The Long Road in Becoming a Firefighter

The Hot Career Field of Fire Fighting

If your secret ambition has always been to be a firefighter, then you need to know what it takes to be successful in this highly competitive and rewarding career field. Fire fighting is a career that requires both the right mental and physical skills. Many people want to be part of this exciting career field. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics is expecting the fire fighting industry to see up to 19 percent career growth through 2018. This strong growth will probably be due to a need for new fire departments in growing areas of the US, like suburbia. Also, many volunteer fire departments may start needing to seek paid firefighters, due to the dangers and high degree of training required to be a fire fighter.

Burning Hot Salary and Benefits

Not only is being a firefighter rewarding, this career field also offers excellent pay and benefits. In 2008, fire fighters made average salaries from $31,000 to $58,000 annually, depending on their location, experience, and education level. Those in administration and management positions made average salaries up to around $72,000 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Besides a hot pay scale, firefighters also have excellent benefits including great insurance benefits and pensions. Some departments offer a pension after only 25 years and hardly any career fields offer pensions these days.

The Right Path to Become a Fire Fighting

Fire fighting is a very competitive field, because many people dream of being firefighters. Also, due to state and local budget cuts, there are fewer openings. Applicants must take both entrance and physical exams. Those who pass exams with the highest marks have the best shot at getting hired. Also, applicants who have the right college degrees also have the best shot at getting a fire fighting job. The best degrees to have when it comes to fire fighting is a bachelor in fire science (4 years) or fire administration or an associate's degree (2 years) in one of these areas. Coursework in these degrees often includes topics like: chemistry, building construction codes, fire suppression, fire protection, fire prevention, and hazardous materials handling.

With the correct education, a degree in the fire sciences or fire administration, you can make your dream of becoming a firefighter a reality.

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