What Are the Requirements for Becoming a Firefighter?
Becoming a firefighter is a multi-pronged process that involves several steps.
Candidates must complete all steps before they are eligible to be hired as a paid or volunteer firefighter. The process of becoming a firefighter includes training, clearances, education, skill assessment, and licensing. But completion of these steps are not the only requirements involved in becoming a successful firefighter. Candidates must also demonstrate certain qualities and abilities, which become learned or demonstrated during the process.
Basic Requirements for Career Firefighter Training
To become a paid, career firefighter, you will need to enroll in professional training, and will be subject to standards a bit more stringent than those for volunteers. To enroll, candidate must:
- Be U.S. citizens with legal work clearance
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Have completed high school or obtained a GED
- Pass vision and physical tests
- Possess a driver’s license and clean record
- Pass a background check with no criminal convictions
The Start of Training to Become a Firefighter
Firefighter training begins with two certifications that allow candidates to learn the basics of delivering life-saving emergency care. The two required certificates are EMT-Basic (EMT-B) and CPR.
With all these successfully completed, candidates can apply to and enroll in fire training school. This will most likely be a roughly two-year program to earn an associate’s degree in fire science. At HCI, you can complete the 60-credit program and be well on your way to preparedness for your dream career.
Passing the Firefighter Test
After successful completion of the associate’s degree, a few tests await firefighter candidates.
The Firefighter Physical Ability Test (PAT) assesses candidates’ skills and abilities in task-oriented environment, where multiple stations allow candidates to demonstrate what they’ve learned about procedures.
The Firefighter Written Exam tests candidates’ knowledge and ability to communicate through writing, as both an issuer and receiver of clear and important instructions.
The Firefighter Oral Board Exam is where a panel assesses candidates’ capacity to perform the requirements of the job based on personality traits, ethics, judgement, and composure.
Passage of all these allow future firefighters the right to work in a paid