Fire Chief Salary

With roughly nine-tenths of Fire Chiefs in the United States reporting more than 10 years of experience, the field is heavily weighted toward experienced professionals. Average pay for Fire Chiefs is $75K annually and can range from $46K on the lower end to $121K per year near the higher end. Medical benefits are awarded to most, and the greater part earn dental coverage. It's worth noting that most people in this role find their work both fulfilling and enjoyable. The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.

$48,476 - $122,108
(Median)
$48K
$75K
$120K
MEDIAN: $75,282
10%
50%
90%

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$11.83 - $44.04
(Median)
$12
$22
$44
MEDIAN: $22.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$48,476 - $122,108  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $10,087  
Profit Sharing
$1,800  
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).
)
$46,083 - $120,622  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 448
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$25$50$75
Hourly Rate
$11.83 - $44.04  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $41.72  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $10,087  
   
Profit Sharing
$1,800  
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).
)
$46,083 - $120,622  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 30
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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 median compensation for relatively untried workers is $64K; in the five-to-10 year group, it's higher at around $69K. Fire Chiefs see a median salary of $68K after reaching one to two decades on the job. Big financial gains seem to result from working for more than two decades; veterans in this group report earning $81K on average.

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Experience Affects Fire Chief Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 8%

National Average
$74,000

Mid-Career
up arrow 8%

Experienced
up arrow 9%

Entry-Level
up arrow 14%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 60 votes.

Gender

Female
3 %
Male
97 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
0%
1-4 years
3%
5-9 years
7%
10-19 years
24%
20 years or more
65%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 87%
dental benefits
Dental: 70%
medical benefits
Vision: 58%
dental benefits
None: 10%
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