Around nine in ten of Fire Chiefs in the United States have been in the field for more than 10 years. Pay can fall anywhere from $47K to $120K per year, but median earnings come to around $73K 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 the larger part earn dental coverage. The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.

$47,776 - $119,723
(Median)
$48K
$73K
$120K
MEDIAN: $72,889
10%
50%
90%

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$11.90 - $68.51
(Median)
$12
$24
$69
MEDIAN: $23.00
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
$47,776 - $119,723  
   
Bonus
$507 - $24,658  
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).
)
$46,543 - $119,524  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 252
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
$11.90 - $68.51  
   
Overtime
$33.56  
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
$507 - $24,658  
   
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).
)
$46,543 - $119,524  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 12
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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.


Fire Chiefs with more experience do not necessarily bring home bigger paychecks. In fact, experience in this field tends to impact compensation minimally. During their first five years in the workforce, individuals in this position earn $58K on average. Survey participants with five to 10 years under their belts see an only a slightly bigger average of $62K. Fire Chiefs see a median salary of $68K after reaching one to two decades on the job. In the end, more experience does seem to mean larger paychecks; seasoned Fire Chiefs with more than 20 years of experience earn a predictably higher median salary of $76K.

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Experience Affects Fire Chief Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 5%

National Average
$73,000

Experienced
up arrow 6%

Mid-Career
up arrow 15%

Entry-Level
up arrow 20%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 19 votes.

Gender

Female
1 %
Male
99 %

Years of Experience

1-4 years
5%
5-9 years
6%
10-19 years
24%
20 years or more
66%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 87%
dental benefits
Dental: 70%
medical benefits
Vision: 61%
dental benefits
None: 10%
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