Firefighters are the first responders to fire, accident, or another type of emergency, and as you can imagine, it is hazardous.
They routinely enter burning buildings and other risky circumstances, execute rescue operations and seek to defend their communities from damage.
Being a firefighter necessitates dedication to the profession and a willingness to assist in protecting their community.
That is why many people wonder how much do firefighters make an hour?
According to U.S. News & World Report, the lowest-paid 25% fire fighters make $37,140, so how much does the highest paid fire fighter make?
What are the benefits and drawbacks of being a fireman, as well as why it can be a viable career choice for you? Find answers to these and many other questions below.
|Guide||How Much Do Firefighters make an hour?|
|Average Income||$50,850 per year|
|Highest Income||$93,000 per year|
|Qualification||High school diploma & (EMT) certification|
Who Are Firefighters?
In all sorts of weather, firefighters react to 911 fire and medical emergencies 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
They maintain the firetrucks and examine firefighting equipment at the fire station when they are not combating fires or delivering first aid.
When performing 24-hour shifts, they eat and sleep at the fire station.
Giving education classes about fire safety to children in the school and in community organizations may also be part of a firefighter’s responsibilities.
Some operate in hazardous materials (HAZMAT) units, which respond to chemical spills and incidents.
Wildland firefighters tackle fires in distant wooded regions by jumping from planes or working on ground personnel.
How Much Do Firefighters Make An Hour?
According to a report released from the Bureau of Labor Statistics in May 2019, the median hourly income for firefighters is $24.45 per hour, or $50,850 per year, with half earning less and the other half earning more.
In the top 10% of the pay scale, firefighters can make up to $44.24 per hour, or $92,020 per year.
The starting wage for a firefighter is usually on the lower end of the pay range.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers in the bottom tenth percentile make less than $12.29 per hour or $25,550 per year.
According to the National Wildfire Coordinating Group, entry-level seasonal wildland firefighters make an average of $8.00 per hour plus time and a half for hazard duty pay.
1. How Much Do Firefighters Make An Hour?
Firefighters make a minimum of $8.89 an hour and a maximum of $32.69 an hour.
2. How Much Do Firefighters Make A Month?
Firefighters make a minimum of $1,542 a month and a maximum of $5,667 a month.
3. How Much Do Firefighters Make A Year?
Firefighters make a minimum of $18,500 a year and a maximum of $68,000 a year.
Highest Salary Of Firefighters In 2023
Your pay as a firefighter goes up or down depending on your experience, mostly.
If you are in the most senior level and have immense experience being a firefighter, you tend to earn among the higher earners in the industry.
According to BLM, experienced firefighters who are in the 10% of the highest earners earn somewhere around $45 an hour or $93,000 annually.
Compared to the average income, this is nearly double it, which is pretty high if you compare it to other sectors in the United States.
However, it is possible to earn higher than this as the salaries also depend on the location and experience.
Is Being A Firefighter Good Or Bad?
Firefighters respond to medical and fire crises in their communities, which may be a rewarding profession for someone who enjoys helping others.
Firefighters provide public education classes or seminars, often held in schools or departments, to assist families, schools, companies, and others in planning emergencies and practicing fire safety.
You can not only do good in your job but also help people around you, which could make it something, but the risks involved are too much for many people, so you have to make your decision carefully because if you can not take risks and still choose it, being a firefighter will not be good for you.
Pros and Cons of Being A Firefighter
- You get to save lives
- Good benefits
- Job security
- Get to maintain physical fitness
- Sense of fulfillment
- Low pay
- Unusual shift hours
- Constant training
How To Become A Firefighter?
Minimum prerequisites to be a fireman include a high school diploma and emergency medical technician (EMT) certification.
So here’s how you can become a Firefighter:
- Some employers also require paramedic qualifications. Those who want to be a firefighter must be at least 18 years old and pass a physical, written, and fitness exam, as well as a drug test.
- To advance their careers, many firefighters pursue a degree in fire science. It’s also a good idea to train as an EMT.
- Having a history in both fire and EMS will increase your chances of being recruited.
- Some departments may demand EMT certification, while others may require a paramedic’s license.
- The last step is to apply for a firefighter job, but you will be asked to give and pass an exam before you get hired.
How Many Hours Does Firefighter Work?
Firefighters work long shifts, and they also end up working during the weekends.
So most of them follow a 24/48 schedule, where they work for 24 hours straight and then take off for 48 hours and so on.
Some might also be employed to follow the 48/96 schedule. Where they work for 48 hours straight and then take off for 96 hours.
What is the Starting Pay of Firefighter?
The starting pay of a firefighter is $8.89 an hour or $18,500 a year. With more experience as a Firefighter, you can earn as much as $32.69 an hour or $68,000 a year.
A Day in the Life of a Firefighter
Firefighter Training Programs
New employees need to have training in firefighting methods and strategies at a firefighter academy.
Hands-on training in the use of firefighting equipment, such as chainsaws, axes, and ladders, is together with classroom teaching to obtain access to the source of the fire.
Apprenticeship training might run up to four years for certain firefighters.
Local and state authorities, along with National Fire Academy, offer advanced training in areas such as disaster preparedness.
You can also find places that have the authority to give these training programs in your area. But going to the national fire academy is the best choice.
Firefighting is an emotionally and physically hard job that needs a lot of overtime and long hours.
According to Bureau of Labor Statistics statistics, many firefighters work for 24 hours straight before taking 24- 48 hours off.
During fire season, wildland firefighters may be gone from home for lengthy periods of time.
Considering all this, being a firefighter is tough, but it pays well both in money and relationships because you get to teach if you want to.
It all depends on you and what you want to do. But they get higher than the national salary average in the States.
How much do firefighters make an hour when they work overtime?
You cannot practically do overtime when you are a firefighter.
Depending on the number of issues you go to, you already work immense amounts daily with different shifts of 24 or 48 hours or even maybe longer.
How much do firefighters make an hour when they start without any experience?
The firefighters who start for the first time without any prior experience earn the lowest amount, lower than the average amount of firefighters.
How much do firefighters make an hour if they are at the most senior level?
The most senior firefighters earn the highest salaries among firefighters due to their experience and time on the job.
Shefali Jain is a Content Writer & Editor at USWorkforce.org
After completing her graduation in hospitality, Shefali decided to follow her passion and started writing. Shefali has been writing for two years now and contributes to our website as a skilled editor and content writer with strong research skills. Writing product and service reviews, biographies, and book reviews are some of her key areas, among many others in which she specializes. In her time at the organization, she has written and edited content on a range of topics, including employment law, human resources, and business management.
The US Workforce has a policy of producing high-quality content that follows industry standards by using primary sources, such as white papers and government data, alongside original reporting from reputable publishers. We also follow an editorial style where appropriate information about the topic can be found with due credit given when applicable.