If you ask a bunch of young children what they want to be when they grow up, you can be sure that at least one will respond “firefighter.” Maybe because you can find them among the highest paid departments.
Though only a small percentage of people really pursue a career as a fireman, it is a wonderful profession that isn’t for everyone. If you want to be a fireman, you must go through a lengthy process.
Apart from the interesting journey this career path offers, you can get into any of the highest paid fire departments for you.
Is Firefighting A Good Job?
Working as a firefighter is a rewarding career with a high level of job satisfaction. If you enjoy helping people and serving your community, becoming a fireman is a terrific job for you, but be warned that it may be taxing, stressful, and even dangerous at times.
Being a fireman is a fantastic job. In dynamic circumstances, it provides frequent opportunities to aid those in need in a real, meaningful way. Riding on a fire truck is unlike anything else.
Every day is unique. You will have the opportunity to work as part of a cohesive team (family) to address a variety of problems. You employ both your thoughts and body.
How Much Do Firefighters Make?
The typical wage for a fireman varies greatly depending on where you reside and how much experience you have. In 2021, the average fireman makes around $44,421, according to the Ziprecruiter Statistics. That works out to around $21.05 per hour. To put things in perspective, Ziprecruiter also puts the average income for all Americans in 2021 as around $66,665, thus becoming a fireman will pay you less than average.
There can be plenty of opportunity for overtime in addition to a basic wage and salary raises as you spend more time with a department. You’ll have a little more control over what you bring home at the end of each week as a result. Even if you begin with a lower-than-average wage, there is always the possibility for advancement. As a firefighter, you’ll often be given the chance to receive step raises as you acquire experience and time with the department, as well as overtime chances.
How To Become A Firefighter
If you want to become a firefighter, you need to fulfill all necessary requirements to get into this position. These requirements include:
#1. Satisfy the Basic Requirements:
Keep in mind that all potential firemen, whether paid or volunteer, must meet these criteria. Almost all entry-level firefighter applicants must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma (or equivalent) as well as a valid driver’s license for the jurisdiction in which they will be working.
Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification will also be required, either at the time of application or shortly thereafter. Males under the age of 25 must also be currently enrolled in the Selective Service. Other qualifications could include U.S. citizenship or legal residency, as well as the ability to get or obtain a license that allows the holder to drive job-related vehicles such as ambulances and fire trucks.
#2. Get the Right Degrees:
Obtaining a postsecondary degree or certificate in fire science is not a requirement for becoming a firefighter. Some firms, on the other hand, prefer new workers who have an undergraduate degree or certificate in fire science or a closely related field.
Earning a postsecondary degree or certificate might give you the particular information and abilities you need to expand your career into management and administration.A fire science certificate or degree can help you get a job as a firefighter or develop your career as a firefighter. Colleges and universities across the country provide fully authorized, high-quality fire science undergraduate professional certificates and degrees, as well as master’s degrees at the graduate level.
#3. Attend Fire Training:
You will need to attend firefighter training, which will most likely take place in a fire academy, regardless of how you start your career as a fireman. The department for which you wish to work will have a considerable impact on the specifics of your training.
Many small town and rural fire departments, for example, operate their own fire academies, which typically consist of evening and weekend training sessions given by department firefighters.
The duration of a fire academy program can range from a few weeks to several months, and it can be full-time or part-time, with day and evening options.The length of a fire academy program can range from a few weeks to several months, and it can be full-time or part-time, with day and evening alternatives available.
It’s now time to apply after you’ve completed all of your required training and other requirements unique to the fire department you want to join.
Highest Paying States for Fire Departments
All states pay their fire department staff good money, but only a few states pay better salaries. Hence to section them, the highest paid for fire departments include:
#1 New Jersey $89,350
#2 California $79,810
#3 Washington $78,950
#4 New York $77,830
#5 Connecticut $72,840
#6 Hawaii $66,100
#7 Oregon $64,270
#8 Massachusetts $63,910
#9 Pennsylvania $63,520
#10 Nevada $62,250
#11 Maryland $62,200
#12 Colorado $61,680
#13 Alaska $58,920
#14 Rhode Island $58,630
#15 Illinois $57,570
#1. New Jersey:
The average salary for firefighters in New Jersey is $89,350: In comparison to other states in the US, firefighters in New Jersey are the highest paid. Fire inspectors and investigators have a higher percentage of high-paying positions among firefighters in New Jersey.
Firefighter job prospects are expected to improve by 7% between 2016 and 2026, indicating that firemen have a promising future. This makes them one of the highest paid fire departments.
