moving traffic violation convictions?

Within the 12 months preceding the date of taking the written examination.

What if I can't remember the dates, offenses or action taken on the tickets?

You must include the dates, offenses and action taken. For accuracy, go to your state and local law enforcement agency and request a copy of your driving and criminal record.

As a potential applicant, are there any other rules used to determine if I qualify to be a San Antonio Fire Fighter?

Yes. If you make it to the Background Phase of the hiring process, an additional set of factors will be used to determine if you're hirable by the SAFD. See Applicant Phase-Suitability Factors(PDF, 531KB) .

What does moral turpitude mean?

Some offenses which have been declared by the Judiciary to involve moral turpitude are theft, swindling, burglary, tax evasion, forgery, perjury, bribery, sale of narcotics, etc.

Does prior experience in firefighting help my chances?

Our minimum qualification is that the applicant has a GED or a high school diploma. Prior experience will be taken into consideration, but it will not necessarily help or hurt your chances.

How often does the San Antonio Fire Department test for Firefighter Trainee positions?

Pursuant to state law, the SAFD accepts applications and tests once a year. Please fill out the Job Interest Card and you'll be notified by email when the SAFD is accepting applications.

Are there any recommended study material(s) that will help prepare me for the written examination?

The SAFD only recommends study material that the testing company provides/and or approves. See Study Materials


The San Antonio Fire Department's six month training class is GI Bill eligible.

Veteran's Preference Points

If you have been (or will be) discharged from the military, you may be eligible for five Veteran’s preference points on the examination. To be eligible to receive the additional points, you must have:

  • Served on active duty for a minimum of 180 consecutive days
  • Received an honorable discharge
  • Score 70% or higher on the written SAFD entrance examination

Please provide the following documentation. It must be received by the date listed in the announcement, prior to the exam.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you make any exceptions on the age limit, such as for prior military service?

No, there are no exceptions made for our age requirement, and prior military service does not influence the set limits.

Will I be allowed military leave time?

The SAFD offer up to 15 working days annually for military leave. There is also vacation time and trading of time that one can exercise, if needed. More information about Firefighter Wages & Benefits.