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
- 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
Fire Fighters may progress into high-paying roles like Deputy Fire Chief, where median compensation is $81K annually. When Fire Fighters are ready for the next step in their careers, they often become First-Line Supervisor / Manager of Fire Fighting and Prevention Workerss or Fire Lieutenants. Those roles pay an additional $15K and $10K, respectively.
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Popular Employer Salaries for Fire Fighter
Fire Fighters flock to Fire Department of New York (FDNY) for generous paychecks, where average earnings of $94K lead the pack in compensation; however, Fire Department of New York (FDNY) also provides employees with a wide spectrum of compensation ranging from $49K at one end to $113K at the other end.
Pay by Experience Level for Fire Fighter
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
In general, experience and pay appear to be strongly linked; those with more experience usually bring in higher incomes. Relatively untried employees who have fewer than five years of experience earn around $39K on average. People who have worked for five to 10 years can expect a higher median salary 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
With a pay rate for Fire Fighters that is 72 percent greater than the national average, New York offers a comfortable salary for those in this profession. Fire Fighters will also find cushy salaries in Chicago (+49 percent), Boston (+40 percent), Los Angeles (+40 percent), and Miami (+22 percent). Compared to the national average, Columbia Fire Fighters have considerably lower salaries, 28 percent below the national average to be exact. Location appears to be a major driving force in pay for those in this profession. Below-median salaries also turn up in Atlanta and Dallas (15 percent lower and 6 percent lower, respectively).