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: 1) CDL/Hoisting training and 2) Emergency Medical Technician training. Read on to learn more or watch the video below for a brief overview of the program. Apply to City Academy, if interested, before the application period closes on June 7, 2019.

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. The application period will close June 7, 2019.

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

This training track prepares residents for jobs that require a CDL license for potential placement in various City departments. It includes a job readiness bridge course and site visits to participating City agencies, as well as training and test preparation leading to a  Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) and Hoisting licenses (1C/2A classifications).

Training Duration: Three months

Training Timeline: Click the thumbnail image to see a detailed timeline of training components.

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

Hoisting/CDL Training Frequently Asked Questions

Eligibility and Application FAQs

Q: Are there any additional eligibility considerations?
A: In addition to the City Academy eligibility requirements listed above, CDL/hoisting 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: Can current City employees take part in the City Academy CDL training?
A: No. As City Academy is intended to be an entry point to start a career with the City of Boston, individuals who are already employed by the City are not eligible to participate. We recommend that City employees explore professional development opportunities available within the City of Boston. Possible avenues for this include:

  • Contact Public Works Human Resources staff to learn about their internal CDL training and how you can take advantage of this opportunity. Please contact lynn.m.sanders@boston.gov for a referral.
  • If you are an AFSCME union member, contact your union representative to discuss possibilities for tuition reimbursement for CDL and/or hoisting training.
  • Talk to your supervisor or Human Resources representative about opportunities for professional development and tuition reimbursement within your department.

Q: If I don't have a driver's license, can I get one before the program starts?
A: The RMV requires that individuals must be over 18 years old and have a driver’s license to obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). For the purpose of City Academy, we prefer applicants with some prior driving experience, as this 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 reach out to 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 on the TABE (Test of Adult Basic Education) reading testYou can review information and practice test questions on the TABE testing tool found online here  (This is just one of many online resources you are welcome to use.)

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: Is a high school senior who will be graduating in June eligible for the program?

A: Yes. As long as a high school senior is on track to graduate, they are eligible to apply for the program. In this situation, applicants should bring a signed letter from their high school guidance counselor that states that they are on track to graduate in June.

Q: Can a 17-year-old who will be turning 18 soon apply for the program?

A: Yes, but applicants must be 18 years old by July 1, 2019 to enroll in the program.

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.

Q: What is the application process?
A: The process consists of six steps:

1. Attend an info session and fill out an application.

2. Take reading comprehension testing.

3. Bring the following documentation to a one-on-one screening interview, which will be scheduled by City Academy staff if you are determined eligible for the program:

4. Take drug testing.

5. Take Department of Transportation (DOT) physical examination conducted by a licensed medical examiner listed on the FMCSA National Registry

6. Begin training in August 2019 if selected for the program.

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 takes place over the course of 3 months,  beginning in August 2019 and running through October 2019. City Academy staff will provide follow-up supportive services and job placement assistance for a year after program completion.

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

1. Job Readiness Bridge Course: This 3-week component will take place 4 hours a day, 5 days a week, totaling approximately 20 hours per week. Participants will go on site visits with potential employers and take a Civil Service registration workshop to register to be on the list for applicable Labor Service titles.

2. CDL/Hoisting Training: Beginning in September 2019, students will take part in technical instruction for: CDL class B, hoisting* classifications 1C and 2A (forklifts, front end loaders, backhoes, excavators, etc.), and OSHA 10 safety. This process will include signing up for an exam appointment with the Massachusetts Department of Public Safety for the Hoisting license, as well as preparing for and taking the CDL class B permit exam, endorsement exams, and road test. This comprehensive technical training will requiring up to 20 hours per week for the CDL component. We anticipate students will complete training (including of testing for licensure) by the end of October 2019.

(*Hoisting machinery licensing/operation applies to equipment that has the minimum capability of hoisting a load higher than 10 feet, and either the capability of lifting loads greater than 500 pounds or the capacity of the bucket exceeds 1/4 cubic yards. See 520 CMR 6.01.)

3. Graduation and Employment: In October 2019, after students have obtained appropriate licensure, City Academy staff will being working with program participants to secure job placements.

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 who apply for positions in 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 as these positions become available. City Academy staff will work with hiring partners to facilitate this process and will also make placements in relevant private sector employment opportunities, as appropriate.

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 bridge course, an EMT course, and support in completing the EMT certification process and Boston EMS Recruit Academy.

Training Duration: 15 months. Stipends are provided during the 6-month Boston EMS Recruit Academy, which is a full-time commitment.

Training Timeline: Click the thumbnail image to see a detailed timeline of training components.

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

Salary: $57,000

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 reading comprehension test and be prepared to undergo 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 English reading comprehension at a 12th grade level on the TABE (Test of Adult Basic Education) reading test. You can review information and practice test questions on the TABE testing tool found online here  (This is just one of many online resources you are welcome to use.)

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: Can a 17-year-old who will be turning 18 soon apply for the program?

A: Yes, but applicants must be 18 years old by July 1, 20189 to enroll in the program.

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 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: What is the application process?
A: The process consists of five steps:

1. Attend an info session and fill out an application.

2. Take reading comprehension testing.

3. Bring the following documentation to a screening interview, which will be scheduled by City Academy staff if you are determined eligible for the program:

4. Undergo drug testing and CORI review.

5. Begin training in July 2019 if selected for the program.

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: All components take place over a combined 13 months (non-consecutive), with the possibility of beginning in July or December of 2019. The training includes a bridge course (3 weeks), the Boston EMS Basic EMT Course (6 months), and the Boston EMS EMT Recruit Academy (6 months). City Academy staff will offer follow-up support services for a year after completion of the Basic EMT Course.

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

1. Job Readiness Bridge Course: The job readiness component of training will take place in July 2019 and will include approximately 20 to 30 hours of training.

2. Basic EMT Course: In August 2019 OR January 2019, participants will begin the basic EMT course, which runs 7-10pm on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and every other Saturday from 9am to 3:30pm. The course starting in August ends the following January, and the course starting in January ends in June.

3. Certification Process: In January 2020 OR June 2020, students start the NREMT and state EMT certification process. This includes scheduling and passing NREMT practical and written exams and after passing, submitting a certification application to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Office of Emergency Medical Services.

4. Boston EMS Application and Recruit Academy: Boston EMS will strive to schedule an EMT-recruit hiring date in Spring 2020 and Fall 2020, allowing 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 and a prerequisite for all EMT hires.

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: The EMT Recruit Academy stipend is $837 per week for 40 hours per week for 6 months. The rest of the program is unpaid, but participation is free and all program-related expenses are paid by City Academy, including MBTA fares to and from training. 

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.

Q: Which union represents Boston EMS employees?

A: The Boston EMS department’s EMTs and Paramedics are represented by the Boston Police Patrolmen's Association, EMS Division.

Q: After someone passes the National Registry EMT exam and certification process, how often do they need to renew certification?

A: When someone completes the national certification process between the January 1 and June 30, they will receive an expiration date of March 31 two years in the future. Individuals successfully completing the national certification process between July 1 and December 31 will receive an expiration date of March 31 three years in the future.