What does a Firefighter do?

A firefighter is responsible for protecting the public in various dangerous situations. They are responsible for ensuring that a fire is put out as well as responding to other emergency situations. A few of the main duties of a firefighter are developing performing CPR, providing emergency services, responding to fire alarms, and putting out fires in buildings. They also have to participate in public safety announcements and training. Some of the jobs titles that a firefighter could grow into are fire protection engineer and firefighter shift captain.

A firefighter should have two years of experience as well as a High School Diploma or GED equivalent. One of the most important skills that a firefighter will have is the ability to remain calm under pressure. Another skill is problem solving as the firefighter will have to be able to fix problems quickly under pressure.

What responsibilities are common for Firefighter jobs?
  • Respond to fire alarms quickly
  • Participate in public safety announcements and training
  • Write reports of incidents that take place
  • Give CPR to people in need
  • Perform salvage operations after a fire
  • Support other medical personnel on a call
  • Perform fire inspections on houses and buildings
  • Perform fire drills to practice for emergency events
What are the typical qualifications for Firefighter jobs?
  • No experience necessary but preferred
  • EMT certified preferred
  • Ability to remain calm under pressure
  • Incredible problem solving abilities
  • Amazing physical strength
  • Ability to pass a medical exam
  • Ability to create reports for superiors
  • Excellent communications skills
  • Willing to go the extra mile to save a person's life
EducationBachelor's Degree
Work/Life Balance
3.4 ★
Total Pay--
Career Opportunity
3.7 ★
Avg. Experience8+ years

How much does a Firefighter make?

Firefighter Career Path

Learn how to become a Firefighter, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

L2
Firefighter
$66,556/yr
L3
L4
L2

Average Years of Experience

0 - 1
0%
2 - 4
1%
5 - 7
0%
8+
99%
Not including years spent in education and/or training
See Career Path

Firefighter Insights

Read what Firefighter professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Hampden Fire Department
Firefighter
Apr 22, 2021

“Good people trying to do the best they can with what they have to protect their town.”

City of Isle of PalmsCity of Isle of Palms
Firefighter
Oct 5, 2021

“IOPFD are a great group of guys to work with some of the best in the business.”

US NavyUS Navy
Fire Controlman
Apr 19, 2021

“It is a stable job that pays well once you get higher up in rank that is largely based on team play and networking.”

Grayback ForestryGrayback Forestry
Wildland Firefighter
Oct 21, 2020

“People are amazing and the work we do is great”

Spotsylvania County- VASpotsylvania County- VA
Firefighter/EMT
Oct 19, 2020

“Overall the job was fun and leadership was helpful.”

FDNYFDNY
Firefighter
Jul 25, 2021

“Good good good good good”

Columbus Fire & SafetyColumbus Fire & Safety
Firefighter/EMT
Mar 23, 2022

“Great job salary not so great”

Shelby County Fire Department (TN)Shelby County Fire Department (TN)
Firefighter
May 9, 2021

“Nice opportunity for growth and career development”

See More

Firefighter Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the roles and responsibilities of a Firefighter

When working as a Firefighter, the most common skills you will need to perform your job and for career success are Reviews, Leadership, First Aid, Operational Excellence, and Customer Focus.

The most similar professions to Firefighter are:
  • Police Officer
  • Security Officer
  • Police Sergeant
  • Correctional Officer

The most common qualifications to become a Firefighter include a minimum of a Bachelor's Degree and an average of 0 - 1 years of experience not including years spent in education and/or training.

Related Careers

Police Officer
$68,334
38% skills overlap
Security Officer
$52,144
13% skills overlap
Police Sergeant
$82,013
13% skills overlap
Correctional Officer
$67,328
13% skills overlap

Firefighter Jobs