FAQ About Becoming a Firefighter

FAQ About Becoming a Firefighter

Are you ready to become a firefighter and spend your life serving your community, helping people, and making a measurable difference?

Even if you’re committed and ready to take the plunge, you likely have some questions remaining about how everything works. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about becoming a firefighter and the answers you’re searching for.

Do firefighters get paid?

The amount or if firefighters get paid varies from state to state and city to city. Not every municipality has their own fire station, and not every one is large enough to budget for a paid fire corps. In mostly smaller towns, firefighters work on a volunteer basis and do not get paid for their time on call. In larger towns and major cities, firefighters’ salaries range from $26,000 to $82,000 per year.

How often does a firefighter work?

This also varies based on city, state, and volunteer vs. paid status. Two common structures of firefighter schedules are the 24 hours on, 48 hours off structure, and the three to four day schedule consisting of 10-12 hour shifts.

How much can you make as a wildland firefighter?

These government jobs can earn a salary of roughly $48,400 per year.

Can I be a firefighter if I already have a full-time job?

Most firefighters who work in volunteer departments do in fact maintain full-time jobs outside the station. On-call schedules are then designed around volunteers’ daytime and evening availability. In a paid department, firefighters working two jobs is much less common, as schedules demand long and nontraditional work hours and “clocking out” is not always an option if there’s an emergency situation at hand.

How long is training to become a firefighter?

The average length of firefighter training is approximately one year. For higher-level fire officers and those seeking growth opportunities, the time to earn an associate’s degree in fire science may be up to two years.

Can I work as a firefighter in a city where I don’t live?

In most cases, yes, as long as you live within an appropriate distance to the fire station or response area. Some districts may have tighter requirements regarding firefighters’ locations.

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