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Career Facts - Fire Science

What They Do

Firefighters are responsible for protecting people's lives and property through fighting fires and rescuing people who are trapped inside fires, injured by fires or through other accidents. Although Firefighters perform many of their duties in an independent manner, working as a team is a vital and necessary part of being a firefighter. Through inspections and safety education, Firefighters also work to prevent any unsafe situations or conditions, so that life threatening and other dangerous situations can be avoided. They will also assist in many of the emergency and disaster situations that occur throughout their area.

Who Would Enjoy It

A person who would like to respond to a variety of emergency situations in which life, property, or the environment are at risk. This person must be able to be a team player and able to take orders as a member of the emergency response team at the scene of an accident, fire, flood, earthquake, or act of terrorism. A person in this field must be organized, maintain control in various situations and be able to think and act quickly under pressure.

What They Earn

A full time Firefighter's salary ranges from about $22,000 to $50,000 per year, while part time Firefighter's average $8.00 to $25.00 per hour. Firefighters will often earn overtime by working extra shifts to maintain minimum staffing levels, or when called in for special emergencies.

How Many Jobs Available

Strong competition for positions can be expected. Although the growth is expected to be slower than the average, some growth should occur in this field as fire departments enlarge or new departments are formed. The outlook is fair, and competition will be keen for jobs in most large cities. Most openings occur when experienced workers retire or leave their jobs for other reasons.

How Much Schooling, Training, or Skill Development

Firefighting attracts many people because a high school education was usually sufficient, however a person with a two-year Fire Science Degree is often a large advantage. A person may also need to pass a civil service examination to get a job in this field, as well as a comprehensive physical exam.

Related Occupations

Emergency Medical Technician

FIRE Science email

Click her for the Library Fire Science Portal

Fire Science Program at Lansing Community College

Public Service Careers
West Campus, Room M127
Phone: (517) 483-1570
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