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What does a Fire Chief do?

A fire chief is the head of the fire department, managing a team of firefighters, supervising their activities and performing fire and rescue duties. Fire chiefs coordinate fire control, overseeing the team as they carry out rescues and address medical emergencies. They are experts in fire prevention and protection and enforce the fire codes to ensure that public areas are safe and appropriately maintained.


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Working as a Fire Chief

Working as a fire chief is a varied job involving several different responsibilities, but some of their main duties include:

  • Scheduling firefighters' working patterns, assigning duties and ensuring that all shifts are adequately staffed
  • Training and testing firefighters in a variety of responsibilities, including fighting fires, performing rescues and assessing safety in several different types of settings
  • Maintaining the fire station, including cleaning and repairing equipment, restocking the firefighting appliances, checking safety wear and requesting replacements or new equipment
  • Ensuring that all firefighters are performing their duties according to the relevant policies and procedures
  • Maintaining detailed and accurate records of actions taken and responses to calls
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How much does a Fire Chief make in the United States?

Average base salary

Average $107,850
Low $65,690
High $177,069

The average salary for a fire chief is $107,850 per year in the United States. 351 salaries reported, updated at December 1, 2023

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Where can a Fire Chief earn more?

Compare salaries for Fire Chiefs in different locations
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How much do similar professions get paid in United States?


Job openings

Average $53,072 per year

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Common questions about for a Fire Chief

What kind of environment do fire chiefs work in?

Although a lot of a fire chief's duties are administrative and involve working in an office or within the fire station, they still undertake regular firefighting duties as well. This can involve attending fires in private, commercial or public places, conducting fire safety inspections in a variety of buildings and overseeing training.

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What is the job outlook for fire chiefs?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of fire chief jobs is set to increase at an average rate of 5% between 2018 and 2028.

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Who do fire chiefs work with?

Fire chiefs work closely with their team of firefighters to forge close relationships and reinforce the importance of collaborative working between all staff. They also work with city officials to advise them on fire safety and they interact with members of the public when working in the community or responding to calls.

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Who do fire chiefs report to?

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