Fire Chief Salary

Approximately nine in ten of Fire Chiefs in the United States are seasoned employees who have more than 10 years of experience in the field. Pay ranges from $46K to $119K per year, and the average comes out to $74K per year. It's heartening to note that most people in this field love their work, finding it both fun and rewarding. A large number enjoy medical while the greater part get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to more than half. This report is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$48,063 - $118,967
(Median)
$48K
$74K
$120K
MEDIAN: $74,072
10%
50%
90%

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$11.92 - $40.27
(Median)
$12
$23
$40
MEDIAN: $22.00
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
$48,063 - $118,967  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $10,178  
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 - $118,578  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 416
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
$11.92 - $40.27  
   
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 - $10,178  
   
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 - $118,578  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 26

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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.


Those who have worked for fewer than five years take home a median salary of $71K, and workers with five to 10 years of experience report earning less ($65K) on average. On average, Fire Chiefs make $66K following one to two decades on the job. Old hands who claim more than two decades on the job enjoy average earnings of $79K.

United States (change)

Experience Affects Fire Chief Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 8%

National Average
$73,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 4%

Experienced
up arrow 10%

Mid-Career
up arrow 11%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 68 votes.

Gender

Female
3 %
Male
97 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
0%
1-4 years
2%
5-9 years
8%
10-19 years
25%
20 years or more
65%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 87% dental benefits Dental: 69%
vision benefits Vision: 57% employee benefits None: 12%