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FIREFIGHTERS CAREER INFORMATION

Firefighter


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Firefighters protect the public by responding to fires and other emergencies. They are frequently the first emergency personnel on the scene of an accident.

Duties: Firefighters typically do the following:

  • Drive fire trucks and other emergency vehicles to emergencies
  • Put out fires using hoses and pumps
  • Find and rescue victims in burning buildings or in other emergency conditions
  • Treat victims’ injuries with emergency medical services
  • Prepare written reports on fire or emergency incidents
  • Clean and maintain equipment
  • Conduct drills and training in fire fighting techniques
  • Provide public education on fire safety

When responding to an emergency, firefighters do tasks assigned by a superior officer. They might be responsible for connecting hoses to hydrants, operating pumps to power the hoses, climbing ladders, or using tools to break through debris. Other firefighters might be responsible for providing medical attention.

Most calls firefighters respond to are medical, not fire, emergencies.
Firefighters’ duties may change several times while they are at the scene of an emergency. In some cases, they might remain at disaster scenes for days, rescuing trapped survivors and assisting with medical treatment.
Firefighters may specialize in responding to forest fires or hazardous materials incidents.

Forest firefighters use heavy equipment and water hoses to control forest fires. They also frequently create fire lines—a swathe of cut-down trees and dug-up grass in the path of a fire—to deprive a fire of fuel. Some elite forest firefighters, known as smoke jumpers, parachute from airplanes to reach otherwise inaccessible areas.

Some firefighters work in hazardous materials units and are specially trained to control, prevent, and clean up hazardous materials, such as oil spills and chemical accidents. For more information, see the profile on hazardous materials removal workers.

 

OUTLOOK & WAGE DATA

United States

Employment

Percent 
Change

Job Openings

2010

2020

Firefighters

310,400

336,900

+9%

11,230

California

Employment

Percent 
Change

Job Openings

2008

2018

Firefighters

34,600

40,300

+17%

1,630

Wage Data

Pay
Period

2010

10%

25%

Median

75%

90%

United States

Hourly

$11.08

$15.38

$21.76

$28.80

$36.25

Yearly

$23,000

$32,000

$45,300

$59,900

$75,400

California

Hourly

$16.60

$23.75

$32.59

$42.65

$53.62

Yearly

$34,500

$49,400

$67,800

$88,700

$111,500

Job Openings refers to the average annual job openings due to growth and net replacement.

Occupation Wages FAQs

Salary Surfer
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SWC LINKS


RELATED OCCUPATIONS:

 

RESOURCES:

 Career Cafe Logo California Career Café
The Career Café has career information including career assessments to identify your unique strengths, talents, and styles.

Public Services Pathway Guide 
Public Services Associations
Onet Logo Click HERE to view a summary for Summary Report for Firefighters provided to you by O*NET Online!

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State and National Trends
Job Openings refers to the average annual job openings due to growth and net replacement.
Note: The data for the State Employment Trends and the National Employment Trends are not directly comparable. The projections period for state data is 2008-2018, while the projections period for national data is 2010-2020.

Occupation Trends FAQs
Employment Trends by Occupation Across States
Compare Employment Trends by Occupation
Employment Trends by Industry and Occupation

 

 Labor Logo

National Data Source: 
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections

 CA.gov logo State Data Source: 
California Employment Development Department, Labor Market Information Division
http://

Gainful Employment Data

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Last updated: 11/12/2014 2:33:05 PM