Fire Fighter Salary

A sizeable majority of Fire Fighters in the United States are men. In this role, average pay is around $44K per year. Compensation ranges from $26K on the lower end to $73K per year on the higher end. Compensation for this group is mainly affected by the company, but the particular city and tenure are influential factors as well. Job satisfaction for Fire Fighters is high. Medical benefits are awarded to a large number, and a fair number earn dental coverage. The figures in this rundown are based on the results of PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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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 transition into a Deputy Fire Chief role may receive large pay increases as the latter position pays an average $79K per year. The most common next step for a Fire Fighter is to become a First-Line Supervisor / Manager of Fire Fighting and Prevention Workers or a Fire Lieutenant. The former position pays an additional $16K per year on average, and the latter position pays $10K more per year.

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Pay by Experience Level for Fire Fighter

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


Experience seems to be a major factor in determining the incomes of Fire Fighters. During the first five years of their careers, Fire Fighters see a median income of $38K. Survey respondents with five to 10 years of experience report an only modestly higher median of $43K. Fire Fighters bring in $51K after working for 10 to 20 years. Survey participants who have worked for more than two decades report bringing in $62K on average.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $42,291

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

New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, the three biggest cities in America, are lucrative areas where pay is higher than the national average. Fire Fighters in Savannah make 31 percent less than the national average, proving that location is a major factor in pay. Employers in Atlanta and Denver also lean toward paying below-median salaries (14 percent lower and 8 percent lower, respectively).

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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