City Academy is a training pipeline for Boston residents to access entry-level City positions that offer:

  • Good pay at or above Boston’s Living Wage (currently $14.82/hr)
  • Health benefits
  • Pensions
  • Union membership
  • Opportunities for advancement

There are two free training tracks in City Academy that applicants can choose from. Read on to learn more.

Requirements

To be eligible to receive free training through City Academy, you must:

  • Be a Boston resident
  • Be 18 years or older
  • Have a high school diploma or GED/HiSET
  • Have a valid driver’s license and good driving record
  • Meet income guidelines
  • Be drug-free

If you apply for City Academy and are determined to be eligible, you will be asked to supply the verifying documents described here.

Track I: Hoisting/Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Training

This training track prepares residents for jobs that require a Hoisting or CDL license for potential placement in various City departments. It includes a job readiness boot camp and site visits to participating City agencies, as well as training and test preparation leading to a Hoisting License and/or Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).

Training Time: Two months

Jobs: Training is for semi-technical jobs with the Boston Water & Sewer Commission, Department of Public Works, Parks Department, and Boston Housing Authority.

Salary: $32,000-$51,000

Application Period: We are no longer accepting applications for the 2018 cohort of Hoisting/CDL trainees. But if you indicate your interest in the program on the City Academy Interest Form, we will notify you when the next application period opens. 

Hoisting/CDL Training Frequently Asked Questions

Eligibility and Application FAQs

Q: Are there any additional eligibility considerations?
A: In addition to the eligibility requirements listed above, City Academy candidates will need to pass a physical exam, a reading comprehension test, and – for some City positions – a Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) review.

Q: If I don't have a driver's license, can I get one before the program starts?
A: Prior driving experience will increase the likelihood of successfully completing the training and passing the CDL written exam and road test. If you are in the process of getting a driver’s license and want to apply for the program, please contact City Academy staff at CityAcademy@boston.gov for additional information.

Q: What is considered a "good" driving record for the purposes of the program?
A: Within the past year, you must not have been convicted of any of the following offenses:

  • Operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Operating a commercial motor vehicle with an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or greater
  • Leaving the scene of an accident involving a motor vehicle driven by oneself
  • Refusing to submit to a chemical test or analysis of breath or blood after operating a motor vehicle
  • Using a motor vehicle in the commission of a felony

Additionally, you will be unable to obtain a CDL (and thus, ineligible for the program) if any of the following apply to you:

  • You have been convicted of two or more of any of the violations specified above
  • You have refused to submit to a chemical test or analysis of breath or blood after operating a motor vehicle two or more times
  • You have any combination of the offenses above, arising from two or more separate events.

Q: What is the grade level competency necessary to participate in the program?
A: Applicants will need to demonstrate reading comprehension at an 8th grade level.

Q: Will the program accept a non-U.S. high school diploma?
A: Yes. However, as outlined above, participants will need to demonstrate English reading comprehension at the 8th grade level. If you have a translation of your diploma, please bring both a copy of the document and the translation when contacted for an interview.

Q: Are non-US citizens eligible for the program?
A: Green card holders are the only category of non-citizen eligible to participate in the program. To participate in the City Academy CDL training, you must provide proof of U.S. Citizenship OR proof of Lawful Permanent Residency within the United States, as this is a federal requirement to obtain a CDL. The following documents may be presented as proof of status:

  • Valid, unexpired U.S. passport
  • Certified copy of a birth certificate filed with a State Office of Vital Statistics or equivalent agency in the individual's state of birth, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
  • Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) issued by the U.S. Department of State
  • Certificate of Naturalization issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
  • Certificate of Citizenship issued by DHS
  • Valid, unexpired Permanent Resident Card issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS)

Q: Does the drug test include marijuana?
A: Yes. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the national regulator for drug testing for CDL drivers. FMCSA includes cannabinoids (marijuana) on its list of controlled substances, for which random drug testing is conducted, and a positive test will result in loss of your CDL. Therefore, if you test positive for marijuana (or other controlled substances, for example, but not limited to: cocaine, valium, morphine, anabolic steroids) in pre-training drug screening, you will be disqualified from moving forward in the program.

