When a man becomes a fireman, his greatest act of bravery has been accomplished. What he does after that is all in the line of work.” —Chief Edward F. Croker
QUALIFICATIONS Candidates have to be 18 years of age and are usually required to have at least a high school diploma, but candidates with some sort of postsecondary schooling or even an associate’s degree in Fire Science are becoming preferred. Upon being hired, a candidate is required to pass a number of written and physical tests and attend several weeks of intense fire safety and fighting training. Many departments require their fire fighters to have the lowest level of certification in emergency procedures, called the Emergency Medical Technician-Basic, although some departments require a full certification in paramedics.
AVERAGE SALARY Median annual wages of fire fighters were $44,260 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $31,180 and $58,440. The lowest ten percent earned less than $22,440, and the highest ten percent earned more than $72,210. Median annual wages were $44,800 in local government, $45,610 in the Federal Government, $25,300 in other support services, and $37,870 in State governments. There is room for salary increase and position advancement within the field after several years of experience.
STAMINA A quality that a firefighter candidate must have in order to keep up with the physical requirements of the job. Many stations require candidates to complete a physical fitness test before even being considered. 21
Detailed book relating personality type to career choice.