Growth Trends for Related Jobs


What Firefighters Do

Firefighters control and put out fires, and respond to emergency situations where life, property, or the environment is at risk.

Work Environment

When on the scenes of fires and other emergencies, the work can be very dangerous. When not on the scene of an emergency, firefighters spend their time at fire stations, where they sleep, eat, and remain on call during shifts that often last 24 hours. Many work more than 40 hours per week.

How to Become a Firefighter

Firefighters typically need a high school diploma and training in emergency medical services. Most firefighters receive training at a fire academy, must pass written and physical tests, complete a series of interviews, and hold an emergency medical technician (EMT) certification.

Job Outlook

Employment of firefighters is projected to grow 5 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Competition for jobs will likely be strong. Physically fit applicants with high test scores and paramedic training will have the best job prospects.

Growth & Trends

This occupation supported 307,000 jobs in 2012 and 327,300 jobs in 2014, reflecting an increase of 6.6%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 6.6% in 2022 to 327,300 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 311,000, compared with an observed value of 327,300, 5.2% higher than expected. This indicates current employment trends are much better than the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 5.7% in 2024 to 344,700 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 331,300 jobs for 2024, 3.9% lower than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are better than the 2012 trend within this occupation.

Firefighters Employment and Labor Information 2023

Firefighters Employment Brief:

Control and extinguish fires or respond to emergency situations where life, property, or the environment is at risk. Duties may include fire prevention, emergency medical service, hazardous material response, search and rescue, and disaster assistance.

Firefighters Job Description

Here is a Job Description an employer might post for potential Firefighters.

Firefighters Responsibilities and Duties:

  • Assess fires and situations and report conditions to superiors to receive instructions, using two-way radios.
  • Collaborate with police to respond to accidents, disasters, and arson investigation calls.
  • Maintain contact with fire dispatchers at all times to notify them of the need for additional firefighters and supplies, or to detail any difficulties encountered.
  • Collaborate with other firefighters as a member of a firefighting crew.
  • Respond to fire alarms and other calls for assistance, such as automobile and industrial accidents.
  • Rescue victims from burning buildings, accident sites, and water hazards.
  • Select and attach hose nozzles, depending on fire type, and direct streams of water or chemicals onto fires.
  • Take action to contain any hazardous chemicals that could catch fire, leak, or spill.
  • Protect property from water and smoke, using waterproof salvage covers, smoke ejectors, and deodorants.
  • Maintain knowledge of current firefighting practices by participating in drills and by attending seminars, conventions, and conferences.

Typical Daily Tasks of Firefighters:

  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials: Inspect equipment to ensure safety or proper functioning. Inspect facilities to ensure compliance with fire regulations.
  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment.
  • Assisting and Caring for Others: Implement advanced life support techniques. Provide first aid or rescue assistance in emergencies. Rescue people from hazardous situations. Respond to emergencies to provide assistance. Treat medical emergencies.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems: Select tools, equipment, or technologies for use in operations or projects.
  • Performing General Physical Activities: Operate firefighting equipment. Participate in physical training to maintain fitness. Protect property from fire or water damage.
  • Getting Information: Examine debris to obtain information about causes of fires.
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public.
  • Handling and Moving Objects: Prepare hoses or water supplies to fight fires.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events.
  • Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings: Assess characteristics of fires. Locate fires or fire danger areas. Patrol natural areas to ensure safety or enforce regulations.

Firefighters Skills and Requirements:

  • Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
  • Mathematics Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Operation and Control Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Word ProcessingUsing a computer application to type text, insert pictures, format, edit, print, save, and retrieve word processing documents.
  • GraphicsWorking with pictures in graphics programs or other applications, including creating simple graphics, manipulating the appearance, and inserting graphics into other programs.
  • Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Management of Material Resources Obtaining and seeing to the appropriate use of equipment, facilities, and materials needed to do certain work.
  • SpreadsheetsUsing a computer application to enter, manipulate, and format text and numerical data; insert, delete, and manipulate cells, rows, and columns; and create and save worksheets, charts, and graphs.
  • NavigationUsing scroll bars, a mouse, and dialog boxes to work within the computer's operating system. Being able to access and switch between applications and files of interest.
  • Coordination Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Firefighters Education and Training:

Typical education for include: Postsecondary non-degree award.

Firefighters Salary, Wages, and Salary and Job Outlook

Firefighters average pay is: $51680 per year according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employees who work in NAare the highest paid making $27.82, while Other Support Services make the least at $16.97 per hour.Here are the top city/metro areas with the highest paying salaries for a Firefighters:


Hourly mean wage

Annual mean wage

Employment per thousand jobs

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA




San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA




Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA




Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA




Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA



1.85 Firefighters data