Employment of firefighters is projected to grow 5 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations.
Improved building materials and building codes have resulted in a long-term decrease in fires and fire fatalities, but firefighters will still be needed to respond to fires. Fires can spread rapidly so controlling them quickly is very important. Wildland firefighters will still be needed to combat active fires and manage the environment to reduce the impact of fires. Firefighters will also continue to respond to medical emergencies.
Prospective firefighters will likely face strong competition for jobs. Many people are attracted to the job's challenges and the opportunity for public service. Additionally, many people are attracted to the career because its education requirement is a high school diploma. As a result, a department may receive hundreds of applicants for a single position.
Physically fit applicants with high test scores, some post-secondary firefighter education, and paramedic training should have the best job prospects.
Percent change in employment, projected 2014-24
Total, all occupations
Fire fighting and prevention workers
Note: All Occupations includes all occupations in the U.S. Economy. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program