Exam Bulletin - Air Pollution Specialist

State Air Resources Board

Exam Code: EX-1521

Examination Plans Included:


Final Filing Date: Applications are accepted on a continuous basis.

Classification Details

AIR POLLUTION SPECIALIST: $5,633.00 - $10,903.00 per Month

View the AIR POLLUTION SPECIALIST classification specification.

Application Instructions

This is not a timed exam. If you request a Reasonable Accommodation your account will be locked and you will not be able to proceed with the exam until the request is processed.

Applications are accepted on a continuous basis.

Who Should Apply:

The information below will help you determine which classification(s) is(are) appropriate for you. Applicants must meet the Minimum Qualifications as stated on this bulletin to compete in this examination.

Open and Open, Non-Promotional Examination(s):


For all Classifications, once you have participated in any of the following examinations, you may not recompete for 12 months:

Exam Code(s):


For AIR POLLUTION SPECIALIST, once you have participated in any of the following examinations, you may not recompete for 12 months:

Exam Code(s):

  • EX-01521

How To Apply:

Submit an Examination/Employment Application (STD 678) to apply for this examination.

Electronic applications can be submitted through your account at www.CalCareers.ca.gov.

Special Testing Arrangements:

If you require assistance or alternative testing arrangements due to a disability, indicate on your application that you need reasonable accommodation. You will be contacted by a representative of the testing department to make the necessary arrangements. If you have not been contacted by the time you receive notification of testing, please contact the testing department listed in the Contact section of this bulletin.

If you are unable to submit your application or complete the test due to a disability, please contact the testing department listed in the Contact section of this bulletin.

Minimum Qualifications

All applicants must meet the education and/or experience requirements as stated on this exam bulletin to be accepted to the examination.

Unless otherwise stated in the Minimum Qualifications, qualifying experience may be combined on a proportionate basis if the requirements stated below include more than one pattern and are distinguished as "Either" 1, "or" 2, "or" 3, etc. For example, applicants possessing qualifying experience amounting to 50% of the required time of Pattern 1 and additional experience amounting to 50% of the required time of Pattern 2 may be accepted to an examination as meeting 100% of the overall experience requirement.


Either 1
Two years of experience in the California state service in a position comparable in level, duties, and responsibilities to an Air Resources Technician II.

Or 2
Equivalent to graduation from college with a major in the physical, biological, or environmental sciences, mathematics, engineering, or a related field. (Registration as a senior in a recognized institution will admit applicants to the examination, but they must produce evidence of graduation or its equivalent before they can be considered eligible for appointment.)

Position Description


Range A is the entry and first working level of the series. Incumbents perform less difficult professional air pollution control work under close supervision.

Range B is the intermediate working level at which the incumbent performs and assists higher level staff in air pollution control work of average difficulty.

Range C is the full journeyperson level. Incumbents independently perform the more responsible, varied, and complex work, and provide consultation or coordination in joint studies.

Desirable Qualifications
Experience as a project or program expert in air quality analysis or motor vehicle pollution control.

For information regarding position location(s), please refer to the Eligible List Information section.

Examination Information

We recommend using Chrome, Firefox, or Edge for optimal performance when accessing the examination.

This examination consists of the following component(s):

Component OrderComponent TypeComponent DuePercentage of Final Score
1CalHR Online ExamN/A100%

A final score of 70% must be attained to be placed on the eligible list.

In addition to evaluating the applicant's relative knowledge, skill and ability as demonstrated by quality and breadth of education/experience, emphasis in each test component will be on measuring competitively, relative to job demands, each applicant's:

