Learn About the Firefighter Profession
Are you seeking a rewarding, fulfilling career that you can feel good about?
Are you hoping to get it off the ground within a year or two, or even less time from start to finish? Are you interested in finding a way to help people as often as possible, and inspired by the idea of being a leader in your community? Answering yes to all these questions might mean you’re ready to start your journey toward becoming a firefighter. Even if you’ve never considered the profession before, you might be interested to know what being a firefighter really entails, and what your life might look like if you choose this career.
Becoming a Firefighter
Firefighter training typically consists of a non-degree certification obtained in post-secondary school. You might be able to complete this program and begin applying for jobs in as little as one year. That means that your ideal career is likely closer than you think. Much of the job training occurs after you’ve secured the position and start to work as part of the fire department and learn from your peers while you put the knowledge you obtained in training into practice. Training includes fire code information, the care and maintenance of the fire engine and other equipment, physical fitness, and even emergency medical response.
The Life of a Firefighter
The life of a firefighter may be anything but ordinary. For people who thrive on nontraditional schedules and don’t find the typical 9-5 fulfilling, the long hours and varied shifts of a firefighter might be a great fit. Firefighter shifts usually last for a few days at a time, bookended by one or more days off. During the “on” days, firefighters are on call 24/7, always ready to move quickly in response to a call. Firefighters must be quick thinkers and respond under pressure, possibly putting emotions aside in order to save a life or do the job in front of them.
In 2014, firefighters’ median salary was documented as $45,970 per year, or $22 per hour, reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The industry is seeing growth at a rate of about 5 percent currently.