By: Carlos Perez
annual salary $38,000.00
monthly salary $3,166.67
savings 10% $316.67
house 30% $950.00
car 10% $316.67
miscellaneous 40% $1,266.67
retirement 10% $316.67
To become a firefighter, applicants must
pass rigorous written, oral, physical, and
medical tests (including vision, hearing, and
These tests measure the applicants’ agility,
strength, manual dexterity, and in some
cases, fear of heights and enclosed spaces.
If you are the type of person who enjoys a
physical challenge, the satisfaction of
helping people in need, and maybe even the
thrill that a dangerous situation can bring,
you might want to consider a career as a
A burning building is a matter of life and death.
When most people hear a fire alarm or see
smoke, they get out as quickly as they can.
Firefighters are the professionals who run into
the burning buildings to save lives and quell the
These highly trained individuals must respond to
the emergency scene on a moment’s notice.
Years of rigorous training and continuous drills
allow them to act as a well-oiled team under the
command of the captain and chief.
Firefighters must be prepared at all times for an
emergency, whether it is a high-rise fire, an explosion
at a factory that stores hazardous waste, or a
choking victim at a restaurant.
They may be required to squeeze into tight, airless
spaces, climb great heights, and haul 200-pound
victims down 18 floors to safety.
This can be all in a day's work for a firefighter.
Even the selection process for firefighters is a
Applicants must display above average physical and
mental strength and stamina to withstand the rigors
of the job.
If they are selected, firefighters must continually
train and upgrade their skills both as individuals and
as a team.
There are many skills that firefighters must develop.
They must be able to use and operate axes, hoses, ladders,
and chainsaws, and drive the large pumper and aerial
Above all, they have to learn to "read" fires in order to
safely contain them.
Finally, they need some medical training to treat the
victims who are overcome by smoke and heat.
Another important part of this job is educating the
public about fire prevention.
The goal of firefighters is to raise safety standards
and awareness of the dangers of fire.
Other duties may include fire inspection and
prevention, recruiting, administration, and preparing
emergency response plans for special events, such as
Firefighters are often exposed to the elements.
One day during winter they may be standing in
the freezing cold on a highway, cleaning up after
The next they could be exposed to fires burning
at hundreds, or even thousands, of degrees with
hundreds of pounds of equipment on their backs.
Firefighting is an essential service, and as such fire
halls have to make a commitment to be ready to
respond to emergencies at any time, 24-hours-a-day,
As a result, most firefighters work on a shift system
in which they take turns working 10 hour days and
14 hour nights, to a total of about 42 hours a week.
They may also have to work every other weekend and
on holidays. It is typical for firefighters to take 15
to 20 vacation days a year.
Naturally, firefighting can be a dangerous occupation.
Some firefighters are injured on the job and some have been
Therefore, they must undergo constant training to ensure
that safety precautions and techniques are kept up to date.
Indeed, a great deal of time in a fire hall is focused on
exercises that are designed to build a sense of discipline and
team spirit, such as meticulously checking and cleaning the
equipment, and cleaning the hall itself.
Firefighters are employed by fire
departments across the country.
Fire departments are funded by governments
at the local and federal levels.
Some private companies, as well, have their
own internal fire fighting services.
Earnings for firefighters vary according to
their rank, the size of the city they work in,
and the region of the country it’s located in.
However, most earn between $20,000 and
$60,000 a year, with a national median
income of about $39,000 a year.
Entry-level wages range from about $9 to $16 an hour,
depending on the area.
This works out to roughly $19,000 to $33,000 a year for
those working full-time.
Those with several years of experience who have acquired
seniority and been promoted to higher ranking positions
usually earn the most.
Fire chiefs make the most, and in some areas can earn over
$90,000 a year.
Fighting fires can be a dangerous job, and firefighters are
usually provided with generous pension plans and health
Many firefighters are members of labor unions, such as
the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF),
which means their wage rates and benefits are negotiated on
their behalf by union representatives.
Unionized firefighters often earn higher salaries than those
who are not.
To become a firefighter, applicants must pass
rigorous written, oral, physical, and medical tests
(including vision, hearing, and fitness
These tests measure the applicants’ agility,
strength, manual dexterity, and in some cases,
fear of heights and enclosed spaces.
Firefighting programs are offered at colleges and vocational
and technical institutes across the country.
Most programs require 2 years to complete and lead to an
associate degree, while others take less time to complete and
result in a certificate of completion.
A few schools offer 4 year bachelor’s degrees in firefighting.
These programs may be especially useful for those hoping
to end up in senior administrative positions.
Some fire departments have formal apprenticeship
These programs combine on-the-job training and
experience with in-class technical instruction.
Apprenticeships typically take about 4 years to
complete, but the advantage of these programs is that
students get to earn a wage while they learn.
Applicants for firefighter positions must also have a
valid driver’s license and a spotless driving record.
However, the class of license required varies from
area to area.
CPR and basic first aid certification are also
required, but they may be taken after you're hired.
Applicants must also have a high school diploma and
can't have a criminal record.
Once they have been hired, it is common for new
firefighters to have to complete a training and
The initial training period usually lasts for several
weeks, while the probationary period can last up to a
During this time they are thoroughly trained, tested,
and drilled to ensure they can cope with the demands
of the job.
Experience as a volunteer firefighter is also helpful.
It is highly recommended that you participate in a fitness
and strength-training program prior to applying for a
Strength and stamina are needed to withstand the extreme
temperatures that firefighters must work in, and when
carrying fire hoses or injured people.
26 MPG - 28 MPG
33 MPG - 35 MPG
1.6L I-4 110 HP
o Two-wheeled drive
o 600-class power
o Ultra-high-rpm 599cc