Knowledge of:
  1. Engineering, physics, chemistry, mathematics, natural sciences, and meteorology as related to air sanitation 
  2. Research methods 
  3. Scientific computer programming/modeling applications 
  4. Methods of statistical analysis 
  5. Principles and methods of measuring atmospheric conditions and pollution levels 
  6. Methods of measuring automotive emissions 
  7. Chemical and physical characteristics of air impurities and their interactions with the environment 
  8. Principles and procedures of air quality management and vehicular emission control 
  9. Complex statistical techniques and their fundamental bases 
  10. Laws and regulations applicable to air quality and motor vehicle emission control
Ability to:
  1. Collect environmental data 
  2. Collect vehicular or stationary source emission data 
  3. Analyze data and reach sound conclusions 
  4. Calibrate complex air monitoring equipment 
  5. Apply scientific methods and principles 
  6. Apply computer programming and modeling skills 
  7. Analyze situations and take effective action 
  8. Work cooperatively with others 
  9. Prepare clear, complete, and technically accurate reports 
  10. Communicate effectively 
  11. Plan, organize, and carry out studies and analyses 
  12. Make oral presentations 
  13. Coordinate the work of others 
  14. Evaluate data and develop recommendations based on findings 
  15. Operate in a lead capacity for special studies and projects

Eligible List Information

A Departmental Open eligible list for the AIR POLLUTION SPECIALIST Classification will be established for:

  • State Air Resources Board

The names of successful competitors will be merged onto the eligible list(s) in order of final score regardless of test date. Eligibility expires 12 months after it is established. Applicants must then retake the examination to reestablish eligibility.

Resulting Eligibility List(s) will be used to fill vacancies throughout the State of California.

Veterans' Preference will be granted for this examination. Veterans' Preference is an assistance program for veterans, veteran widows and widowers, and spouses of 100% disabled veterans who seek employment with the state. Veterans' Preference is also extended to currently serving military members nearing their retirement or separation date.

You are not eligible for Veteran's Preference if you are:

  • A veteran who has been dishonorably discharged or released.
  • A veteran, widow or widower of a veteran, or spouse of a 100 percent disabled veteran who currently has permanent civil service status. (Permanent civil service status is the status of an employee who is lawfully retained in his/her position after completion of the applicable probationary period. This does not include limited term).

Veterans' Preference is codified in Government Code Sections 18973 – 18979.

Veteran status is verified by the California Department of Human Resources (CalHR). Directions to apply for Veterans' Preference are on the Veterans' Preference Application (Std. Form 1093), which is available at www.CalCareers.ca.gov, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Career Credits are not granted for examination(s) administered on an Open basis or a Promotional basis.

Air Pollution Specialist Training and Experience Exam Preview

Section 1: Tasks


In the following pages you will assess your knowledge and experience in specific job related actions, using the rating scales below.  


Respond to each of the following statements by indicating how the statement applies to you. You are required to respond to every statement by marking one option for each of the two scales provided.  


Important Note: In responding to each statement, you may refer to your WORK EXPERIENCE (public or private) whether paid or volunteer, FORMAL EDUCATION, or FORMAL TRAINING COURSES.  


  1. Conducting technical/scientific research to compile information needed for projects using available resources (e.g., databases, internal/external clients, internet sources, technical reports, academic articles).  
  2. Creating technical/scientific reports (e.g., data reports, project summaries, status reports) to present data and/or information to various audiences.  
  3. Preparing charts or graphs to provide visual information for various audiences.  
  4. Preparing and presenting data, analyses, conclusions, and recommendations to provide information to various audiences.  
  5. Performing mathematical and/or basic statistical calculations to analyze data.
  6. Recommending a course of action under tight time constraints and with limited information to ensure problem resolution and efficiency of services/work.  
  7. Developing timelines and work plans to identify time requirements and resources needed to complete projects.   
  8. Drafting memos, letters, correspondence, and other documents to communicate information to various audiences.  


Section 2: Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities  


In the following pages you will assess your knowledge and experience in specific job related actions, using the rating scales below.  


Respond to each of the following statements by indicating how the statement applies to you. You are required to respond to every statement by marking one option for each of the two scales provided.  


Important Note: In responding to each statement, you may refer to your WORK EXPERIENCE (public or private) whether paid or volunteer, FORMAL EDUCATION, or FORMAL TRAINING COURSES.


