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Types of Positions in State Service

There are three branches of service within Rhode Island State Government: Classified, Unclassified, and Non-Classified.

Classified Service

These positions are broken into two categories, Competitive and Non-Competitive.

  • Competitive classified positions are governed by competitive civil service examinations, which are open to those who satisfy the minimum requirement of education and previous experience. Competitive classified positions consist of all positions in the classified service except those assigned as noncompetitive classified positions and those specifically exempted by legislative act. Unless appointed from a list, employees hired into competitive positions are subject to civil service examination and must be reachable to retain their position.
  • Non-Competitive classified positions are defined by statute to include positions that require the performance of routine, laboring, custodial, or domestic tasks, or those positions that are subject to continuing supervision. Also included are positions that require licenses, certificates, or registrations. Many job classifications require that an employee hired into a non-competitive position must maintain the required license, certificate, or registration as a condition of continued employment.

Unclassified Service

These positions are established by law, per Rhode Island General Law 36-4-2, or as stated in other statues pertinent to department organization, including positions of trust in state government excepting classified and non-classified.  Generally, the unclassified service includes employees of elected officials, courts, independent agencies, departmental directors, or public authorities and various positions of a policy making character. 

Non-Classified Service

These are positions covered under contract terms for the Board of Governors for Higher Education (Higher Education/Colleges) and the Board of Regents for Elementary & Secondary Education (Rhode Island Department of Education), including senior administrative staff as well as faculty.

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