Exam Bulletin - Financial Institutions Examiner

Department of Financial Protection and Innovation

Exam Code: EX-1606

Examination Plans Included:


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

Classification Details

FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS EXAMINER: $4,645.00 - $9,049.00 per Month

View the FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS EXAMINER 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 FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS EXAMINER, once you have participated in any of the following examinations, you may not recompete for 12 months:

Exam Code(s):

  • EX-01606

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
Education: Equivalent to graduation from college with a specialization in accounting, business administration, economics, finance, or a related business/management specialization. (Registration as a senior in a recognized institution will admit applicants to the examination, but they must produce evidence of graduation or the equivalent before they can be considered eligible for appointment.)

Or 2
Completion of a prescribed professional accounting curriculum given by a residence or correspondence school of accountancy, including courses in elementary and advanced or intermediate accounting, auditing, cost accounting, and business law.

Or 3
Completion of the equivalent of 16 semester hours of professional accounting courses given by a collegiate-grade residence institution, including courses in elementary and advanced or intermediate accounting, auditing, and cost accounting; and three semester hours of business law. (Persons who will complete course work requirements outlined under II and III above during the current quarter or semester will be admitted to the examination, but they must produce evidence of successful completion of the curriculum and the prescribed courses before they may be considered eligible for appointment.)

Position Description


This is the entry, working, and journey level of the series. Under close supervision, entry level examiners are trained to assume increasing responsibility in the examination of the financial condition of institutions, business firms, and services that are regulated by the Department. At this level, the scope and variety of work is limited by established policies, procedures, guidelines, or technical practices.

At the working level, incumbents work under supervision performing work of average difficulty in the examination of financial institutions, business firms, and services to ensure compliance with Department laws and regulations.

At the journey level, Financial Institutions Examiners work under general supervision performing technical work and making financial analyses in the examination of more complex State-licensed financial institutions, business firms, and services; assist in larger examinations; act as the examiner-in-charge directing and working with a team of examiners to provide the licensee with competent, expeditious, and cost-effective supervision.

Special Personal Characteristics
Ability to qualify for a fidelity bond; willingness to travel and work away from the headquarters office; willingness to work in a variety of settings; capacity for assuming progressively greater responsibility; tact; and good interpersonal skills.

Additional Desirable Qualifications
In appraising the relative qualifications of candidates, consideration will be given to the extent and type of pertinent education beyond that required under Minimum Qualifications.

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. General accounting and auditing principles and procedures 
  2. Business law 
  3. Statistics 
  4. Information systems programs 
  5. The English language with proficiency in reading, writing, and grammar
  6. Laws, policies, rules, and regulations administered by the Department of Financial Institutions 
  7. Financial operations and practices of organizations subject to regulation by the Department of Financial Institutions 
  8. Purposes, activities, and functions of the Department of Financial Institutions 
  9. Regulatory terminology 
  10. Applicable Federal rules and regulations and operations of regulatory agencies that work closely with the Department 
  11. Specialized accounting and auditing principles 
  12. Financial examining practices obtained through on-the-job training and through prescribed training courses
  13. Technical report writing
  14. Complicated practices and procedures of the licensee
  15. Sophisticated data analysis 
  16. Public speaking 
  17. Procedures, organization, and operations of the Department of Financial Institutions
Ability to:
  1. Work arithmetical computations 
  2. Gather, organize, summarize, and interpret financial data 
  3. Analyze data and draw sound conclusions 
  4. Prepare reports 
  5. Establish and maintain cooperative relations with those contacted in the work 
  6. Communicate effectively 
  7. Evaluate and appraise information 
  8. Analyze situations accurately and take effective action 
  9. Use a variety of spreadsheets or word processing software packages
  10. Apply specialized financial examining practices and procedures 
  11. Perform detailed portion of financial institution, business firm, or services examinations 
  12. Analyze data and draw sound conclusions 
  13. Apply specialized examination practices and procedures 
  14. Analyze financial and operating statements, reports, and records relating to licensee operations 
  15. Gather, organize, analyze, and summarize financial data and draw logical conclusions 
  16. Prepare clear, concise, and accurate reports 
  17. Discuss reports of examination and other financial data and hold meetings with executive officers and directors of financial institutions, business firms, and services
  18. Devise procedures and program activities 
  19. Lead others in conducting examinations

Eligible List Information

A Departmental Open eligible list for the FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS EXAMINER Classification will be established for:

  • Department of Financial Protection and Innovation

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.

Financial Institutions Examiner Training and Experience Exam Preview

Section 1: Tasks
Rate your experience performing specific job-related tasks.

Respond to each of the following statements by indicating how the statement applies to you. You are required to respond to every question and provide relevant examples. Also, indicate the references who can verify the information provided.

In responding to each statement, you may refer to your WORK EXPERIENCE, whether paid or volunteer, your EDUCATION, and/or FORMAL TRAINING COURSES you have completed.

PLEASE NOTE: This examination is designed to gain an overall assessment of your education, training, and experience as it directly relates to the duties and the knowledge, skills and abilities required for this position. Possession of specific education is not required to be successful in this examination; however, such achievements may substitute for desirable levels of experience. All components of this examination have been carefully validated by tying them directly to job requirements and documenting their relevance to the position.

FURTHER NOTE: You can start the examination process and finish at a later date. CalHR highly recommends you use this exam preview and a word document to save your answers prior to signing in to the exam to avoid having trouble getting signed out for inactivity (Note: The CalCareers system times out after a period of inactivity).

Generally, what happens is the CalCareers system will save what you have completed when you press continue at the bottom of the page. This will save the information on that page (and all previous pages) and it will be there (saved) when you sign back in to complete the exam. This can be adversely affected by whatever security (software) is being used wherever you are logging in. If the CalCareers system doesn’t recognize it as the “same computer” from the “same location” it will not provide you with the saved information.

Describe your experience relevant to performing this task, either paid, as a volunteer, or in an educational setting (i.e., as a college student).

  1. Analyzing data, financial statements, and reports.
  2. Understanding operating ratios (e.g., current ratio, return on assets, debt to equity).
  3. Interpreting results of various analyses and variances in data to provide results and formulate conclusions.
  4. Explaining results of various analyses and variances in data to provide results and formulate conclusions.
  5. Evaluating business plans (e.g., case studies).
  6. Communicating information clearly and concisely (verbally and/or in writing) to explain or support decisions.
  7. Reading and understanding technical materials on the job or in business related classes.
  8. Understanding and applying accounting and/or auditing principles.

Testing Departments

  • Department of Financial Protection and Innovation

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:

Department of Financial Protection and Innovation
Department Financial Protection and Innovation
Human Resources Office
2101 Arena Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95834

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.

Department of Financial Protection and Innovation 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)