  1. Knowledge of basic statistical analysis methods and techniques to interpret and understand data.  
  2. Knowledge of basic scientific research principles and methods to ensure the integrity and validity of data.  
  3. Knowledge of the relevant principles of biology, chemistry, natural sciences, meteorology, atmospheric science, and/or physics to understand air quality and climate change science.
  4. Knowledge of problem-solving techniques and processes to facilitate the identification and resolution of issues.  
  5. Knowledge of time management techniques to provide for efficient prioritization and completion of projects and assignments.  
  6. Ability to interact with and relate effectively to the public to maintain positive and productive relationships.  
  7. Ability to negotiate and compromise to resolve matters involving differing opinions and viewpoints.  
  8. Ability to participate in and contribute to the effectiveness of a group or team to ensure cooperation.  
  9. Ability to perform mathematical computations to analyze and summarize data.  
  10. Ability to interpret data and information to extract key concepts and make valid inferences.  
  11. Ability to use spreadsheet software to organize and/or analyze data, and present tables, graphs, and charts.  
  12. Ability to identify discrepancies in data and information pertaining to program/project activities to reconcile anomalies.   
  13. Ability to review and interpret scientific and technical reports/articles to make recommendations based on documented data and information.  
  14. Ability to analyze situations or problems to determine and implement appropriate courses of action.

Testing Departments

  • State Air Resources Board

Contact Information

Technical questions regarding this examination should be directed to:

California Department of Human Resources
CalCareer Service Center
1810 16th Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (866) 844-8671

Administrative questions regarding this examination should be directed to:

State Air Resources Board
State Air Resources Board
1001 I Street, 20th Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 322-4349

California Relay Service: 1-800-735-2929 (TTY), 1-800-735-2922 (Voice). TTY is a Telecommunications Device for the Deaf, and is reachable only from phones equipped with a TTY Device.

Equal Opportunity Employer

The State of California is an equal opportunity employer to all, regardless of age, ancestry, color, disability (mental and physical), exercising the right to family care and medical leave, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, medical condition, military or veteran status, national origin, political affiliation, race, religious creed, sex (includes pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and related medical conditions), and sexual orientation.

Drug Free Statement

It is an objective of the State of California to achieve a drug-free State work place. Any applicant for State employment will be expected to behave in accordance with this objective, because the use of illegal drugs is inconsistent with the law of the State, the rules governing civil service, and the special trust placed in public servants.

General Information

Examination and/or Employment Application (STD 678) forms are available at the California Department of Human Resources, local offices of the Employment Development Department, and through your CalCareer Account (www.CalCareers.ca.gov).

If you meet the requirements stated on this examination bulletin, you may take this examination, which is competitive. Possession of the entrance requirements does not assure a place on the eligible list. Your performance in the examination described in this bulletin will be rated against a predetermined job-related rating, and all applicants who pass will be ranked according to their scores.

State Air Resources Board reserves the right to revise the examination plan to better meet the needs of the service, if the circumstances under which this examination was planned change. Such revision will be in accordance with civil service laws and rules and all applicants will be notified.

General Qualifications: Applicants must possess essential personal qualifications including integrity, initiative, dependability, good judgment, the ability to work cooperatively with others, and a state of health consistent with the ability to perform the assigned duties of the class. A medical examination may be required. In open examinations, investigation may be made of employment records and personal history and fingerprinting may be required.

Eligible Lists: Eligible lists established by competitive examination, regardless of date, must be used in the following order: 1) sub-divisional promotional, 2) departmental promotional, 3) multi-departmental promotional, 4) service-wide promotional, 5) departmental open, 6) open. When there are two lists of the same kind, the older must be used first. Eligible lists will expire in one to four years unless otherwise stated on the bulletin.

High School Equivalence: Equivalence to completion of the 12th grade may be demonstrated in any one of the following ways: 1) passing the General Education Development (GED) Test; 2) completion of 12 semester units of college-level work; 3) certification from the State Department of Education, a local school board, or high school authorities that the competitor is considered to have education equivalent to graduation from high school; or 4) for clerical and accounting classes, substitution of business college work in place of high school on a year-for-year basis.

Accepted applicants must provide proof of identification at each in-person test session. Acceptable identification consists of a photo identification card or two forms of signed identification.

Application Methods:
Electronic (Your CalCareer Account)