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Frequently Asked Questions

This section provides answers to some of the more commonly asked questions about employment with Ramsey County. Additional information about these topics or other issues may be obtained by contacting the

Ramsey County Human Resources Department
121 East Seventh Place, Suite 2100 (Metro Square)
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55101

Telephone: (651) 266-2700  Fax: (651) 266-2727

This page is intended to provide you with general information, and if conflicts exist between this information and Ramsey County Personnel Rules, Benefits Policies, relevant statutes and collective bargaining agreements, the latter documents prevail. 

Q: What kinds of jobs are available with Ramsey County?

A: Ramsey County employs about 4,200 people in a variety of fields related to: property taxation, human services, health care, law enforcement and corrections, court services, libraries, public works, parks and recreation, general administration and others. Most County facilities are located in four buildings in downtown Saint Paul: the Ramsey County Court House, Government Center East, 90 Plato Blvd, and Metro Square locations. Services in many departments are also offered at a number of suburban locations.

Q: How do I find out what jobs are open at Ramsey County?

A:  A list of current openings is available via the Internet. A list of these job openings is also posted in the Human Resources Department, open Monday through Friday, 8am to 4:30pm, Central Time. Job announcements are also posted in the Human Resources Department reception area and provide more details about each open job title. (The Employment Opportunities Internet connection also provides this information.)   Human Resources also provides 2 self-service computer kiosks for accessing our web-based job postings and completing online applications.

Job announcement lists are also sent on a monthly basis to Minnesota State Unemployment Offices, Ramsey County Public Libraries,, college and vo-tech placement offices and non-profit agency placement counselors in the Twin Cities area.

Q: How do I apply for a job once I know what job I want?

A: You may apply via the internet from our secured website at  The list of job postings provides links to complete an application online.  Be sure to read the job posting so that you understand the requirements and minimum qualifications for the job.  Most job postings also require you to complete a supplemental questionnaire of job-related screening questions.  Applying online is easy and convenient.  You can re-use previously completed application templates which can reduce the amount of data entry you need to do.  The website also provides helpful user guides for your reference.  You are welcome to use one of two self-service computer kiosks in the Human Resources Department lobby to view job postings or complete online applications.

If you prefer, you may obtain an application by mail by calling the Human Resources Department at (651) 266-2700, or by downloading a paper application form from the site on internet, or in person by visiting the Human Resources Department. Please be sure to specify the job title for which you wish to apply. You must complete a separate application form for each job title for which you are applying. You may submit a photocopy of the application form. Be sure to include any supplemental forms required. It is not necessary to submit a resume unless specifically requested in the job posting.

Applications must be received (in-person or by fax) in the Human Resources Department, or be postmarked, by the application filing deadline. Although some positions have an "OPEN" filing deadline, in all cases you are encouraged to submit your completed application to Human Resources as soon as possible. Postings with an "OPEN" filing deadline can close without notice at any time.

If you are a Veteran of the U.S. armed services, or a spouse of a deceased or disabled veteran, you may claim veterans preference on your application form.  You are encouraged to submit any required documentation to the Human Resources Department as soon as possible in order for us to determine your eligibility.  Information about how we administer veterans preference is available here:  Veterans Preference Information.

Q: What is important to know about completing the application form?

A: It is important to be as complete as possible in filing out the application. Also note that some applications have supplements and that applicants should be sure to complete those as well. It is not sufficient in most cases to mark the form "see resume". Be sure to note any required degrees, certifications, and licensures, or dates of anticipated graduation or licensure if within the next 12 months. In some cases, you may be conditionally accepted into an examination if it is reasonable to expect that you will meet the minimum qualifications within one year of applying.

Be sure to indicate whether your record of experience was part-time or full-time. For each part-time experience be sure to include an approximate of the average number of hours worked per week. In determining whether you meet the stated minimum qualifications, the Human Resources Department will assess your past experience based on full-time equivalent periods of time.

Be sure to indicate the job title for which you are applying on the front side of the form. Applications that do not indicate a job title, or those marked "any job" will be rejected.

Finally, be sure to sign and date the bottom of the form.  If you apply online, you will be asked to certify that the information you provide is correct and complete.  Once you submit your application, you will receive confirmation of our receipt of your application.  During the screening process, you can see the status of your application(s) from your online user account.

Q: Can I substitute other experience or education for the minimum qualifications?

A: Unless otherwise mentioned in the job announcement, you must meet the experience and education requirements for the job.  In some cases, the job posting may state that substitutions can be made for education and experience lacking.  For example, the posting may read that each year of additional qualifying experience may be accepted as a substitute for each year of education lacking. Approved special training or education may be accepted as a substitute for each year of experience lacking, up to 50% of the required experience. (Substitutions will not be allowed when such substitutions would lower the professional standing of a county institution or disqualify the county from receiving federal or state grants-in-aid, or when statute prohibits it.)

Q: Is there a residency requirement for employment with Ramsey County?

