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Fire Protection Technology: Careers in Fire Science

Resources for students interested in firefighter training and fire safety instruction


Summary of Career Info

Quick Facts: Firefighters
2020 Median Pay $52,500 per year
$25.24 per hour
Typical Entry-Level Education Postsecondary nondegree award
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training Long-term on-the-job training
Number of Jobs, 2019 335,500
Job Outlook, 2019-29 6% (Faster than average)
Employment Change, 2019-29 20,300

What Firefighters Do

Firefighters control and put out fires and respond to emergencies involving life, property, or the environment.

Work 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.

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. 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.

Job Outlook

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.

State & Area Data

Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for firefighters.

Similar Occupations

Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of firefighters with similar occupations.

More Information, Including Links to O*NET

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,
at (visited June 26, 2021).

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