Quality paid firefighting positions are currently hard to come by in the United States. Even though a recent poll listed the firefighter employment rate as “average” going into 2014, new fire graduates are still going to have to work hard to land a job as a fireman this year. Basically, this is because many municipal fire departments are still operating half staffed because of budget cuts that happened during the most recent recession. Although, on paper things look as if the employment outlook has gotten better, many of these departments have adapted to working with less staff. This means, that even without a full hiring freeze they will continue to save money by cutting back on their hiring.
For new recruits this can be an incredibly frustrating realization. When new firefighter employment opportunities do come up there is a lot of competition to land these coveted positions. Most of the time departments will hire older firemen with previous experience working at a department. Because there were so many lay offs throughout the last few years, new graduates are competing with qualified experienced firemen for jobs as well as other recently graduated firemen. This adds another layer of difficulty to the job-hunting process.
The good news is that although it may be difficult landing a firefighting job, as a new graduate from training isn’t impossible. There are some things that aspiring firefighters can do to help them selves find firefighting employment and overcome these obstacles.
1. Look For Fire Fighting Jobs Online
Before you become completely discouraged try looking for firefighting jobs that are listed online. This is much more effective than going to the departments in your local community and just hoping that there will be an opening available. Instead, check the popular job posting sites like Monster.com or Careerbuilder.com frequently for new firefighter employment opportunities. It may even be a good idea to subscribe to a website like firejobs.com which lists a directory of all of the online fire jobs in one place.
2. Know How To Spot A Dud
Some firefighting job leads are more promising than others. Make sure that you check the dates on all of the postings that you respond to. It is also a good idea to double check with Google maps and make sure that the department that has listed the posting actually exists. Remember, it should never cost you money to apply for a job. Be wary of any job posting that requires you to pay for you to submit your résumé and application.
3. Be Open Minded
Some opportunities for firefighting employment may not be exactly what you imagined. If you always saw yourself driving around in the big red truck putting out domestic fires then you may have a hard time accepting that this may not be your reality. However, if you can keep an open mind about the direction of your career you will be much more likely to find a job that you love. There are many industrial and military job openings that give preference to individuals with firefighting training.
4. Run The Numbers
Believe it or not if you apply for enough job the odds are actually in your favor! Although you may not get the first dream job that you are interviewed for, with enough perseverance you will eventually find something. This is why the most important thing for aspiring firemen to do is just keep applying for different jobs that come up. It also helps if you are willing to relocate so that you can take a firefighting employment opportunity that may come up somewhere else.