Q: What is the physical exam and why is it required?
A: To qualify for a Commercial Driver's License (CDL), you must pass a Department of Transportation (DOT) medical examination performed in accordance with CFR 49 §391.41 and CFR 49 §391.43. DOT medical examinations are conducted by a licensed medical examiner as defined in CFR 49 §390.5. If you make it to this phase of the screening process, City Academy will arrange an appointment with a DOT licensed medical examiner for you, at no cost to you.

Q: What does the program look for in the CORI review?
A: After training, graduates of City Academy's CDL/Hoisting track apply to work with City agencies. Some of these agencies do not review CORIs, while others do because their employees may be working in close proximity with vulnerable populations. For these positions, the hiring agency considers the nature of a crime for which an applicant was convicted and how long ago it was committed, on a case-by-case basis.

Program Participation FAQs

Q: How much does it cost to participate in City Academy?
A: City Academy is a free training program. However, participants are expected to make the appropriate time commitment to ensure they are prepared for the City of Boston hiring process.

Q: How long is the City Academy CDL/Hoisting training program?
A: The full training program lasts two months.

Q: What is the training schedule?
A: There are four components to the CDL/Hoisting training program:

  1. Job Readiness: This component will be 5 days a week, 4 hours a day, totaling approximately 20 hours per week.
  2. Hoisting License Exam Preparation Workshop: The one-day (8-hour) workshop will prepare participants to take their exam for hoisting classifications 1C and 2A. Scheduling an exam appointment with the Massachusetts Department of Public Safety will be included as a part of this workshop.
  3. CDL Training: Students will complete a 3-week (60-hour) CDL training. The first week will consist of classroom-based preparation for the CDL permit test, and the following two weeks will be spent conducting field training for a road test. Road tests will be scheduled with the Massachusetts RMV towards the end of the training. During this period, participants will also take part in a Civil Service registration workshop to register to be on the list for applicable Labor Service titles.
  4. Graduation and Employment: After students have obtained the appropriate licenses, City Academy staff will being working with program participants to secure job placements. Graduates will continue to receive supports from City Academy staff as needed for up to a year after job placement.
Employment FAQs

Q: Are City positions guaranteed to City Academy participants?
A: No. City Academy participants will go through the same interview process as other candidates that apply for positions in participating City of Boston agencies. However, the training provided through City Academy will uniquely prepare participants to perform well in the agencies' assessment and interview processes.

Q: What benefits do Hoisting/CDL training graduates receive as City of Boston employees?
A: If you complete the City Academy CDL training program and successfully secure a full-time job with a City of Boston agency in one of the positions targeted by this program, your starting salary will range from $36,000-51,000. Some other benefits include:

  • Paid vacation, holiday, and sick time
  • Membership in a labor union
  • Health insurance and dental coverage
  • Life insurance and other optional insurance programs
  • Participation in the State Boston Retirement System
  • Opportunities for additional professional development and promotions

 

Track II: Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Training

This training track prepares residents to be eligible for employment as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) with Boston EMS. It includes a job readiness bootcamp, job shadowing at Boston EMS, an EMT course, and an optional internship.

Training Time: 15 months. Stipends are provided for approximately 10 of these months.

Jobs: Training is for Emergency Medical Technician jobs with Boston Emergency Medical Services.

Salary: $57,000

Application Period: We are no longer accepting applications for the 2018 cohort of the EMT training track. But if you indicate your interest in the program on the City Academy Interest Form, we will notify you when the next application period opens.

EMT Training Frequently Asked Questions

Eligibility and Application FAQs

Q: Are there any additional eligibility considerations?
A: In addition to the eligibility requirements listed above, City Academy candidates will need to pass a physical fitness test, a reading comprehension test, and a Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) review before admission to the program.

Q: If I don't have a driver's license, can I get one before the program starts?
A: Boston EMS prefers candidates who already have their license. If you are in the process of getting a driver’s license and want to apply for the program, please contact City Academy staff at CityAcademy@boston.gov for additional information.

Q: What is considered a "good" driving record for the purposes of the program?
A: Within the last FIVE years, you can't have any "driving to endanger" or operating under the influence (OUI) violations, citations, or suspensions. Within the last THREE years, you can't have three or more:

  • moving violations
  • citations
  • suspensions. or
  • accidents assessed as a surcharge

Q: What is the grade level competency necessary to participate in the program?
A: Applicants will need to demonstrate reading comprehension at a 10th grade level.

