Firefighters control and put out fires, and respond to emergency situations where life, property, or the environment is at risk.
When on the scenes of fires and other emergencies, the work can be very dangerous. When not on the scene of an emergency, firefighters spend their time at fire stations, where they sleep, eat, and remain on call during shifts that often last 24 hours. Many work more than 40 hours per week.
Firefighters typically need a high school diploma and training in emergency medical services. Most firefighters receive training at a fire academy, must pass written and physical tests, complete a series of interviews, and hold an emergency medical technician (EMT) certification.
The median annual wage for firefighters was $46,870 in May 2015.
Employment of firefighters is projected to grow 5 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Competition for jobs will likely be strong. Physically fit applicants with high test scores and paramedic training will have the best job prospects.
Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for firefighters.
Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of firefighters with similar occupations.
Learn more about firefighters by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.