NYC sanitation worker exam: 9 things to know when the application opens in June

STATEN ISLAND, NY — If you want to join New York’s Strongest, the application to take the New York City sanitation exam will open in June.

A sanitation worker for New York City performs the work and prepares and operates various types of equipment involved in street cleaning, waste collection, recycling collection, snow removal, encumbrance removal and waste disposal.

The test is one of the most popular civil service exams. The last time the application was available was in 2014.

Here’s what you need to know about the exam.

When does the exam application open?

Interested applicants can file for the open, competitive, computer-based exam when it opens on June 8.

Details on how to apply will be available soon on the New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) website, which runs civil service exams.

What are the qualifications?

According to DCAS, a four-year high school diploma or its educational equivalent is required. There are also certain medical, physical and age requirements.

You must be at least 17-and-a-half years of age by the end of the application period to take this exam.

Additionally, you must be 21 years old to be appointed as a sanitation worker. If you’re too young for an appointment on the date the eligible list is terminated, you will have no further opportunity to be considered for an appointment from the list.

What happens after I take the test?

If you pass the multiple-choice test, your name will be placed in final score order on an eligible list, and you will be given a list number.

After an exam is administered, it generally takes nine to 12 months for an eligible list of passers to be established from which agencies can hire, according to DCAS. You will be notified by email of your test results.

If you pass the physical test and meet all other requirements and conditions, you will be considered for appointment when your name is reached on the eligible list.

What is the current salary?

DCAS hasn’t yet released the current minimum salary. It will be released when the application becomes available on June 8.

After the completion of six months of employment, the salary will rise. Incumbents also receive salary increments at the completion of five-and-a-half years of employment. After five, 10, 15 and 20 years of service, they also receive longevity pay in addition to base salary.

Do I need to have the coronavirus vaccine?

All newly hired city workers will need to be vaccinated against the coronavirus (COVID-19).

According to DCAS, as of Aug. 2, 2021, all new hires must be vaccinated against the illness, unless they have been granted a reasonable accommodation for religion or disability. If you’re offered city employment, this requirement must be met by your date of hire, unless a reasonable accommodation for exemption is received and approved by the hiring agency.

What are some typical tasks?

DCAS shared the typical tasks that a sanitation worker performs:

  • Follows route sheet of assigned work area; loads and unloads waste materials and bulk items; sweeps and cleans city streets; participates in special cleaning and collection work details.
  • Inspects and prepares department vehicles and equipment for operation; drives and/or operates department vehicles and equipment.
  • During winter months, attaches and operates snow plows, removes snow and ice from city streets and arterial roadways, and spreads salt and sand.
  • Monitors collected waste for hazardous or toxic materials.
  • Uses operational manuals and instructional materials.
  • Prepare necessary forms and reports; enters data and makes log entries.
  • Moors, shifts, secures and covers bars.
  • When assigned, performs enforcement duties.

What are some other working conditions?

Sanitation workers are required to work rotating shifts, rotating days off, nights, Saturdays, Sundays, holidays and mandatory overtime.

Additionally, they are required to perform these tasks in all types of weather.

Some of the physical activities performed by sanitation workers and environmental conditions experienced are: walking and/or standing for long periods of time; operating various types of Sanitation Department equipment in all types of weather; pulling, dragging, lifting and carrying heavy and large objects, bags of garbage, cans, containers, bulk items and throwing or dumping them into a truck hopper or loading them onto a truck.

Where are the testing centers?

On Staten Island, the testing center is located at 135 Canal St., Stapleton. Additional testing centers are located at: 2 Lafayette St., Manhattan; 210 Joralemon St., Brooklyn; 118-35 Queens Blvd., Queens; 1932 Arthur Ave., the Bronx.

I have more questions. Who can I ask?

For more information about registering for these and other tests, log onto the DCAS website. To apply for a civil service exam open during this application period, go online via the OASys at

To receive monthly exam updates, sign up for the DCAS newsletter at and click the Exams tab.

Inquiries regarding the status of an eligible list can be e-mailed to the New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services at:


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