Fire Fighter Salary

Men account for the majority of Fire Fighters in the United States. The overall average income for this group is approximately $44K annually. Compensation ranges from $26K on the lower end to $73K per year on the higher end. The most important factor affecting compensation for this group is the company, followed by geography and experience level. Medical benefits are awarded to most, and a strong majority earn dental coverage. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Fire Fighters. This snapshot results from replies to PayScale's salary survey.
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$28,937 - $76,046
(Median)
$29K
$44K
$76K
MEDIAN: $44,078
10%
50%
90%

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$9.95 - $27.49
(Median)
$9
$15
$27
MEDIAN: $15.00
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$26K$52K$78K
Salary
$28,937 - $76,046  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,107  
Profit Sharing
$6,666  
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).
)
$25,913 - $73,125  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 1,477
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$17$34$51
Hourly Rate
$9.95 - $27.49  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.67  
Overtime
$13.36 - $49.44  
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 - $5,107  
   
Profit Sharing
$6,666  
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).
)
$25,913 - $73,125  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 504
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Job Description for Fire Fighter

Firefighters work for municipalities, counties, airports, and other government and private organizations, and their primary responsibility is to protect the communities they serve from various disaster situations. They extinguish fires from burning buildings, houses, forests, cars, etc. and also serve as first responders in other emergency situations, primarily medical emergencies and rescuing pets or wounded animals.

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Fire Fighter Tasks

  • Maintain contact with emergency dispatch at all times and request additional resources as needed.
  • Coordinate with other firefighters as a member of the crew.
  • Extinguish and control fires using shovels or water pumps.
  • Educate the general public on fire safety and prevention.

Common Career Paths for Fire Fighter


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Fire Fighters who go on to become Deputy Fire Chiefs may see their salaries climb quite a bit. Median pay for Deputy Fire Chiefs is $79K annually. Fire Fighters typically move into roles as First-Line Supervisor / Manager of Fire Fighting and Prevention Workerss or Fire Lieutenants, and those positions pay $16K more and $10K more, respectively.

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Pay by Experience Level for Fire Fighter

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


For many Fire Fighters, more experience generally translates to higher pay. Individuals who have worked for fewer than five years bring in approximately $38K on average. Those in the five-to-10 year range can expect an average that is only a touch bigger at $43K. Fire Fighters see a median salary of $51K after reaching one to two decades on the job. Fire Fighters who have acquired more than 20 years of relevant experience earn significantly more than folks with fewer years on their resumes; the average income in this veteran group is $62K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $42,291

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

Folks in search of above-average pay will head to one of the three largest American cities: New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles boast higher pay rates than the national average for this field. Location significantly influences compensation, with Savannah Fire Fighters earning much less — 31 percent less — than the national average. Employers pay around 14 percent less in Atlanta and 8 percent less in Denver, below-median salaries for those in this field.

Fire Fighter Reviews

What is it like working as a Fire Fighter?

Fire Fighter in East Haddam:
Pros: I get to help people when things are going very bad for them.
Cons: The pay and the politics.

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Experience Affects Fire Fighter Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 48%


Mid-Career
up arrow 2%

National Average
$42,000


Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 289 votes.

Gender

Female
3 %
Male
97 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
7%
1-4 years
35%
5-9 years
25%
10-19 years
23%
20 years or more
10%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 90%
dental benefits
Dental: 72%
medical benefits
Vision: 56%
dental benefits
None: 9%
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