Firefighters control and put out fires and respond to emergencies involving life, property, or the environment.
On the scene of a fire or other emergency, firefighters’ work may be dangerous. On call at fire stations, firefighters sleep, eat, and perform other duties during shifts that often last 24 hours. Most paid firefighters work full time.
Firefighters typically need a high school diploma and training in emergency medical services. Most firefighters receive training at a fire academy. Other credential requirements, such as emergency medical technician (EMT) certification, vary by state or locality.
The median annual wage for firefighters was $52,500 in May 2020.
Employment of firefighters is projected to grow 6 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. Applicants who have additional training or experience should have the best job prospects.
Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for firefighters.
Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of firefighters with similar occupations.
Learn more about firefighters by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Firefighters,