Lead Firefighter Career Path

Are you thinking of becoming a Lead Firefighter or already started your career and planning the next step? Learn how to become a Lead Firefighter, what skills you need to succeed, how to advance your career and get promoted, and what levels of pay to expect at each step on your career path. Explore new Lead Firefighter job openings and options for career transitions into related roles.
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How to Become a firefighter

If you're considering starting your Firefighter career path, it's important to note the skills, qualifications, and time it takes to become a professional Firefighter and how to advance your career path. Below are the steps generally required to begin and advance your Firefighter career.
Contents

1

Earn a Degree

To begin your Firefighter career path, a Bachelor's Degree in fire science or a related field is usually necessary in order to remain a competitive option for employers. Focus on industry-specific skill development during your education in order to be properly equipped when applying for entry-level positions and entering the job force. A Firefighter internship may be required to earn your Bachelor's Degree and acquire necessary on-the-job skills before entering the workforce.

2

Choose a Specialty in Your Field

As an Firefighter, you may be required to choose a specialty within your field. Determine which part of the Firefighter field you feel strongest in, and continue taking active steps toward growing in your chosen Firefighter specialty.

3

Get an Entry-Level Position as a Firefighter

Once you've acquired a Bachelor's Degree in fire science or a related field, you'll typically begin your career as an entry-level Firefighter. In general, you can become a Firefighter after completing your 4 year Bachelor's Degree in a related discipline. Depending on the type of Firefighter role you’re pursuing, you may want to explore certification in certified fire protection engineer.

4

Advance in Your Firefighter Career

Following entry-level, there are several Firefighter career path levels to advance into. It can take 2 years as an entry-level Firefighter to progress to the senior firefighter position. Each advanced Firefighter position requires approximately 8 years of experience at each level to advance in your Firefighter career path. It may be necessary to receive additional education, an advanced degree such as a Master's Degree in a related field, or special certifications in order to advance your Firefighter career path.

5

Continued Education for Your Firefighter Career Path

Not all industries and companies require continued education to advance your Firefighter career path. However, earning this degree may help you advance to higher-earning positions more quickly. Earning a Bachelor's Degree in fire science can take 4 years to complete. People that have earned their Bachelor's Degree typically make $86,500 compared to $30,504 for those without that type of degree.

Seniority Levels

L4

Lead Firefighter

No Years of Experience Reports
$68,679 /yrTotal Pay
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L10

Deputy Chief Firefighter

8+Years of Experience
$108,965 /yrTotal Pay
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80% advanced to

L12

Chief Firefighter

8+Years of Experience
$140,941 /yrTotal Pay
Learn More

Total Pay Trajectory

Lead Firefighter Career Path

$160K
$135K
$110K
$85K
$60K
L4
L12
Seniority Levels

Related Careers in the Military & Protective Services Industry

Interested in other Military & Protective Services careers? Below are occupations that have high affinity with Lead Firefighter skills. Discover some of the most common Lead Firefighter career transitions, along with skills overlap.