A: County residence is not required for application or after employment unless otherwise stated in the job announcement.

Q: What if I don't know what jobs would fit my background and interest?

A: A complete set of job descriptions used in Ramsey County is available for you to examine online (under the Job Descriptions link) on our website, or in the Human Resources Department. These job descriptions will give you information about the duties, minimum qualifications, salary, etc. for each job title. Job descriptions are grouped by field of work, such as: clerical, human services, corrections, etc. Human Resources staff are available to answer your questions or provide assistance.

Q: What if I am interested in a job that isn't open for application?

A: You may have your name and address placed on our mailing list of interested persons for a particular job title online by clicking the "Email me when jobs like this become available" link, from the job description, or by calling (651) 266-2700, or by filing out a mailing interest card available in the Human Resources Department reception area (if you do not have an email account).

By having your name and address added to our mailing list, we can notify you of the next time we are accepting applications for the position(s) of interest to you. Mailing lists are maintained for a period of one year.

Q: What happens after I apply for a job?

A: If your completed application indicates that you meet the minimum qualifications for the position, you will be notified by mail of the place and time for the examination for the position. If you do not meet the minimum qualifications, or if your application is incomplete, you will be notified by mail of our reason for rejection of your application.

Q: How long does the application and testing process take?

A: The length of time depends on the number of people who apply and the type of examination given for that job title. The test date is scheduled about four weeks after the application filing period has ended. Applicants who are eligible to take the examination will be given notice by mail before the exam.

Scoring and notification of test results is generally completed one to two weeks after the test has been given.

Q: What are the tests like?

A: You must take a different test for each job title for which you apply. There is no standard "civil service" exam. The examination may be a written (multiple choice, or true/false) test, oral examination, practical skills (such as typing) test, a training and experience rating or a combination of these types. The type of exam for each position is stated on the blue-colored job announcement, and on the Internet listing.

Sample test questions for some written examinations are available from the Human Resources Department. The sample tests may be of help in preparing for the examination.

Generally, examinations are scheduled during normal business hours, Monday through Friday.

Q: What if I need special testing arrangements?

A: You may request special testing arrangements if because of a disability you need special arrangements to complete the exam. Examples of special arrangements include: Braille or large type forms, or the use of an interpreter. Requests for special testing should be made at the time of application. For applicants whose primary language is not English, special arrangements may be made in some circumstances.

Q: What happens after I take the examination?

A: You will be notified by email or US mail (based on your indicated contact preference) of your exam results and rank on the eligible list in about one to two weeks after taking the exam. The names of the ten top scoring individuals are referred to the hiring department for consideration, unless alternative eligibility rules are indicated in the job posting. Additional names are referred with additional vacancies.

The Human Resources Department cannot release test result information out over the telephone. All applicants are welcome to review their results by scheduling an appointment with an HR Generalist by calling (651) 266-2700. You must bring a photo ID with you and present it to the Human Resources Department. You may not examine test questions or answers.

If you are still interested in the job title, you are encouraged to complete a mailing interest card online for that job title so that we can notify you by email of the next time the job opens for application.

Q: What is the eligible list?

A: The eligible list is a list of people who passed the examination for a job title and who are thus eligible to be considered for hire to vacant positions. The list is in rank order from the highest score on down. Veterans Preference points may alter the rank order of the candidates. An eligible candidate remains on the list for at least six months, and can be extended beyond the six month period in some cases. Therefore, if your name appears on the eligible list, you are eligible to be considered for hire to openings that occur during the next six months.

Q: Will I need to go through a background check prior to employment?

: Yes.  All employment offers are conditioned on successful completion of a criminal background check, unless otherwise exempted by policy. Employment criminal background checks will be conducted in accordance with applicable statutes and regulations, including MN Statutes Chapter 364. Only criminal convictions will be considered in determining an individual’s suitability for employment. However, if an individual has a criminal case pending, their suitability for continued employment in a particular position may be reviewed upon disposition of the case. If the criminal background check reveals convictions that an individual disclosed, each conviction will be evaluated, along with any additional information provided, before the offer of employment is confirmed or withdrawn. If unreported convictions are revealed in the criminal background check the offer of employment will be withdrawn unless the report is shown to be in error.

Q: What if I'm hired?

A: You will be required to serve a probationary period of employment lasting for three months to one year. New employee orientation sessions are conducted soon after hire to provide information about the County and employee benefits and other useful information. Some departments provide additional training or orientation.

Q: What if I'm interested in temporary work or in setting up an internship?

A: Generally, job announcements and exams are used to fill permanent full-time or permanent part-time openings. In most cases, the hiring of temporary employees or interns is coordinated through the individual departments. If you are interested in temporary work or internship employment, you are encouraged to contact the individual departments. Be sure to indicate that you are interested in temporary or internship employment when you call the specific department of interest to you.   Some helpful information is available to you on the Ramsey County website, under the Job Opportunities link, from the main Ramsey County web page.