Are you interested in becoming a firefighter? A career in firefighting is extremely competitive. Every year fire departments receive thousands of applications for a small number of available jobs. Read our practical tips to get the edge on how to effectively compete for these hard to get but rewarding jobs.
Best Tips For Becoming a Firefighter
Get Certified as an Emergency Medical Technician
Many fire departments require firefighters to have completed Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) training and certification. Completing EMT training and certification will provide you with an advantage when applying for a firefighter job
Find fire department websites for your local area or other locations you are willing to consider. If a fire department does not have its own website, you will normally find information regarding fire services under the city/municipal/county website. Review the websites often to see when they will be hiring. You’ll also find information regarding specific requirements and qualifications as well as the recruitment process and any applications or documents you need to complete.
Search For Jobs Beyond Your Neighborhood
Everyone wants to work near their home. However because the number of new firefighting positions are few and far between, you shouldn’t focus on one specific fire department. Although many fire departments require that you live within a certain distance of the fire station, many allow you several years from the time you are hired to make the move. Remember that at the start of your career you need to be flexible and willing to compromise. After acquiring some experience you can always investigate a transfer to a department closer to home.
Consider Firefighter Positions Providing Lower Pay Levels
If you are new to firefighting, consider and search for positions offering lower pay grade levels. This will increase the number of jobs for which you can apply to.
Consider Becoming a State Firefighter
Consider wildland firefighting and other firefighting positions under state responsibility. You chances of finding a firefighting job are much greater as each summer there is a significant need for both new and experienced wildland firefighters in many states. Although some of these jobs (wildland firefighting) are seasonal they provide excellent work experience and advantage over inexperienced candidates when applying for a position with a local fire department.
Apply to Become a Volunteer Firefighter
Volunteer firefighters perform the same jobs as career firefighters. By becoming a volunteer firefighter you’ll acquire some great work experience as well as the required firefighter training. This will give you an advantage when applying for a permanent pay fire fighting job.
Consider a Position as a Federal Firefighter
Consider other types of firefighting careers such as working or the federal government. These include navy, army, or air force firefighter. The commitment to serving is looked upon positively by fire departments and will provide you with an advantage when applying to a local fire department. You’ll also acquire the skills and training needed for a career in firefighting with a local department.
Complete Job Applications Carefully
Make sure you complete all firefighter job applications carefully and you submit all required documents and information. You may not get a second chance.