Experience: Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
Education: Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree. Some may require a bachelor's degree.
Training: Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers.
Firefighters control fires and respond to other emergencies, including medical emergencies.
When not on the scene of an emergency, firefighters work at fire stations, where they sleep, eat, and remain on call during shifts that often last 24 hours. Many work over 40 hours per week. The work can be very dangerous.
Firefighters typically need a high school diploma and training in emergency medical services. Most firefighters also must pass a written and physical test, complete a series of interviews, and hold an emergency medical technician (EMT) certification.
The median annual wage for firefighters was $45,250 in May 2012.
Employment of firefighters is projected to grow 7 percent from 2012 to 2022, slower than the average for all occupations. Competition for jobs will likely be intense. Physically fit applicants with high test scores and paramedic training should have the best job prospects.