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How to become a Firefighter

Before you can become a firefighter, you must have a valid driver's license, a high school diploma and be at least 18 years old. Most careers in fire fighting begin with government approved fire academies or training courses. To complete those programs, you'll need to pass a written exam and a physical exam. To do that, you'll need to perform several common firefighting tasks like climbing ladders, carrying equipment, raising large ladders and performing a forcible entry.

To increase the chances of being hired, many potential firefighters get a degree in fire science and/or get certified as an Emergency Medical Technician. Additionally, any firefighters become sworn officers as they advance in their careers. Those officers can work their way up the ranks through promotions in the same way that police and military officers do.

To get and keep a job as a firefighter, there are several things to stay focused on. First, get and stay in good physical condition. Secondly, stay out of trouble. You'll be working with law enforcement officers regularly and it is expected that you'll have a fairly clear record. If you've made mistakes in your past, it is best to be honest with your superiors about those mistakes. Also, make sure that they know about any driving infractions you have on your record, since driving will be a part of your job requirement. Lastly, keep your social media appropriate. Many jobs check your social media, and you may be held accountable for what you've posted.

How to become: Wildland Firefighter · Firefighter/Paramedic · Firefighter/Emt · Fire Chief · Volunteer Firefighter
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Typical qualifications for a Firefighter

Your Indeed Profile has 2 of the 3 qualifications typically needed to be a Firefighter.
Indeed users who have worked as a Firefighter typically have these qualifications.
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Certificates and licenses

Skills employers are looking for

Note this is provided for informational purposes only. Adding qualifications does not guarantee a job interview, opportunity, or an offer.
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Firefighter jobs in United States

Ohio Township Fire Department
Newburgh, IN
$55,000 - $61,000 a year
View job details
28 minutes ago
DFPC Firefighter - Helicopter Captain & Assistant Captain
State of Colorado3.3
$63,348 - $88,692 a year
17 hours ago
Firefighter - Helicopter Captain & Assistant Captain
Colorado Department of Public Safety3.3
$63,348 - $88,692 a year
3 hours ago
Part Time Firefighter/AEMT
Riverdale City3
Riverdale, UT
$16.27 - $21.09 an hour
17 hours ago
Oklahoma City, OK
$42,022 - $54,625 a year
17 hours ago
View all Firefighter jobs

Career progression for Firefighter

Education levels for Firefighters

Based on the requirements of Firefighter job openings on Indeed in the United States within the last three years.
required level of educationpercent of job openings
High school diploma or GED65.0%
Associate's degree17.0%
Bachelor's degree15.4%
Master's degree2.5%
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Expected salary by experience

Based on resume data from Indeed users who reported working as a Firefighter in the United States within the last three years.
Years of experienceAnnual salary in USD
0 - 4$25,600
4 - 8$27,900
8 - 12$31,800
12 - 16$35,600
16 - 20$35,600
20 - 24$37,400
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Common questions about career advices for a Firefighter

Is there much on-the-job training for firefighters?

Firefighters receive paid on-the-job training before they officially begin work in their department. Once hired, every firefighter attends several weeks of training programs, regardless of prior experience. They train together to practice their skills and enhance their teamwork strategies.

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How might you contribute to your community and network while considering a job as a firefighter?

Volunteering for groups, like the American Red Cross or Habitat for Humanity, is a wonderful way to help your community and develop some skills that you will find useful. Visiting local firefighters is a great way to start networking and learn more about the career and volunteer opportunities.

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Can you become a firefighter with no experience?

Many towns make use of volunteer firefighters alongside or even in place of paid professionals. For instance, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection requires applicants with no experience to begin by applying for a temporary firefighter I position, but with at least a year as a volunteer, you can be considered for permanent positions.

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How can a firefighter get paid more?

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Can I become a firefighter at 40?

How long does it take to complete the fire academy to become a firefighter?

Is there a minimum grades to be a firefighter?

How long does it take to get Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certified for fire department?

What are the different firefighter ranks?

What are the different types of firefighters?

How long does it take to become a firefighter?

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