Did you know that Firejobs.com has links to thousands of cities throughout the US? We search through the cities’ websites by hand for fire job openings for you. It is tedious and a little boring, but we do find more jobs than anyone else.
How long will it take to get hired?
This is a question that comes up quite often. There is no definite rule as to how long it will take, but the preparation and training you do can make a huge difference.
Fire Departments get so many applicants that they will choose the very best. The more training you have, the better your chances. Basic fire academy training is generally 600 hours and more and more applicants have 2 or even 4 year degrees in Fire Science or a related field.
The training to become a firefighter will take an average of 2 years.
Most departments will require a minimum of an EMT Certification. EMT certification is generally between 40 and 300 hours. California’s EMT certification requires 160 hours of training. Most of the time, you should be able to do your EMT training along with your fire training.
Throughout this process, you can test. Read our article called “Take the Tests”, by Captain Dennis Childress. The more you test, the better you get.
Once you are done with your schooling, you will need to start applying. I have spoken to many people who have said that it takes an average of two years of testing to get hired.
So, if you are driven and go through your fire training and EMT certification at the same time and if you get hired on your first attempt, it will take you 3 to 4 years to become a firefighter. More than likely you will test for quite a while and it may take longer. Don’t get discouraged, I have never met a firefighter that did not love his or her job!!
Finding jobs for our clients is the main reason that we are in business at all. Our day consists of looking through hundreds of cities’ websites and posting every fire related job that we can find. It is a job that we take very seriously here at firejobs.com. We try to find as many jobs as possible so you can “take the tests”. The more tests you take, the better your chances!!!
Females are almost always looked at as they can’t do the job until they prove they can. The fire service is considered by most to be a mans job and has placed many women firefighters at a disadvantage right when they start working. These disadvantages are often based on gender and not on the ability to do the job. There have been many lawsuits brought by women against their fire departments, firefighters, and officers, based on the many discriminatory actions conducted against women firefighters during the hiring, probationary period, and promotions throughout their careers as firefighters.
One example is of a woman working in the Los Alamos (NM) County Fire Department (LACFD). She was hired in 2006, fully capable of performing her job. According to a federal lawsuit, members of the LACFD sexually harrassed her both verbally and physically. She endured lude comments and propositions and was told she belonged at home, naked, cooking and making babies. She finally hired an attorney when a fire captain allegedly attempted to videotape her in the bathroom.
Departments have the same requirements for every firefighter, whether male or female. Where you land on the test is where you get hired. The test is the same for everyone. Successful women in the fire service have a desire to do the job and they are committed to being physically fit. The job is challenging physically and if you can’t do it, you will be pushed out by someone who can. Most departments have a physical fitness test every year and the successful ladies are working out throughout the year and staying prepared for this test. Cardio is important, but all firefighters understand it’s about strength so they do strength training regularly. Furthermore as you get older maintaining physical fitness is even more of a challenge. Women firefighters always need to be aware of this to remain competitive in the firefighter field.
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.
Students who may be considering a career as firemen are probably wondering, “What are my chances of getting hired once I graduate from an accredited fire fighting certification program?” Well, according to www.studentscholarships.org, the job outlook for potential firefighters is considered average in 2014. What this means is if you graduate from fire school this year you have an average opportunity according to the latest polls to find a job. The website also stated that jobs for firefighters have increased at an average rate over the last few years. The retirement age for firemen is also listed, as above average, meaning that there will be new potential job openings emerging in the near future. Hourly wages for firemen are currently listed about $18.00/per hour AND the unemployment rate for experienced firemen remains below (0%).
You’d think that with all of these factors taken into consideration finding firefighter employment would be easy. Unfortunately what the poll doesn’t reveal is what the statistical likelihood of landing a fire job after graduation actually is.
