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Department of State Hospitals (DSH)
How to Get a Job with DSH

IMPORTANT:  Permanent State jobs are filled from lists of eligible candidates who have already taken and passed examinations, or by current or former State employees in equivalent classifications.
The State hiring process consists of the following six steps:

Find an examination for a DSH career that interests you.
Apply for the examination
Become reachable on a list
Apply for job openings
Participate in a hiring interview

For more information about the examination and civil service process you may want to visit the CalHR Frequently Asked Questions page.

Video Tutorials for Job Seekers

Exam Information

Step 1: Find an Examination

Before you can be appointed to a permanent position, you must first take an open competitive examination to obtain list eligibility.  We encourage you to take as many examinations as you qualify for.  While some examinations are given periodically throughout the year, others are only given every year or two.  So, check the Current Exams for DSH Job Classification pages frequently to avoid missing an open filing period for an examination.

  • Career Information:  DSH offers a number of careers for people who are interested in joining a team dedicated to provide quality mental and medical health services to its patients and clients.  Download a complete listing of State Classifications used by DSH
  • Exam Bulletins:  DSH advertises positions by releasing examination bulletins.  These bulletins provide information regarding minimum qualifications; how, where, what to study, and when to file for a particular examination.  Check the Current Exams pages, or visit the CalHR website for exam opportunities.

Step 2: Apply for an Examination

State Application Form: To apply for an exam, you must complete a Standard State Application Form (STD 678) and submit it to the address as indicated on the examination bulletin.  Late applications will not be accepted.  State application forms are available from any local Employment Development Department office, any State of California agency and from the California Department of Human Resources (CalHR) website indicated above.  If you meet the minimum qualifications, you will be notified of a test date.

Directions for completing the State Application Form:

  • Complete the top portion of the application.
  • Be sure to include the exact title of the examination for which you are applying.
  • Please review the Minimum Qualifications to ensure you meet the examinations requirements, including all licensing requirements for the class.
  • Answer questions 1 through 7 on the front of the application, and questions 8-11 if required for the examination.
  • Complete the Education (#13) and Experience (#14) portions of the back of the application or indicate "see resume" and attach your resume to the application.  (Be sure beginning and ending dates, and hours per week are included, as this could be the determining factor as to whether or not the application is accepted.)
  • Print the application form.  (Be sure to print a second copy for your files.)
  • Sign and date the front of the application.
  • Submit the application to the location identified on the examination bulletin.
  • See the Instruction page at the end of the State application for more specific information.

Individuals with Disabilities

LEAP:  If you are an individual with a "disability" who either (1) has a physical or mental impairment or medical condition that limits one or more major life activities, (2) has a record or history of such impairment or medical condition, or (3) is regarded as having such an impairment or medical condition, you may wish to participate in the State's Limited Examination & Appointment Program (LEAP)  Look up current open LEAP examinations in the State Exam Bulletin Search by entering "LEAP" in the search box.

Reasonable Accommodation:  State and federal laws prohibit discrimination based on disability.  In accordance with that mandate, it is DSH policy to provide employees and job applicants equal opportunity regardless of any known or perceived disability.  DSH makes Reasonable Accommodation (RA) available when an otherwise qualified disabled employee or job applicant requires assistance in order to participate in any and all aspects of the employment process, including competing in DFG examinations, participating in the job selection process, performing the essential functions of their job, participating in training activities, or accessing other services.  All RA requests are given equal consideration unless the accommodation imposes an undue hardship on DSH operation.

Step 3: Become Reachable on a List

Upon completing an examination, successful applicants will be placed on an eligible list. Only those that are in reachable ranks may be considered for appointment.  Reachable ranks are typically those employees who are in the top three ranks.  If a rank is cleared (all candidates in the rank are either hired or no longer available for employment), the next lowest rank is then considered reachable and those candidates can now be considered for appointment.

Step 4: Applying for DSH Job Openings

Find a Vacancy: Now that you have taken an examination and are on an eligible list, the next step is locating a vacant position.  There are many ways to obtain vacancy information.  You may receive a contact letter.  However, because there may be several candidates in the same rank, the computer may randomly choose the candidates who will receive a contact letter or due to employment preferences, you may be reachable for one position and not reachable for another position.  If you receive a contact letter and fail to reply. or if you decline three job inquiries, your name may be removed from the list.

Don't wait to be contacted:  You may immediately apply for job openings.  If you are not in the first three ranks, you may have to wait until a rank is cleared before you can be hired.  DSH advertises vacancies on the VPOS (CalHR Jobs Site)

List of Available Job Vacancies
Please click on the name of the appropriate facility to review the most current vacancies at that facility:

Step 5: Participate in a Hiring Interview

The hiring interview is designed to identify the best job/person match for that position only.  Before you go to your interview, you should acquaint yourself with the mission and functions of that department and how your education and experience contributes to the job you are interviewing for.  Unless you are offered a job, your name remains on the eligibility list to be considered for other vacancies.

Step 6: Probation

All newly appointed state employees participate in a probation period of 6 or 12 months depending on the job classification.  During this time, you will receive training related to your position, and will receive three probationary reports/evaluations tracking how well you are doing on the job.  When you have successfully completed your probationary period, you will attain permanent status.

The Department of State Hospitals is an equal employment opportunity employer for all, regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, sex, marital status, disability, religious or political affiliation, age, or sexual orientation.  It is an objective of the state of California to achieve a drug-free state work place, any applicant for state employment will be expected to behave in accordance with this objective because the use of illegal drugs is inconsistent with the law of the state, the rules governing civil service and the special trust placed in public servants.