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City sanitation workers start at $40,662, increasing to $83,465 after 5-1/2 years

The city is accepting applications for sanitation workers through June 30 for multiple-choice exams scheduled to begin Sept. 7. This is the first time in seven years the sanit test is being held. Starting pay is $40,622 per year with the current union contract providing for periodic increases to $83,465 after the completion of 5-1/2 years of service. Sanitation workers can also earn differential payments based on their specific assignment and overtime. 

The exam fee is $61.

The work

Under direct supervision, sanitation workers prepare and operate various types of equipment involved in street cleaning, waste collection, recycling collection, snow removal, encumbrance removal, waste disposal; and, when assigned, perform enforcement duties. 

They follow route sheet of assigned work area; load and unload waste materials and bulk items; monitor collected waste for hazardous or toxic materials; sweep and clean city streets; inspect, prepare, and drive department vehicles and equipment; during winter months, attach and operate snow plows, remove snow and ice from city streets and arterial roadways, and spread salt and sand; use operational manuals and instructional materials; prepare reports, records, and forms; enter data; make log entries; and perform related work. 

The role of sanitation worker is the first step to advancement within DSNY, on a career path that includes becoming a supervisor, a superintendent or a chief, or joining the sanitation police, among other positions.


Candidates must pass a physical exam, a medical exam, and have obtained their commercial driver’s license before they can be hired.

They also must have a high school diploma or GED by the date of appointment; must be at least 17 1/2 years o9ld to take the exam; and be vaccinated against the Covid-19 virus, unless they have been granted a reasonable accommodation for religion or disability.

They also must successfully complete a drug and alcohol screening.

For the first five years of employment, must live in New York City or Nassau or Westchester counties.

The test

The multiple-choice test is designed to assess the extent to which candidates have certain abilities determined to be important to the performance of the tasks of a sanitation worker. It will measure candidates on roll-call activities; waste collection and removal; operation, maintenance  and preparation of department vehicles and equipment; communicating information (physical and verbal); garage tasks; snow removal, weather-related conditions and emergencies; and preparation, completion and review of forms, reports and logs.

The test may also include questions requiring the use of any of the following abilities:

written comprehension and expression; problem sensitivity; information ordering; deductive reasoning and inductive; and spatial orientation. 

Candidates who pass the multiple-choice test will be scheduled to take the physical test in score order as vacancies occur. Based on the projected number of vacancies, it is anticipated that all candidates who pass the written test may not be scheduled for the physical test. Candidates called to the physical test will be required to pay an additional $20 fee. 

For complete information on the position, its requirements and on how to apply, go to www1.nyc.gov/assets/dcas/downloads/pdf/noes/20222060000.pdf


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