Although, the unemployment rate for firefighters is still considered to be relatively low. Many trained firemen are forced to work in other occupations while they wait for positions in their local departments to open up. Some, who do get hired on immediately after they graduate are given only part-time positions OR are enlisted as volunteers, being forced to pursue other work in order to support their families.
By all means, fire fighting is definitely a noble career choice. However, finding long-term firefighting employment isn’t exactly easy to do. Once young firemen do land their dream positions they are likely to stay on until retirement. Usually this means that they will work at the same department for over 40 years! Basically, once you find a full time job as a fireman, you will likely be able to work for life. Initially, landing that “big break” and finding a firefighting job in a department that suits you is where the trouble lies. Fortunately, firejobs.com a new website that specializes in connecting skilled firemen with firefighting employment positions has emerged to help aspiring firemen land these jobs sooner.
Find The Fire Job Of Your Dreams
In a previous post we discussed some strategies for landing a firefighting job once you graduate. We recommend that aspiring firemen prepare to relocate in order to find full-time work. It is also suggested that fire fighters volunteer first and be open to other related occupation alternatives just in case they can’t find work right away. As the leading resource for firemen looking for work in the U.S, our best advice is to use online job listings and web postings to narrow down your search. One of the reasons why firefighting jobs have become hard to come by is because everyone wants to work in the major metropolis areas. If you look in the surrounding towns and small communities for your first firefighting job you are increasingly more likely to land a full-time work position.
In the U.S firefighter jobs are currently in high demand. Even if you have acquired your certification as a fireman you may have to wait some time before landing your dream job in this industry. Basically, because training programs are turning out more firefighters than there are firefighter jobs available many men (and women) are left unemployed once they have completed their training program. This is an unfortunate reality for many aspiring firemen who are being wait-listed for full-time fire-work in the United States.
Thankfully, there is a resource for trained firefighters who are looking for employment. Firejobs.com is the #1 online database listing all firefighter jobs that are currently available. As careers in firefighting become increasingly more difficult to find, any extra help with the job search can be extremely helpful.
Are You An Unemployed Fireman Looking For Work?
It is quite a shame to see so much noble talent going to waste. The fact that there are over 9000 unemployed trained firemen in this country is an absolute travesty. With many cities still feeling the stinging budget cuts of the recent recession most fire stations are operating half staffed or filling their vacancies with under qualified employees so that they do not have to pay them as much. This can be very discouraging for experienced firemen who have been laid off in order to save these communities money. They are left with few options other than find a different kind of work or relocate to communities where there are firefighter jobs available. This leads to a new question, how are you suppose to find these available jobs if they are listed in communities half way across the country?
Firejobs.com Helps To Connect Unemployed Firefighters to Job Openings Outside Of Their Communities
In the past even if an unemployed skilled fireman was willing to re-locate for work, they would still have no way of knowing where there were firefighting jobs available. Even if they looked online, they would still have a hard time because the City or Town lists most firefighting vacancies privately, not on public job posting websites like Kijiji or Craigslist.
Without knowing specifically which cities were hiring new firemen, the individual searching for work would not know where to begin looking for these jobs. The people behind Firejobs.com recognized this disconnect and came up with a clever solution: One job database that can be subscribed to which is specifically meant to help unemployed firemen find firefighting work in the United States!
Now, when you search for available firefighting positions in the U.S, you can find the Firejobs.com website and start from there. Since it’s founding, Firejobs.com has helped countless firemen find work!
However there are still many firemen out there who still need help finding work. Firejobs.com is dedicated to making the job search just a little bit easier for these folks, who are eager to dedicate their lives to helping others. Honestly, it is the least that we can do for these fantastic service men.
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.
The first thing that you need to know when looking for your first full-time firefighting job is that no departments are “easy” to get hired at. This is because with the current economic climate and cutbacks fire stations across America are operating with minimal staff requirements to save tax dollars. This, and the reality that many older officers are not retiring and collecting their pensions, means that new fire job listings are hard to come by even in the Wildland sector.
