September 19, 2017

Caltrans Hiring Tons of Engineers - Here's How to Apply!!!

CalTrans is hiring 1100 professionals! They are seeking mostly civil engineers, electrical engineers, surveyors, right-of-way workers and environmental planners. Caltrans also has 250 openings for blue-collar maintenance workers, mechanics, and heavy equipment operators. Some jobs will include apprenticeships.

The large number of openings are a result of baby boomer retirements and the new revenues generated by the state gasoline tax - $52 billion dollars worth! The new hiring will occur across the state of California.

Hiring for open positions is a three step process once you have created an account in the CalHR system that allows you to log in and out and apply for exams and then positions.

First step - complete the open - online - exams for positions you qualify for with your degree or experience.

Second step - apply for open positions that meet your qualifications and interests. Yes, you have to apply for positions. Don't just sit and wait to hear from someone.

Third step - you will be interviewed if you are among the top candidates who have applied for the particular positions. The odds are good with the number of positions being filled, but you have to apply.

Jobs will be posted on CalHR and require that you pass the exam prior to filing an application for the available positions. I think it is also really good policy to track on what is being posted directly on the CalTrans website at

State exams are designed to screen out unqualified candidates and screen in qualified candidates. Exams include questions about your education, skills and experience. Be sure to read the question carefully and answer honestly. Try to be as through as possible on your application. I also like to advise that you be a bit generous with your answer. Some candidates are so afraid to say they know something from an experience that they didn't get a degree, a certificate or paid for that they leave it out or underestimate themselves.

On state exams and job applications details matter! Details include complete descriptions of projects you have worked on, as well as your paid and unpaid experience, knowledge, training, and education. If you are having difficulty find a career coach who can help you.

Once you pass the exam in a particular category you can apply for all jobs in that category. This involves filling out an online application, submitting documents like your resume for each and every job that is posted that you are interested in. Be prepared to apply for a large number of jobs... Sometimes you have to kiss a lot of toads to catch your prince... same principle - so to speak...

As in all job seeking you will need to tailor your resume to each position, altering it to reflect exactly how you qualify. If you are unsure about resume writing go to to find high quality resume samples for engineering professionals.

Supplemental questions may also be included in the application process. Make sure you have studied and dissected the job description and researched the Caltrans website before you answer the questions. Questions usually focus on your experience as it relates to the available position. The same holds true for the interview questions. Once you pass the exam(s) and apply for the positions you are interested in be sure to re-study the Caltrans website and practice answers for questions you can anticipate being asked based on the job description. The Serious Job Seeker online has tons of questions you can expect to be asked in the chapter on interviewing.

CalHR has workshops to help candidates traverse the complexities of state hiring. They also host job fairs and other events from time to time. Getting a job in government takes time - sometimes up to six months but the jobs are rewarding, the positions are stable, and the benefits are very good. The CalHR website can be reached at