Gov. Kathy Hochul announced civil service exam application fees are now waived for all New York state civil service exams, beginning July 1, 2023, through December 2025. Her team said the removal of fees for all state exams was one of several actions included in the fiscal year 2024 budget to help modernize New York's public workforce.
Hochul said "As our state continues to grapple with an affordability crisis, civil service exam fees place yet another burden on New Yorkers – particularly the passionate New Yorkers seeking meaningful careers in state service. By waiving these fees, my administration is standing by its commitment to modernizing New York's workforce and lowering barriers to ensure that our civil servants reflect the rich diversity of our state."
Department of Civil Service Commissioner Timothy R. Hogues said, "Removing exam application fees for all state civil service exams is one of the many proactive steps that New York state is taking to help make a career in public service more accessible for all. At the Department of Civil Service, we are making improvements to eliminate barriers to entry for civil service jobs, and transforming the state's approach to meeting our workforce needs to help recruit and retain a diverse and talented workforce that will serve all New Yorkers. I encourage all individuals to consider applying for exams that you qualify for to start the pathway to a rewarding career that offers many benefits with New York state."
A press release stated, “Civil service exam fees can serve as a substantial barrier to entering public service, particularly for candidates from traditionally marginalized communities. While fee waivers previously existed for veterans, as well as individuals that are unemployed or receiving public assistance, the majority of test-takers were required to pay an exam fee.
“The removal of exam application fees for state civil service exams is one of several actions taken as part of the FY 2024 Budget to modernize New York's public workforce and streamline government operations. Additional actions include offering civil service exams on an ongoing basis at 12 state-operated testing centers to be established across the state and expanding the state's existing 55-B hiring program to increase job opportunities for individuals with disabilities.”
The governor previously announced the creation of civil service specialist positions at Department of Labor Career Centers to serve as liaisons between jobseekers and the Department of Civil Service, as well as other state agencies, to help candidates better navigate the Civil Service Merit System – and provide them with greater support in navigating available job opportunities across state government.
Hochul recently announced thousands of state jobs are open and available for immediate hiring in the health and human services fields across 10 state agencies as part of the “hiring for emergency limited placement program” to help address a statewide workforce shortage in critical health and safety titles across state government.