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Human Resources

The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) employs 175 full-time permanent salaried employees, and 141 temporary Fire Academy Instructors. Most of the positions are located at headquarters in Harrisburg (Dauphin County). PEMA also has four field facilities as follows:

  • Eastern Region Office located in Hamburg (Berks County)
  • Central Region Office located in Harrisburg Headquarters (Dauphin County)
  • Western Region Office located in Indiana (Indiana County)
  • State Fire Academy in Lewistown (Mifflin County)
The majority of positions in PEMA are covered under the Merit System and as such those positions must be filled through the State Civil Service Commission (SCSC) System. This system requires competitive examination through an application review process or written/oral examination process conducted by the SCSC.

The SCSC is ultimately responsible for determining whether a candidate is eligible to apply for a particular testing program. Examinations consist of one or more of the following: a numerical rating for experience and training, an oral examination and/or a written examination. Applicants who pass the examination are placed on employment lists in order of their final earned rating. This rating appears with the person’s name on the SCSC employment eligibility list, and when vacancies occur, candidates are referred to PEMA in score order. In other words, the higher your score the more job opportunities you are likely to receive.

PEMA uses the Emergency Management Specialist classification to fill the majority of its journeymen level positions. The Emergency Management Specialist Test opened on February 21, 2003 and will remain open indefinitely. PEMA is currently recruiting for qualified individuals to apply for the Emergency Management Specialist examination to be conducted by the SCSC. Information regarding this program can be obtained by calling the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency's Human Resource Office at 717-651-2018, or the State Civil Service Commission website at by calling:

Harrisburg (717) 787-7811
Philadelphia (215) 560-2253
Pittsburgh (412) 565-7666

To be deemed eligible for this examination, you must have gained a minimum of two years experience in the development, coordination, or promotion of emergency-related programs in disaster relief, public safety and emergency management in government, industry, education or the military. However, such experience must be related to directing, managing or planning such programs. Consequently, first line emergency experience such as police, security or corrections officer, firefighter, paramedic or air quality control would not be acceptable.

A SCSC application must be completed if you are interested in applying for this exam. Please send the application directly to the SCSC, not to PEMA.

Commonwealth salaries are competitive and full time permanent employees receive a comprehensive benefits package including hospital/medical insurance; retirement; annual, sick, and personal leave; dental, vision and hearing benefits; life insurance, paid prescription, etc.

The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency is an equal opportunity employer.

For additional information on employment opportunities with PEMA, contact Heidi Koppenhaver at 717-651-2018 .

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