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Fire Chief Salary

The majority of Fire Chiefs in the United States — just under nine-tenths — boast more than 10 years of experience in their profession. Salaries stretch from $46K to $120K per year, and the median is $75K annually. It's heartening to note that most people in this field love their work, finding it both fun and rewarding. Medical benefits are awarded to most, and a majority earn dental coverage. Participants in PayScale's salary questionnaire provided the particulars of this report.
$48,273 - $120,498
(Median)
48K
75K
99K
120K
MEDIAN: $74,746
10%
50%
75%
90%

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$11.63 - $41.22
(Median)
12
15
22
31
41
MEDIAN: $22.00
10%
25%
50%
75%
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
$48,273 - $120,498  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $10,145  
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).
)
$45,578 - $120,139  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 419
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
$11.63 - $41.22  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $42.57  
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 - $10,145  
   
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).
)
$45,578 - $120,139  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 27
United States (change)

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.

Fire Chief Job Listings

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Pay by Experience Level for Fire Chief

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


For Fire Chiefs, more experience in the field does not usually mean bigger paychecks. Folks with fewer than five years of experience take home $57K on average, and those who have worked for five to 10 years see a bigger median salary of $63K. After working for 10 to 20 years, Fire Chiefs make a median salary of $67K. Old hands boasting more than twenty years of relevant experience report pay that is more or less commensurate with that extensive experience; average earnings for this group come out to approximately $82K.

Experience Affects Fire Chief Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 11%

National Average
$74,000

Experienced
up arrow 9%

Mid-Career
up arrow 14%

Entry-Level
up arrow 23%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 69 votes.

Gender

Female
2 %
Male
98 %

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: 86% dental benefits Dental: 68%
vision benefits Vision: 55% employee benefits None: 12%