The Job Market
Firefighters protect communities against the loss of life, injury and destruction of property by fire. They may work at accidents, hazardous material spills, and in fire prevention. Firefighters work as a team with each person assigned to a special job. They respond to fire alarms, decide what action to take, locate the source of the fire, and connect hose lines and nozzles. Duties include operating and maintaining fire equipment and trucks. They may search for clues and conduct salvage operations. Those who operate heavy fire equipment have specialized skills.
Students with the Certificate or AS Degree are qualified to go to work directly for many fire departments. The A.S. degree in Fire Service Technology includes subjects covered in promotional examinations, manipulative training, general education, first aid and emergency medical procedures. Many departments require completion of the Firefighter I Program before accepting applications for employment. And, in many departments fire fighters with a 4-year degree or beyond are automatically placed in a higher pay grade, and the advanced degree is required for promotion.
Entry salaries range from $1,800 to $2,500 per month and top pay may exceed $5,200 per month. Some departments require an AS degree or beyond to be promoted beyond a certain level.
Here are some resources to help you learn more about this field.
- Alameda Co. Fire Dept.
- California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF)
- Fire Careers – National Firefighters Recruitment
- Lawrence Livermore National Lab
- Livermore- Pleasanton Fire Dept.
- San Ramon Valley Fire Protection Dist.
- Bay Area Regional Firefighter and Paramedic Registry
- United States Dept. of the Interior Jobs
- Fire Trader - New and Used Fire Fighting Equipment
- Firefighters' Bookstore
- National Association for Search & Rescue
- National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians
- Our Designs, Inc. (Firefighter Related Merchandise)