Fire Chief Salary

With nearly nine in ten of Fire Chiefs in the United States reporting more than 10 years of experience in the field, this area is heavily weighted toward experienced professionals. Pay ranges from $46K to $119K per year and averages out to $74K annually. Something to celebrate is that most people in this position are highly satisfied with their jobs. Medical benefits are awarded to most, and the larger part earn dental coverage.

$47,869 - $119,065
(Median)
$48K
$74K
$120K
MEDIAN: $74,450
10%
50%
90%

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$11.89 - $41.46
(Median)
$12
$23
$41
MEDIAN: $23.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$47,869 - $119,065  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $10,282  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$45,914 - $118,717  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 417
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$25$50$75
Hourly Rate
$11.89 - $41.46  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $42.31  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $10,282  
   
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$45,914 - $118,717  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 25
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Job Description for Fire Chief

Fire chiefs are responsible for providing managerial and administrative direction within a fire department. Their role is one of leadership, and their responsibilities include: planning and supervising fire operations; coordinating fire programs and action plans with a city's government; supervising building inspections for fire hazards to ensure they meet safety standards; preparing the fire department's annual budget; reviewing new and replaced equipment; and performing training drills with other firefighters. Above all, they continue to engage in firefighting and provide rescue and medical services, though this is secondary to their administrative roles.

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Fire Chief Tasks

  • Manage personnel and equipment to maintain peak performance abilities.
  • Oversee medical responses as needed.
  • Evaluate scale and nature of reported fires while assigning appropriate teams to strategic locations for rescue of people and extinguishing flames.
  • Update, review, and report on personnel, equipment, and incidents.

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Pay by Experience Level for Fire Chief

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


The average inexperienced worker earns $71K. It's worth noting that someone who has worked for five to 10 years can expect a smaller median salary of $67K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $66K. Big financial gains seem to result from working for more than two decades; veterans in this group report earning $80K on average.

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Experience Affects Fire Chief Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 8%

National Average
$74,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 4%

Mid-Career
up arrow 9%

Experienced
up arrow 10%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 66 votes.

Gender

Female
3 %
Male
97 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
0%
1-4 years
3%
5-9 years
8%
10-19 years
25%
20 years or more
64%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 87% dental benefits Dental: 69%
vision benefits Vision: 56% employee benefits None: 12%
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