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PEMA Employment

PEMA is responsible for leading and coordinating commonwealth agencies and resources to prevent, protect, prepare for, respond to, and recover from any human-caused or natural disaster. When disaster strikes, Pennsylvania looks to PEMA to lead the response and recovery efforts.

Employment opportunities exist for highly motivated, mission-driven individuals who possess integrity, are well-skilled, enjoy challenges on a routine basis and want to help citizens during disasters or emergencies.

Further information can be found at the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania employment website.

Types of PEMA Employment

There are two types of commonwealth employment: civil service and non-civil service.

The majority of PEMA jobs are covered by the Pennsylvania Civil Service Act. Civil service positions are filled through a merit selection procedure in accordance with the Civil Service Act and Rules. Non-civil service positions do not fall under a merit selection or exam process.

Tips for Applying

Job seekers will only be considered if they meet the minimum experience and training requirements, it is important to carefully review the requirements listed on the posting before submitting an application. If you believe you qualify, describe your experience and training as accurately and completely as possible. 

Include paid employment, volunteer work dates of employment, and all course work completed.  Be sure to provide all required documentation, such as college transcripts, where applicable.

Please Note

When completing your application, please understand that the initial review and scoring of your application will be done by non-emergency management professionals, so it is very important that you keep that in mind while listing your experience.

For example, do not simply list that you were a municipal police officer for a number of years. Instead, list in detail the crisis action planning, coordination, and training that you’ve done within that profession.

Supplemental Questions

You will submit an application that includes supplemental questions related to the vacancy.  The questions are based on the most important job duties and the answers are scored for job seekers who meet the minimum requirements.

Since questions may vary based on specific duties, job seekers may receive different examination results when they apply for multiple vacancies with the same job title.

For example, the job duties of an Emergency Management Specialist working in the 911 Division may differ from the job duties of an Emergency Management Specialist working in the Planning Division, which means the online questions for each vacancy could vary, resulting in different examination results (scores).

Pay close attention to the application instructions included on the posting and be sure to apply by the closing date on the posting. The job seekers with the highest scores are referred to hiring managers for interviews.


For civil service positions, qualified veterans get extra points added to their passing score and preference in the hiring process.  For non-civil service positions, veterans are given preference when they meet all the requisite qualifications.

Did you know that working for the commonwealth will enable you to use your military time toward your retirement with state government? For further information, view the Veterans’ Preference information.

Job Locations

Most PEMA jobs are located at headquarters in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (Dauphin County).  There are three field facilities located at the following locations:

  • Eastern Region Office, Hamburg (Berks County)
  • Central Region Office, Harrisburg Headquarters (Dauphin County)
  • Western Region Office, Indiana (Indiana County)

Application Steps

  1. To find commonwealth positions open to the public, visit the Commonwealth of PA Open Positions page.
  2. Search for title of job, such as ”Emergency Management Specialist.” You can also select the “Filter” dropdown to select the agency or agencies you’re interested in and more.
  3. Select/click on the position to review the positions’ details, such as location of the position or the full job description.
  4. If you are interested, select the position and click the “Apply” button in the upper right corner.
  5. This will prompt you to sign into your account. If you have never applied to a commonwealth position, click “Create an account” to do so. You must create an account to apply.
  6. Complete the fields.
  7. Add attachments (unofficial copy of transcripts, certifications, licenses, etc.).
  8. Answer the supplemental questions.
    1. Be detailed on your application and when answering the questions regarding your work history and education; these answers are used to determine your eligibility and the score your application will achieve. Resumes do not determine an applicant’s eligibility or score.
  9. Review and sign.
  10. Submit your application.

What Happens After You Apply

Your experience and training will be evaluated based on the information provided on your application and responses to the supplemental questions. If you qualify, you will receive an email containing a score and its expiration date.

Your application is good for that open job announcement only; you must apply again when you see a new open job announcement of interest to you.

The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency is proud to be an equal opportunity employer promoting workforce diversity.