Aviation Management Careers

Considered one of the finest and most effective aerial firefighting operations in the world, the CAL FIRE Aviation Program is a model for others to emulate. Our Aviation Program utilizes a fleet of airtankers, helicopters and air tactical planes strategically located at remote locations throughout the state. CAL FIRE is actively seeking highly skilled professionals in the fields of aircraft maintenance and flight operations to join our team.


Incumbents at this level provide guidance and direction to departmental staff and contractors in all phases of maintenance, modification, and care of State-owned and contracted aircraft; direct the overhaul and repair of aircraft, engines, and components for State-owned or contracted aircraft; conduct inspections of State-owned or contracted aircraft; and do other related work. Work described may be accomplished at both central maintenance facilities and remote operational locations; and will participate in or provide technical support for aviation accident investigations.

To see if you qualify, click here.
To view open positions with CAL FIRE for this classification, click here.


The Aviation Officer II and III classifications develop and implement standard flight operational procedures, train and evaluate pilots, and ensure that pilots perform their duties in accordance with Federal, State, and departmental rules, regulations, procedures, and directives. They also take part in study projects; prepare recommendations on the use of specialized aircraft, modifications of aircraft, and development of methods and procedures for air operations; perform qualification and flight standardization checks for pilots; develop and monitor aviation training programs; evaluate effectiveness of air operations; as needed, act as relief and primary pilot of State-owned and contracted aircraft in the performance of fire suppression and vegetation management projects and other related work.

To see if you qualify, click here.
To view open positions with CAL FIRE for this classification, click here.


Senior Aviation Officers supervise, plan, organize, and direct CAL FIRE's Aviation Management Program and are responsible for the overall administration and oversight of the Aviation Management Program’s contractual agreements to assure adherence to terms and conditions, as well as performance. They provide primary leadership for the Aviation Management Program and ensure that missions are conducted in a safe manner and in compliance with Federal, State, and Department regulations, and in compliance with manufacturer directives. Senior Aviation Officers provide guidance and supervision to Aviation Officers and may pilot aircraft as necessary.

To see if you qualify, click here.
To view open positions with CAL FIRE for this classification, click here.


Under general direction, the Forestry Fire Pilot flies a helicopter throughout the State over all types of terrain, assists in all aspects of fire prevention, suppression, and vegetation management, and performs required preventive maintenance on helicopters. They fly routine and emergency missions such as search and rescue, medivacs, reconnaissance, law enforcement, serial photography, and administrative flights.

To see if you qualify, click here.
To view open positions with CAL FIRE for this classification, click here.


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For more information on salary and benefits for State of California employees, please visit the California Department of Human Resources website. For details regarding the Limited Examination and Appointment Program (LEAP) please visit the Cal Careers website.

For questions about the exam process, job application process, or about career opportunities with CAL FIRE, email our Recruitment Unit at CALFIRErecruitment@fire.ca.gov or call our office at (916) 445-7801.

VETERANS: Please visit our Returning Veterans; Enlisting Their Skills (R.V.E.T.S.) page to explore a variety of employment options and educational opportunities for service with CAL FIRE.

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