Human Resources

Employment Center FAQs


Thank you for your interest in employment with the County of Santa Barbara. We invite you to read through the answers to the frequently asked questions. If your question is not answered here, feel free to contact the Human Resources Reception Desk at 805-568-2800.

Click on one of the topics below:

Application Information

Examination Information

Related Information


How do I apply?

Visit ourCurrent Job Openingsand review the list of job postings. Select a job, read the description and determine if you have the qualifications and interest in that job. Upon completing the on-line application, you will receive an email thanking you for your interest and confirming receipt of your application.

You may print a copy of the job bulletin for future reference.

Is it better to file a scannable paper application or to complete the on-line application?

We do not have a preference. Using the on-line application, however, may be to your advantage if you think that you might be applying for more than one job. It is simple and convenient. Once you create a User ID, password, and a profile in our on-line system, you can use them any time to apply for a job that interests you.

If you wish to file a scannable paper application, contact the Human Resources Reception Desk at 805-568-2800.

How do I find out about positions that are not currently advertised?

You can view job descriptions for all County jobs in theJob and Salary Informationsection of this web site. Each job description also contains the corresponding pay range. You can complete an interest card to be automatically notified when a recruitment opens for a job that interests you.

How can I find out the status of my application during the recruitment process?

You can request information by calling the Human Resources recruiter listed on the job bulletin at 805-568-2800. You can also check the status of your application on-line at www.sbcountyjobs.com. Click on the link at the top of the page titled “My Applications” and follow the prompts.

After submitting an application, notices are generally sent out within 2 weeks from the recruitment closing date, or within 2 weeks from the date that the application was received for recruitments without a closing date (on-going recruitments). We use email a majority of the time to notify applicants, but notices can also be sent by U.S. Mail if you specify this preference on your application.

If your name has been placed on an employment list and you have interviewed with a department and not heard back, you should contact the hiring department directly. Make sure to jot down the name of the person who interviewed you so you can contact them later. If you are not sure whom to contact, you can contact the Human Resources recruiter assigned to the recruitment for assistance.

Can I submit my resume instead of an application?

For most recruitments, applicants must complete and submit the standard County application. Only for certain executive and management positions, are resumes accepted in lieu of the County application. Read the job bulletin carefully and always submit a County application unless you are instructed to do otherwise.

Can I submit a blank application with my resume and have you determine what job I qualify for?

Unfortunately, given the amount of interest in County jobs, we cannot review resumes without reference to a specific recruitment. You are always welcome to call the Human Resources Reception Desk at 805-568-2800 and ask to speak to a recruiter, if you want some advice on what types of positions you would be most suited for and if we anticipate the recruitment opening in the near future.


What kind of test will I have to take?

Please visit theExam Informationsection of this web site to learn more about the County’s employment examinations.

Where can I get study materials for County examinations?

We do not typically provide study materials for examinations. However, exam preparation guides and other reference materials can be obtained from local libraries or at local bookstores. The areas to study and prepare for are listed in the knowledge and abilities section of the job bulletin and may also be found on the exam invitation.

What do I do if I require an accommodation for a disability or religious belief during the testing process?

You may request an accommodation from Human Resources. Please direct your request to the Human Resources recruiter conducting the recruitment, either when you submit your application materials or within a reasonable period of time prior to the examination date. The name of the recruiter and the examination date are listed on the job bulletin.

I recently received a notice from Human Resources with my score and rank. What does this mean?

Applicants who pass the exam(s) for a given recruitment are placed on an employment list in order of their final scores. For example, if you have a score of 85 and a rank of 6, it means that 5 other applicants scored higher than you in the testing process. The ten applicants with the highest scores are certified to the department with the vacancy. The hiring department may choose which of the ten candidates to invite for selection interviews. This decision is at the discretion of the hiring department, not Human Resources. Candidates on the employment list are not guaranteed contact from the hiring department. When there are future vacancies in the same department or other departments, your name may be sent to them for consideration. Your notice also notes the date your name will expire from the current list. At that time, you will no longer be eligible for hire for that job.


The job bulletin says the appointee must pass a post-offer medical evaluation. What does that involve?

Job offers are made contingent upon an appointee’s passing a post-offer physical evaluation or examination. If you accept the hiring department's job offer, you will be scheduled for a medical evaluation/examination before your first day on the job.

The nature of the job will determine the nature of the medical evaluation or exam, e.g. for office jobs that are largely sedentary and not physically demanding, you will need to complete a medical history questionnaire, which will be reviewed by a physician familiar with County jobs. For more physically demanding jobs, you may need to be seen by the examining physician in person.

The purpose of the post-offer medical evaluation/examination is to determine whether appointees are medically capable of performing the essential functions of the job they have accepted. If the examining physician determines an appointee has a physical or mental condition that limits his or her ability to perform the essential functions of the job, the appointee will have the right, in accordance with applicable law, to obtain independent medical opinions and discuss reasonable work accommodations.

Are there commuter services for employees who live in the neighboring cities of Oxnard, Ventura, Lompoc, or Santa Maria?

Currently, commuter services include the Clean Air Express and organized vanpools. Also, you can carpool with other employees from your city. We offer an alternative transportation incentive (two additional vacation days per year) for using any of the above means of alternate transportation at least 80% of the time.

Do you have to be bilingual to qualify for a County job?

The majority of County jobs do not require employees to be bilingual. Certain County jobs do require the ability to speak or speak, read, and write in Spanish or Hmong. The job bulletin will clearly state if we are recruiting bilingual applicants for a particular job.

Do County jobs traditionally pay less than private sector jobs?

We are one of the largest employers in the county and we offer competitive salaries and excellent benefits. The total compensation package offered by the County (pay and benefits) is competitive with the private sector.

Are the majority of County jobs clerical in nature?

We offer a wide variety of career opportunities including clerical, paraprofessional, professional, management, and executive positions. We employ maintenance workers, office professionals, Sheriff’s Deputies, computer systems specialists, nurses, engineers, and accountants, just to name a few!

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