How To Become A Firefighter

How To Become A Firefighter
Disclaimer This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It’s not intended to be a substitute for professional or legal advice.

Step 1 - Assess Your Passion And Aptitude For Becoming A Firefighter

Do you really want to become an firefighter?

Start by researching and evaluating what a firefighters's job entails.

  • Job Duties - Firefighter's job duties include putting out fires in buildings and environment, find and rescue people impacted by fire, respond to medical and other emergencies, use and operate fire trucks, hoses, extinguishers, and water pumps to put out fire, etc. Do these job duties excite you?

  • QualitiesFirefighters require certain qualities to be happy and successful in their job such as - communication skills, decision-making skills, emotional skills, physical strength and stamina, etc. Do you have, or can you develop, these qualities?

  • Work Schedule - Firefighters work long hours, with work 24-hour shifts, and usually have to work overtime in case of emergencies. Forest and wildland firefighters work for extended periods, staying in fire camps. Are you open to this work schedule?

  • Education - You can become a firefighter with a high school degree. But to grow up in your career as a firefighter you must gain a bachelors degree with a major such as fire science or public administration.

    In addition to education, you have to get trained at the Fire Academy Training, and also gain some mandatory certifications such as EMT certifications, and Paramedic certification.

Are you committed to these education and training requirements?

  • Pay - Firefighters salary ranges from below $29,030 to $81,640 and above. Salary depends on the number of years of experience, specialization in certain areas, and overtime. Will you be satisfied with this salary range?

Step 2 - Shadow Or Volunteer At Your Local Fire Department

Most county fire departments have programs where high schoolers can vist a fire station, interact with firefighters, and shadow them for a day or two. If you are a high schooler aiming to become a firefighter then shadowing is a great opportunity to look at the working environment of firefighters and asking them questions.

Most county fire departments also provides emergency response and non-emergency response volunteer opportunities for those seeking a career in the fire service. These volunteer programs provide practical experience through ride-a-longs and regular training.

Step 3 - Get A High School Diploma

You must have a High School Diploma to become a firefighter.

Step 4 - Earn EMT Certification

Most county fire depoartments require you to earn an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification before you can apply for a firefighters job.

Step 5 - Earn Other Certifications

Consider getting other certifications, such as a Paramedic certification, that will help you in your job as a firefighter.

Step 6 - Apply For Fire Jobs And Start The Interview Process

Apply for firefighter jobs once you have the basic qualification of a high school degree, EMT certification, and other related certifications.

If you had shadowed or volunteered in a fire department, use that experience and contacts to help your job search.

The selection process for a firefighter usually includes a written or an oral exam, and one or more interviews conducted by a panel which includes the fire-chief and other high ranking professionals within the fire department.

Step 7 - Complete A Fitness Assessment Test

You must pass a standardized fitness exam as part of the selection process for a firefighters job.

These standardized fitness exams, such as Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT), measures your physical ability to perform tasks such as carrying heavy equipment, climbing stairs, etc.

Step 8 - Pass Additional Evaluations

Once you are selected in the interview process and pass the physical fitness exam, you have the complete additions evaluations.

These evaluations include background checks, medical exams, drug tests, and psychological assessments.

Step 9 - Complete Training at Fire Academy

As a newly hired firefighter you must undergo a few months of training at a fire academy.

In the academy you will learn fire-fighting and fire-prevention techniques, local building codes, and emergency medical procedures. You will also learn how to fight fires with standard equipment such as fire extinguishers, axes, chain saws, and ladders.

Step 10 - Improve Continuously And Strive For Excellence

Continuously strive to excel and grow in your career as a firefighter.