The Average Salary of a Philadelphia Firefighter

Growth Trends for Related Jobs

The Philadelphia Fire Department responded to 268,996 incidents, according to department statistics. Each day and night the fire fighters are willing to risk their lives to protect their community. The Philadelphia Fire Department is made up of professional fire fighters who train to stay abreast of the latest techniques and equipment in fire fighting.

Pay Range

A regular firefighter in Philadelphia began work with a salary of $40,036 a year in 2009, according to the City of Philadelphia Office of Human Resources. The firefighter can then get four additional step increases as he gains experience, up to a maximum salary of $53,380. At that point, if the firefighter wishes to earn more, he has to get a promotion to a different position and take on additional responsibilities and duties.

Officer's Pay

From firefighter, the next steps up are fire lieutenant, fire captain, fire battalion chief and fire deputy chief. Fire lieutenants earn from $60,753 to $63,387 a year; fire captains earn from $69,258 to $72,261 a year; fire battalion chiefs earn from $80,339 to $83,823 a year; and fire deputy chiefs earn from $91,586 to $95,558 a year.

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Union-Negotiated Salaries

Firefighters are paid based on a contract that's negotiated on their behalf by their union. Philadelphia firefighters are represented by Local 22 of the International Association of Fire Fighters. The union represents more than 4,000 current and retired firefighters, paramedics and fire officers with the Philadelphia Fire Department. They also represent firefighters who are facing disciplinary actions.

Compared to Other Jobs

When you compare the average annual salary of $35,994 for a Philadelphia firefighter, it ranks lower than many other jobs. A nurse averages $77,530 a year, according to SalaryExpert.com and a legal secretary averages $57,200 a year. One job that is close to the average pay of a firefighter is a phlebotomist, a person who draws blood. A phlebotomist in Philadelphia can earn an average of $37,346 a year, according to SalaryExpert.com.

Compared to Other Cities

When you compare what Philadelphia firefighters earn compared to firefighters in other cities, according to SalaryExpert.com. Chicago firefighters earn slightly more ($36,316), but firefighters in Houston, Texas, earn under $25,000 a year on average. Firefighters in Atlanta, Georgia; Dallas, Texas; Charlotte, North Carolina; Indianapolis, Indiana; Orlando, Florida and Miami, Florida, all earn, on average, less than $30,000 a year.

About the Author

James Rada, Jr. was a newspaper reporter for eight years and earned 23 awards from the Maryland Delaware D.C. Press Association, Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists, Maryland State Teachers’ Association and CNHI. He also worked for 12 years as a marketing communications writer, earning a Print Copywriter of the Year Award from the Utah Ad Federation. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications.

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