However, every year there is a bunch of part-time firefighting positions that open up in this sector during natural wild fire season. If you live in a hot and dry climate area then it is very likely that there may be a temporary wildland firefighter job opening for you for at least part of the year. In some ways, these jobs CAN be easier to get if you know where to look. However like all full-time firefighting positions they do not remain vacant long, and other trained firemen often snatch them up very quickly.
If you want to land a wildland firefighter job, your best bet is to keep coming back and checking firejobs.com for new listings BEFORE the wild fire season. These positions are filled long in advance so do not make the mistake of checking them during the season, instead be ready to apply all year around. Remember that the actual chances of a wild fire fluctuates depending on where the job is located and the predicted rainfall that year. These factors need to be considered when looking for a wildland firefighter job whether it is permanent or temporary.
Remember: Fighting Wild Fires May Only Be Seasonal Work
The other thing that you need to keep in mind is that if a major wild fire does break out, they may call for volunteers or even more paid staff to come and assist. This is something you are going to want to be aware of, and make sure that your name is on the call list if an emergency occurs. Even if your first wildland firefighter job is not paid, you will have a great resume and track record when more paid positions become available. Many young trained fire workers need to pay their dues as volunteers first, so do not get discouraged and try to make the most of any opportunities that may arise out of the experience.
Make sure that you subscribe to new listings at Firejobs.com if you want to find this sort of work and are a trained firefighter. Every once in awhile new wildland firefighter job postings show up, so if this is what you really want to do make sure that you apply every time immediately. Do not wait because good quality paying fire fighting jobs are actually really hard to come by right now. Make sure to refine your resume and include a good cover letter explaining why you wish to get wild fire fighting experience. Don’t dismiss the concept of volunteering your services this season either, it could be a great opportunity for you to network with other firemen and possibly land a job at a local department or station.
Recently there was some new firefighter career info posted regarding the most recent reporting’s on firemen (and women) job statistics. Did you know that only 8 out every 10 students who graduate from an accredited firefighting training program would not find employment in their first year? Unfortunately in North America quality Firefighting jobs are immensely hard to come by because the ones that do get posted are typically scattered across the country and many individuals with training don’t even know that these positions are available. The process of matching skilled firemen to open job positions that are listed is actually rather flawed because the positions are advertised in communities without skilled firemen and the skilled firemen are located in communities without any jobs.
When you look at the firefighter career info database, it appears that many of these young firefighting graduates live in the densely populated areas that are already employing full staffs of firemen. In the smaller rural communities, there are many opening and not very many young people who pursue careers in firefighting. Essentially the best way to resolve these issues is to relocate some of the urban firemen to rural areas or smaller cities and towns. However, these communities do not properly advertise their job openings so that those who are seeking work in the big cities can easily find them.
Firejobs.com Bridges The Gap
Until Firejobs.com started posting an entire inventory of Fire fighting jobs that are currently available there was no single reliable resource for these firemen to use to find work. They could try looking on Monster.ca, Kiji, or the local job posting board but typically that was all they had to get started on. Now, Firejobs.com actively connects the dots and bridges the gap between need and demand for skilled fire workers who have been trained. As long as the applicants are wiling to relocate they can find a job in their chosen career without a lot of extra stress and time-spent unemployed.
This is really great news for those who have been waiting for a resource like this to come about and connect them with firefighter career info. The website also has a blog and resource page for families and individuals who are employed as firemen in the U.S.
Deciding to dedicate your life to fighting fires or working as a first responder is a noble gesture that should not be ignored. It really doesn’t need to be so difficult to find these young men and women jobs in their chosen field. Like I mentioned, many communities are desperate for skilled firemen to run their stations but unless these jobs are properly advertised these important positions will remain unfilled. I cannot emphasize enough how great it is to see a website like Firejobs.com emerge and begin to help people who are employed in this industry hopefully within the next few years their will be less unemployed firemen waitlisted and desperately searching for work.