Firefighter Career Path And Overview

Firefighter Career Path And Overview
Disclaimer This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It’s not intended to be a substitute for professional or legal advice.

Firefighters put out fires to buildings, property, and environment. Firefighters also respond to emergencies such as accidents, medical emergencies, and natural disasters. Firefighters provide immediate medical treatment to people having medical emergencies befoe they are teken to hospitals.

  Job Duties of a firefighter

Put out fires in buildings and environment
Use fire trucks, hoses, extinguishers, and water pumps to put out fire
Find and rescue people impacted by fire
Respond to medical and other emergencies
Treat and provide medical attention to people in emergencies
Operate fire trucks and other emergency vehicles

In addition to above core job duties, firefighters may have additional job duties specific to their specialization (example: search and rescue operations, wildland firefighters, cleanup of hazardous material spills etc.)

  Qualities of a firefighter

Communication skills
Decision-making skills
Physical stamina
Physical strength
Emotional skills

Firefighters must have good communication skills to effectively convey the right message to all the parties involved in the emergency situation - people, other firefighters, and to other emergency responders.

Firefighters must have good decision-making skills to make quick actions in a stressful situation.

Firefighters must have the physical stamina to be able to work at the incident areas for long periods of time.

Firefighters must have physical strength to carry heavy equipment, operate fire fighting and other equipment, remove debris, carry injured people etc.

Firefighters must have the emotional skills and stability to deal with human suffering which they will encounter as part of emergencies.

Similar to other medical providers, Firefighters must have compassion and empathy to help and treat the people in emergencies.

  Salary of a firefighter in USA


Firefighters in USA earned a median of $50,700 in May 2021. i.e. half of firefighters earned below $50,700 and half earned above that.

The lowest 10% firefighters earned less than $29,030 and the highest 10% earned more than $81,640.

The salary of firefighters vary based on the job specialization and on the numbers of overtime hours that they work

Source: BLS

  Job Outlook for firefighter

Projected growth: 4% from 2021 to 2031
Number of jobs in 2021 - 326,100
Projected number of jobs in 2031 - 340,000
Average annual job openings - 48,700

Number of jobs for attorneys is projected to grow 10% from 2021 to 2031, with about 28,000 job openings expected each year, over the next 10 years.

This projected growth is attributed to the expected coninued need for firefighters in fire and medical emergencies.

Some of this growth is also attributed to the expected need to replace firefighters who retire or move to other occupations.

Source: BLS

  Education Requirements For Becoming A firefighter

Education LevelMajorRequirement
High School DiplomaRequired
Bachelors'sFire science, Public administration, and similarOptional

Firefighters require a high school diploma to become a firefighter.

Senior positions such and battalion chief and above requires a bachelor's degree in Fire science, Public administration, and similar majors.

  Top Colleges For Becoming A firefighter

Columbia Southern University
Utah Valley University
University of New Haven
Southern Illinois College
American Public University System
St Petersburg College
Valencia College
Macomb Community College
Lake Superior State University
University of Akron
  Top Certifications For Becoming A firefighter

Certification or LicenseProvider
EMT - Basic
EMT - Advanced
Paramedic Certification
Fire Academy Training