Pre-employment tests

You must meet our fitness standards and take a background, drug and alcohol test.

Before you're hired

Woman taking the physical agility test

Pre-employment requirements

  • Physical agility test
  • Background check
  • Drug & Alcohol screening
  • Medical exam

Pre-employment requirements

Physical agility test: what to expect

The Public Works physical agility exam is required for all of our Public Works Service Worker and Water Distribution Operation positions.

The exam has up to five stations and will show your ability to safety and efficiently do the following:

  • Lift
  • Push
  • Push
  • Carry

Tips for success

  • Dress in comfortable clothing
  • Dress in layers
  • Bring your own gloves (we'll provide them if you do not)
  • Listen carefully to the instructions
  • Ask questions before each station.

The five stations

Station 1

Gate valve


  1. Climb a platform.
  2. Open the gate valve with a key.
  3. When the gate valve is fully open, you must close the gate valve.

Time limit

1 minute and 30 seconds.

Weight of lifted objects


Station 2

Climb and pull


  1. Climb a ladder up to the elevated platform.
  2. Pull a bucket of sand (connected to a rope) to the top.
  3. Lift the bucket over the rail and place it on the platform.
  4. Lower the bucket back down to the platform.

Time limit

2 minutes.

Weight of lifted objects

30 pounds.

Station 3



1. Shovel 1/3 cubic yard of sand into back of a vehicle.

Time limit

10 minutes.

Weight of lifted objects


Station 4

Wheelbarrow and lifting


  1. Load three bags of sand into a wheelbarrow.
  2. Push the wheelbarrow through the marked course.
  3. Unload the sandbags.

Time limit

3 minutes.

Weight of lifted objects

Three 47-pound bags.

Station 5

Lift and carry


  1. Carry and drop 10 bags over a barrier.
  2. You can only carry one bag at a time.
  3. Carry the bags back.

Time limit

7 minutes.

Weight of lifted objects

40 pounds.

Background check

We conduct the following background checks on all candidates:

  • Criminal background check
  • Qualifications check

Drug & Alcohol screening

You must pass a drug and alcohol screening.

Medical exam

You must past a physical exam to make sure you're healthy enough to do the job safely.

Request accessible format

If you need help with this information, please email 311, or call 311 or 612-673-3000.

Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

Contact us

Monique Fish

Workforce Coordinator

Public Works



Human Resources




City Hall
350 S. 5th St., Room 1
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Office hours

8 a.m.  4:30 p.m.
Monday – Friday