How many little boys and girls dream of becoming firefighters when they grow up?
Across North America there is a stunning amount of individuals are hoping to become firemen, and begin making a difference in their communities. This is because so many people feel as if firefighter careers are the closest thing to being a “real world” super hero they are excited by the idea that it will be their responsibility to rescue people. This is why many young people enroll in accredited firefighting certification programs with hopes of becoming a full-fledged fireman so that they can live out these good intentions. However, once these individuals have completed their training they join the job market although they graduate with optimistic high-hopes, many struggle to find full-time employment and begin their careers. Eventually, their aspiration to save lives and put out fires fizzle and die as the financial realities drive them to find other work.
It seems like an awful waste of time and energy- spending two or more years in training only to graduate with zero job leads. This reality can really put a damper on the spirit of that internal little girl or little boy, who only ever wanted to be a fireman.
Why is does this happen so often, and how can young individuals looking to assume a career in fire fighting actively avoid this fate?
Finding Firefighter Careers
The economy in this nation is slowly recovering- and this means that in the next few years we could see an increase in job opportunities across the map. New Firefighter positions in both small communities and major city centers should be opening up, as older firemen gradually begin to retire, lower ranking officers are promoted and their lower ranking entry level positions become available. City departments will finally begin to fill these positions with the younger generation of firemen who have completed their training and hopefully the likelihood of finding a fire job will increase for many. When the country was in an economic crisis, in order to save money, city departments where advised to leave these new positions vacant and initiate a hiring freeze in many local departments. As of 2011 over 72% of the Fire Departments in the United States were operating under manned. Meaning, that many potential jobs that could potentially be filled by trained firemen, were merely being left open.
Theoretically, this should mean that once things get better there will tons of firefighter jobs to go around. Unfortunately, despite the lapse in hiring firefighting training courses and academies have continued to mill out graduates- many of which will also be looking forward to applying for these potential new jobs. If you look at the numbers and compare the amount of graduates to the number of fire careers available in the United States, well truthfully, things just don’t ad up. Even with an end to the hiring freeze, one out of three firemen will still be out of luck when it comes to landing their dream job in the near future.
As tough as this may be- finding a fire job in 2013 isn’t impossible. Below we’ve outlined a few key suggestions for individuals who are currently looking for firefighter careers;
#1.) Volunteer First!
Before you rush out and invest yourself in a training program, volunteer as firefighter at your local department for a few years out of High School. Not only will this give you some first hand experience to find out if fire fighting is right for you, it will also give you a real foot in the door once you have completed your training and are ready to apply.
#2.) Be Open To Alternatives
Although the stereotypical fireman who wears the suits and rides in the truck is usually the image that people have in mind when they apply for Fire School their are many related careers that could also be extremely rewarding for individuals with training in this field such as safety inspector or arson investigator. These jobs may require additional schooling, but hey- they come with a hefty increase in salary too!
#3.) Be Ready To Relocate
If you absolutely have your heart set on a department job then you will probably have more luck landing it, if your willing to be mobile. Firefighter jobs can be extremely competitive and have a long application process in the big city. However, there are hundreds of small communities in this country who are desperately looking for skilled Firemen to man their local departments. If you have the ability to live anywhere in the U.S you can apply for these positions and relocate yourself to wherever work is available.
#4.) Use The Right Resources
You can waste a lot of time looking for a Firefighter job posting in your local newspaper, or outsource your search to various online websites- however, just finding these jobs can be a time consuming process. Thankfully, there is one single resource out there for individuals looking for Firefighter Careers online; Firejobs.com is a one-stop director that you can subscribe too that lists all of the most recent fire job postings in North America. It was developed, to help match fire graduates with fire jobs in the U.S and is an essential tool for fire hopefuls who are currently unemployed.
Visit Firejobs.com for local Firefighter Career Openings