Through prevention and response, we protect nearly 60,000 residents. Hear from Sam in the below video about what it means to join our team!

Job duties, knowledge, skills, and abilities is available in the Firefighter Job Description. Download the flyer on becoming a member of the Dubuque Fire Department.

Civil Service Examination Requirement

The Dubuque Fire Department recruitment period is currently closed. Register to be notified when recruitment opens again.

At the time of the written examination, applicants must:

  • possess a high school diploma or its equivalent; 
  • possess or have the ability to obtain and maintain a valid Iowa driver's license; 
  • possess a current State of Iowa Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)* certification at time of application; OR
  • possess a current State of Iowa Paramedic or be eligible for Iowa endorsement of another state’s paramedic certification or the National Registry’s Paramedic Credentials at the time of appointment.  

*NOTE: Ability to hire EMTs from the eligibility list will be determined by staffing levels. Members hired as EMTs will require certification to the Paramedic level within two years after employment. Certification will be the responsibility of the employee. 

A pre-employment drug screen will be administered prior to appointment.

Written Test

The Dubuque Fire Department contracts with Industrial/Organizational Solutions to utilize its Next Generation Firefighter/EMT for the Civil Service entry exam. Registration for this test is part of the online application process for this position.  An online study guide is available for purchase.

Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT)

The ability test has been designed to ensure that candidates are capable of performing job-related tasks.  If you have successfully completed the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) requirement outside of the Dubuque Fire Department within 12 months prior to Dubuque's scheduled test dates, you may transfer your score.  Any applicant using a transfer CPAT score must provide the test date and location (city and state), and include/upload a copy of their CPAT card/documented proof of passing the CPAT.  Learn more about the CPAT.

Additional Tests

Prior to an employment offer, candidates are required to pass a medical exam, vision test, psychological test, drug screening, and a criminal history check. 


Dubuque firefighters are required to work 56 hours a week. In order to meet the constant demand of firefighting, we work in shifts. The schedule consists of 24 hours on and 24 off for five days with a 96 hour break after the initial five days.

Residency Requirement

Firefighters shall have their principal place of residence within the corporate limits of the City of Dubuque or within thirty (30) miles of the corporate limits of the city by the most direct street, road or highway, as soon as practicable after appointment, but within two years of appointment.