How to Become a Firefighter in Massachusetts

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If helping to keep your city safe while battling building and forest fires sounds exciting, consider becoming a firefighter in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Firefighting Academy prefers applicants who have a good command of English, math, and science, since firefighters use these skills to gauge the correct response to fires and to communicate with one another.

Join the Massachusetts Call/Volunteer Firefighters Association to gain relevant skills and gauge whether you'll be happy working as a firefighter (see Resources). The Massachusetts Call/Volunteer Firefighters Association provides member training and offers unpaid real-world fire experience.

Work out to get your body in good physical condition. The Massachusetts Firefighting Academy does not accept applicants who are out of shape. When you're physically fit, you can apply.

Approach your municipal Massachusetts fire department and ask if they're taking applications for the firefighting exam. If not, find out when they will be taking applications and how you can get notified. If they are accepting applications, complete one and return it to the fire department. Wait to be notified of the exam date.

Take the firefighting exam. How to Become a Firefighter 101 maintains a list of sample questions to help you study (see Resources). The exam may cover spatial reasoning, judgment, listening comprehension, memory, math, and science.

Wait to receive your examination scores. Applicants will be offered positions with their local Massachusetts fire department based upon their test scores. If you perform poorly on the test, you'll need to wait until its offered again to re-take it.

Accept a position with your local fire department when it's offered. Depending on your test score results, this could take several months. Begin a 12-week recruit training program through the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy once you've been hired on board as a firefighter.

Complete your training program, which can cover fire code violations, emergency vehicle operations, firefighter survival skills, hazardous materials handling, and other topics. Once you've completed the training, you'll begin working as a firefighter.


According to the Massachusetts Fire Training Council, firefighter certification in Massachusetts is a voluntary process. If you want to become certified, you'll need to take an exam through the Massachusetts Fire Training Council.