The Professional Career Opportunities (PCO) examination is one test that state agencies can use to fill more than 150 different entry-level professional job types across a wide range of disciplines such as Human Resources and Training; Service Regulation and Compliance; Corrections and Criminal Justice; Environment; Natural and Physical Sciences; Accounting, Auditing and Finance; Health and Human Services; Communications, Marketing and Public Relations; Transportation, Administrative Operations; Economics, Research and Statistics.

Job seekers with a bachelor's degree from a qualifying institution can take the PCO examination for consideration of employment with New York State government. Job seekers that anticipate having a bachelor's degree from a qualifying institution by June 30, 2023 can be admitted to the test but will not be considered for appointment until the date the degree is received.


Most of the positions filled from the PCO require two-year traineeships, during which individuals gain the necessary knowledge and experience to perform the full responsibilities of the position.

The full list of titles filled from the PCO can be viewed on the Job Titles List where you can also do a keyword search on the titles.

Generalist Job Titles - Candidates who pass the test will qualify for the Generalist Job Titles. These titles are professional administrative titles in the areas of administrative operations, fiscal operations, human resources, and/or program implementation.

Select Job Titles - Candidates with specific education, certification, licensure, work experience, and/or language proficiency may also qualify for Select Job Titles. After you apply for the PCO, you may complete the PCO Skills Inventory. To be considered for Select Job Titles, candidates must pass the test and complete and submit the PCO Skills Inventory.

Diversity Management Option - A Diversity Management Option is used to fill vacancies that have a demonstrated need for candidates who have an understanding of diversity management and equal opportunity principles which are necessary to perform the essential duties and responsibilities of the position. All Generalist and Select Job Titles may be filled from the Diversity Management option. To be considered for vacancies filled from the Diversity Management option, candidates must pass the test and complete and submit the PCO Skills Inventory.

Exam Announcement  

Carefully read the entire examination announcement for important information about the PCO examination.

Archived PCO Announcement 

Exam Process 

Part 1: Complete your online application. Once you have completed your online application you must return to the dashboard to complete Part 2.

Part 2: Complete and submit the Online Test. Complete your test by filling out and submitting the online questionnaire. The online questionnaire IS YOUR TEST. You will not receive a score on this test unless you complete and submit all of the necessary information. You must return to the dashboard if you wish to complete Part 3.

Part 3: Complete and submit the PCO Skills Inventory to report additional qualifications for select job titles, titles requiring Language Proficiency (other than English), and/or positions filled with the Diversity Management Option.

How to Apply  

You will need a personal NY.gov ID to apply for this examination. If you do not have a personal NY.gov ID, please create an account (External Link).

Applications will be accepted until November 30, 2022.

If you are on any of the existing PCO eligible lists (General, Select Titles, Language Proficiency, Diversity Management), please be aware that your eligibility will expire within 30 days after the next PCO lists are established. To maintain list eligibility, you must take and pass the new examination each time it is offered.

New Examination Applications are not being accepted. If you are interested in the future PCO examination, you can sign up for email notification. The PCO examination is held periodically. Sign up to receive notifications about future PCO or other examination announcements at: https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/NYCS/subscriber/new?topic_id=NYCS_4(External Link).

The Online Test 

If you have already completed the application process but still need to complete and submit your PCO Online Test, return to the PCO Dashboard.

The PCO test is being administered as an online training and experience test. Online training and experience tests ask questions about your education, training, and work experience. This online questionnaire IS YOUR TEST, and the answers you provide to the questions will be used to rate and score your test. You must complete and submit the online questionnaire by the deadline in order for your responses to be scored. For the PCO test, you will be rated and scored in the following five areas: Analytical Reasoning, Customer and Client Service, Professional Relationships, Reading Comprehension, and Written Communication.

We highly recommend that you view the T&E Test Tutorial for more information on how to complete and submit a training and experience test.

If you have applied for the PCO Examination, you will have access to the PCO Online Test. You can complete your test by filling out and submitting the online questionnaire.The online questionnaire IS YOUR TEST.

The online test can be accessed by clicking on the following link: https://tms.cs.ny.gov/TestDriver/Login/Login.aspx after you submit your online application.

The PCO Skills Inventory 

If you have already completed the application process but still need to complete and submit your PCO Online Test, return to the PCO Dashboard.

The PCO program includes an online Skills Inventory to allow applicants to self-report on relevant education and experience in consideration for Select Job Titles, titles requiring Language Proficiency (other than English), and/or positions filled with the Diversity Management Option.

After you submit your PCO Skills Inventory, you can modify and/or add additional information but you must save and resubmit for the changes to become part of your response record. You may resubmit your Skills Inventory until the deadline listed in your PCO Dashboard. No updates are allowed after the deadline. Candidates will receive an email in advance of any future open update periods, with instructions on when and how to update their PCO Skills Inventory.

Contact Information 

For Frequently Asked Questions regarding the PCO, visit the FAQ page. If you do not find answers to your questions, please email pco@cs.ny.gov.

Additional Information 

Taking a Training and Experience Exam

For the first time ever the 2022 PCO exam will be offered online as a Training and Experience exam. If this is your first time taking an online Training and Experience exam, watch the "How To" video below:


Computer Access

You can complete the online test anywhere you can access the internet using a personal computer. You must use a desktop or laptop computer to access the online test. Do not use a phone or tablet. Candidates who need computer access to apply for and take the online exam may visit a New York State Department of Labor Career Center and should first fill out this simple form(External Link) to ensure computer availability. Candidates may also visit one of the SUNY Educational Opportunity Centers listed below for computer access.


Personal Ny.gov ID

If you are having issues with creating a personal Ny.gov ID please watch the video below:


Reasonable Accommodation in Testing

It is the policy of the Department of Civil Service, in accordance with the New York State Human Rights Law and the Americans with Disabilities Act, to provide qualified persons with disabilities equal employment opportunity and equal opportunity to participate in and receive the benefits, services, programs, and activities of the Department. It is the policy of the Department to provide such persons reasonable accommodations and reasonable modifications as are necessary to provide equal opportunity. Persons with disabilities who require an accommodation to participate in an examination must note this on their application.

Further information regarding Reasonable Accommodations is available from the Test Administration Unit of the Department of Civil Service. In the Albany area, call 518-457-2487. Outside of the Albany area, call toll free at 1-877-697-5627. For TDD services, call NY Relay at 711 (requires a fee) or 1-800-662-1220. Please note, these lines are dedicated to inquiries related to requests for Reasonable Accommodation. Staff who answer these lines will not be able to assist with any other PCO-related questions or provide any PCO-related guidance or assistance. Please refer to the guidance provided in the 'Contact Information' section above for all other PCO-related inquiries.