The average salary for firefighters in California is $79,810. While we’ve seen incomes as high as $156,314 and as low as $21,137, the bulk of Firefighter salaries in California are now between $37,849 and $92,903, with top earners getting $130,261 per year.
The average salary for firefighters in Washington is $78,950. While incomes as high as $93,655 and as low as $16,184 have been reported, the bulk of Firefighter wages in Washington now vary from $65,354 to $83,156, with top earners earning $93,406 yearly.
#4. New York:
The average salary for firefighters in New York is $77,830. While we’ve seen incomes as high as $83,491 and as low as $45,228, the bulk of Firefighter salaries in New York City presently range from $57,841 to $89,779 per year, with top earners making $89,650.
The average salary for firefighters in Connecticut is $72,840. While wages as high as $87,443 and as low as $43,152 have been reported, the bulk of Firefighter salaries in Connecticut now range from $54,727 to $74,859, with top earners earning $93,919 per year.
The average salary for firefighters in Hawaii is $66,100. While we’ve seen incomes as high as $165,917 and as low as $22,435, the bulk of Firefighter salaries in Hawaii now vary from $40,174 to $98,610 per year, with top earners getting $138,263 per year.
The average salary for firefighters in Oregon is $64,270. While wages as high as $153,363 and as low as $18,817 have been reported, the bulk of Firefighter salaries in Oregon now range from $25,403 to $48,925, with top earners earning $115,256 annually.
The average salary for firefighters in Massachusetts is $63,910. While wages as high as $172,752 and as low as $23,360 have been reported, the bulk of Firefighter salaries in Massachusetts now range from $41,829 to $102,673, with top earners earning $143,960 per year.
The average salary for firefighters in Pennsylvania is $63,520. While we’ve seen incomes as high as $63,579 and as low as $21,825, the bulk of firefighter salaries in Pennsylvania presently range from $32,738 to $51,716 per year, with top earners making $60,257.
The average salary for firefighters in Nevada is $62,250. While we’ve seen incomes as high as $157,298 and as low as $21,270, the bulk of Firefighter salaries in Nevada now range from $38,088 to $93,488 per year, with top earners earning $131,082.
The average salary for firefighters in Maryland is $62,200. While wages as high as $160,101 and as low as $21,649 have been reported, the bulk of Firefighter salaries in Maryland now range from $38,766 to $95,153, with top earners earning $133,416 annually.
The average salary for firefighters in Colorado is $61,680. While we’ve seen incomes as high as $153,137 and as low as $18,790, the bulk of Firefighter salaries in Colorado are now between $25,366 and $48,853, with top earners earning $115,086 each year.
The average salary for firefighters in Alaska is $58,920. While incomes as high as $58,831 and as low as $14,957 have been reported, the bulk of firefighter salaries in Alaska currently range from $23,432 to $39,885, with top earners earning $49,357 yearly.
#14. Rhode Island:
The average salary for firefighters in Rhode Island is $58,630. While we’ve seen incomes as high as $66,894 and as low as $22,964, the bulk of Firefighter salaries in Rhode Island are now between $34,445 and $54,413 per year, with top earners earning $63,399 per year.
The average salary for firefighters in Illinois is $57,570. While we’ve seen wages as high as $85,891 and as low as $18,405, the majority of salaries in the Fire Department jobs category in Illinois now vary from $27,607 to $71,429, with an annual salary of $76,250.
Frequently Asked Questions
Before starting work for their department, most firefighters receive paid on-the-job training while still at the academy.
The salary scales for cops and firefighters are nearly identical. However, compensation increases for firefighters are far bigger than that of cops.
Working as a fireman has a number of advantages, including dental and health insurance coverage, as well as a pension after 25 years of service. In the event of a work-related injury, they are also eligible for disability compensation. If they belong to a union, firefighters also have job security and are eligible for academic scholarships for themselves and their family.
In comparison, firemen with a bachelor’s or master’s degree earn more money than those without a degree. This auxiliary pay varies per department and corresponds to their level of education.
As a fireman, your talents are your most valuable assets for earning extra money. You can capitalize on your abilities by providing paid courses and training in your field. For example, if you have mastered skills during your firefighter training, these can be valuable.
It takes time to enter the firefighting field, and it takes time to go up the career ladder. However, determining how long it takes is not straightforward. As you’ve probably discovered, a lot depends on the sector of firefighting you want to work in and how far up the career ladder you want to go.
Regardless of the precise field of practice, all firefighters must possess certain features and attributes in order to be successful in their careers. Assessing your ambitions now will help you figure out where you want to start your career and what kind of schooling you’ll need to get there. The highest paid fire departments will help influence your decision.