Q: Will the program accept a non-U.S. high school diploma?
A: Yes. However, as outlined above, participants will need to demonstrate English reading comprehension at the 10th grade level. If you have a translation of your diploma, please bring both a copy of the document and the translation when contacted for an interview.

Q: Is a high school senior who will be graduating in June eligible for the program?
A: Yes. As long as you are on track to graduate, you are eligible to apply for the program. Once you are contacted for an interview, please bring a signed letter from your high school guidance counselor that states that you are on track to graduate in June.

Q: Are non-US citizens eligible for the program?
A: Yes, as long as you are legally eligible to work in the U.S. and able to produce I-9 documentation.

Q: What are the physical fitness requirements for participation?
A: Participants must be able to lift and carry 180 lbs., with a partner, including going up/down stairs. Boston EMS will screen for this prior to acceptance into the program.

Q: What does the program look for in the CORI review?
A: Boston EMS reviews CORIs on a case-by-case basis and takes into consideration the nature of the crime for which an applicant was convicted and how long ago the crime was committed.

Q: Does the drug test include marijuana?
A: Yes. If you test positive for marijuana during the screening for the the program, you will be disqualified from program participation. Boston EMS has a stringent drug policy regarding the prohibited use of controlled substances and illegally used drugs. Controlled substances include any Schedule I through V drug, as defined by Section 802(6) of Title 21 of the United States Code (21 USC 802(6)), the possession of which is unlawful under Chapter 13 of that title, or any drug included within the definition of “Controlled substance” in Chapter 94C of the Massachusetts General Laws (for example, but not limited to: cocaine, marijuana, valium, morphine, anabolic steroids).

Program Participation FAQs

Q: How much does it cost to participate in City Academy?
A: City Academy is a free training program. However, participants are expected to make the appropriate time commitment to ensure they are prepared for the Boston EMS EMT hiring process.

Q: How long is the City Academy EMT training program?
A: The full training program runs 15 months. However, the 14-week internship component is optional.

Q: What is the training schedule?
A: There are five components to the EMT training program:

  1. Job Readiness: This component will require 20-30 overall hours.
  2. Basic EMT Course
  3. Internship (optional): This component is offered on full-time or part-time basis. Participants who do not participate in the internship will be expected to remain in regular contact with City Academy staff during this period.
  4. Boston EMS Application and Recruit Academy: Boston EMS plans to schedule an EMT recruit hiring date, allowing program participants sufficient time to pass all necessary state exams. Candidates who successfully pass the hiring process will be enrolled in a six-month EMT Recruit Academy, which is a full-time, paid position with Boston EMS.
  5. Graduation and Employment: EMT recruits who successfully complete the academy will be promoted to full-time Boston EMS EMTs. Graduates will continue to receive supports from City Academy staff as needed for up to a year after job placement.

Q: What stipends will participants receive?
A: Stipends are available for participants for approximately 12 of the training program's 15 months. Candidates who participate in the optional internship will receive a stipend of $12 per hour for up to 35 hours per week, for up to 14 weeks. The EMT Recruit Academy stipend is $837 per week for 35 hours per week for 6 months.

Q: Do program participants receive benefits during training?
A: Benefits are available during the EMT Recruit Academy component of the program. While in the academy, recruits begin accruing sick and vacation time as employees of Boston EMS, although they may not yet use this time off during their six months in the academy.

Employment FAQs

Q: Are positions with Boston EMS guaranteed to City Academy participants?
A: No. City Academy participants will go through the same written and practical testing and interview process as other candidates that apply for an EMT position with Boston EMS. However, the training provided through City Academy will uniquely prepare participants to perform well in Boston EMS’s assessment and interview process.

Q: What benefits do EMTs receive as Boston EMS employees?
A: If you complete the Recruit Training Academy and are become a full-time EMT with Boston EMS, your starting salary is approximately $57,000. Other benefits include:

  • Chances for paid night and weekend differential
  • Paid vacation, holiday, and sick time
  • Membership in a labor union
  • Health insurance and dental coverage
  • Life insurance and other optional insurance programs
  • Participation in the State Boston Retirement System
  • A Deferred Compensation Plan
  • A Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account
  • An Employee Assistance Program
  • An MBTA Pass Program

Q: Do EMTs hired by Boston EMS gain union membership?
A: Yes. When a candidate becomes a full-time EMT with Boston EMS, they gain membership in a labor union.