Fire Fighter Salary
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.Read More...
A high school diploma or GED is a minimum requirement for this position, while some employers require an associate's degree or higher. Firefighters must be in excellent physical condition and pass background checks, drug screenings, and medical and fitness examinations, such as relevant provisions of the National Fire Protection Association Pamphlet, for the position. They should also have computer skills and be able to use relevant program applications.
Firefighters must have valid drivers' licenses and clean driving records. Before being hired, they must pass a variety of tests and should then become involved in various community programs, such as fire prevention and inspection activities. Firefighters often attend community fairs to show children and adults their fire trucks and answer their questions.
Firefighters must be flexible with their time, as fire departments must be available 24/7, and the ability to work well in a team environment is essential to succeed in the position and keep everyone safe. They must be able to work in stressful and dangerous situations, and interpersonal and communication skills are also important to ensure the safety of everyone involved. Some may occasionally travel to help fire departments in other counties or states.
Fire Fighter Tasks
- Extinguish and control fires using shovels or water pumps.
- Educate the general public on fire safety and prevention.
- Maintain contact with emergency dispatch at all times and request additional resources as needed.
- Coordinate with other firefighters as a member of the crew.
Common Career Paths for Fire Fighter
As Fire Fighters transition into upper-level roles such as Deputy Fire Chief, they may see a strong upturn in salary. Deputy Fire Chiefs earn $81K on average per year. When Fire Fighters are ready for the next step in their careers, they often become Fire Lieutenants or First-Line Supervisor / Manager of Fire Fighting and Prevention Workerss. Those roles pay an additional $9K and $14K, respectively.
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Popular Employer Salaries for Fire Fighter
Fire Department of New York (FDNY) offers the largest salaries in town ($94K on average), but the considerable range in workers' salaries creates a rather varied pay scale that stretches from $49K to $113K.
Pay by Experience Level for Fire Fighter
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Fire Fighters with a lot of experience tend to enjoy higher earnings. Average salaries for inexperienced employees average out to around $39K, but folks who have five to 10 years of experience earn a higher median of $45K. On average, Fire Fighters make $51K following 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 $61K on average.
Pay Difference by Location
The three largest American cities — Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago — all offer salaries higher than the national average for Fire Fighters. Fire Fighters' salaries are heavily influenced by location — Fire Fighters in Columbia bring in salaries that are 29 percent lower than the national average. Employers pay around 17 percent less in Atlanta and 9 percent less in Tampa, below-median salaries for those in this field.
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